Female business professional pre-med - please advise!

Dr. Gray and/or others… HELP!!!

I recently determined that I want to be a physician, but I have an MBA acceptance with deposit due in a month. Please send advice!

Without going into detail, over the past 2 years I have experienced multiple family deaths, including my little brother, which have prompted a total re-evaluation of my life and goals. I’m a 32-year-old IT & marketing professional with a degree in Computer Science and a 3.3 cumulative GPA, 3.0 BCPM from a middle-of-no-where state school. I have always felt restless and unfulfilled in my career, but recent circumstances have allowed the opportunity for a complete restart.

I am passionate about being a trusted advisor and an advocate for those who are suffering but never felt I had the wherewithal to do something as impactful and tangible as becoming a physician. For context, I’m a female from the deep south with a love a learning, an introverted personality, and a lower middle class family. Over the years I worked my way through the business world and was recently accepted to a top-15 MBA program. Before my brother died, I was bound and determined to do whatever I could to progress up the corporate ladder and use my position for good in the community (e.g. social impact projects, community service, and being a champion for underrepresented minorities) - hence the goal of the MBA. I was accepted to the program a week after my brother died (I had spent the previous year studying for the GMAT and preparing applications) but decided to defer for a year to heal and spend time with family.

My dilemma is this:
After careful and thoughtful re-evaluation, I know for certain that I want to be a physician. I believe I have the compassion, thirst for knowledge, thoroughness, and perseverance that would allow me to truly make a difference in patients’ lives. However, I still have an MBA acceptance that I’m not sure what to do with.

I’m currently enrolled in multiple science courses at my state university, have been volunteering at a regional hospital, and am scheduled to shadow physicians this spring. I would like to continue taking DIY post-bac courses, but I’m not sure whether I should take them at my state university or at the higher tier university where I’ve been accepted to the MBA program. Because healthcare today is ever-changing and highly complex, I know that many physicians end up completing an MBA either as a dual degree or later in their career. I also know that if I am accepted to medical school, I likely won’t want to tack on an MBA at the end of 4 years of medical education. I love learning and am interested in knowing the ins and outs of the healthcare industry, both clinical and operational.

So… Should I complete an MBA now (while I have the opportunity to do so) and at the same time complete my post-bac science courses? Or should I forgo the MBA and continue taking post-bac courses at my state university? Or to throw another wrench in the mix… should I apply to formal post-bac programs? All of the above will require varying degrees of debt. I want to ensure that I am making wise financial decisions while also making the most of my time and talents.

As a side note… I know there are many variables at play, including financial debt, time commitment, personal considerations, grades, ECs, etc, but I would prefer not to stay in my hometown/home state for the foreseeable future.

What would you do??

– J (southern girl in a clinical world)


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Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry about your brother, that hits home for me. I am 30 yo and currently taking post-bacc courses at my undergrad institution and it is rough. I have many days when I wonder if I should have done community colleges for the pre-reqs because they are so much easier and I could have gotten A’s. I’m out here struggling for these B’s and each one knocks down my undergrad gpa, which is a 3.56 (not sciences), and I worked hard for that.

I started last fall and my advice to you would be to skip the MBA and go all in. The post bacc stuff and all of the things you have to do to be a good applicant, not to mention studying for the mcat, it’s full on man, it requires so much. I’m slowly letting go of hours at work, I just can’t manage it all if I want A’s, (which I do, I mean at least some :sob: :sob: :sob:)

Just a little perspective, good luck!!! <3333

-K (an east coast girl in chicago)