I feel like I have way too much backstory that I’d like to provide, but the best synopsis I can provide is that I am a mom of four, including a medically complex, special needs infant. I returned to the dream of being a physician last year after having given up on it at 18 when I struggled to earn a C in an Honors Chem course. After leaving school with an associate’s degree and working in banking until becoming a stay at home mom with my three older kids (including twin boys!) I went back to school just before learning of my pregnancy with our youngest special girl. We unfortunately had a difficult NICU stay and diagnosis for her shortly after delivery. That time was transformative for me and reignited a passion for medicine and the realization that doctors are humans who’ve simply worked really hard to get to where they are. I realized that I was the only one stopping me from reaching my dreams of becoming a doctor.
So for my question:
At this point I am finishing a bachelors in Kinesiology (I am passionate about anatomy and the body-mind connection) and am hoping to go to DO school for my medical training (I had an incredible ObGyn who was a DO for my twin’s delivery and fell in love with the DO marriage of caring for the patient as a whole and not the disease, while still being a highly trained physician). I have three semesters following this current semester to finish my undergrad with taking 17-19 credits each. With this trajectory I’ll need to study for and take the MCAT this coming spring/summer and apply for this next cycle if I want to start med school immediately after graduating. Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken many sciences with my associates degree and am still playing catchup. I will need to take an orgo-chem and a biochem before graduating but can only take one of them before the MCAT in the spring. Is it even realistic that I’ll be able to score well without taking one of these courses before the exam? I can see the mountain of work that studying for the MCAT will be on top of my full course loads and personal commitments and that’s before adding teaching myself the basics of a complex course. My options at this point are to push through and see how I do, knowing that I might need to take the MCAT a second time and delay a year if I can’t align everything by this coming spring, OR I could just plan on focusing on finishing my undergrad and wait until 2022 to take the MCAT and apply for the 23’ cycle while trying to get some sort of clinical job for the gap year. I’m turning 30 next spring and we already have significant loans from my husband’s engineering degree, so although money is not the biggest motivator, the added years of cost (from choosing the delayed route) is a huge component in our timeline considerations.
What would you do? Should I just plan on pacing the rest of this process at a slower rate, or should I keep my head down and try to push through? I feel like the med school experience and clinical (and intern) years will be as difficult as pushing through will be and so a big part of me wants to prove that I can handle it.
Thanks for reading this far and any potential advice you have!