How long did you think about it?

I grew up knowing I was going to med school since the age of 12 to 19. Then life happened and I ended up going to pharmacy school (faster degree than MD).

After graduation I worked for a couple of years before the itch started. Then in 2008 I started looking into med school. Then stopped. Then in 2010 I started studying for MCAT. Then stopped. Then again in 2011. Then stopped. I can’t get it out of my mind, but with 3 kids, debt etc I know it will be very hard. Now again, I am thinking about it.

If I am going to I want to do it now before the MCAT changes next year. But I am scheduled to start on my MBA (for a career in pharmacy management that is NOT my passion) next week.

How long did you contemplate it before really going all in?

I am 35 now so I hate to wait another 10 years and still have the itch. Or will it ever go away?

I repeated a pattern of thinking about it and putting it aside for about 20 yrs before I got serious around age 39. It took another 2 yrs to align the financial ducks, then another 2.5 to get the pre-reqs while still working. Finally entered med school at age 43. I’m 54, in my 5th year of practice/teaching and enjoying every minute. If you’re still thinking about it now, it probably won’t go away.

I always wanted to go but life happened too. Then I went to grad school in 2009 and it was in the back of my head then. In 2011 when I graduated with my masters I thought about it but was nervous because of all of the time I spent studying while in grad school and working full time. I had wrist surgery in 2012 that was complicated in recovery. My anatomy high school students always tour LSU health sciences center and the bug always hits me harder while I’m there . In 2013 in June I figured now or never and took the mcat in September. I was accepted to LSU Nola in December .

I’d advise you to not pursue another graduate degree (the MBA), if you don’t really want it, adding to your debt perhaps to do so.

Realize that almost no one can afford medical school - the majority of students borrow tuition and living expenses during med school. But a working physician can generally pay these back.

I’d suggest shadowing a physician, or several physicians. Can you see yourself doing that practice.

Look at your financials - how radically could you reduce your living expenses for school?

Can you move? Your best chance of getting in to medical school is applying broadly, and EARLY. That means that if you want to take the MCAT this year (which would be May or April for early application) and interview (hopefully) this fall for starting med school in 2015, you should probably invest money in an MCAT prep course rather than the master’s degree. And that course should start NOW. An exception would be if you do not yet have all the prereqs.

Shadowing may help you decide if you want to jump in with both feet.

When I started as a nurse-midwife, many of my fellow students were already OB-Gyn nurse practitioners. They thought it would satisfy them but they couldn’t do the intrapartum (delivery) care. So they ended up going back to school in their late 30’s for a 2nd masters degree. I’d suggest paying attention to your passion and investing your time and energy and money in whatever that is.

Your mileage may vary, but those are my thoughts in response to your questions.

Welcome to OPM by the way!!


Added info:

I was in the military so I have my GI bill to foot a majority of the bill. Which is what I was going to use to pay for my MBA (NO extra debt for it at all). Which is also why I need to NOT start on it if I decide to go to med school so I will have it to pay for at least 3 years of my med school.

Also, I have worked as a pharmacist in a couple of hospitals (including a teaching hospital) and I always feel at home there, like I could just never leave if it wasn’t for the people at my house called my family

Lastly, I have already quit working FT to stay home with my 1 yr old so we have already changed our way of living to barely use my PT income. This was done prior to me contemplating med school, again.

As far as school itself, I do have to take a Genetics class but other than that my prereqs were done just getting into pharmacy school.

I only plan on applying to my local college. Which is the same university that I received my PharmD from. They will take all my prereqs coming from a decade ago.

My GPA is decent, about a 3.7 in undergrad; a 3.4 in pharmacy school and I took 2 graduate classes last semester with a 4.0.

Honestly, the MCAT scares me though I am a great test taker, I will be teaching myself everything (unless I do a prep company) all over since it has been a decade since my undergrad.

Thanks for your input! Keep it coming!!

Great - sounds like you are already strategizing!!!

Oh, how long did I think about it? Really only 1 1/2 years before jumping in to a post-bac- premed program. I was pretty happy with my nursing/nurse-midwifery/t eaching career till late 2006. Started post-bacc program summer of 2008. What I wanted to do just happened to change BACK to medicine.

Age 10 to age 20 - planned to be a doctor

At age 20 (junior in college), switched into top 2 years of a BSN program and pursued nursing instead

At age 50…went back to school to get my prereqs current for med school.

My advice…don’t wait that long!


I think you will be ok on the mcat. My last undergrad class was 1999. My masters in bio was 2011. I only prepared from June 28th to September 6th and it wasn’t thorough as I work two jobs. I managed a 30. Not the greatest but not the worst especially since organic was ages ago. It was good enough to get in. I highly suspect that since you already have earned a good enough score on the pcat to get you into pharmacy school that you will do the same on the mcat. I wish I had pId for the diagnostic mcat assessment series from amcas. I think it would have boosted my score. However I do have to say that taking the two practice tests that I did under simulated test conditions was more helpful than anything

I would save that tuition if I were you for med school since that is your goal. I agree too that most people cannot afford med school.

Just a couple comments. I’ve wanted to be a a Doctor since I was 5 years old, and a Pathologist since I was a senior in high school. 30 years later, I still want to become a Pathologist, so no, it doesn’t EVER go away, at least I’ve accepted that that’s the case for me.

To address the PCAT/MCAT comparison, the PCAT is NOTHING like the MCAT as far as difficulty is concerned. I tutor PCAT and MCAT students and the difference is like night and day in terms of the difficulty level of the two exams.

All that said, I somewhat agree with you getting the MBA because the medical profession is in desperate need of MD/MBAs in the future. You also have NO idea how long it may take you to actually matriculate in med school because life happens especially when you have kids. So having that MBA could be more useful that you think depending on when you matriculate and could also make for an interesting “spin” during a med school interview.