I'm Christy and I'm a 30 year old mother of two sons, ages 5 & 2. I'm currently an at-home mom and a childbirth educator.
I started my own very small business, Birth Passages, in which I teach various childbirth classes from home and attend births as a doula. I have taken midwifery classes which were nice because I learned very basic clinical skills such as taking a b/p, checking hemoglobin, doing fetal heart tones, pelvics, etc. My birth business has kept me feeling like I still have my foot in the door of medicine as at least I'm still reading studies and medical info trying to keep up-to-date on the latest in the world of birth and postpartum!
I am one of those people that always wanted to be a physician (since age 4!). I never let go of that goal and I was reading books about the lives of doctors when I was 12 and knew that would be me one day. Well, as luck would have it I hit a few bumps along the way. I had a really bad family life and despite being a good student in honors classes in highschool, I left school in my jr. year. I left home, got my GED and then started community college at age 19. I did well there but due to working fulling time, only could afford to take a class or two at a time. I got married and helped my dh through college and started back to college full time at age 23. And then another bump! Thanks to being the 1% of a birth control that was 99% effective when used correctly I ended up pregnant. I couldn't believe. I decided to have the baby and once he was born, I couldn't leave him. I've been at home ever since. I still thought a lot about going into medicine and thought about doing nursing or something like that instead. But I turned 30 this year and I suddenly realized, I can't give this up. The passion for medicine is too great. There hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't daydreamed about being in med school or starting a residency. I figure I already know what it's like to be severly sleep deprived thanks to colicky children so what's a few more years of no sleep?
At any rate, I've read everything I can get my hands on about non-trad students. I've read everything I could about pre-med, med school, GMAT, residencies, etc. But now I don't know where to go.
I know that by not finishing hs I am at a huge disadvantage already and that will probably follow me like a blood trail. Which is sad b/c I was a good student. I wasn't your typical drop out. I just got stuck with the family from hell. Like I said, I did do some community college and that I found very easy but I never attempted math or science.
I now want to head back, but don't know where to start. How much will the fact that I have a GED and haven't finished a bachelors by age 30 hurt me? Should I start back at CC and get a few more credits to transfer over to a higher level college? I live in Michigan and have a ton of schools to choose from. My CC grades are very good so I shouldn't have a problem transferring to a university. Should I get out of CC as soon as I can and start taking classes at a university? Or should I still to CC for a bit to get back in the groove?
I know a lot of people here head back to school at a later age, but most everyone has finished their bachelors (and then some!). I feel like I'm starting at rock bottom. But I figure if I went now, my kids would be in school when I finished a bachelors.
So honestly, how much do you think my crazy educational past will hurt me? Where do I go from here? How hard would college be being I haven't taken a math or science class since age 16? Should I start w/ lower level science classes at CC to ease back into science before taking the biggies at a university? I know it would be hard for me being out school for so long but I'm sure I can learn to learn again!
Sorry for so many questions! Everyone I know thinks I'm crazy for wanting to start back now but I just feel like it's never to late! Any input is greatly, greatly appreciated!!
Thanks for hearing me out!
Hey Christy! Welcome!
First off I want to say congrats on making the decision to go for it. Between your family life and the GED I think you’ll actually have an advantage assuming you end up doing well in school and get a good MCAT score. I don’t think it will be a hindrance at all. So jump in, the water’s fine .
The first step for you would be to take a math diagnostic exam at any school. Since the early classes aren’t going to count toward any degree anyway (early maths never do) you might as well save some money and take them at a CC. Most likely given your background you’re going to be starting at the very beginning with basic math. Expect that it will take several semesters to “catch” up your math skills. In the meatime you can either take some of those intro science classes and/or core classes to rewet your feet. Once your math is up to admission standards (usually either precalc or calc level) I’d figure out what I wanted to major in and get myself over to a 4 yr school and get going. You don’t have to major in a science. All you need is the prereqs of Gen Bio I & II + lab, Gen Chem I & II + lab, Physics (either alg based or calc based) I & II + lab, and Organic Chem I & II + lab. Some schools require a semester of calculus and a semester of stats, some have other requirements such as a year of eng comp, biochem, humanities.
So take your time, don’t get frustrated about how long it’s taking because of the math, and have fun!!
p.s. I’m 29 and won’t get my bachelor’s until 2006 so you’re not alone in the no degree yet club hehe.
Hi Christy! Welcome… and I don’t think you are at all crazy! This is totally do-able if it’s what you really want to do. Check out GED2MD’s story, and I think you will find it very inspiring. While you have faced some challenges, what stands out more to me is that you have overcome them with flying colors. Go for it!
That’s really interesting that you are working as a doula and taken some midwifery classes. Direct-entry midwifery is something I have considered as an alternative career, since it’s something I have always been fascinated by, but at the same time I worry that once I become one I will still be dreaming of being a doctor, so I’m still going to pursue those pre-reqs…
As for how to go about getting your bachelor’s degree, I think it’s really up to what you feel you can handle. Would you feel more comfortable if you took a few more CC courses (maybe including some science/math) before enrolling in a university? If so, then feel free to go that route. But at the same time, don’t underestimate yourself. It sounds like you have done well with the college level work you have pursued so far and keep in mind that the many of the science classes that are required for med school admission are the “intro” classes, they aren’t expecting you to come in with a large body of scientific knowledge. Plus, you have been working in a health-related field, so it’s not as though you have been completely shielded from science since high school… and I’m sure once you enter the classroom, all that info tucked in the recesses of your mind will start crawling out.
I’m sure you will do wonderfully and I can’t wait to hear how you’re doing!
Welcome to OPM Christy,
If I were you, I’d talk to the pre-med advisor at whatever Univ you’re going to end up getting your Bachelor’s at. See what he/she suggests at what your first steps should be. Start off with a couple of classes and get the hang of studying again. And I wouldn’t really worry about your GED because of the honors classes that you took in HS. These honors classes should prove that you excelled in the classes and capable of finishing HS if it weren’t for your family situation.
It’s never too late to follow your dream so go for it and don’t worry about the past…concentrate on your future and do the best you can!
Welcome aboard, Christy!
I wouldn't worry about the GED. As long as you do well in University work, that's all that really matters. And you're certainly not behind ME. Sure, I have my bachelor's already, but I'm also nine years older than you are, so you may very well start med school at a younger age than I will. It's doable, and it sure sounds like you have the potential and the drive!
And, yes, I'd start with the lower-level math at a CC to see where you stand and shake the rust off. The college should have placement tests to help you determine where you should be. Once you have the required math under your belt, you should be able to handle the sciences. It's hard going back to school after so long, but it's also great going back to school with an adult work ethic under your belt. Assignments that seemed too hard, too time-consuming, or unfair when I was younger seem like a gift now: it's the road map to an A!
I’m a attachment parent very-pro-breastfeeding mom to 2 kids (6 and 17 months). You have a very interesting career! I would have loved to have a doula when my daughter was born…
It’s never too late (as you’ll hear often here) and you DO have every chance of getting into med school. Go for it!
Let me chime in as well and say that it is not too late. I don't believe the fact that you haven't finished a bachelors will hurt you at all. In fact I think that you are at somewhat of an advantage than many who have finished because you have good grades on your college classes completed to date and don't have 120 hrs worth of bad grades to make up for post bach.
I'm not sure what the best route is for taking classes. It makes sense that you should check with a pre-med advisor or two to get some ideas. Taking a class or two at a CC where you are familiar with the environment and may be less prone to get lost in the shuffle is probably also a good option. Particularly with the math. But, as has been mentioned already, you seem to have been a good student previously and I can't imagine somebody who is a few years wiser and highly motivated to become a bad student. So, I think you will do well anywhere that you go. Good Luck!!!