It's official...

I’ve visited this site off and on since…well…since it was an email group. I have examined, debated, and turned my medical school dream upside down for years waiting for the “right” time. We had 3 children at the time that I was serious about applying. Life changed and I found peace with not trying to fulfill what has been a lifelong dream for me. My husband and I went on to have two more children and then…life changed for me again. After struggling with serious illness and some other issues, I realized that you only live once and that I also deserve to carve out happiness in my life and at least try to go for it.

The struggle I have had has been with feeling torn between my children (right now my first responsibility) and my dream. My husband and I have discussed it for the last year and now…we have decided that I will wait 4-5 more years (which will make me gasp 43 or so…and then I will apply to med. school.

It feels very weird to finally have made that decision together as a couple and to commit to it. What really helped was that I took a cadaver dissection anatomy class in the Fall. I loved it and got a 95% for my final grade. I scored 98% on both the lecture and lab finals…I just had a great time.

I feel a little impatient about waiting…now that a decision has been made, I want to just jump right in…but our reason for waiting is to see our older 3 children graduate from high school and get close to graduating. At that point, my husband feels that he will be more able to provide more care for our younger two when I am studying or am at the hospital.

My older children are totally fired up about this and don’t want me to wait… LOL They have all already told their friends!

I have decided to take a careful approach to all of this. I have deficiences in my ugrad from many, many years ago, but I have a solid GPA from my Master’s in Mol. Bio. (blah, blah grade inflation and all that jazz…but I sure didn’t experience it!)

Since graduating, I have taught bio labs at our state U, survived a battle with cancer while pregnant, and I also wrote a book about surviving residency as a medical spouse.

I am now taking medical terminology and a fun biology reading course that involves reading books and writing essays about them. The med term will be useful and I decided on the readings class out of general interest for the books being read (human anatomy and medicine from the perspective of evolution!) and to improve my writing skills (and help me continue to dust of the cobwebs!).

I’m taking an advanced cadaver dissection course in the summer. I’ve decided to do it for graduate credit because I 1. already have an ugrad anatomy and 2. in case I don’t get into med school it will add to what I can teach at the community college level.

Beyond that, I need to figure out how I want to make up for my chemistry deficiencies (all suggestions are welcome!!!). I am considering starting all over with the Chemistry sequence. It’s been a long time for me and this was always my area of weakness.

Is there anyone else in my boat or who has…been there done that?

Thanks for listening to my long ramble! LOL


Kris, that sounds wonderful. Your journey is one that I’ve felt privileged to witness through all the ups and downs of the past several years. I am glad to hear you sounding so sure and confident.

On the chemistry: you know, it isn’t THAT much chemistry and you’ve got time, with the schedule you’ve laid out, to just take the sequence again. And I bet you money that your maturity as a student and a scholar is going to prove to you that chemistry is actually really cool. There is just something about the tone of your post that tells me that you will ACE those suckers and wonder why it was so hard back in the day?

I was 43 when I applied and 44 when I began med school. Now at 53 I am working my a$$ off, can definitely complain about it to anyone who will listen, but I do love my job and am so grateful to my husband and family who supported me to push for the most challenging work I could do.

Blessings to you!


  • Kris Said:

…we have decided that I will wait 4-5 more years (which will make me gasp 43 or so…and then I will apply to med. school.


I am considering starting all over with the Chemistry sequence. It’s been a long time for me and this was always my area of weakness.

Is there anyone else in my boat or who has…been there done that?

Kris, I'm 44 and just starting over. I do not have the credentials you have (graduate degree).

Given my chemistry, anatomy, microbiology, etc are 25+ years old, I'm starting with the very rudimentary basics to get a solid understanding. Chem 101, 102; Biol 101; OChem 202, 203; Genetics 301; Math - Precalc 2, Calc 101, 102; Physics 101, 102; BioC 301. Yes, from scratch for two reasons: MCAT & GPA improvement.

I will be 45 when I apply, at the earliest. In my head, I've targeted 46 with matriculation at 47 making me 51 when I graudate, 54 when I finish residency, and 56 when finally done with fellowship (pediatric oncology). Yes, even at my age , I would love to be a ped cancer doc fully knowing how much effort and time it will take.

You are certainly not alone and certainly not the oldest (is that me? or someone else...)

Hey Kris! I’m so glad to hear your hubby is finally on board and I think your plan is solid. As you know I’ve also had to delay my dream for one familial reason or another and like you, I’m beyond ready to get on with it having already completed half of the first year med school courses already.

To make a long story short, I’m almost certain I’ll have to wait at least another year maybe two, I’ve made peace with that, and will live life to the fullest in the meantime!!!

Thanks to both of you for your responses.

Mary, I, too, have followed your journey…and…I used you as an example when I was negotiating with my husband. His fear, it turns out, was that I was planning on applying next year. It’s pretty overwhelming sometimes with the kids and he just doesn’t feel like he can do it all on his own right now. When I suggested to him that I wanted to put it off until our younger ones are older anyway, he lit up. I told him your story. He got so enthusiastic that now he is more excited about this idea than me, I think!

We’ll see what happens. I’m at peace with however this turns out now. At least I know that I’m going to give it my best shot and so someday I won’t regret not trying to do it!

Thanks for your inspiration!!!


Congratulations. I can relate to you and your spouse on the matter of waiting for your children to reach ages when you feel comfortable taking the next step. After my son was born I waited eleven years before going back to finish my undergrad. I can only imagine your relief at gaining your husband’s support, and I would bet the intervening years will pass so quickly you’ll wonder why you were ever impatient.

Has your book been published? Though my wife is extremely supportive, I would love to offer her the opportunity to share your experience as a resident’s wife.

Interestingly, I interviewed a couple days ago at U. of OK College of Medicine. I talked with the student leading my tour about taking undergrad histology as a prep for the MS equivalent and for physiology. She said she felt like it helped a great deal, but she wished she had taken cadaver anatomy instead. So, it sounds to me like you not only have a leg up, but with your success you have a big reason to be encouraged about your ability to succeed. God speed!