Is this realistic?

Hello, OPMs. I have been reading the posts, and I have to say that they have been quite informative and give me quite a bit of hope.

The title of this thread, “Is this realistic?” really pertains to my decision of going to med school. This is my story, and I am going to try to make it as short as possible.

I graduated with a BS in Biology in 1998 in the Philippines. Back then I was dependent of my parents and they weren’t very supportive of me (financially) to go into med school here in the US. I decided to go into nursing school. The plan was that I would finish an associate’s degree, work, and then try to go into med school. Unfortunately, I realized that nursing was not for me. I then decided to get my associate’s in medical technology. I thought maybe getting a med tech degree would also help me learn a little bit of the diagnostic side of medicine, and still had a chance to go into med school. Yet I was still determined to finish my associate’s since I was eager to have a job and get some clinical experience. I graduated, passed the ASCP certification test, and got a job.

When I began working as a lab tech, I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease. It was indeed a tough period for me. By this time, I was in my mid-twenties, and all my hope of getting into med school went down the drain. Later, I received ablative treatment to slow my thyroid down. I have been taking synthroid ever since.

Life went on as usual, and I continued to work. After three years of working in the lab, I realized that I was not happy with my job. I love the sciences and learning about the human body, but in my job since we are isolated from everyone else. I felt underappreciated and didn’t get enough respect. I also missed the patient contact (I was a nursing assistant before also).

I decided to go back to school. There was still the old me who wanted to go to med school, but then I heard about the crazy hours doctors work…and thought maybe I shouldn’t pursue it. I then decided to the and apply for pharmacy school. Currently, I am in pre-pharmacy, trying to fulfill some pre-reqs.

But I still wonder about med school sometimes, especially since the pre-reqs are almost (not all) the same with pharmacy school. So far I have made A’s in gen. chem 1 and calculus. I still have the What ifs and wonder if I will be asking myself, “What if I had gone to med school…” at 40, 50 years old? (I am 30 years old, btw.) Then I wonder if my health can handle it due to my thyroid problem. I still visit my endocrinologist every three months since he still adjusts my dose. Don’t get me wrong. I have some good days, but I have also bad days where I have a mental fog and don’t concentrate easily. I also notice that I get tired quickly.

I am a US citizen, btw, so obtaining residency here is not a problem. I work fulltime and go to school part-time. I am a pretty good student and have good study habits. However, I know med school is a different story, and I know how much time needs to be invested in order to be knowledgeable…and I understand that completely.

So am I being realistic if I decide to apply for med school? Or should I just throw in the towel and accept that it isn’t and just settle for something else? Thanks so much for reading. Any advice or input is appreciated.



I also have a question. Do med schools frown upon people with disabilities? I have a bilateral low frequency hearing loss, and wear hearing aids.

Can anyone help? Please? I am not exactly looking for sympathy here. Just an honest opinion.

Also an update: I called the med school here in my state. I was told that the average age for first year class was 28 and they do have student who were older than 30. This gives me a little bit of hope.

However, I was also told that they only accept bachelor’s degree from the US or Canada…which means that I may have to finish a bachelor’s. A bit frustrating but it seems like I won’t have a choice if I decide to pursue med school.

Helen, just be patient and you’ll get lots of good responses. It’s Friday going into a BIG weekend of college basketball and there’s probably not going to be much traffic on the boards…

Yes, you certainly can do it and in my opinion it’s realistic. You’ll need to keep working with your endocrinologist to get your thyroid tuned up to its best. Over time, this will become easier.

You’ve established that you can work hard and you should be able to do well through the prereqs. Keep up the good work!

You will need to investigate specific medical school criteria regarding physical requirements for medical students, but you should not encounter too many barriers. There are stethescopes made for people with limited hearing, for example. If you require a sign-language interpreter (it doesn’t sound like that is the case), there may be some schools that would not accommodate that because the way they’ve written their “physical requirements,” they don’t want there to be an “interpreter” between the physician and patient. But I really doubt it’s a problem.

Good luck!


Some medical schools don’t even require a bachelor’s degree; they just need about 90 credits. I guess those credits still need to be from a US or Canada-based school. Just a thought in case a second BA is too onerous a prospect for you.

Hi Helen and welcome!

At 30, you are young…especially since I won’t probably get into medical school much before 45. While it won’t be easy (but it won’t be easy at any age), I’m going to try my darndest.

You’ll find a lot of good advice on this site…enjoy it!


  • ttraub Said:
Some medical schools don't even require a bachelor's degree; they just need about 90 credits.

This is a statement that requires a lot of clarification. In fact, many U.S. medical schools have a "clause" stating that under certain circumstances, one can qualify to attend with 90 credits rather than a bachelor's degree. But there is a lot of fine print to this statement in almost every instance. Many of the schools making this statement have 7-year programs where people can enter medical school after 3 years in their undergraduate program. So you qualify for the M.D. program if you're in their B.A.-M.D. track -- it's not for everyone.

Other schools may actually consider it for outside applicants but these people are truly extraordinary, few and far between.

By far the best path for almost everyone is to apply with a bachelor's degree, in any subject, and all or most of the prereqs completed. Remember that you'll be competing with people who are in this category and you want your application to hold up well against your competition.


Thanks all for the replies. Sorry if I did seem a bit inpatient. This is what happens when I’m on spring break. LOL!

I have a 42% hearing loss in my left ear and 30% on my right. My hearing went progressively worse in my early 20’s, so my speech is not affected. I am glad to know that there are amplified stethescopes. So thanks, Mary!

I’ve looked at the curriculum for a BS in Chemistry with emphasis in pre-med at my school. It looks challenging…but doable. I decided to choose chemistry since it seemed silly to get a bachelor’s in biology…when I have one. It’s just not recognized.

There’s still a small part of me that wants to continue to apply to pharmacy school but not sure if pharmacy is really for me. Then there’s another side of me who says forget pharmacy school…follow your old dream and apply to med school!!! Yet scared to make such a big decision.

I must do a lot of praying.

It’s so nice to meet all of you. I appreciate the advice. Take care and good luck!