Deciding to take the plunge.....

I have always wanted to be a doctor. When I got a couple bad grades in Ochem and Physics I resigned myself to thinking it will never happen. I dropped the med school idea and became a Physician Assistant. I currently work in Trauma Surgery/Critical Care, but every other month I have that burning desire to go to med school. Being a PA is a great job but I find myself wanting more knowledge, autonomy, skill and a more defined career ladder. In essence, I never let go of my childhood dream. I would need to do Ochem and physics over as well as take the MCATs. My girlfriend thinks I should go per diem at my job and just go for it.

Anyone have any thoughts or advise?



Sounds like a smart and supportive girlfriend!! Dreams are easier to pursue when everyone involved is on board. Question is, are you on board yet? Be inspired…read the diaries.

Definitely go for it! I actually STRUGGLED with choosing to go the PA vs MD/DO route for a long, long time. In the end for me it came down to wanting the final say in a patient situation if need be (of course teamwork and a different view on a problem is always beneficial!). I do not want to be bound by protocols or practice agreements. although every provider ultimately has to follow the wishes/procedures of their administrator/hospital; at least as a physician I could possess the most individual clinical freedom.

If you are interested in DO, I believe that LECOM has a quasi PA-DO bridge in place, granting credit for your first year of med school in lieu of your PA education. You would still have to do 3 years + residency, but hey, a year is a year, plus about 30-40 grand!. DO also offers grade replacement, so if you retake O chem and Physics and get a better grade, they will replace your old grade and only the new grade will be factored into your cum. GPA.

I am in the midst of Physics I now, and I can say that having a good professor will make your life much, much easier. This has been my strategy since I begun this journey, to research potential professors via RatemyProfessor and word of mouth on campus, before signing up for a class. Of course this may have limited application depending on your situation, but it definitely helps a tremendous amount toward your eventual grasp of the material/GPA. Good luck with your decision; just listen to your heart and have faith…and it will all work out!

You should definitely go for it! I’m 44, and I’ve convinced myself that it would be worth pursuing. It looks like you went to a good PA program. You’re only 29. Not sure how you could fail, especially if you are open to DO schools. And if you’re a competitive candidate, I’m sure MD schools would be happy to have you. Don’t put it off and find yourself, like me, in your mid-40s still wanting to do it! That is the best advice I could give you.

And by the way, I work in an emergency room as a social worker. I know several DO’s and I like and respect them as much as any MD. DO schools are definitely worth considering.

Thanks again for all the advice. I took a Kaplan practice MCAT yesterday afternoon and didn’t excactly get a stellar score, but it wasn’t anything that can’t be improved upon. Especially considering I haven’t seen any of this stuff or test format in a few years. I am really hoping that my current experience will make me competitive.

I saw that Rowan University and Cooper University Medical Center formed a new med school that will have a class starting in 2013. Does anyone have any thoughts on attending a “new” med school? I know the University and Hospital are both solid, but it is brand new. Thanks as always for all the great advice!