How to begin the process

Hello all!!

I am a new member of the forum and extremely excited to have found it. I spent the entire day(literally about 9 hours) reading posts and advice which have all been very helpful. I would like to share my story and get whatever advice and guidance anybody feels like sharing.

The basics: 29 years old, 2003 graduate double-major Eng/Psych, cum gpa 2.76, no debt, single, no major responsibilities to anybody but myslef. I am in an awsome place to change the direction of my life and begin a new journey.

Background: I never really thought about what I wanted to be when I grow up, and when I got to college I still didn’t know. I did figure out that I liked to party though! This hurt my academics a lot and I failed a few courses freshmen year and didn’t improve much sophmore year either, ending up with a GPA around 1.2. I took a semester off and came back to school focused on getting better grades but still without really asking myself what I was going to do when I graduated. During my junior and senior years I earned mostly A’s and B’s and was able to raise my GPA to a cum 2.76. After college I moved out west on a whim and got a job working in the golf industry. I spent four years working and competing in lower level professional events. Finaly, we come to the point when for the firt time, I ask myslef what I want do with the rest of my life. I knew it wasn’t in golf so I got a corporate sales job and decided to commit myself to finding out what I was really passionate about. Over the course of the past year I have seen career counselors, taken assesments, talked to friends and family adnosium, but most importantly focused on self reflection. I have decided without reservation that pursuing a career in medicine is my dream.

On a realistic side note, I have note doubt that I have the determination and intelligence to be successful at this. I took the GRE about 4 months ago and got 730q 680v 5.0essay.

I have done the research and know what prereq’s I need to take (all of them, lol). I have looked at the options of doing a formal post bac program vs doing one that I create on my own. The programs I have contacted basically told me that I couldn’t get admitted becasue of my gpa and the only way I would get into an american medical school is to do the prereqs independantly and then do a masters in medical sciences before applying to medical school. There is also the option of attending a school that has one of these post bac premed programs and taking classes hoping to earn enrolment by virute of my success. I am leaning towards doing the prereq’s independantly because it is a much more affordable option.

What I am really struggling with is the best way to finance this no matter how I do it. I quit my sales job two weeks ago because I couldn’t sit in a cubicle making cold calls for another day without blowing my head off. I don’t have any medical experience or licensing and I am finding it impossible to get any job that could begin to build a medical resume without the qualifications. I don’t want to go get another job I hate and that doesn’t help move me towards my intended goal. I have also been told it is important to take a full course load in order to prove to adcoms that you can handle the work in med school. Is it realistic to work full time while doing this? I have been told no. Just to be clear, I am mostly concerned with living expenses. If I stay in Az and do the prereqs at Asu I have almost enough saved to cover tuition and have no problem taking a small loan for the rest. If I go to an actual post bac program though, I have to considerliving expenses and tuition. 2 yrs a ASU 15,000tuition vs at most formal progrmas 60,000. Big difference and a lot of debt before we start talking about the expense of mendical school.


  1. Are there other options/ideasroutes than the ones I have talked about for getting into medical school?

  2. What is the most responsible/affordable way to navigate this process? This is where I am so stuck because the last thing I want to do is take out loans for living expenses. How do I find a job that will be good for my resume and also contribute to my living expenses without the experience or personal contacts? I do recognize that in this economy it is hard to find any lowere level job.

    Any advice would be hugely apprciated. I know I touched on a number of different subjects here but it feels like I have a million different ideas and scenarios going through my head which I had to put out there. So comments on any or all would be aswome.

    Thanks for the help and for caring


Hi willBDrT,

Well, I definitely think that if you put in the work, this dream is still a possibility. It will not be a fast fix though because of your low GPA…you are going to need to raise that to a minimum of 3.0 (higher is better), you will need to excel in each of the prerequisites as well as possibly taking more advanced science classes like biochemistry, genetics, etc., and you’ll need to do well on the MCAT.

U.S. Allopathic schools (MD) are less forgiving of past mistakes. Osteopathic schools (DO) are sometimes a better option for the nontrad student because you can replace grades, thus raising your GPA. Right in AZ you have AZCOM. However if MD is definitely what you want, you can consider one of the Caribbean schools.

What I would do (and have done myself) is to go through your transcripts and list all of your classes. Look at those classes that you did poorly on and consider repeating some of them. Have you taken any science classes in undergrad? I would suggest that even if you got a C, consider retaking…you’ll want your science GPA to be as high as possible to offset your nonscience GPA.

Have you had exposure to the medical field at all? I would definitely think that is one of the most important things to consider as you want to make sure that it is what you want to do…what I might suggest that you do, is to look into getting a patient transport position in one of the hospitals. This would be a great opportunity to really get around the hospital and get patient contact. You can do this per diem in some hospitals so you can still go and take classes.

I don’t think you need to take a formalized postbac program, but I would definitely suggest that you take these courses in a 4-yr since you already have your bachelors degree and you have access to a 4-yr.

Just realize that it will take time.

Welcome aboard! This is one of the greatest forums I’ve found.

my response isn’t so specific to your post-bacc question, but more a general one.

i always find that where there’s a will, there’s a way. don’t let finances stop you from pursuing your dreams. take out the loans, do whatever it takes. just make sure to put yourself in the best position possible to gain admission to medical school. this website is a great source of inspiration as well. you’ll find that when you have a clear vision of your goals, any sacrifices you need to make in time, money, or whatever else, seems not to be so burdensome.

good luck!!!