Introduction - Don

Hello everybody. My name is Don and I’m a pre-old-premed student. That is to say, I’m currently 32 years old, but I don’t have an undergrad degree so I have to accomplish that first (while working). Thus, by the time I actually get to med school, I’ll be close to 40.

I did attend college for a bit about 5 years ago, but I dropped out for 2 reasons: Lack of motivation and economic issues

I currently work as an computer engineer and I’m good at it, but like a lot of people here I don’t find the job fulfilling. I’ve considered going to medschool since I was young, but just didn’t make it happen. Which is probably good because I didn’t have the self-discipline to make it through at the time. Now that I’m older I understand myself better and it’s brought me back to analyzing my current career and deciding to go to medschool.

The difficulty for me is going to be maintaining my job and getting my undergrad sometime before I die. My goal is to take 9 credits at a time while working full-time and I’m going to test myself this spring semester to see if I can do it.

To save money, I’m going to get an Associates of Science from a Community College to transfer to a 4-year university (since I don’t currently have a degree). At the university I’m planning to get a degree in Biology with an emphasis on Microbiology. I figure that will look good to medschool admissions. (And it should be interesting. And if I change my mind, at least I have a degree.) I expect that once I get to the 4-year I’m going to have to get student loans, so the Community College will also act as a “How bad to you really want this before getting deep into debt?”-filter.

Hi there,


You are not that old by the way, but you are right getting an undergrad represent some serious investment (time and money).

I don’t know about your story and don’t mean to provide useless pieces of advice, but have considered working on a lower work load (ie part-time) if possible?

You probably don’t want to jeopardize your job early in the process, but perhaps after 1 term or 2 you may think it is truly for you and will find better arrangements.

I think, the most important in your situation is to start. The rest will come along. And certainly, you will get there if you put your mind and HEART to it.

Good luck and again, welcome among us.

Unfortunately, a lower work load is not an option right now financially. I’m going to try to make that happen, but it’s not really feasible until after I get my Associates degree.

The good thing is that my job is the kind that ends at 6:00 and I don’t take it home with me (unlike some previous jobs).

Welcome aboard and good luck!


Welcome to the group! It sounds like you’ve got your “ducks in a row” and getting set for quite the voyage. I imagine it will be a good one. I think you’ve got a great plan in place.

Best wishes.

Hi Don … Welcome … I am in a similar situation. I work full-time in IT and won’t leave my job until…

Things are taking longer to even get started for me … as my undergrad and grad degrees are not from US … but I keep telling myslelf gotta enjoy the process as much as I know I will enjoy being a Doctor… this attitude keeps me going.

I do not know exactly how many credits I would need to take? Of course, I need all the pre-reqs.

The good news … I start as a volunteer on Sep-23rd at the local hospital at the Day surgery department. One step at a time.

Welcome aboard!

My wife used to work in the Admissions department at a university and I know what her advice would be regarding your credits question: Go to the Admissions department.

Seriously, they’re paid to help you figure that stuff out so go to an Admissions department and they’ll walk you through it.

One of the things to do on my list in the next couple of weeks will be to meet an admissions officer!

Good luck with your AS at CC. Funny, I also think if nothing I will have an additional degree and lots of knowledge - to be intelligent about chemistry of food and human body, which fascinates me a ton!

I’m a huge, huge failure. I joined this forum four years ago and, since that time, I’ve taken one Biology 101 class (and got a B).

I got very discouraged looking forward to years and years of schooling and I gave up, deciding that I would be too old when I finished med school to have a career. Only now do I realize that I missed the whole point - the time is going to pass regardless of what I do or don’t do. I’m going to become a doctor because it’s what I want to do, regardless of whether it’s the “right” thing to do.

So now I’ve wasted almost 4 years. On the plus side, I think I’ve finally worked up the resolve and the self-discipline to get it done. I’m signing up for summer classes (easy classes) and studying for some CLEP tests until I can begin in earnest in the Fall.

Wish me luck!

Don - welcome, and Good luck!!

I will say that 9 credits plus full time work may be too much. Bear in mind that you want to excell grade-wise in whatever you take. You want to beware of biting off too much. Generally, if you are shooting for an A, you need to figure on at least 3 hours of study for every 1 hour spent in class. So, a 3-credit class = 3 hours in class/wk over 15 weeks, and about 9 hours study time/wk. That’s 12 hours/wk for 3 credits, or 36 hours/wk for 9 credits. YMMV…longer or a little shorter. Don’t see how you will fit in sleep, meals, etc and get that done (unless you need less sleep than I)

Trying to give you some info to consider, not saying this is a hard and fast rule.

I like the previous suggestion of talking to an admissions dept and getting their advice on course load.


Good advice Kate, thanks. I went with 2 consecutive classes this summer (easy classes) then I’m signing up for 2 classes with labs in the Fall. Once I see how those go, I might risk 3, but I’m not sure yet. I might just do one lab until I’m sure.