How to keep this up in the face of such an arduous journey?

If hope were a drug I’d take it every day. But we make our own hope through the actions of our lives and through the experiences we share. So I’m writing to you all today to ask for your compassion and advice. I turn thirty this week, so I guess that is were some of this is coming from. Like many here, I graduated with a host of ups and downs, and as a result a sub par GPA of 2.5. Despite the familial discord and sadness I was able to graduate eventually and even accrue a laundry list of clinical experience as well as a thesis and a publication. About a year ago I said no way to the laboratory as I discovered osteopathy and fell in love with holism and OMM. So I relocated to the bay area with the plan that I’d eek it out somewhere…anywhere no matter how long it takes. So here I am beginning course work at San Francisco State University, with the thought that hell I might even go for a second bachelors degree. But something is bringing me down. And I think that sentiment comes from the fact that I’ve been dream chasing so long. I always knew that I wanted to become a physician, but back in the day I got off my path in life, and now that I’m getting back on it…it feels like I should be further along? Or rather that I crave the relief that comes from being just a little bit further along. Part of the problem is that I feel like I’m in limbo, or in what the anthropologists like to call a liminal space., and it is damn hard to be there. I won’t get 2nd bac status at least until the fall, so until then it is all ala carte course work. Some times I think, if I were in a formal program of some kind that I’d feel part of something, or that the effort would in some way feel more cogent, but this is a totally unaffordable option, and I think potentially damaging for the purposes of GPA repair and re-establishment. So how do I shake this malaise? I will not ever stop until I am an osteopathic physician. As of now I just feel a little frustrated and maybe even a bit angry at myself for not being further along. That anger at times turns into a bit of resentment, and yet I continue.

So as I stand this semester I’m taking what I could get into, which means as an open univ student….the dregs…mainly electives. I’m helping establish a pre-osteopathic group, I have a mentor that is a DO who I meet with once a month, and I plan to be at “DO day on capital hill” (if I get the scholarship). I am moving forward…but not enough? You know, it’s funny, I can listen to my mentor tell me that he applied to med school 5 times before getting in, or I can read some of the incredible and awe inspiring stories embedded herein, but some days the drug called hope such isn’t enough. And so I continue on a dopeless hope fiend!

Any wise words encouragement or shared sentiment is much appreciated!

If there’s anything I’ve learned in this process,

If there’s anything I’ve got to remember right now -

as I’m studying for next week’s anatomy exam (and have been for the last 12 hours, and will still for a few hours more),

and trying not to fall behind in physiology,

and trying not to fall behind in physical diagnosis,

and trying not to fall behind in growth and development,

and being angry about the 11-hour class days that leave us so little time to study,

and freaking out about the addition of PBL to this insane schedule,

and dealing with remaining emotional and academic fallout from a traumatic event in September (working on it),

and trying not to panic because it seems like EVERYONE in the whole class knows more than I do,

and training for a February marathon (and triathlons this summer),

and sulking about no longer being one of the smartest people in the room (now I’m just average),

and trying to deal with the fact that nearly all my peers are in a totally different stage of life (this is much more insidiously difficult to deal with than I thought, especially for an introvert like myself),

and trying to raise a husband, who knows no one here, and is too bogged down with injuries, work and dealing with contractors to be able to get out much,

and trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing this summer -

It is this: All these things work out, there’s no use in fretting about them. And, every time I zoom out and I look at the big picture, I am doing this because I LIKE it and I WANT to do it. And la-de-da, here I am in a country, and with enough of a support structure, that even though I am old, I CAN do it.

In fact, I just put a sticky on my wall that says exactly that: “You like this. You want to do this.”

So, Erica, stop your wallowing, swallow your pride, get used to not being a know-it-all and study already. You’ll be glad you did.

But that’s just me.

It takes more than hope. You have to want it so bad you can taste it & KNOW you can do it. That is not to say that you will not have a lot of moments where you doubt your sanity for risking thinking that you can do it. Med school is VERY humbling. As you go thru it, you become a master at jumping through hoops and clearing hurdles. Because everytime, EVERYTIME you clear a hurdle or do a clean hoop jump, you will only discover a net set of hurdles & hoops have taken their place. Eventually, you either become so damned efficient & effective at hoops & hurdles that you barely even notice anything but the largest ones or you emotionally bankrupt yourself and burn out.

  • Skeeter Said:
...that even though I am old, I CAN do it...

Old? OLD?!?! Jeez, you're only 32!!! I was still sorting out where I wanted to go in life at 32!!!

To echo… Old? OLD??? You are only 32. :slight_smile: Plenty of time to do this. I have clients who are in their late 40’s and early 50’s. Somehow 32 doesn’t seem all that elderly. (Nor does 52.)



Judy - thanks for throwing in that last bit about 52 not being old - I needed that today!


Hi Dtg567,

I haven’t posted in a while, but just wanted to let you know that I can identify with your sentiments to some degree. I’m only 1 Gen Chem, 1 Biology, and 2 Physics classes into my pre-med program…and I feel like I’m climbing a mountain, of which I’ve only begun. It’s taken me two years to take the four classes that I have… and it will take me another two to three years to take the remaining pre-reqs. Some days I feel like I’m never going to reach my goal soon enough…or that the end is so far down the road that I can’t even imagine seeing it. Sometimes I get discouraged…but I keep moving forward, slowly but surely…because I know that as long as I keep moving forward, I will eventually get there. Old Man Dave is right when he says you gotta want it so bad that you can taste it…that’s how bad I want it…and that’s the momentum that keeps me going.


Read my diary. I started med school at 52, and due to a lot of different obstacles, I won’t be finished until I’m 58. But still, if I had it all to do over again, with every bump in the road still to face, I would do it in a New York minute!

Age is not the determining factor in whether or not you will succeed in medical school and further down the line as a physician. I think the one major factor is desire; not just ‘I want to be a doctor to help others’, but such a deep burning desire that you know you have to push forward and try. Like one of my professors in undergrad told me when I brought up age, “How old will you be in five years; and how old will you be if you try to go to med school?”

Obviously there are other factors that will figure into whether or not you’re successful. . . but if you don’t try, you’ll never know!

Thanks here too Judy for that bit on 52!!

My two cents worth:

Med school is … kinda hard.

Living thru med school is … brutal.

Throughout my prereqs things were faring fine.

Now that I’ve actually started med school, I’m discovering my limits. It’s tough.

But, I’m pushing on.


In my humble opinion, if you want something bad enough, nothing will stop you but you. You can do this, stay focused and most of all stay positive!