Hello, I’m Judith, and I was so fortunate to happen upon your site.

It seems I am atypical from even the typical nontraditional premed, since I am a RN of 20 years in critical care that is currently in a BS-MSN at Drexel U.

I have been grappling over my heart’s desire for med school for more years than I care to count. I’m still pretty young, since I became a nurse in my young 20’s; but obviously I meet the nontraditional criteria.

I was married at 19 and had my first chid at 20, and I completed my college work for nursing, which I started at 17, not much further thereafter. LOL I clearly remember those days, for example, when my now oldest was climbing out a window of the microbiology lab I was attending (sitter was ill that day), and thank God he was basically a good kid, my professor had a good sense of humor, and most of all, that the class that day was on ground level. LOL

In the years after nursing school, my greatest desire was to have another child while I was still young, b/c I knew I wanted to pursue more in terms of my education. Well, as life tends to happen for many, we were met by obstacles. So a number of years and many pregnancies were lost in the process of trying to grow a family.

Without going into great detail, I have an autoimmune disorder that made it difficult for me to carry more pregnancies to term. I didn’t have a problem getting pregnant, and our genetic tests and other tests (TORCH, etc) were all perfectly fine. It wasn’t until I went to a specialist at Jefferson (Thank you Dr. Susan Cowchock)that we were able to figure things out and get what I needed to carry a baby to term. Thankfully we did, and surprise, about 20 mo.s later, we were pregnant with the child I call Baby Ooops! Interestingly enough, he is the most laid back of all our children. Thank God.

Between meeting nuclear family needs and extended family needs (caring for a father that was dying from AML and a mother struggling after massive spinal surgery, and a mother in law that had breast cancer), and numerous other responsibilities–such as working to gain expertise in certain specialized areas, such as CT surgery recovery and peds cardiothoracic, well, getting back to school has been more than challenging.

So now I am plugging away at meeting my prerequisites and looking into a post-bac pre-med program without going into more debt before I even hopefully get into medical school.

Like so many folks here, this is a lifelong dream. And I’ve had many physicians along the way try to encourage me, and their words and support have always stayed with me.

I love nursing, and perhaps it is the business of working in critical care and the critical thinking and technology, etc, but the physicians have always embraced me and encouraged me and the way my brain works. Frankly I have always felt a bit out of place in nursing.

This is not because nursing is less in anyway, for it is not. Neither is it because it isn’t interesting and demanding and rewarding, for it is all those things and more. And yes it is generally more holistic in approach, but what many nurses forget sometimes, in my view, is that medicine certainly must be holistic as well, even if it is more pathophysiologically focused.

What I found was that I tend to look at the big picture physiologically with patients while also zooming into the intergral details. I’ve often said, in my view, in order to function exceptionally well in critical care, it really helps to be able to zoom in and then zoom out as it pertains to the patients. You always have to be adjusting that–zooming in and zooming out. I’ve often felt as though some nurses truly get this, while others seem not to get it at all.

With most physicians, I feel more of a kindred spirit, though I will always treasure my nurse colleagues and nurse friends; but in general I feel that physicians understand where I am coming from when I talk about things like the need to zoom in and zoom out constantly. I do like to look at things indepthly, and sometimes nursing allows for this, and a number of other times, it doesn’t. So, I’ve often felt some frustration in the field.

As far as an “old timer,” well, I am not too keen on looking at age, b/c, first, I am fortunate to have my dad’s “He looks like a kid” genes (which has always been a bit of a pain in the butt my whole life. My husband has been known for marrying the girl that didn’t go through puberty until 11-12th grades.) smile. What’s more, sadly I think people in our society can tend to be rather ageistic.

One of the first great lessons I learned about not looking merely to age was before I went into peds, when I worked in a wonderful primarily adult open heart recovery unit. What was interesting to me was that there were folks well into their 70’s and even 80’s that just did marvelously post-operatively–recover ing them was a relative breeze. OTOH, there were a number of very sick 30 and 40 year olds that really didn’t recover nearly as easily. Comorbidity factors do make a difference and so in my view does lifestyle choices about wellness.

And this is something that I would like to explore and work into my future practice as a family medicine physician; that is, advocating for sound wellness practices.

Wow, that’s a long intro. Thanks for “listening.” To be sure I will have many questions and brains to pick at this web site.

Jude Lin RN, CCRN, Drexel student

Welcome, Jude. Your explanation of how nurses view things differently from doctors is one of the best I’ve read. I had a hard time explaining that myself, back in the day… so keep that explanation, because you’ll be called on to explain your career switch come med school interviews… and you’ll do fine, I suspect!

Good luck


Wow. . .so glad there is a physician that knows about being a nurse! Your summary is an inspiration to me.

I love your tag line. My dad was one of my heroes, and that was his philosophy before and during his illness.

Thanks for the encouragement. Truly.


I just noticed my typographical and other errors in my first post. I apologize.

Thanks again.