Hello! Guidance on work vs. intensified studies

Hi all!

I am so grateful to have come across this site and community. I have been digging into all the resources and podcasts, finding valuable information and encouragement for my medical ambition.

This is my debut on the forums, and I am thankful for the community’s willingness to welcome people like me!

I am a 30-year-old male, who after years of working in journalism and media, has decided to pursue a lifelong passion for medicine; a field that merges my calling to care for others and my interest in science. I come from a family of medical professionals, so to an extent I feel that it is in my blood. But I always viewed myself as not smart enough to make it in medicine. But now at age 30, with a better sense of self and courage despite the potential for failure, I feel I have to go after my dream.

I have been researching and conferring with advisors, professionals, etc. on the viability of this big pivot. They tell me that it is doable, as has been affirmed by all the hard-working people in this community. I am trying to map out a path to do it, and would love input from others (if you are willing), on how best to work toward my goal.

I have a long way to go:

  • I have just started taking prerequisite courses at community colleges, as my earlier B.S. did not involve chemistry and biology as is commonly required by medical schools. Thus, even the MCAT is a ways off.
  • I am currently working full-time at a health care organization, but in administrative respects. It’s been a great opportunity to learn more about the industry of medicine.
  • However, it does take up a lot of my time, restricting when I can schedule classes and how much attention I can give to the curriculum. I would be learning a lot more if I had more time to allocate to my studies.
  • I have wondered if this is the best approach: trying to juggle work and school at the same time, or if I am truly serious about medicine (I am), do I stop working full-time, and focus on school. If I did this, I suspect I would be more prepared in a shorter amount of time to apply to medical schools. The trade-off is the loss of income, and the pressure that comes with living in an area with a high cost-of-living.

    If there are any other circumstances that I should share, please let me know! I would be immensely grateful for any shared experiences, advice or insights.

What did you end up doing? I came here to ask this exact question. I have a journalism degree and am currently working as a medical photographer and am debating whether or not to jump into school full time.