I feel like I'm insane...

Hi everyone! I’m 27, newly moved to Chicagoland. Med school is something that I’ve always dreamed of, but my family was far from… supportive of it other than the idea of “You must be the first person in our family to get a degree!”. Even if they had been supportive, they could have, in no way, assisted me financially. After HS I took a year off, then proceeded to start a BS Chem degree in Wisconsin. I made it a semester and a half before working full time plus (3 jobs, averaging 46 hours a week all on the weekend) taking 14 credits and family obligations caused a complete breakdown. I dropped out of school and stopped working entirely. The last 7 years have been full of financial mistakes and just general issues for me. Menial customer service job after menial customer service job. I had a small stint as an RA at a nursing home before a back injury forced me to leave. My then soon-to-be husband’s mother is a nurse practitioner, and his step-father is a psychiatrist (who, btw, in the class of 1988 was the oldest med student the staff had ever encountered. He would have been about 49 when he graduated from UW Madison). Being a part of their family has just reinforced what I’ve always wanted to do.

7 Years later I look at my life and realize what a mess I’ve made of it. I’ve finally gotten my old loans paid off (just over 2k. so they weren’t bad, I was just really bad at paying them.) I’m currently in a place where I can afford (with all financial aid possible) to do school with little need to work on the side, provided my husband maintains his employment status. I started thinking about school and I just can’t get med school out of my head.

I’ve applied and been accepted to the local community college. Looks like I’ll be starting this coming spring with an AS in Biological Science designed to transfer in to UIC’s BS Biology program. I’m scared, I’m nervous, I’m giddy about the idea of med school, and I’m completely, utterly lost.

I realize that once I get the school thing in full gear I’ll have the school’s advisers to help me, but I found this site tonight and I really enjoy what I see here.

So, tell me, is my plan of AS Bio>BS Bio>Med school logical? I’m also still thinking of Chem, which would be the same idea - AS Chem>BS Chem>Med school.

So many of you already have degrees under your belt, so I kind of feel like the odd one out, but I can’t shake the feeling that this is the right choice!

Welcome and don’t worry about anything. I am 29 with a bachelor degree from a foreign country and will require to take 90 american credits just to be competitive by most medical schools. Some do not accept foreign undergrad at all. Do not worry what other people have or do not have:) we all have our own life stories. Just be positive and focus on your classes. I don’t think it matters what you choose for undergrad study as long as you cover the prerequisites and take some social classes. I think new MCAT of 2015 will have Psychology/Sociology section as well. Do not worry about med school yet :)) - first you need to get in. You need to focus on you undergrad first and try to enjoy it meanwhile. Try to find some doctors that you could shadow first, preferably fro different specialties, make connections. I skipped fall semester due to family issues but i did not let it stress me out - I shadowed 4 different specialties, met a lot of nice people and got a job at the rehabilitation hospital so that I could taste health care myself…This semester i am in English, stats and calculus I.

Do not worry about your age:) ever. You will turn 40 one day anyways but wether you are a doctor then or not it is totally up to you.

Best of luck and update us on your progress!!! T.

Welcome, You are in a very good position. First of all you aren’t that old really. I’m 46. Second if you are getting your degree now with medical school as you goal, you will be much more motivated and stand a chance of getting better grades. Many of us got degrees at a time when we were not planning on medical school and perhaps weren’t so concerned about grades or like myself, had to go back and complete the science courses post-bac.

Sounds like you are on the right track.


Welcome to the crazy world of pre med!

It doesn’t matter what point you are starting from (or what age) - the path is long, and sometimes painful - but in the end you will be fulfilling what sounds like a lifelong dream.

Enjoy it, and come back often for questions!

Welcome to OPM! I have found this site to be incredibly helpful myself, and I hope you find it to be the same.

And don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Two words: Physical Chemistry. That is the bane of most pre-med chem majors’ existence. It is not required at all for medical school, but more than likely required for a chem degree at any 4-year. It all comes down to what you are interested in/love/etc, so if you are awesome at chemistry, then that is a good path too. If not, PChem could be a GPA dealbreaker, since it counts as science GPA as well.

Best of luck to you, your post looks very similar to my first post, and over a year later I’ve chugged away a solid amount of credits and kept my GPA up (hopefully enough to cover my mess-ups during round one!)

P.S.: I don’t have a degree yet either, I’m close to your age (26) and I’m doing fine. Join me in this adventure!

So… hi everyone!I’m so sorry that I haven’t gotten any of your replies. Shortly after I posted my intro I wasn’t able to see anything on the forums and was getting constant database errors so I just kind of forgot about it. But then I started getting emails about the conference (which I have no hope of attending, btw, lol) and I thought I’d come back. Lo and behold the site is up and running and I have replies!

It’s probably a good thing I came back - I’ve been wavering a bit in my decision to pursue a medical degree. I have a pretty broad range of interests so it’s easy for me to get side tracked, but after reviewing the site, I’m remembering why I wanted to be a doctor.

I want to thank you guys for your kind welcomes and for the advice! You’re right, I’ll be 40 one day no matter what, so I might as well be doing something I like!

My first semester @ Prairie State is going well, 4.0 thus far. I’m getting Eng 101, Psych 101, Soc 101 and Hist 201 out of the way. I’m in Math 95, but my professor thinks the Compass test is fallible and wants to push me in to Calc 1 in fall. (I should mention that when I graduated HS I had completed 2 semesters of Trig, so it’s not that I shouldn’t be there, it’s just that I’ve forgotten a couple things in the last 10 years! lol So, 16 credits soon to be down. Phew!

I thought PChem was a BLAST, so I woouldn’t let that stop you from majoring in Chem.

You may also want to consider that a Chem degree is FAR more marketable in the job market that a Bio degree, IMHO. OTOH, a Bio degree better prepares you for the first year of med school in my opinion.

  • pathdr2b Said:
I thought PChem was a BLAST, so I woouldn't let that stop you from majoring in Chem.

You may also want to consider that a Chem degree is FAR more marketable in the job market that a Bio degree, IMHO. OTOH, a Bio degree better prepares you for the first year of med school in my opinion.

When I would interview lab techs I always preferred the chem majors to the bio majors...and man were there plenty of bio majors.

I’m a bio major, and the more chem I took, the more I kind of wished I had majored in chem. I think Bio was chosen because it seemed to make the most sense to prepare me for med school and feed my love of, well, biology. I had no idea at the time that I would love chem as much and in some cases, more than some of (not all) of the bio I am taking and have taken. By the time, I had this revelation I was pretty far into the Bio degree program and while I have pondered doing a chem minor, I don’t think I’m going to go that route now. Plus, my goal all along has been med school so I do think the Bio degree will serve me well enough in med school. But it’s not a requirement of med schools that applicants have a bio major so clearly they will teach you what they want you to know! Major in whatever is fun for you or interests you!

So, my advice to anyone wanting to do a chem major, is go for it! One thing I noticed, though, is that it appears it can take more time from what I understand. At my school, anyway, it appears most chem majors take five years to complete their BS. It may just be the program requirements, but it seems to be at least “nearly” the norm. Also, my OChem TA mentioned that some schools with Biochem major options have a “lighter” program that is not looked at as favorably by some grad schools. So, FYI. I guess the program at my school in particular is not considered quite rigorous enough from some grad schools and Biochem majors end up having to go back and take additional classes because grad school x wants them to have more calculus, for example. So, this may be a bit of a tangent, but I hope my point is somewhat relevant. Best of luck no matter what!