Falling in love with Plan B

My original plan, which began with taking General Chemistry spring and summer (now done), was to continue like this:
Take Orgo and Bio in the fall (I’ve cut back to a 32-hour workweek). This is in progress.
Do the same in the Spring. A bit of cajoling and my boss agreed to this.
Teach myself Physics over Christmas. Okay, this one’s pretty amusing, but actually my first pass makes sense and I just need practice.
Take the April or August MCAT, apply in the spring for admission in Fall of '05. Take second semester physics (had the first years and years ago) during glide year.
There’s a certain madness to this.
I’m thinking of continuing my current furious class schedule, which is going okay so far (okay meaning comfortable A’s, knock wood).
Take the summer off school and really hit the shadowing and volunteer work. Right now I’m just doing a few hours a month at the hospice.
Take BOTH semesters of Physics next year, study for the MCAT, and knock it out of the park, and apply for med school entering Fall of '06, possibly early decision at MCW. I’m pretty sure I CAN knock the MCAT out of the park if I have that kind of prep time.
I’ll be 42 instead of 41, but big, fat, hairy deal.
Thoughts? My thought is that Plan A is simply a lot more stressful, with a lot more problems in getting the application completed, polished, and pretty, and if I’m going to take ten years to become a doctor, I’d better set myself up to enjoy the journey, because I can’t hold my breath that long.
On the other hand, it’s another YEAR. Snif!

One more year means nothing to adcoms but a lot to us. I remember thinking the same back in 2001 when something terrible happened to our family and I kept thinking well, I could try applying now rushing through the process. Mary Renard gave me great advice (as usual) and said look, you are busting your end off trying to make a great application why ruin your chances with a half arse attempt? I listened and waited and thank God! first off I would have gone crazy and second I would probably not be in the great position I am today. Sooo, you are doing the right thing by waiting another year to apply big deal yet making the best application possible. Good luck.

I think your post says clearly that you already know the answer. It’s fine to grieve the extra year; and important, even, to acknowledge that there is a cost to the decision. But it’s worth it, clearly. For me, I took more time than some to finish the post-bac process and it was totally worth it. Do I wish it had taken less time? Yes, of course. I think it’s nuts to pretend otherwise. Do I wish I’d rushed through it more? No, because I see what the consequences of that decision would have been, and I’m so grateful to have had more choices and more ability to determine my own destiny at the end of the process. Also, I did things during that time that made sure that it wasn’t just prep time–i.e., made sure there were interesting things going on in my life at the same time that I was preparing. A very important part of any such plan, I think.
Good luck.

Plan B sounds likje to way to go.
I made a similar decision about a year ago when i decided not to pursue a formal post bacc route, but rather continue to work and take courses for review as I am able. This plan will put me two years behind my original plan.
Sure I think about if I would have completed the formal post bacc program, I would be interviewing now. However, it was the best decision for me and my family.The positives: I was not 1100 miles away from my family. I will save lots of $$ on the classes. I spent one year doing full time clinical research in peds. I have presented some of the research at the American Academay of Pediatrics national meeting. I have submitted two more abstracts for presentations. I hope to publish 3-4 journal articles. Plus
I am able to continue in my PNP postion as I pursue courses.
There are others right there with you that have had to make decisions. There are always trade offs. Do what is right for you.
Good Luck

Thanks, EVERYONE for your support. I know this is the best way for me to go. I’ll have better letters, better MCATs, more time to shadow docs and be REALLY, REALLY SURE this is what i want to do, and more time to save money for the long journey. It’s a long road anyway, so I might as well arrange things so I can enjoy the journey.

I did ascribe to the “I must rush through Ugrad cause one year older might = a rejection” BS mindset. I completed a BS, magna cum laude, in Neuroscience in 3 years by carrying 21 to 24 hours/term & going all summers. It was NUTS & I wish I had had someone around to talk some sense into me & convinced me to slow down to savor the experience of learning. Don’t make the same mistakes I did…that is why I freely post about my royal screw ups: 1 - to disuade others from following suit & 2 - to substnatiate that a few mistakes along the way does not preclude ever getting in.

I know how hard it is to slow down when you are older and in a hurry. I originally thought I would take my gen chem and 2 math classes during the summer so I could get into OChem the next Fall. It wasn’t my good sense, but an assault, that caused a schedule change for me. Going slower was definitely better and if I get in this year, it’ll be two years later than my regular time line. You sound like you know its the better thing for you. Good luck in your journey.