Hi! Looking for (...surprise...) advice

Thanks for the great site everyone! The forums are both sensible and inspiring–and it’s a great group of folks who can make that combination happen.

I would LOVE to throw myself into preparing to apply to be a D.O. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first read about the osteopathic philosophy. I am 28, and my UGPA is an underwhelming 3.2 from a fancy-pants Ivy League school. It gets a little worse though–I double-majored in English and Neurobio. The English grades are nice, but there are many B’s and some C’s in the med school prereq’s. (At the time I resented the pre-meds for curving those classes so steeply–I took them as requirements for my bio major–I just wanted to get my degrees, keep my fellowships and job, and generally lead my wonderous undergraduate life…I had no idea I would ever care in the future what my GPA had been.) I feel like I would do better now, with greater focus and a specific, difficult goal to haul a** towards…

My reservation is about the timing. I would have a year or 2 of undergrad classes ahead of me, and then med school. My partner and I plan to start a family very, very soon. I have my partner’s complete and enthusiastic support in whatever I decide to do, for which I am just so grateful. --But, I have that support NOW, before she is changing her millionth diaper while I study…for about ten years.

My alternative idea would be to try to get into a BSN program. It would be over much more quickly, and I would be able to work normal hours as a nurse and actually be around to help with the kids. I would still have the option of going back to school to become a NP, or even DO, later on.

Has anyone faced a decision like this? Probably you decided to go to med school, as this is a self-selected group ;)–any thoughts on how this worked out? Were you a stranger to your family while in school?

Thanks in advance- and sorry for the LONG POST


Self selection is about right . I was intially looking at an accelerated BSN for many of the same reasons, though my perspective differs in that I’m not in a serious relationship.

I went into the nursing thing thinking it’d make me 90% happy. It’d be close to what I really wanted to do, without the time committment required to become a doc. I pretty quickly realized that that wouldn’t be enough for me.

I’m loath to give advice, as I think perspective is generally more valuable. If I had to recommend a path for you, though, it’d be to get your feet wet - take some coursework that might get you going towards a BSN program (the one I was looking at had pre-reqs before one could apply), and see how you do in it, how you like it, and if you think that that level would be enough for you. And of course, keep your partner as a valued and involved joint decision-maker.

And welcome!

Thanks Adam; that’s great advice.

I’ll talk to more RNs and NPs to try to get a sense of whether what they do would be ‘enough,’ too. Seems like it might be an acceptable fit, especially if I decide I am looking for a compromise–but I would hate to find out too late that it isn’t acceptable after all!

At my current job, ‘normal’ hours are 8-5, but I also do quite a bit of travel during those ‘normal’ times. Then, 3 times a year, I work 12-16 hr days for a month straight, with 1 day off during that month.

I don’t mind working hard during that month, and I make time for family, my continuing ed stuff for work, and hiking or dinner with friends a few times in there. But I think of medical school as having those hours, always–not just a month at a go. 12-16 hour days, day after day–Is that about right? ??



I think Adam gave some great advice. When I was considering my options post-graduation I was thinking about getting a Masters first but like Adam with nursing, I did not think that would keep me satisfied. All I would end up with is an advanced degree but no sense of true fullfillment in a year or two. If you want to be a doctor, I echo what Adam said, and jump in with both feet. Get a little more exposure to the field of medicine and who knows, maybe a BSN is something you would prefer over being a DO/MD.

Regarding your second post, I cannot accurately tell you what the hours of medical students are. I just got accepted myself and won’t start until later this year but what I have been told is you are in the ball park. Expect those hours at least Mon-Sat but if you make the most of your time, Sunday is generally a lighter day but by no means is a day off. Knowing what the payoff will be though, I don’t think that is too bad.

Check, dude–find out more and see what will really float my boat. I’m on it. Maybe by late spring or early summer I will pop my head up again and update folks.

Regarding the hours, good luck this year! You’re right–awesome payoff…and when you know something is going to suck for a finite period of time you’re waaaay ahead of the game! At work when I’m starting those super-long months, I think to myself, “OK, I have from now until Day X (at the end of the month) to do my absolute best. After Day X, I might have all the time in the world to think about it, but I won’t be able to change how hard I worked or how good of a product I put out.”

And then it’s go time!!!

Go dude go!!



Break from Studying*****

I am a first year DO student and I have 3 kids. I have a 7, 4, and a 1 year old. My wife does 98% of the child care. In the morning, since I have to be up for 9am classes I get the 7 and the 4 year old ready for school. This is OUR time. We have breakfast, I get them in their shoes, I brush teeth, I get the 4 year old dressed. If the baby wakes up, then mommy has to be up too. However, I get her out of her pajamas, change her diaper and get her bottle.

Once everyone is fed and about ready, I get dressed and we leave for school. I get to class around 8:45am and am there until at least 5pm. When I get home, we generally eat as a family. I get the updates from my wife and I handle certain issues that come up. Then it is a kiss for everyone and off to the library. This happens Monday through Friday.

Friday evening, I get home and the books go away. This is family time. I play with the kiddies and spend time with da wife. Saturday the same thing. If we get a babysitter, we go out.

Sunday morning, it is Daddy’s Diner. My eldest writes her menus and I am the short order cook. She is the waitress and then the 4 year old becomes the waitress when the 7 year old wants to order.

Then Sunday afternoon, off to campus for studying.

It is a very hard schedule. But I have the support of my wife. If your S.O. is supportive, then they will understand that school is like a job. This is what you do. Same as if you were to go to the office every day. Only you have exams in between. But you need to leave time for the family. Maybe it is better to put off having kids for now. Maybe not. This is a personal decision but one that you both have to agree upon. You also need to set aside time for your Significant Other. I promised my wife Saturday nights. This of course, is all suspended during exams. But most of the time, we have a chance to go out. At the same time your significant other needs to have a life of her own. She needs to meet other people and have her own activities. And you need to be able to say, that you will study from home for her to do that.

Back to micro…

Hello! I just registered about 5 min. ago, so I’m gratified to find such a relevant thread.

I am 30. After getting bored at my job at a domestic violence program, I decided to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner, intending to work with poor immigrant women, just in a different capacity. (My observation was that many of the worst obstacles to my clients’ healing and progress were psychological–trauma, depression, e/t you might think.)

In the fall of 2006 I took my nursing prereqs.

In the spring of 2007 I had an AWESOME VACATION because of my school’s dumb calendar. (For fin. aid reasons it did not make sense to work.) (I’d worked continuously since HS graduation, mind you.)

From June 2007 until now I have been in an accelerated BSN/MSN program at an Ivy League school. I took the expensive route because I wanted to learn from the best. Sadly, although I have had a few exceptional profs, the clinicals have been great, and my classmates are very impressive, the classroom instruction is just not what I had hoped. Let me say that I do have high standards, but it is not even close, and even my least nerdy classmates are feeling ripped off.

The NP scope of practice, at least in NY, really does let you do almost anything a primary care physician does, and I think that NP practice would be rewarding.

But it is a hell of a lot of money, not to say years of my life, to get an education that is just not up to par.

So I am leaving in June with an RN/BSN to start premed prereqs while working part-time. I do not regret a day of my nursing clinicals–once you’re in the hospital, there’s no limit to what you can learn. But I felt that to continue in my program would be to throw good money after bad.

My career goal is the same–integrated primary and psychiatric care for underserved pops. But the venue for my education has changed. As long as I can have interesting and meaningful work in these upcoming 3 years, I do not regret the postponement. (Even in the most pragmatic terms, I’ll make up the lost income very quickly even as an MD in a clinic.)

Things might be different in another nursing program. But my friends in several other “good” schools have many of the same complaints that I do.

Hope this helps, and forgive the long post!