Feel depressed - need advice

Alright, I am in a very unusual situation. I have a PhD in Biochemistry earned in Europe and a MBA earned in USA. I am now 35 and due to various circumstances (just got a permanent resident card, job situation changing etc…) I have been thinking to go to Med School (as I have been a faculty in a Med School for the past 5 years as a researcher, with top notch scientific publications might I had).

It turns out that I have to go through the pre-req because they must be obtained in a US accredited institution. I don’t question the rule. It is just that I feel so down that all the training I have accumulated is useless when it comes to Med School application.

With two kids, I have considered keeping my part-time job (teaching Biology in a community college) while trying to get my pre-req there (that means that I will also ditch my full time faculty position). Of course community college may be a problem but I have to think about paying for my kids education more than for my own. To add to the debate over community college versus 4 yr college, I am thinking about going to community college, hoping that my previous education somehow will be taken into account. I also hope of scoring well on the MCAT (as many of the topics tested are already familiar).

So why changing career paths right now: I am unhappy with what I do right now (although teaching is fun, research is not so fun anymore). Besides I started in Med School back in Europe and decided that Medical Biochem was more interesting. I have since regretted that every day!

I would love to hear from various forum readers who would have comment/advice on my situation.

Thank you all.

Have you obtained this information from a school itself or just from reading things? I am a little confused…

My position is somewhat similar to yours so I understand your frustration, but there’s of course nothing to be gained by getting depressed over things you can’t control. This is the way the game’s played, so make your plans to tackle the pre-reqs. And it’s just my opinion, but I’m sure that if you do well on your pre-reqs and MCAT, your training and publications will be a very positive aspect of your medsch applications and can be used to good advantage during interviews as well.

I would call individual schools specifically to ask this question. I would be interested – I have been reviewing many websites and admissions requirements on my own, and haven’t specifically seen “all pre-reqs need to be completed in a US school.” I have seen much to suggest that at least a year of school in an accredited US institution is often necessary for candidates with foreign degrees.

Keep gathering information from specific schools before you endeavor to start.

Indeed, it seems that it would pay to call schools and get their feedback. It does sound like a frustrating situation, though not an insurmountable one.

You should definitely be prepared to discuss why you dropped out (?) of med school before, but are eager for it now (“Besides I started in Med School back in Europe and decided that Medical Biochem was more interesting.”)


thank you for your input. As for some of the questions:

1- pi1304: Why I dropped out of Med School: I entered med school when I was 18 so I didn’t know what to expect. I just felt at the time I was doing it more for my parents than for myself. Teenage crisis, party, girls. You know the story. I also seemed to like Medical Biochemistry quite a bit hoping to accomplish great stuff. But in the end I am writing papers and I don’t feel I am making the difference I should.

2- Gabriel: Yes I have met admission directors from a few few schools (in the state of TX) that I intend to apply to. Namely a MD school and a DO school in Dallas (won’t disclose their names). While the MD school would waive requirements (I mean might be a bit more flexible), the DO school had a very hard position on this (I was more seriously considering this DO school because the min MCAT score required was a bit lower, making me believe that they would be more flexible than the MD school). Now these two schools are state schools (low tuition) and also have a decent ranking nationwide. As a TX resident my chances to enter are decent (by law 90% of students who enter these schools must be TX resident). However the requirements are also “high” and it’s depressing seeing that my credentials count for nothing, with very respectable academic achievements (rankings 4/109 students third year, 5/140 students fourth year and top of class fifth year, securing full PhD scholarship tuition+benefits+salary). Jeffm: TX law imposes certain credit hours be taken in US accredited school in order to apply (that’s the counterpart of being privileged when you are a resident, with tuition about 10-12K/year)

It seems that there is nothing written in stone and an important factor is the application in its whole (MCAT, ref letters, motivation etc…). Besides an important thing that has been told to me is that requirements must be met before Med School starts, not before you apply. However, given the time necessary to complete them, it is needed to advance them sufficiently to be taken seriously. Frankly I don’t have a problem going back to school (I enjoy studying the MCAT), but it is more being seen as “an uneducated guy”. The other issues are with two kids, a mortgage, not only the time to go to school for pre-req is kind of lacking, but the money as well. Community college is not an ideal solution. But right now, that’s the only I can make ends meet, going to school while I teach part-time.

Dullhead, you are right, I have no control so I may as well take it easy and one step at a time.

Thanks all, if you have more comments/questions, please shoot.

You might look outside of TX. It sounds like the large credit-hour requirement at a US school is a huge limitation for you that I doubt is the same everywhere.


thanks for the input. The issue I am having with outside of TX is the tuition. As a state resident here, going to state school is great. I wouldn’t dig myself and my family in a hole before I get to earn a decent living (10/12 years from now…)

But certainly I will look. I know that TX accepts new mexico and okhlaoma states residents with the same tuition rates. Maybe schools within those states would do the same.