Hi. I am a 26 year old single mom who is finally following her dream. I have a BS in Psychology and a MS in Human Development.I work full time as an Education Counselor for the Army. I am getting ready to take my last 5 undergrad pre-reqs starting this summer. I am nervous since I am starting out with Chem 2 in the summer and it has been a good 7 years since I took the first part. sad.gif But I am confident I can do it and do it well. I went through my undergrad days without studying and managed decent grades. Now I am much more focused. I am dreading OChem, though. Scared to death of it actually. Anyway, the reason I decided to post was because I have been lurking around reading postings and noticed that most postings are from married people. Are there any single moms or dads out there? Can medical school be done as a single parent without someone to bring home the bacon!? unsure.gif Also I was wondering if there are any OPM’s out there trying to get into Vanderbilt or who have already gotten into Vandy? Seems from the statistics that they don’t have many nontraditionals and that scares me. I guess I am just full of questions and not sure where to turn. Any ideas or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

welcome !
we do have several single mom's and dad's but you might not be able to tell from their postings - maybe they will come out of the woodwork. we also have many single kid-less folk who contemplate or currently are going through medical school without a breadwinner - so you are in good company either way.

Hey–don't stress out about Orgo. Not yet anyway! It's different from Gen Chem but definitely builds on the stuff you'll be learning there. Keep up with the work you're doing now, and once you get to that class you'll be able to handle it.
The one thing I would think about though, is whether you really want to take Gen Chem 2 so long after having taken Chem 1. The stuff from the first semester is essential–if it were me, I'd retake it, or at least be sure to review. Also, orgo will be easier if you're confident about your gen chem skills. The one extra class might be worth it in the grand scheme of things.
Good luck to you!

Hi there Connative,
First of all, welcome to the group. Second, medical school can be done as a single parent but you need to have extremely good childcare options as not having someone to watch your child will not be a good excuse for missing something that is required. Also, as you know, having a sick child at home is not going to fly as an excuse for not doing well on an exam or being late for a rotation. Medical school is primarily geared to the traditional student who is childless. Those folks who come in with children have elaborate plans for childcare and options for when the children are sick and Mom has to pre-round on patients at 0400h. If you are in the Armed forces, then you have some idea of logistics and having a good back-up plan. You may also need to borrow from a outside agency in order to have enough money to cover your family expenses such as childcare, health insurance etc as financial aid barely covers the expenses for one person. Other than those considerations, you will be fine. I graduated with plenty of single parents who did well in medical school.
As far as Chemistry is concerned, make sure that the medical schools of interest will accept your grades being so old. Some schools will not so you may find that you have to re-take the first semester of General Chemistry. If not, then consider auditing the first semester of General Chemistry before you take the second semester. You would not have to take the lab with an audit but you should take all of the tests and exams just as if you were taking the first semester of General Chemistry for credit. This will be a good review for the MCAT anyway.
You need not “fear” Organic Chemistry if you approach this course with a desire to master the material rather than worry about your grade. I was not a pre-med student when I took Organic Chemistry but I was a pre-graduate student who was headed for a career in Analytical Chemistry. I loved Analytical Chemistry but I was not the most “carbon-friendly” chemistry major around. As I have detailed in another post, I decided that my whole point for learning organic chemistry would be to learn how to make the best “gin” in Washington, DC. Armed with a practical reason for learning organic, it came as no surprise to me that I ended up with a 98 average in Organic while my pre-med buddies were struggling. Organic Chemistry at GWU in Washington, DC along with General Biology are the two pre-med “weed-out” classes. Since I had no interest in medicine at that time, (well interest was ETOH as a “medicinal agent” for anesthetic purposes on a Saturday night smile.gif ) I freed myself of all worries about grades. In fact, every undergraduate course for me was preparation for graduate studies which, I completed in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
The point of all of this this rambling, is that your purpose in taking these courses is for preparation to study medicine. In order to study medicine in this country, you have to take the MCAT and be solidly prepared. If you “fear” any course that leads to the study of medicine, you are going to “totally freak” when you get to medical school. There is nothing that you can study as an undergraduate, that even come close to what you are going to have to “master” during the first and second years of medical school. Think of your undergraduate courses as preparation and use this time to become an efficient student. Your future patients are counting on you.
Again, welcome to the forums and keep posting.

Like 2ndave and Natalie I question a little bit you’re starting off with Chem 2 seeing that your Chem 1 class is so old. Besides the reasons they pointed out you should also realize that the Chem 2 final is actually a comprehensive final published by the ACS (American Chemical Society) which covers info from the entire year…not just second semester. If you have a very good grasp of the Chem 1 concepts and can get a copy of the ACS review book you may be fine, but I think I’d find a copy of this year’s review book before you decide whether or not to take or audit Chem 1 first or just jump into Chem 2…
And don’t worry too much about O Chem. I’m sure you’ll be fine smile.gif I’m taking it next fall, but thankfully because of my Chem 2 lab experience (it’s an honors lab that is more research-based and deals a lot more with Ochem than G chem) I’ve had a slight introduction. It’s not too bad…so far anyway tongue.gif Of course I have to take it with the “harder” of the two profs that teach it, but from what I hear he’s still a good lecturer!
Anyway - I wish you luck in your journey and don’t sell yourself short. If it’s important enough you’ll make it all work out the way you want and not at the expense of your child biggrin.gif
–Jessica, UCCS

Thanks everyone for your comments. They give me a lot of good points to think about.
I have been reveiwing Chem 1 for about 2 months and plan to keep doing that until CHEM 2 starts up in July. I got an A in CHEM 1 without any studying (thanks to a great memory). I think the reason I am worried about OCHEM is because my ex-husband has a Ph. D. in Chemistry and that was the only class he ever got a B in! sad.gif
I am extremely lucky when it comes to childcare because my mother has agreed to move wherever I get into school and help me with my daughter. I have managed to make it on my own with my daughter through graduate school and graduated with a 4.0 GPA while working 60 hour weeks. I don’t make excuses and I am not afraid of hard work.
It is good to hear that there are single parents out there who do well in med school. That was the little boost I needed!
Thanks again.

Don’t worry about Organic Chem. It’s not an easy class by any means, but it doesn’t really deserve its fearsome reputation. It’s the type of class where you have to work hard and memorize a lot, that’s all.

Thanks Beth! I think you are right it will take hard work and lucky for me, I have a really good memory! And the more I think about, I remember being scared of Physics and thinking I would hate it, but I ended up loving it and breezing through it. Pleasant surprise.

Hey Connnative,
I’m currently living in Nashville and work as a tech in a lab at Vanderbilts Diabetes Center. I will be applying to Vandy next year for admission in the fall of 2005 (as well as Meharry). I’ve just started taking my pre-med classes this year. From my observations of the various med school classes I tend to agree with you about the lack of non-traditional students here but there are a few apparent “geezers” walking around in short white coats so there is some hope. It seems like a good school. The students are very happy with Vandy as a whole and the administration is pushing to continue to improve the school. We’ll see what happens when the time comes around. I can’t speak much to being single or a parent but there are other folks on the board who can. Hopefully they will chime in with their thoughts. Good luck!

Thanks for your reply dmaes!
I , too , will be applying for Vandy for the 2005 starting class. Vandy is my first choice because of its location and also reputation. I am so glad to hear you have seen some ‘geezers’ walking around! Best wishes to you also! Who knows maybe we will end up classmates! biggrin.gif