I feel like I’m at an AA meeting.
My name is Curtis and I’m a PreMedaholic. It started out innocently enough - just visting relatives in hositals, watching an episode or two of Grey’s Anatomy. Then I started daydreaming about a career change, lurking on pre-med forums and asking doctors about their careers.
Before I knew it I was hooked. I was reading every web site Google had to offer, researching admission requirements at med schools, and sending transcripts to colleges to register for pre-reqs. I was ashamed to admit my problem to my relatives. What would think of me?
Sure, I tried to stop for awhile. I told myself I was too old to be a doctor. I stopped for a few months and then the old habits begin to surface again. So here I am again, at rock bottom ready to sell my house quit my job and pursue medicine …
Ok, on a more serious note. I’m 44 years old and have worked in accounting and IT for over 20 years and I’m ready for a change. I don’t think I ever seriously considered a career as a doctor growing up. I was under the impression that only kids with rich parents could go to med school and I certainly didn’t qualify in that regard.
I made an appointment with the admissions director at UAMS in the late 80’s, but was disappointed to learn that there was no way to go to med school full time. I had a wife and young son at the time and couldn’t see how I could quit my job and go to school full time. (If only this website had been available back then).
Now that both kids are almost grown and on their own, I think I’m ready to tackle the challenge. As I indicated in my attempt at humor above, I have tried to talk myself out of this, but for some reason I keep being drawn back into it.
I’m trying to decide how to get started with my prereqs. It’s been about 10 years since I have taken any college classes and my study habits are probably rusty. I would like to take a Chemistry class and Physics class next semester, but I’m not sure if I could handle both while working fulltime. On the other hand, I tell myself if I can’t handle that, I probably am not cut out for the demands of medical school.
I’ve been lurking for about six months now reading up on all of the old posts and it has been very inspirational to hear some of your stories. I appreciate everyone’s contributions to this site and the positive attitude you maintain.
I feel like I’m at an AA meeting.
Welcome, Curtis AKA PreMedaholic! Glad to meet you! As long as you realize you’re not alone! My kids are grown now as well - 18 and 20. The 18 year old will be starting college this summer, starting her 3 year long trek towards her BS degree. I’m enrolled in a post bac program now taking a class at a time until I can work on my exit strategy from my current job. I can relate! Good luck to you as you move forward!
- ITRefugee Said:
Hi Curtis, and welcome! I love your intro.
You've been researching and so you know you've got a bit of a long haul ahead of you. It's really hard to cut the pre-med pathway down to less than a few years no matter what you do.... and so I suggest that you start out with the ONE course. Give it your all - figure out what changes you'll need to make in your personal and work routines - determine if you really do want to give your heart and soul over to this new plan. And give yourself the very best chance of success by taking just one course - I recommend general chemistry simply because it's the prerequisite to organic chemistry.
During this first step of your 12-step program you do not need to figure out if you are "cut out for medical school." That determination can come later. All you need to figure out right now is if you even WANT to work as hard as you'll need to, to keep your job and get the necessary stellar grades in whatever courses you take.
"One Step At A Time," bro.
Welcome to the site and congratulations on you decision! It’s probably one of the most difficult steps you’ll have to take on your way to reach the dream! .
I think that physics and chemistry might be a little bit too much for the 1st semester, especially that you’ve been out of college for few years.
I would suggest the same thing Mary did! Why don’t you start with one class and see how things will be going? Or if you really want to take two classes, why not to take one of the two + biology? Both physics and chemistry, require not only lots of reading, but problem solving (probably more than you would like ) , while biology is mainly reading. So if you take for example chemistry and biology, your workload will be more balanced.
Good luck with everything,
I hear ya!
Start out with 1 class. I withdrew from Chem class 3 times. I had resigned myself that I wasn’t cut out for med school. However I analyzed what it was that was kicking my butt so badly in a regular ole chem class. The answer? I wasn’t studying because I didn’t know how to study. All my other classes I just read the material and it made sense. I didn’t have to reread, highlight, make flashcards or work multiple problems. However with Chem it’s been different.
I realized my smarts had made my lazy. I registered this Fall and am at the end of taking Chem 1 and Stats. Passing both with a “B”. I could do better but I’ve learned so much this semester about studying and myself. I just registered at our state university’s informal post-bacc and start organic in the spring. I’m only taking the 1 science class because since it is a university and not community college I don’t want to be surprised with the effort required…plus I’m taking a spanish class so 2 classes is all I can take.
However this ain’t about me but you! You have this calling. Many here can relate. We all hear those damn sirens luring us onto the rocks of med school. It’s going to bumpy, and long difficult road but anything worth having is. Enjoy the journey! I’m nervous, scared, excited but most of all I’m motivated. Everytime I finish a 45 minute study session I feel as though I’m 1 step closer. Sure there are over a 1000 miles left but “the journey of 1000 miles begins with 1 step”.