Introducing myself....

Hi all…I’ve read a lot of posts on here and have to say that I’m really glad I found this website. I’m not in a post bacc program right now, I’m more in the beginning; researching and considering. I would have done a post bacc a while ago but my hugest hold up are two Withdraws on my transcript, it took me 7 years to get my B.A. because I changed majors a bunch of times and took a year off inbetween that - also I was never a science and math whiz and have a CR (credit) in Astronomy and math (math logic) classes I took in undergrad, well not counting Bio and Geology in my first year of college which I did good in. Anyway this is why I am so wishy washy. I have this negative feeling that I probably would not ever get into med school so why bother. I feel like I would be grilled, “Why did you take so long to get an undergrad? Why do you have two withdraws?” But I know myself now and know I have astronomically matured, plus I had major clinical depression in my early twenties which are the reason for the withdraws-and I KNOW I could do really well in a post bacc if I tried - but I guess fear holds me back. I am so afraid that even if I get all As in an entire post bacc program and killed the MCAT, med schools would scrutinize my undergrad. Am I wrong?!?

I ended up getting a degree in poli sci because I wanted to do law, but as time went on I smartly realized that law school isn’t a good match for me. My GPA was 3.39. If I didn’t have issues going on at the time, I bet I could have gotten a 4.0 and it’s so frustrating.

I work at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC and seeing the doctors I work with I just realized that I could do it, and it’s something I want to work for, and I don’t care how long it takes. I always wanted to have a career first before I started even thinking about marriage and family.

Anyway that’s my story. I figured I’d give this a shot and see what anyone had to say. This is really brief, I left out a lot of details. Basically my biggest fear/hold up are two withdraws and two CR on my transcript. I just don’t know how picky med schools are, but from what I have read and heard, they are pretty intense. Should I even bother?

I am in the same stage as you, researching and planning out my journey to becoming a physician. So, I don’t really have any advice, but I wanted to share with you something that convinced me that I should let go of what held me back from realizing my dreams.

I read a book called the Pathfinder because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life.(Actually, I had a pretty good idea, but I needed the push to go for it). In the book, the author, Nicholas Lore, talks about what he calls the “Yeahbuts”, which are all the excuses we come up with of why we can’t realize our dreams. The voice in your head that says "I could go to med school…but I have two withdraws, spent too much time on my BA, etc. are the “Yeahbuts”. This type of thinking is a defense mechanism that is meant to protect you from harm. This defense mechanism is the same one that keeps you from walking down dark alleys in the bad part of town at night. However, this defense mechanism is unable to differentiate between real danger and personal growth. Personal growth is perceived as a threat because it takes you out of your comfort zone. You may not love your life as it is now, but it is likely tolerable and comfortable because it is predictable and it doesn’t include new situations. It is what you know. Your defense mechanism will creep up as a little voice in your head anytime you think about branching out into the unknown even if it is what you truly want. It will say whatever it takes to get you to give up on the dream and stay in the comfort zone. You have to recognize that defense mechanism for what it is, and realize that living your dreams is not a real danger. It can be hard since the defense mechanism speaks to you in your voice. Just remember that it is not you talking. Don’t think about the reasons why you can’t. Think about how you can make it happen.

WOW, that was the best thing I ever read…thank you so much. I definitely needed to hear that…and I think I’m going to buy that book too!!! Thanks so much…

Where are you in your journey so far, like are you trying to get into a post bacc?

Glad I could help.

Right now, I am looking at post-bacc options. Seems like the only official post-bacc program near me is in Dallas, and I am in Houston. I am taking a campus tour at University of Houston at Clear Lake on the 31st and I’m meeting with an advisor to see if I can do an unofficial post-bacc there. Also, on the 27th, I am going to an information session on the Phlebotomy program at the community college. I’d like to get more medical experience, and I need a job while doing the post-bacc thing. The job I have right now requires me to travel 2 to 3 weeks each month, so I am going to have to do something else while going to school. I’m looking to start the Phlebotomy course this fall or winter, and then starting post-bacc next summer.

Are you looking into official post-bacc programs or thinking of going the DIY route?

You’re more ahead than me, that’s for sure. I don’t know what to do. I’d rather get into a formal post-bacc program because of the guidance and help you’d get along with it. I’d do the DIY way but I really can’t afford classes right now, and at least financial aid accepts post-baccs (or some of them at least). Also with the post bacc since you’re matriculated I wouldn’t have last pick for classes. And I’m not sure how it is for you but classes here fill up so quickly that DIY wouldn’t work out anyway I don’t think anyway (I live in NYC). I already missed all the deadlines obviously for the fall and would like to apply for the spring but another thing that is a yeahbut and holds me back is that all these post bacc programs here in the city want letters of recommendation and I cannot think of a single person who would be able to recommend me for pre medicine.


Wow - great post. Thanks for sharing. I really struggle with this, so much sacrifice, and am so worried I will go through the entire process and not get accepted. Will feel like a waste…and then what!? I’ll have to check out that book!!

That’s my same exact feeling - I’m gonna go through this whole process and not get accepted. “Then what” is right!

How small the world is. I also worked at MSKCC for 7.5 years before starting medical school.

If you can speak another language, I suggest you sign up to be an interpreter. You can get some patient interaction and can start understanding what the physicians are trying to find out from the patients.

Do you have a personal physician, and have you talked with them about your medical aspirations? If so, ask if you could shadow them several times. Then perhaps they could be a source for your letter of recommendation.