Introducing myself to OPMs

This website is truly encouraging! I’ve browsed through many stories and read through quite a few diary entries and have learned some valuable things. I really feel connected to all of you in some way and thought that I would share a bit of my life with you.
I’m 27, married, no kids (yet). I graduated from high school in 1995 with above-average grades, college (B.S. in Community Health) in 1999 with average grades, graduate school (M.P.H. in International Health) in 2002 with above-average grades. In college, I completed all the pre-reqs (I may not have completed one whole year of Physics – I’ll need to check on that). My grades in the core sciences (biology, chemistry, o-chem, physics) ranged from C to B+ (which I’m absolutely ashamed of – but can’t do anything about it now). I also took (and loved) Anatomy and Physiology in college (required for my major) – where I received an A and B+, respectively.
I have the classic symptoms of a wannabe-MD/DO: Read medical journals, give advice to those who aren’t feeling well (drink fluids, maybe an ear infection?, what color is it?, where does it hurt, exactly?, walk, etc…), took pre-med classes in college, job-shadowed pediatricians and volunteered at a hospital. I knew that I wanted to be a doctor ever since I could remember! I sort of gave up on that dream my junior year of college when I noticed that my grades were not strong enough to get into medical school. I finished college without even considering medical school because I doubted my test-taking skills and feared that I would do miserably on the MCATs. I took a break and did some humanitarian work for a couple of months and decided to attend graduate school. Throughout the time that I was studying for the MPH, I felt that I still wanted to pursue medicine. I strongly feel that public health and medicine should go hand-in-hand. Because I was studying at the medical campus, I interacted with medical students frequently. I inquired about their courses, I browsed through the medical slides available in our computer library, and attended a few public lectures on medicine. I worried that no medical school would accept me because of my poor MCAT scores (which I haven’t taken yet) and poor grades from college. I did not think that I was ready to face the MCATs – yet, I did not even try!
For the past year, I’ve been enjoying my work at a company where a huge part of my job involves conducting secondary research and writing reports on the epidemiology of diseases in various countries. Because of my unwillingness to completely give up on my dream and because I feel that I want to be a doctor for the right reasons, my passion for medicine has been reignited! I want in! I want in! I am tackling my fear of the MCAT by enrolling in a Kaplan course this October. I don’t want to go through life without even trying. So, here I am - making a serious and conscious effort at fulfilling my dream.
If you have any tips for me – though I don’t have any specific questions at this time – please feel free to drop me a line or post a reply. Also, please keep writing and sharing your experiences – it’s been a pleasure reading your stories!

Dear Devan,
Thank you for the kind words and a warm welcome!! smile.gif

Welcome to OPM Devan!!!
Today is my first day as a “budding snot junkie/respiratory terrorist” and I’m loving how much it’s going to prepare me for a career in medicine!!! THis group is AWESOME and we’re always there for each other…the good, the bad, the ugly, and, the totally insane!! I know that you’ll get all that you bargain for being a member of OPM so, ENJOY THE RIDE!!! cool.gif

Hey PVD,
Welcome to OPM. It sounds like you are doing pretty much what you need to do to realize your dream. You have an MPH and I'm assuming yoiu did well grade wise. You are enrolling in the prep class for the MCAT. By the way, are you taking the October through April course that only meets on weekends? Just curious. That's the class that I'll be taking. You are not by chance in Nashville? Anyway, the only other thing that I would recomend is to take some upper division bio classes just to reinforce your performance abilities. Good luck!

Hi Damon,
Thanks for the note! I actually did consider taking upper level courses in bio and chem, but didn’t know exactly how to go about doing that without enrolling in a degreed program (or without spending a bucket load of money!).
I was actually planning on enrolling for the October-April Kaplan course right after I finished “introducing” myself to OPM, but the class was already filled by the time I got on the website to purchase it! So my next available option is the Nov - April. This, I’m going to purchase by the end of this week. By the way, do you have any information about the OPM/Kaplan discount program? I read something about it on this site (dated in January, I think), but I don’t know the details… whether it is still going on or not… what are the eligibility requirements… etc…
Best of luck with your prep course in Nashville (I’m from Boston)!! We should definitely keep in touch and encourage each other.
Happy learning!

I'm pretty sure that most universities have some sort of continuing ed/non-degree program. This is how I am currently enrolled at TSU. Also, there is no contract that says that you do have to complete a degree even if you do enroll as degree seeking.
That's a bummer about the Kaplan course being full. I better check on the class here or I'm toast. Because of class scheduling conflicts there is no way I can take a weekday based class. Regarding the discount, I think that if you click on the link to Kaplan on this website it should mark you as being eligible for the 10% discount. Also, OPM gets a small piece of the pie too. Try clicking on it and add a class to your basket to see if you get the cheaper price. If I am wrong hopefully someone will speak up. TSU offers more like a 50% discount so I will probably go that route.

No discount is given from the Kaplan link. It looks like there is a code needed. Send a PM to Geoff Aumaugher aka doctorgeo2008 or oldmandave and they should be able to help. See the link for details.Kaplan discount

50% discount! That's amazing - GO for it!
I could not find the Kaplan link on the OPM website (I'm sure it's in a real obvious spot and I'm just being blind and/or impatient!!). I've already emailed both contacts but I should also send a PM to them - I just don't want to bombard them, you know?.
Well, good luck at TSU! Hope you get the weekend classes…

The Kaplan link is I signed up for the online course. I got the code from Geoff and then I just contacted them through their website - I think I ended up calling them to give them the code. I got a 10% discount.

Welcome, Devan!

Welcome, welcome!
Regarding upper level science courses: I did the Princeton Review for my 2nd MCAT and immediately after took a semester of cell bio, biochem, genetics, embryology, and something else (anybody seen my memory? blink.gif ). I remember thinking that I sure could have used some of these classes prior to taking the MCAT, esp cell bio.
Anyway, good luck and remember to have fun along the way.

Thanks for sharing, Kim. I'll see what options I have for taking the upper div bio classes.
I registered for the Kaplan course starting in November. I'm a bit apprehensive about it, but also excited!
Take care!

If you're in Boston you may want to take a look at Harvard Extension for some of the classes.
Welcome and good luck!

Welcome to the forum. I think your plan sounds good–and your current job also sounds really interesting to me! Well, keep in touch with all of us here and good luck.