Finally made the decision!

Hi everyone!
This is it! I have finally made the decision to become a physician. I’ve fought with myself about this for years.
I am 40 with a BS in Information Systems and an AS in Respiratory Therapy. My Respiratory license is still current and active - I’ve been a therapist for >10 years. I just graduated in 2002 with the BS degree. I have 3 children (1 deceased) - the remaining children are 18 and 15. They have been very supportive of me with this decision and it really feels good.
I have begun to scour the Internet for information and came upon I was soooooo happy, I didn’t know what to do with myself! I thought to myself, “there are other people out there who have come to terms with the calling on their lives to help others, and they’re about my age!” What a find!
I have made plans to visit an institution 2 hrs away in July to checkout their post-bacc program. I’d like to attend at a location closer to my home, but I’m willing to make the trek. I’d like to start in the fall. I’m working to make it happen.
I am encouraged by reading the comments from this forum. Wish me well as I move out on my destiny! You all have my best wishes as well!
Lori Mitchell

Congratulations and good luck! I just made the decision to pursue medicine as well. I’ll be starting my pre-req’s in the fall. Isnt this exciting!!??

It’s great to have you join us! One of the best things about OPM is the reminder that we aren’t alone and, believe me, that is critical. In a sense, it’s not just a matter of support; it’s a matter of having individuals who are engaged in this process with whom we can identify. As you spend time on the web site, you’ll “meet” Mary Renard, OldManDave, and others who have succeeded in proving the odds don’t mean a thing. I’m sure you’ve already discovered that we’ve all asked ourselves whether we were too old for medical school – it’s one that has to be asked, even if we know in advance that the answer is “no.” We have to be brave enough to face mortality and make a decision “for” life, even if it means making major changes.
So, once again, welcome – it’s nice to have you aboard!

WElcom to OPM. Feel free to ask any questions you might have! This is just the greatest group of people. You will see some really inspirational stories here. I myself am 41, 42 in October, and will be starting January 2005 in the UK. It can be done.

Welcome to OPM!!! You are in good company here. It’s great to know that you are not alone in this process. You’ll find good support on this site. Again, welcome and good luck to you.

Hello Lori,
Welcome, this website is great! For the longest time I always thought I was to old for med school( I will be 33 when I finish medical school), but OPM was a major influence in changing my attitude and going for my dream of becoming a doctor. Again welcome and GOOD LUCK!!!

Welcome! Good Luck getting started. I can feel your enthusiam just reading your post.

Hi, and welcome! It’s so much fun, especially when you’re just starting to make real plans.
Have you thought about a do-it-yourself post-bacc closer to home? Some people like the formality, structure, and support of a formal, official post-bacc program. But sometimes that just doesn’t fit into your life neatly, so be aware that any institution that offers the prerequisites you need can be a perfectly suitable post-bacc home for you.

I am looking at some 4 year institutions closer to home - they’re private institutions and cost more. I think (uh oh!) that if I enter 1/2 time, I will be able to obtain financial aid to attend.
What pre-reqs do I need? Is it 8 credits of chem, bio and physics? Should I take gen bio 1&2 or an A&P 1&2 class? Should I take inorg chem 1&2, biochem and org chem? I’m going to pray that I only have to take physics 1!
Just asking - to make sure I don’t waste my time as I move forward.

Lori -
Pre-requisites vary somewhat from school to school, but the general ones are these:
one year inorganic (general) chemistry with lab
one year organic chemistry with lab
one year physics with lab
one year biology with lab
some also require:
one year math (some through calculus)
one year English
Typically, they throw things like A&P, biochemistry, genetics and the like in the “recommended” or “highly recommended” category.
I don’t believe that most schools will accept a year of A&P in place of biology, but you would have to check with individual schools. Many schools list their requirements on their website.
A great resource is “Medical School Admission Requirements”, published by the American Association of Medical Colleges each year. It lists the most current information for each school in the US and Canada including minimum prerequisites. It’s well worth the money of purchasing, but if you don’t wish to purchase one, you should be able to track one down at your local library. Your local library may not have the most recent version, but one a couple of years old will give you some good information to get started with. Then, when you get closer to applying, purchase the current year’s edition.
Good luck -

Ah. It stinks when the nearby ones are private.
You should look at the specific med schools that interest you, but, in general, the minimum is:
8 hrs bio including lab (you can sometimes substitute cell and molecular for one semester of general bio, but NOT A&P)
8 hrs general chem including lab
8 hrs organic chem including lab
8 hrs physics (non-calculus is fine) including lab. Yup, two semesters of physics. Whee.
At some institutions, biochemistry and/or calculus will be required.
Some few private institutions (Harvard is a notable example) charge less for courses taken at night for credit as a special student instead of in a degree program. Maybe you’ll luck out! I work at a state institution, on the other hand, that doesn’t even offer the prereqs at night. Fortunately, I have a very flexible boss.

Welcome to OPM. You’er going to find all of the help you need around here. This place is amazing! Congrats on making the decision. For me, making the decision to become a doctor and then telling people was hard.

Welcome! We are the same age. I’m starting a 6yr program in England. I’ll be older but will I be wiser? (my wife says I’m already a wise A$$) Oh well good luck. Bill