Just getting started at 35!!

RN here just beginning this journey into medicine. Lots of anxiety and internal conflict but I am determined to overcome it all or at least try. Currently in a DIY postbacc taking and retaking some science classes. Check out my blog @ http://nursetopremed.blogspot.com. I want to document this journey so hopefully I can inspire someone else who is thinking about a career change. I am really encouraged by this forum…Anyone with any DIY postbac tips? :smiley: :smiley:

@ksyhe & bennard great to hear from a people who actually made it with kids and all. Agree the support network is vital. I do not underestimate the amount of work it will take and like Dullhead put it, it’s definitely a 9-5 plus more. Am limited to the “apply broadly” approach when it comes to applying d/t my family. My #1 (MD) & #2 (DO) schools have great postbacc programs but the only caveat is that you must have applied through AMCAS/AACOMAS, and failed to matriculate for them to even consider you for the postbacc thus my original question on suggestions of DIY postbacs. @Doc201x…if my family situation was not conducive for this I would not even attempt it and plus my family life will not change much by the time I get into Med school, so I better get ready for the crazy schedule now than try to adjust then . @Adoc2be, your shiny stats are not just on this thread but on several…I wonder who is looking for “validation & glory”. Great insights everyone. We can always agree to disagree. @meg2999 keep us posted on how the mcat went today.

BTW anyone know of good online lectures/videos on O.chem?


It’s an interest, arduous, frustrating, testing (emotionally, physically, and mentally) time for sure. In reading your blog, what to mind is this:

ONE year to finish ALL pre-reqs including 2 chem, 2 orgo, 2 physics, 1 bioc, 1 psych, 1 soc is NOT feasible (and you did not list the psych/soc but will be required to have it for the MCAT). The reason is not that you, or anyone else, lack the IQ to do so, it is the fact that to enroll in orgo, you MUST have completed gchem 2. To complete gchem 2 requires a full year.

In addition, never underestimate the time required for the lab component of the courses. While only a measly 1 cr course, every lab I have had required about 10 hours OUTSIDE of class to properly finish.

Good luck in your quest!

I agree with Adoc2be, the plan you outline is NOT a 1 year plan. IMHO, it’s a 3 year plan if you include SOLID MCAT prep and due to the fact that you have a family.

Thanks for your input. It’s an ambitious plan indeed… @Adoc2be, I already have 2 Psych and 1 Soc and I am completing Gen Chem 1 & 2 in a summer immersion program at a 4yr state university so the Orgo in the fall will be fine. I did Physics 1 over 10 yrs ago so really just refreshing on it. My reasoning is that I need this infor as fresh as possible for the MCAT. Also, there is a 1 yr postbac program in my #1 & #2 state schools of choice that if accepted offers a guaranteed spot after completion as long as you maintain a GPA of 3.0 while in the program…So even though the late MCAT diminishes my chances, am also gunning for the postbac. I also do not have to work at all :smiley: and my EC’s and clinical experience is sound. So here was my not set on stone schedule;

Summer 15’ May-Aug

Gen Chem 1 & 2

Fall 15’ (Aug - Dec)

Physics 1 w/lab

O.Chem 1 w/lab

Cell Bio

Spring 16’-(Jan-May)

Physics 2 w/lab

O.Chem 2 w/lab


Summer 16’


MCAT Review course (hoping to take the late MCAT in August)

Your feedback really helps!

I wish you luck. I think it overly ambitious and setting yourself up for failure.

But maybe you really are that brilliant and that tenacious to stick to that schedule, get A’s (no med program will take a 3.0, no linkage program, no any program - maybe off shore or other international will but not USMLE; and maybe DO will but …) and amaze the adcoms.

I would never attempt that schedule nor underestimate the effort it takes… and I don’t have 2 little kids nor a husband worrying about when “their” time comes.

It appears you wanted a high-five and some reassurance that your plan is good and you’ll be wildly successful. You won’t get that kind of feedback here - you WILL get honest assessment of your plan, skills, etc. Whether you take that or not is 100% up to you.

Good luck!

Med shools admission is marathon, NOT a race. Spreading out an academic plan has NEVER hurt anyone applying to med school. But rushing, taking on too much, has ruined the chances of MANY people and is probably a factor in why so many people aren’t ever admitted to med school.

I dunno, I think it’s doable with the right school/life balance, especially if she doesn’t have to work. You’re talking about 11 credits per semester (I think double gen chem in one summer wil suck), which is less than a full time college student. It’ll be time consuming, for sure. Taking the gamble but thinking about the long game, her proposed schedule isn’t anywhere near the rigor that med school will be, and her family situation wouldn’t have changed that much in 1-3 years. Better to know now that her family and her can handle it all than to wait until med school?

Look into the requirements for the post bacc/linkage you’re wanting to get into. Some programs won’t look at you if you’ve already taken a bulk of the classes that you would end up taking at their school.

Also, if you have the time, I’d space out the MCAT study/review. It’s not really like anything you’ll see in your undergrad stuff, and more prolonged exposure will probably help you prepare for it. Cramming studying into 2 months while taking biochem would be miserable.since your schedule is pretty ambitious, I’d get MCAT subject review books to at least look at while you’re taking the classes then treat the final summer as a more big picture/full MCAT review.

@Kennymac wrote:

I dunno, I think it’s doable with the right school/life balance, especially if she doesn’t have to work. Better to know now that her family and her can handle it all than to wait until med school?

Le sigh…

First, the differences between a man matriculating into med school with a family and a woman doing the same are SO different, it’s not comparable in the slightest.

Second, it’s a HUGE false equivalency IMHO, to say that if a mother can handle a rigorous schedule as a premed, she’ll do the same then she’ll do same in med school. One, her kids will be older and older kids aren’t easier. Two, the courseload isn’t anywhere near comparable. Three, there’s no way to gauge how her spouse is going to “respond” to all the changes. Men with families “make it” in med school because they have WIVES. Women OTOH, don’t go to med school with “wives”.

All that said, wealth can make things FAR more doable so then it just comes down to how many years you want to be essentially unavailable in the lives of your family and children.

Don’t shy away from your plan - I did it in 1 year (3 semesters). I did not take biochem yet, just self-taught for the MCAT and will take over the next year at some point (I have to go back to work after a year of care-free student living…). I was in a similar situation with a few pre-reqs under my belt from the first time around in college 8 years ago. I’d research your favorite schools and see if they require or just recommend psych/soc. Maybe it is just me, but the material for the MCAT is mostly logic and based on social interactions that almost everyone has had. If you set aside time to learn it, spending tuition on it seems foolish (esp because you took it back in the day). On iTunes U (higher ed collaboration), Yale has an entire intro to psych class for free that you can listen to as you drive. I took AP psych in high school and between that, listening to the Yale class, and review of the material, I am scoring well on psych/soc passages.

Only you know what it will be like with family life, etc. If you have a solid plan and a strategy in place with your family at home, go for it. My fiancé knew my plan from the beginning and we have virtually not seen each other for the past 3 months because every spare moment I have goes towards the MCAT. But that’s over Saturday and he gets me back, and he understands the reason behind it. Everyone has different agreements with family and different insight into their own intellect and capabilities, so trust yourself. It will be hard, but it is definitely do-able. PM me if you want to talk more about completing it all in a year.

Thank you all for your honest opinion. And yes I have thought this plan through numerous times and I think it’s doable. There are “drop dates/deadlines” when one can drop a class without a “W” on the transcript if it becomes a bit much to handle. I am GPA conscious, so don’t get me wrong I will drop a class if am feeling overwhelmed. If I can’t handle less than 15 credits with a family, I might as well ditch med school. BTW my kids are in school from 8:00am-6:00pm, and my husband is extremely supportive…The timing here was to allow the kids to be in school plus am in a position where I don’t have to work. I have a bunch of MCAT review books and plan to dedicate some time to review as I cover the material in class even if it’s just a few hours per week till summer of next year…I have also for the past 2 months dedicated time to Gen chemistry to prepare for the summer immersion program. @Adoc2be look up MEDPATH offered by the Ohio State University (allopathic) and OU-HCOM (osteopathic). Both offer a postbac program for a year which focuses on higher level science classes such as immunology, anatomy,histology etc…and the requirements to matriculate the following year after completion of the program is a GPA of 3.0 and a stellar MCAT.

@oldpremed wrote:

@Adoc2be look up MEDPATH offered by the Ohio State University (allopathic) … and the requirements to matriculate the following year after completion of the program is a GPA of 3.0 and a stellar MCAT.

I will do that as I had not heard of a 3.0 being adequate to enter allopathic med school AND I wonder what “stellar MCAT” score the school is looking for.

Further, I wonder how someone can obtain that stellar MCAT with not having the solid pre-req grades before it.

Your mind is made up; you did not come here to ask real questions but to get validated on your plan some of which you got and some of which you did not.

KennyMac is an admitted student, class of 2020.

Meg I don’t know.

Path has been on this forum since I came here and while we have battled here and there, I respect her opinion.

Me - I’ve just been around the pre-med life for too long and know how hard it was, how much effort it took and what sacrifices were made. Everyone was “OOOOH yeah!!! GO FOR IT” until the peddle hit the road.

When you are told it’s “only” 11 CR, I am guarded by that. 11 cr of hard science is not the same as 8 cr of hard science with a relative fluff course. On top of that and a family … but you don’t care what I think, you just wanted validation. I can’t give you that; I think your plan is flawed and you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

@Adoc2be…I came to this forum just like everyone else to get honest opinions, encouragement, band with people who are going through the same process at different levels. And while I value everyone’s insights on my post, I don’t need to be patronized. I said on my previous post my schedule is not set on stone. And I also asked if anyone has any DIY postbac ideas that have worked for them. I did not come here to be “validated” like you repeatedly keep pointing out. Just like everyone else here yourself included, posts to start a meaningful, productive discussion without tearing each other down. It’s a pretty arduous and difficult process as it is so no one here needs the negative energy. Am not asking anyone to agree with my plan, believe me I go back and forth on it. I don’t think it’s perfect and I don’t disagree with Doc201x who has a similar stance as you that “spreading an academic plan has never hurt anyone.” So if you think am here for validation, and or reassurance as you put it, nothing could be further from the truth.

@oldpremed wrote:

I said on my previous post my schedule is not set on stone.

Frankly, the tone of your responses to honest feedback was basically, “I’m not going to listen to you as I’ve already thought this through and not changing my mind.” And patronizing? I have done nothing of the sort - I don’t think you’re brilliant or wise. And I don’t think my blog is spectacular, btw … it just a historical journal of what I’ve gone through to get here.

I think you want a pat on the back for starting down this path, of which I give you. But your plan and thinking is flawed.

I brought up Kennymac and the others’ backgrounds to emphasize that only ONE of your responses is from someone who has actually matriculated. The rest of us are still in the “hopeful” bucket… but that “hopeful” bucket is also filled with people who are older than you, more educated than you (Path and myself) and know well what it took for us to get here. And, Path and I have seen MANY people come on here with a “hey I’m gonna knock this out in a year” only to fail in getting accepted, or drop out of the path before even taking the MCAT. With that background, we gave you advice.

Again, what you choose is totally, 100% your decision. I still say it is flawed.

IF you were to honestly evaluate your schedule, it would look more like this:

Summer 2015:

Gchem 1 & 2 (uck, btw)

Fall 2015:

Biology 1

Orgo 1

Physics 1

Winter 2016:

Biology 2

Orgo 2

Physics 2

Summer 2016:


Fall 2016:


Winter 2017:


June 1, 2017 - APPLY

That is the two year plan and it works. Almost everyone on here, who has matriculated into medical school (allo or osteo) has followed the same path. In addition, many on here have done research which takes away from coursework. Furthermore, to weave in volunteering and shadowing on top of that schedule + family is arduous at best.

I am 50. I started this path at 44. I carry a 3.97 from a major, top 10, PhD institution. My son was older, I am considered well off despite some very brutal times. I am NOT married and do not date so I have no outside tugs on my time.

Volunteering is who I am, not what I did to check a box on an application. Shadowing has been done my entire life (and unlike you, I don’t have an entire medical career behind me - that is a HUGE benefit for you).

I went into this with a full head of steam. I got A’s. I shadowed. I kept volunteering. I had a student job that allowed me to be gone for exams, prep and everything else.

And it still took an extreme amount of resilience to get through the program.

ETA to clarify: When I say “you” and “your”, it is a general pronoun and not directed at anyone in particular. “Her” and “she” refers to the original poster.

Okay this forum topic seems to be quickly devolving into something that it wasn’t intended to be. I don’t agree that the original poster was coming on here for a pat on the back and validation, I never read it that way. BUT, some of you did and that has caused some (unnecessary) confrontation from both sides.

EVERYONE has their own, individual path, their own strengths, and their own situation. I’m doing it in a year while also studying for the MCAT (tomorrow!!) and it worked for me. Some people had different situations and had to do a different path, and that worked for THEM. I think it is unfair to say that my situation, for example, didn’t work out for me because that remains to be seen and I am happy to share with her what worked for me up to this point and let her ruminate on that and cherry pick any ideas she might find applicable to her situation. What this original discussion was about was excitement for starting down HER path and advice on what worked for US to help her out.

Regardless of what was YOUR path, consider that everyone else is different. She was looking for tips on new post-bacc matriculants, and I personally read that as a search for best practices, not condemnation of her choices. That is something that must be figured out through internal struggle most of the time, unfortunately, and it isn’t my place to tell her that her personal choices are wrong, only to lift up what I found helpful and pass it along. Let’s try to give her ideas on what did work for us, not what won’t work for her.

It seems like this is quickly becoming like the forums on Student Doctor Network where members like to post impressive stats to intimidate others (and this is not the only time I’ve felt that way). Let’s consider why we sought out this community and adhere to the standards of the atmosphere that drew us in, not turn it into a good ol’ boys club where new people are treated as inferior simply because we don’t have your experience and are not as far along as others.

[highlight=yellow:2vkuv1kj]Frankly, the tone of your responses to honest feedback was basically, “I’m not going to listen to you as I’ve already thought this through and not changing my mind.” And patronizing? I have done nothing of the sort - I don’t think you’re brilliant or wise. And I don’t think my blog is spectacular, btw … it just a historical journal of what I’ve gone through to get here.[/highlight:2vkuv1kj]

Doesn’t matter what you think my motives were for posting here. The fact is you can give your opinion without being condescending. You don’t take the time to read and understand what anyone posts and as for “brilliant or wise”, I don’t see an MD by your name so quit acting you have it all figured out. Majority in this “hopeful bucket” are just trying to do exactly just that, figure it out. And its funny because your two year plan (which I have stated am not opposed to) mirrors mine. I already have the bio 1&2 (which is why I left them out) and the cell bio and physiology (upper level bios) were just additional, and the main difference was the study time for the MCAT. If your “honest” opinion was to take your time with the MCAT review or spread out your classes such and such without all the extra cut throat comments then am all ears. BTW skimmed through your blog and was just being polite.

Let’s start with the conventional wisdom that each credit takes twice that amount outside class to be successful and assume this is sufficient.

3 classes x 3 credits/course = 9 hours class time, 18 hours outside class, total 27.

Then 2 credits for lab = 2 hours. 10 hours/week/lab for report writing = 20 hours, total 22.

Grand total = 49 hours/week.

OP’s not working. If she treats this DIY postbacc as her “job”, then 49 hours = regular 9-5 on weekdays, and a few extra hours on the weekend. JMO, but as long as OP does not slack along the way, this should be possible, even with kids. It would be the same if she were working a full-time job - she’d be back home at 5 pm. Even if it takes 60 hours a week, that’s still possible. She’ll just have to put in those extra 2 hours a day after the kids go to bed, is all.

@Dullhead, that’s a great way to put it. When I was in grad school and currently in my post-bacc, I follow the idea that this is my full time job and sometimes I work late and sometimes I get done early. Great perspective to add to the discussion.

LOL :slight_smile: Good luck with your path. The attitude shown the “Hey look at me - I’m so awesome and brilliant” will not endear you to your peers.


Just adding another opinion. I’m an MS3 (technically!) who basically did the postbac schedule you posted, oldpremed, except with intro bio 1&2 instead of the upper level bio classes. As did 80 or so of my classmates in my cohort. It’s a wicked amount of work – and honestly much more stressful than at least the first year of med school, but it can be done.

Good luck!