Engineering Past, Interested in Getting on track for Med School

Hey,

I’m currently 29, about to be 30 in July, with 5 kids under 10. I work as a Software Engineer and have been working in this field within 5 years now. I want to switch careers to become an OBGYN specifically for high risk, due to my own personal experiences during all of my pregnancies. However, I only have an Associates, which is in Software Development and my previous college experiences wasn’t the best. I actually ended up getting dismissed from one university in 2011.

To begin, I started out my journey fresh out of highschool, literally that summer after high school graduation in 2010. I first majored in Industrial Design, yet after failing my art classes, and shadowing some people, I realized I didn’t want to continue. I then switched to Business Administration and bombed pretty badly which caused me to get dismissed in 2011.

I stayed out of school and life happened. I got married in 2013 and got pregnant the same year with my first daughter. I had no idea about the ups and downs of pregnancy and this was my first real experience with an OBGYN. Throughout the experience I grew a fascination with my body and how the baby grows from a little seedling to a baby. Along with this, I grew curious about my conditions that I developed through my pregnancy and how I was ill prepared. I wish I had have started this journey to a healthy pregnancy early.

With that said, I struggled trying to figure out what to do for a living and was working as a CNA while pregnant, but I had a passion to work in a hospital setting with mothers and babies. So I started thinking about going to nursing school, I never applied due to an incident while tending to a resident. I ended up quitting and decided to look into a non health care careers for my safety.

Fast forward a few months later, I’m flipping through my high-school yearbook one day and I see a picture of me under a S.T.E.M. scholar bulletin. On my bio I mentioned that I wanted to be a computer engineer or a video game developer. I then thought I found my calling. So I looked for schools that I could take online classes so I can be a stay at home mom when my daughter was born. Fast forward, I get accepted to a technical college in 2014 shortly before my daughter was born that June, but I struggled trying to make ends meet, having another baby in 2016, and having marriage issues.

I finally do graduate 3 years later in 2017 and land my first job as a developer in 2018. I soon quickly realize that this may not be the career for me. Yet I stick through it. I ended up divorcing my first husband the same year and lost that job shortly afterwards in 2019. I met my now husband months after I separated and got another job as as Software Engineer in another state. We move there and things were going well at first. Until after the pandemic, I got let go shortly after returning from my maternity leave, (my 3rd child). I stayed out of work for about a year, had another baby in 2021. Then got pregnant again late 2021 with my 5th and hopefully last child, due in August 2022. As of January 2022, I am back to working as a Software Engineer, but I still don’t feel fulfilled, or secure in this job.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but to me the way I am thinking is that it’s almost 5 years from graduating in Software Development and I don’t feel that I have progressed in this career. Nor am I satisfied, I am back to wanting to go back to school to get my BS in health services and then applying to Medical School. Yet, I’m afraid I may be too late though, because I struggled in school. What should I do?

It’s never too late to start on this track. Life sometimes takes people on the scenic route before entering this career.

Before you jump in, you need to contemplate a few things:

  • Are you 100% sure you WILL do well in your courses NOW? Pre-med can be difficult, but medical school will be that MUCH harder. If you’re unsure, you can access your readiness by taking a few undergrad pre-requisite courses. This is a low-risk method of accessing this and will help you answer the following question.

  • Are you willing to sacrifice time from parenting to devote to med school? If not, you should consider doing this track later in life when your kids are more independent. Note: I am not a parent, but I know that raising one child is a huge time commitment. I can’t imagine five! Also, I used to be from the SE industry and know that SE has a good life-work balance. Med school will NOT (for a good decade or so). They won’t care that you have a family – their goal is to make you a physician within 4 yrs. They do not want people who cannot commit to this goal. As much as we may think we can do everything, it is not realistic. Also, consider that this may place an additional burden on your spouse. You may want to talk to them about this and ensure they’re on board.

  • Can you support your family on a single income? Most likely, you will not be able to work during med school, and if you do, it won’t be as high as a SE income. Consider your finances.

I agree with you that SE is not very satisfying, but it certainly has its perks like high income and ample free time that you can spend with your family.