Hello there everyone!
I want to share my current situation as well as some of the things I’ve learned over the last year about non-trad pre meds.
Education Background: I graduated in 2011 with my BS in Finance a CGPA of 3.2 and MGPA of roughly 3.5 from a top 75 University in the U.S. I am currently going through the certification process for Lean Six Sigma and studying my GMAT to keep my options open for BSchool. I have always been the person to take the practical route in life (moderate risk, moderate reward).
Work ExperienceI worked as an analyst for 2 years immediately after graduation before switching over to healthcare consulting. I currently manage a small department of several employees and 2-4 million in revenue. It was here that I began working with hospital administration and clinical providers in managing and delivering consulting services around ARRA and HIT. Currently I’m working on expanding our business through offering revenue cycle, IT and preventive health services for our clients.
Why medicine now? I wasn’t exposed to medicine until 2013 when I started my position, and never considered being a physician until about 8 months ago. My job allowed me to work alongside providers as a business associate to help facilitate CPOE and EMR implementation. It was here I had my first experience in the inpatient setting and absolutely loved it. The feeling of indirectly helping patients recover was extremely satisfying. I chased this feeling, and became very fascinated with medicine. I watched numerous videos on surgery, followed medical journals and became invigorated with the medical world. I finally decided to start researching what it would take for me to transition into the medical world as a physician, and it wasn’t a short one. I grew up in a very practical household, and Medicine did not have a good ROI since it required accumulating debt and a long term commitment. Being in my mid twenties, I feel that everything I have done in my life has been at the direction of my family.
It’s a long road So I currently have two routes that I am exploring simultaneously. I am still very conservative at heart, and know that the commitment to medicine isn’t a decision that can be made overnight.
Plan 1 - Take GMAT, go to business school and eventually work my way up to an administrative official. This is a practical route that will not set me back financially and aligns with the career choices I have made thus far. It’s the path I am suppose to take, and the one that would make life simple.
Plan 2 - Enroll in a 2 year post-bacc program, take mcat, go to medical school and then hopefully residency. This route will set me back 5 years compared to my peers and 300k+ in debt before I climb my way back into the middle class. This is certainly not the practical choice, and there is a lot of uncertainty through this process, but it’s the itch that I can’t scratch. I have considered becoming a PA, but I’m not really someone that likes being told what to do. It’s not off the table, but it would not be my first choice.
Where I stand now I’ve been accepted to 2 formal post bacc programs in my city, but have deferred for the following semester. I still cant seem to muster up the courage to make this leap, and there are many driving forces that cause me to reconsider on a daily basis. I understand that I am in a good position given I have 2 years of direct hospital experience, I have a large network of providers, I am familiar with hospital administration and come from a background of finance which lends itself well with management. I understand the frustration between administration and providers given all of the Healthcare reform, and volunteer in a hospital on my free time. I truely love the healthcare field, and wouldn’t imagine going anywhere else with my career.
Final thoughts At the end of the day, I want to live life with no regrets, but I also fear the unknown. Family rejection, debt, opportunity cost both financially and socially, are all things that hold me back from moving forward. I currently stand at a crossroad between doing what I “think” I want to do, and doing what I am “suppose” to do. It’s a struggle that I contemplate daily and still have no solution.
Thank you all for listening to my rant. I hope you all have a wonderful day.
Hello there everyone!
I feel I can relate to you a little bit, because I’m assuming that we’re the same age, if you graduated in 2011 (24-25?). I’m pretty new on the pre-med path so I can’t give you advice on where to start, but I can tell you that you have to follow your passion. I totally understand how uncomfortable the uncertainty and financial insecurity can be in the whole medicine journey, but you have to pursue whatever makes you tick and whatever it is that you keep coming back to.
I myself have wrestled with this idea and have accepted that it’s the only thing that I’m interested in. I have a long road ahead of me because I’ve taken a non-traditional route, and the other, more secure options are very appealing. However, whenever I see a middle aged employee at my company who is absolutely miserable just for financial security, I promise myself that I will never settle for anything that doesn’t keep me eager to go to work every day. Look at it this way…if you won the lottery tomorrow and money would never be an issue again, what would you choose to do? I’m a firm believer in ignoring salaries when choosing dream careers. What’s money when you’re miserable?
If you are the age that I think you are, you are still very young and can bounce back from any risks you will take in pursuing medicine. You will have to put everything on the line. It will be uncomfortable. However, it will be absolutely worth it when you feel satisfied later in life.
Okay, done preaching good luck!
It seems you know what you want. Being accepted to postbacc is great (aside from the cost), but if you can maintain good grades, it will speak to your abilities. So I would just go for it. Yeah plan 2 is long, uncertain, expensive but it sounds like it is what you truly want.
Many of us have given up careers, simply because of a scratch we can’t itch. So for now, I would simply try to get in the hospital or shadow a doc.
As far as money goes, yeah, it is crappy but in the end, it always works out. Absolutely, every physician I have met during my research, said the same things : don’t worry about money. You will pay it off and will do something you truly like. You will find many examples on this site that will demonstrate that IT CAN BE DONE. Just read around. So why not you?
Just my 2 cents. Good luck.