Introducing Myself, but really bummed too

Hi everybody!

I’m Rachel. I’m 30. I have a hubby and 2 toddlers and a useless BA in Communications. When my first child was born, I got the medicine bug, and it hasn’t let up since. I decided to finish having my kids first, though, which I’ve done and now I am ready to do all my post-bad pre-med stuff. And, of course, the road blocks NEVER STOP! I’ve read it here a hundred times, but the funding issue is so unreal! You’d think they’d make it less impossible for post-bac students, particularly since I hear time and time again that we need more doctors. I’m on the verge of giving up on this dream. I mean, seriously, money may not be the reason to become a doctor, but it’s an important and NECESSARY consideration, especially when you have children to consider. I haven’t even started my post-bac classes b/c I can’t get money for childcare, and my dear, sweet, insanely patient husband just doesn’t make enough money for us to put them in daycare so I can go to medical school. And for some ridiculous reason unknown to me, the local schools don’t offer the classes I need at night, only during the day, so it’s not like I could go to class when my husband got off work. I’ve always believed “where there’s a will there’s a way” but I’m starting to doubt it now. Words of encouragement are welcome, but also words of “Yeah, sorry, it might be time to give up.”

Welcome rachelb782!

Where there’s a will there’s a way! I wouldn’t say give up but perhaps put it on pause. Another option is what about taking other classes? Are there A&P classes or some other not quite science? I don’t know what about math, I would imagine every school would have a math class at night? So there are no community colleges close by?

I would say that if there is absolutely, positively no way you can take classes at night because of availability then consider waiting a couple years. Not what anyone wants to hear but I’ve been talking and talking and talking and talking about med school since 1999…I just registered for my first round of prereqs thanks to losing my job. Life has a funny way of getting in the way or taking things out of the way. Hang in there. A dream deferred is not a dream denied!

Welcome! Does the local univ have a child development center? Sometimes they have drop off care while students go to class. Are there any students on campus (maybe in the education dept) that are looking for a small job to provide childcare for a few hours while you’re in class? Some univ have a “hire-a-student” program through the career services office. How old are your toddlers now? If they’re at least 3, they might be able to attend a local headstart program or pre-K offer through the public school district. Those programs tend to be free. Some are half day or full day. Do you have any family or friends that might be willing to trade or barter childcare services with you? Like crooz said you might have to wait. Waiting is NOT giving up even though it might feel like it.

Thanks for the responses! I really liked that “a dream deferred is not a dream denied” especially! Unfortunately every single thing that you both mentioned are things that I considered and then became the “road blocks” I mentioned in my OP. My toddlers are 3 and 18 months, but the 3-yr old has a speech delay so he’s not eligible for any sort of pre-K program. I think one thing both of you wrote is what I need to remember - just b/c I have to wait doesn’t mean that it’s over.

A thought - a speech delay is reason FOR pre-K programs. Have you checked out local early intervention programs? Many are subsidized by tax dollars. Local elementary schools may have staff that can help direct you to the services available in your community.

He’s in an early intervention program through the school system, but they come to our house.

Side note: hubby, while certainly supportive, is encouraging me to consider getting an MPH instead. I’d be done in two years instead of 8, I wouldn’t have to worry about private loans, and I would theoretically have job security since MPHs are all the rage right now. Anyone have any thoughts about that?

I think after the MPH is done you will still be looking back and wondering “what if?” On the drive back from seminary graduation, M.Div., I turned to my wife and told her "Ummm…honey ya know…I still want to be a doctor… So we decided to pray about it and see. After a few open houses and encouragement from a few admin directors we decided to pray for boldness in moving forward. Wife came up with a budget of what life would look like once I quit in July of 2013. I was fired twelve days later, literally out of the blue.

What about doing both? Working on the MPH in the meantime and then going for the MD/DO an option? Plus a physician with an MPH is a greater rage and instant cred. I know the loan aspect is serious however I would never allow that to interfere…I would never allow it to interfere again I mean…

The only way I could take classes was online (Iowa has a community college consortium for online gen chem and gen physics). I know it isn’t ideal and it will restrict some school options but I work 24 hours on and 48 hours off. It would take an obscene amount of vacation and shift trades to take just one class. Granted, I was retaking most of the core sciences but there are options schedule-wise. You have to be pretty self-directed and I know it was tough for me to get back into school without major distractions until my son was closer to 3. We’ll see how it works when I go to apply next year.


Listen, I’m not a committee member, and obviously one needs to take SOME courses (in addition to labs) in person, and at a 4-year if possible, but if ever there was a situation that called for online and/or CC classes, this is it.

If it were me, I would look around for an online program that had a “name” bricks and mortar school attached to it. If entities such as MIT and the Museum of Natural History (NYC) are heavily into online ed., then it is certainly making inroads into the academic mainstream.

Another possible option is the “hybrid” course. At the well-regarded public institution where I took my prereqs, we are beginning to have a couple of hybrid classes. Calc. 2 comes to mind. Organic would be a logical next step (not yet) because, just as an observation, it’s the only prereq at this particular school where the lab is a separate course with a separate registration number. Hybrid means one in-person lecture and one online meeting per week. It would still be rough, but maybe ONCE a week would slide over into doable. I would read the fine print at your nearest bricks-and-mortar institution to see if any classes are like this.

Good luck!


Reading your story just made me realize all the more how lucky I am. At the same time, I’m really down even myself cause, I really should be hitting my books more. ALOT MORE…

This is not why I’m writing though!

Look into Rio Salado college, this is an Online community college and they are GOOD! *ALOT of the pre-med classes are offered there!


Chem 130-O-chem (I believe)

Anatomy (not a requirement but suggested!), Bio classes. HOWEVER I haven’t seen Bio 181 or 182 ad above though …

However! It’s a start no? le.a…

*DO NOT give up on your dream… Also ,you can always look into emt training and paramedic as well… this way you will truly know if it is for you. TO save money, totally look into craigslist for your text books! any chem book will do though!

let me know how it goes?

n’ Good luck!!

Thanks, everyone, for the kind words and encouragement! The MPH program I was considering is something I am very, very interested in, but I’d rather do a dual MD/MPH program. I’ve thought about doing online classes, and the 3 maths that I need to take I could certainly do online, but what about the rest of the classes, which are all lab sciences? I don’t think that online would be an option for those, would it? Even if it is possible, tuition might still be an issue, as I’m only eligible for $12,500 a year in loans from the federal government, and that may not cover the cost of online programs. Honestly, the best option is probably for my husband to get a better job so we can pay for childcare OR for us to move to a better city where colleges with night classes exist. Or some combination of both.

Hmm. I guess the future is here. I was surprised, when I googled “[state school name] online,” to find that my state system offers various science classes online for credit at the FOUR-year campuses in a regular mainstream science major. For instance, you can take physics 1 and 2 online and go on to major in physics at a well-regarded state school.

Now, naturally one would want to do this as a last resort only. And take the labs on campus at a later date, plus also some in-person upper-level science. But during the year or however long you’re waiting for a better location/family situation, why not be active? Taking classes that bear credit for science majors at a serious 4-year state institution is a lot different than just picking any bio 1 online at the University of Rock Island.

Edit: before people jump on me, not that this is a jumping place, obviously one doesn’t WANT to do this online route. We are talking about last-ditch options.

Future reference to OP: once you get to a place that has in-person options, shop around for places that will let you register for the lab separately. Often Public Campus A will have lecture and lab together, while Public Campus B down the road will give the option to take just the lab (one credit). Scarily enough, the state school I examined had a “lab packet” available for purchase–what is it, your own fetal pig?–but I would never even CONTEMPLATE applying without in-person labs.