Great site! Lots of good info. Refreshing to be amongst other old folks still pursuing the dream.
Here’s me summed up:
31 yrs old
Married 1 month
BS in Micro 2003, BS in Natural Science 2005
Poor GPA with 1st BS, better but not astonishing with 2nd
Took MCAT in 2005…not prepared therefore BOMBED
Took a graduate medical sociology class last spring…did well
Always contemplating plan B without thoroughly pursuing plan A (MPH, Med Soc, PA, etc)
Did 2 summer enrichment programs (CWRU and MSUCHM)…got good info…felt good about not being doomed and then nothing
Have used 2 MCAT prep courses (Princeton and Dr. Flowers…helped, but I fell off)
Many life roadblocks
Lots of service and science jobs (assisted living, clinical research-lifestyle intervention, biodefense research, fertility clinic, science teacher, on and on…)
Tired of hearing myself talk about it…I wanna be about it
Scared (of not getting it…and getting it)
At a crossroads…what to do now/next
So that’s me…if anyone has thoughts, suggestions, ideas, or comments feel free…
Thanks for just being…
I’m going to offer some advice as a former champion procrastinator. Procrastinators often go thru early schooling getting lots of negative attention till they start a project, at which point the pressure is off. Thus, there is NO reward for continuing and finishing.
when I began my Masters in Nurse-Midwifery, the didactic material was distance ed, and I had to provide my own pacing thru the material. At the same time I was working thru helping my (then) oldest thru high school, and he also was a procrastinator. You have to make a change and reward yourself for FINSHING! Break projects into smaller chunks and mark the completion of each of them. I still make lists with boxes to check off (and expected completion dates) because for me that helps me see where I am and maintain forward momentum.
Perhaps you have had some false starts because of not having a coherent, clear strategy so you haven’t been able to push forward because you weren’t quite sure of your direction.
I suggest you research med schools you are interested in applying to. Look at the AMCAS web site on considering a medical career https://www.aamc.org/students/considering/
and read thru that information. Start writing down the information you find.
If you are clear that you really desire medicine, consider whether you want to pursue a post-baccalaureate premed program to refresh your science prereqs as a 1-2 year prep prior to MCAT’s. Look at the cost of a formal MCAT prep program like Kaplan and see if you can find a way to swing that. What kind of volunteering and shadowing do you need to make your application compelling? Who might you get letters of recommendation from. Try to get a tentative big picture, with timeline, with well-defined steps you plan to go thru to get there.
Then, once you have the big picture in sight, work on becoming a champion finisher. Rather than dithering and being crippled by uncertainty, have a goal-directed strategy (which can be adapted based on changes). As one of my favorite authors once said “I’m not here to indulge my feelings - I’m here to achieve my goals” which is excellent advice for any of us in confronting our “demons” that hamper our forward momentum.
Ok, pep talk over!! Let us know how you get on!
Hello and welcome!
No better advice to offer. Read Kate’s post, print out and tape to wall by computer.
GOOD LUCK, and ask as questions as you go!
Thanks Kate amd Pixie!
I like the idea of setting smaller goals and rewarding myself (I’ve heard that before, but didn’t really try it full out-go figure).
I have researched schools and have a decent list of schools I would apply to for MD and am starting to research DO schools as well (one here in Indianapolis is seeking provisional accreditation). I know what I am looking for in a program and what type of applicant certain schools are looking for.
The biggest hurdle for me now is the MCAT and what to do in the meantime (start MS program or take undergrad prereqs over). When I have really focused on MCAT prep I find that I do pretty well on practice tests, but I haven’t given it a full committment thus far.
I have shadowed many docs in various fields of medicine, I volunteer on a regular, as well as work in research and service related fields…
I do worry that my letters of rec may be lacking…professionally I have plenty of people who would write letters for me, but academically I do not have strong relationships (or they might not be science professors per se).
I will start making the plan and breaking it down with expected completion timelines…
It is nice to be apart of a community that supports and encourages you…I miss that…as some of my former non-traditional friends have gone on to med school or moved on to something else…it can get lonely out here and some of my family and friends are supportive, but don’t fully understand the challenges and fears associated with this pursuit…
As many programs would like to see prerequisites in the last 5 years, I don’t think it would be looked at badly if you did redo your prereqs. Think about how thoroughly you think you would cover those topics in self-study - how much you remember and how much you are motivated to delve in on your own. If you feel taking the class formally would help, that may be your best strategy for board prep. I’d look at the bio labs and think about repeating those if they include substantial stuff you didn’t do the first time around.
Then you could add a couple new advanced bio courses if they were not part of your first majors.
Timeline -2 years if less than full-time. Include a board prep class. And as everyone on here says, do LOTS of practice test. Remember it’s NOT at test of what content you remember from the classes. Its an assessment of you being able to use concepts you learned in the classes and apply them to 2nd or 3rd order questions (mostly passage based).
I’m inspired to see a nurse that in a sense started over and made it happen…sometimes I think I should’ve listened to my mother (ugh don’t tell her I said that) and went into nursing because at least I’d be making some money. But sometimes it’s not just about making a couple more dollars…thanks again!