Heeding the call: Becoming a doctor at this Late Hour

I am just starting out on the road to medicine, and I have to admit that setting myself on this path has only recently occurred to me.

I wonder if that is rare, since becoming a doctor came to me as a cumulative awakening, not as a life long goal.

I hear alot of people here say ‘I always wanted to be a doctor.’ I didn’t always want to be a doctor, but I feel that it has been a very natural progression in my life.

Almost like the tide, coming in imperceptibly at first, but leaving no doubt upon its arrival.

I am curious of how others discovered that they were meant to be doctors…

How about you?

  • Artman Said:
Almost like the tide, coming in imperceptibly at first, but leaving no doubt upon its arrival.

Hi Artman,

I think this succinctly and eloquently describes how I feel about my own passionate discovery for medicine. I always had a nagging, suggestive voice that persuaded me to medicine, but I think I was too hard-headed to listen. This was during my college years. Now that I'm older, I've wised up and decided to heed that calling and I think it has been the best decision of my life, thus far.

Good luck on your journey!!


thank you for your response! It is comforting to know that the drive to medicine can be cumulative, as opposed to a life long obsession.

Once I finally came to the awareness that I wanted to be a Doctor, it made perfect sense, but up until that moment, it had never even occurred to me!

I guess I always kind of thought of being a doctor a bit like being an astronaut, very cool but way out of my reach. Not any more!

Good luck to you Fuzz, and all else reading these words.

’ I may be a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.’

  • Artman Said:

I guess I always kind of thought of being a doctor a bit like being an astronaut, very cool but way out of my reach.

Hi Artman,

This pretty much sums up how I always perceived becoming a physician-- a noble, virtuous goal, but it was something "other" people did. Not folks like me. I kick myself in the butt today for allowing deprecating thoughts like that to creep into my mind.

I spent the better part of my college career constantly second-guessing myself as to what my calling is. All the while that nagging little medical voice would not shut up! lol! But I constantly refused to listen; call it an act of indiscretion or immaturity. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I just wouldn't listen. My, how a little age and wisdom changes things! hehe!

I've been spending quite a bit of time on this site lately and the blogs and posts of other members truly are an inspiration and has led me to believe that this goal is certainly attainable. While the long, arduous road to becoming a physician cannot be circumvented, other people's perseverance, determination, and tips have shown me that it is indeed very possible.

I’ve just found this website and am thrilled to be here. Reading this thread is incredibly helpful and reassuring to me.

I also never intended to end up in med/pre-med and never imagined myself as or aspired to be a doctor until life (and many friends) pointed out that this is a logical next step based on the path I’ve taken. It also helped that I met a number of amazing and inspiring physicians (both MDs and DOs as well as BAMS (Ayurvedic), DC, LAc and others. A chance accident falling down a hill last fall literally jolted me into a DO’s office in Hawaii and jolted my brain into focus at which point I commenced this journey.

I’m waiting to hear whether I’m in Bryn Mawr’s PB 2014 class presently. Biting all nails off.

Love this quote: “Everyone must choose one of two pains; the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”


Hello and welcome! Thank you for your kind words, and for making me feel a bit less insane for leaving a great career to pursue this crazy goal of mine. Like you, people saw a doctor in me well before I did. Amazing how thoughts shape our reality. Anyhow, look around, there are a great many inspirational stories on these boards. These people are already helping to heal by giving of themselves and their time. Plus, it’s nice to be around folks who are not intimidated by words with more than two syllables.

Good luck to you, and bless you for having the courage to make a difference.

Hi Artman!

I am late in the game as well. People thought I was crazy when I told them I was returning to school to pursue Osteopathic Medicine. I just kept getting the “Are-you-sure-you-want-to -do-this?” look so I just stopped telling people. I second guessed myself until I received my acceptance into the La Salle Post Bac program last week. I had a feeling that I was supposed to be a Doctor but, like others, I really underestimated myself. I have no doubt that I will be a great doctor and I am sure you will also. As we age, we gain wisdom (well, most do) and I am glad that it took me until now to realize because I feel like I am better equipped to handle my decision.

God speed…

Biting nails with you. The best to you!

Artman - I absolutely love the responses that your initial question inspired. I can echo the sentiments of everyone’s utterances, including yours. I entered school to become a nurse, but after talking to premeds I realized I needed a shift of focus. I fought with myself, tried the idea out on some friends (who scoffed) but watched my interest and passion grow. I am with you when you mention how thoughts become reality.

I still haven’t told my family and friends yet of my decision (they still think I’m going for nursing) - but I remember as a child being intoxicated by the idea of “saving people” and how good that would be. By the time I was 18, though, although I was smart I no longer considered med school. That was for “smart” people. Now I am remembering my childhood “wanting to save people” sentiment (which came, I believe, as a result of my g-father’s cancer death), marrying it with my interest in the disease process.

I remember loving the intellectual energy of the local med school, but I was happy to look up to the sharp young minds rather than imagining that I, too, was possibly of that ilk. I was smart, I couldn’t see myself as competing with the more aggressive students.

Now that I have accepted the calling (and it just occurred to me while I was typing that this must be what a ‘calling’ is) - I feel a drive - perhaps it is the drive the 19 year old me lacked. Your wave metaphor is apt. The truth was always there - it took me a while to arrive at it.

Well, that’s my story.


Congratulations on your newfound ‘listening’ skills!

Making this transition has been exciting, nerve wracking, and surprising. When I told some of the faculty at my school, they came to me, each independently, and all said the same thing. "You are going to be a great doctor. You already look the part!’ Now, I am 36, bald with some visible tattoos and earrings. How I ‘look the part’ is anyone’s guess, but I took it to mean that I already give off a doctor-y vibe. (I hope none of my science professors ever read that.)

Once again, I bet that people see in you what you refuse to or cannot see in yourself. I would bet dollars to pesos that your support group will be ecstatic when you finally let them in on your little secret!

It has been my experience that the universe conspires to help us when we find and believe in our one true path. ‘A baby brings its own food,’ so to speak. We can all use a bit of faith in that.

Good luck to you H2B, and bless you for making the leap!

Thanks, Artman. I’ve been wanting to post, but I have been too busy finishing a lab. I am about to make my first real foray into this profession by applying for a biomedical internship. I’ve been reading these boards for a while, and now I understand the stress of applying for different programs while trying to keep my gpa up. I am a bit anxious, as one of my professors not so artfully dodged my request for a recommendation letter.

I hope there are more responses to this thread, because I was certainly inspired by your original question.


I believe that everything happens for reasons we are not always privy to.

While it may seem ‘bad’ that the professor doesn’t wish to write you a LOR, perhaps it is for the best. Especially if it was lukewarm, or the professor is an imbecile, or the adcom knows the professor as a less than stellar educator.

Keep rocking, and working hard. Those LOR’s will pile up, and you will be in the trenches before you know it!

  • Artman Said:

Congratulations on your newfound 'listening' skills!

Now, I am 36, bald with some visible tattoos and earrings. How I 'look the part' is anyone's guess, but I took it to mean that I already give off a doctor-y vibe.

One of my acquaintances that I met in my volunteer work is a tattooed, pierced ER doc. He still got into and out of med school and an ER residency -- apparently with no problems.

Thank you for that shot of confidence! I was wondering how my body adornments might effect my ability to get into a program, glad to know there are ‘modern primitive’ success stories.

As an update, it’s been almost a month since I dropped my application in the mail. Nothing, yet!


My professor did supply the LOR - I grossly misread him. I am moving away from the hoping and “can this really be done” stage to actuality. This is an awesome journey. Now I must twiddle my thumbs until I hear word from the internship.

Thanks for the OP and your subsequent words of encouragement. Now it’s on to general chemistry.

I am wishing you well.


Congrats on your LOR! I figured there was going to be more to the story. Sometimes, a professor’s behavior is truly inexplicable…

It is really calming to see what you are up to, and how you are accomplishing the myriad of tasks one must accomplish to add those prolific two letters to our name.

The list is daunting, but you make it seem doable, and that goes for all of you here at OPM! (Thank you for your guidance and perspectives! )

Me, I’m trying to do some research into all I am getting into here, and I find it quite exciting! I have spent my entire adult life as an artist, observing and rendering the real and imagined. Science is a whole new animal, and there is so much to know.

I believe I am up to the task, and preparing as best I can for the challenge ahead.

Here’s to us, life’s most adventurous travellers!


Yes - Cheers!

I plan on being much more active on these boards, depending on whether I receive this internship. I am still somewhat hesitant, because I have a spotted academic history. I was also an English major “way back when…” and I find it hard to shake the artist/writer persona that I was encouraged to adopt (and have nurtured in my imagination) since the “discovery” of my talent at 9 years old.

The next leg in my research involves learning more about volunteering.

So, forgive me for the slight hijacking. I am still learning the etiquette of board posting.

  • hospitalist2be Said:
Yes - Cheers!

I plan on being much more active on these boards, depending on whether I receive this internship.

So, forgive me for the slight hijacking. I am still learning the etiquette of board posting.

For such flagrant disregard to etiquette you are hereby fined to compose 5 more posting before the end of the month! And with your background, they better be in good english too!

Hi all -

An update: Bryn Mawr did not admit me to the PB class of 2013. So I just had a meeting with the director there as well as the director of the Temple PB program to regroup and refocus my efforts.

The requests of improvement were twofold:

  1. more recent academic evidence of my abilities (I’m looking at UC Berkeley Calculus online for starters as well as lab classes at Southern California University of Health Sciences)

  2. More evidence of my passion to enter medicine as a profession as evidenced by volunteering, shadowing and other practical hands-on work in the arena.

    As a freelancer in the film industry my time is not my own when I’m working and I’m frequently out of town for months on end. So I’m going to spend this next year trying to figure it all out and reapply both to Bryn Mawr but also to other post bacc premedical programs next year.

    How is everyone else faring?

With regard to SCUHS - was that suggested by the postbacc PDs? If you did any research on SCUHS, do you mind posting your findings here? I looked into SCUHS and was not totally convinced they were worth it. I’d like to know what you found.