Introducing Myself (I'm REALLY Scared)!!

Hello everyone,

First and foremost, thanks for creating this forum and for all the great information. I am 39 years old and hold a MBA and have my undergraduate degree in IT. Being a doctor is a dream that I have had since I was 5 but life circumstances never allowed it to happen. I am really scared in pursuing this as I think I am too old but seeing your comments here is really inspiring. I applied to a university today for the pre-med courses. I feel as if today is the start of the rest of my life. Please give me your advice as I am completely clueless on how the process works and what can I do to be smart about this and save time in pre-med?

Thanks again!

  • Leyla Said:
Please give me your advice as I am completely clueless on how the process works and what can I do to be smart about this and save time in pre-med?

Rule 8: Dont suffer from premature application

It appears that a large number of older students, when it finally hits them they want to be a doctor, that they feel they have to rush and make up for lost time. To save time in premed is to find out about the process, the options, the best way to get there. And as an MBA in IT you should know that a project plan is order lest you forget the 6P princple "Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"

Yes you are right, I feel like I have to make up for lost time. Your advice helps greatly, thank you!

Congrats on your decision! Hopefully you are able to find many answers to your questions in going through the past posts.

If I can offer one piece of advice it would be to do what it takes to start off very strongly with your pre-med coursework. This is different for different people, but it may involve just starting with a single course to get your feet wet. Nothing will help build your confidence more than getting that first A! And on the opposite side of things, it is SO much better to not start with a lower mark which you will need to be recovering from every step of the way!

Best wishes to you!

Welcome to OPM! My advice is different than most people on here. For me, once I made the decision at the age of 32 to pursue medicine I went all out (prereqs, volunteering, MCAT in one year while raising 2 preschoolers). I did not want to waste any more time. Every person needs to know their limits but I say don’t be afraid to push yourself to those limits. When I was starting out I was told “Don’t rush it. Get all your ducks in a row. Better to take your time than get a bad grade. Etc, etc.” I think that’s a false dichotomy. If you are up to the task and can push it to the limit and get good grades then why drag this thing out??? Medical school, residency, maybe a fellowship is the marathon, we are just getting to the starting line. It’s true that pushing too hard could possibly lead to burnout, but dragging the process out 2-3 years is just as likely to burn you out. Again, I’m not saying to do more than you can handle, just to do as much as you can handle and don’t let people scare you.

Oh, and don’t spend your time browsing the boards on SDN. Use the search function to find the info you need and exit the he77 out of there. It will make you CRAZY!

Thank you guys for your advice, I truly appreciate all the insight that I can get.

Today I submitted my application to a local university for their Pre-Med (biology undergrad) program and also submitted my application at the school I am a Ph.D. student at (was going to do my Ph.D in Information Systems/Security but it took me getting to this level to realize that it is not the right field for me). Today, marks the first day of my journey to becoming a medical doctor; 02/01/2010. Thank you everyone on this forum for their encouraging and inspiring words. I am so glad i found you.


Leyla - You say you are looking into the university’s Premed (biology undergraduate) program. You could also look at doing a post-baccalaureate premed program in 1-2 years. It is not necessary to do a whole undergraduate program. If you have had VERY little science/biology coursework, one of the certificate programs that is a bit longer might be helpful (1 1/2 to 2 years). If you have some undergraduate chemistry and biology, doing a 1 year program that covers the science requirements only may be a good way to go - I found it was great for me. Another advantage of a post-bacc program is that it will commonly include quite a bit of help in getting shadowing experiences and in the application process.

Good luck in your journey!


Thank you Kate! The reason I am applying for a whole new admission to an undergraduate program is because then I will be able to qualify for student loans. I won’t have to finish the program just as long as I take the pre-med coursed and get the out of the way first. Do you know of a non-degree post-baccalaureate program that would qualify for federal student loans?

Thanks again!


You can qualify for loans as a non-degree student. The caveat is that 1) you have to be taking coursework required for admission into a professional/graduate program (I was required to have an adviser sign a form each quarter stating that my courses were pre-professional) and 2) you are limited to 12 consecutive months of financial aid.

So - if it’s clearly going to take you two years to do the coursework, this might not be the route for you. However, for a 12 month post-bacc program, it’s completely doable.

This is a little known qualification in the financial aid eligibility that a lot of financial aid people don’t even seem to know is there.

Wow, can’t believe I found this website. Two nights ago I was sitting at dinner with my husband and teenage daughter discussing the topic of “why don’t you just go back to school and become a doctor?”. I said, “Because I’m 47 years old and it’s too late now, but if I had it to do all over again, I would have.”

I became a nurse in 1992, with 5 children at home. In the last five years, I’ve spent many hours of completing my bachelor’s, then master’s degree in nursing. I did the master’s track in Midwifery. I’m now a CNM. I’ve worked labor/delivery since becoming a nurse and since I delivered many babies (as a nurse), I decided to become a CNM. In the back of my mind, I always had the desire to go to medical school, but thought it was too long of a committment. Especially with kids at home. I only have my 16 year old left at home, and a few years down the road, I’ll probably be suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome…NOT! So I’m now thinking, after reading much of the comments in this forum, that I should consider going back to Med School My husband told me the other night he would support whatever I decided.

Thanks Peeps, I’m now considering working on some prereqs.