Just joined the site. The postings encourage me.

I am a 33 yr old male Analytical Chemist that is now pursuing a career change. In college I was originally premed and did numerous premed activities (volunteer, research (Brookhaven National Lab, University Chemistry Dept), societies, NSF grant, teaching assistant, internships, medical certifications) but decided to put it off and work as an Analytical Chemist. Low and behold, I am 33 and unhappy because I have not pursued what I have always wanted to be. It really is my calling.
Now that I am focusing my efforts on becoming a doctor at 33 I am considered a non traditional older premed student whose college premed
experiences are very dated. So to enhance my professional development I am seeking employment that is directly relevant to medical school that proves I have the aptitudes, interests, and motivation to be a good physician.

I am familiar with medical settings. Throughout college I volunteered at Stony Brook University Hospital’s, ER, AIDS Unit and Hemodialysis Unit. I rode with my town’s ambulance squad as a first responder. While in college I also pursued separately from my college work certifications (medical assisting, medical lab technology, EKG, hemodialysis technician and phlebotomy) and worked per diem at a hospital in the Lab performing assays and venipuncture. I also worked part time performing home health physicals through an agency that had contracts from insurance companies.

In the past year, I have also worked per diem as receptionist at an Ob/Gyn practice but I am seeking fulltime employment as a medical assistant.
Also, from 8/2003 – 7/2004 stopped working and took care of my Dad full-time when he succumbed to Small Cell Lung Cancer. This galvanized me to focus all my energies (time, money, effort) towards medical school.

Quite honestly I don’t think you need any more medical experience - given your rich and varied background, I don’t see that working as an MA is going to “enhance” your application. You’ve got a solid science background, too, so I would definitely try and talk to some AdCom types for guidance about how to present the best application - will you need to retake prerequisites, for example? For at least some schools the answer will be “yes.” (and maybe you’ve done that already) By all means you should do the MA job if it is what you WANT to do - but you shouldn’t feel that you need many additional hours of medical “stuff” because you don’t.

Awesome, I’m a chemist too. I’ll be graduating w/ my PhD this May, and I’m starting med school this summer. I think as long as you can communicate your reasons for wanting to make the change effectively on your application and at your interviews, you will be in good shape. You have loads more clinical experience than most of us do! Where are you at in the process? Have you taken the pre-reqs and the MCAT yet? In any case, best of luck w/ everything.

Hi there,
I was an Analytical Chem major undergrad (Mass Spectrometry and Electrochemistry) before graduate school (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) and medical school (now General Surgery resident headed for Vascular Surgery fellowship). It looks like your interest in medicine has been there all the time as you have moved through life. Welcome to the forums and glad to have you!

i don’t have much to offer besides good luck… but, as an aside, i am recently employed by stony brook university hospital and am planning on taking my pre reqs at SB. did you grow up on long island? i’m 30, and have been here all my life… though hoping to be moving out of here in 3 or 4 years!!!
well, other than that, good luck… you’ll do great!!!

I did grow up on LI in Deer Park. I attended SUNYSB for undergrad and grad school (Bachelors Bio/Che grad MS Bus Mgt at Harriman). I moved to DC?VA 3 yrs ago. What dept do you work in? What do you do? Is it clinical?


I am a 33 yr old male Analytical Chemist that is now pursuing a career change.

Welcome to the group, and count me in! I’m a Chemist too!

I’m no chemist (physical sciences section of MCAT was a crappy time in my life I’d just as soon forget ) but I hope you’ll accept my welcome.

hey fellow long islander! how are you liking it down in the dc/va area? my brother in law moved down that way a few years ago, but comes back up regularly for the pizza.
right now, i’m working in the hospital’s internal audit department. certainly not clinical, but cool in the respect that i get to dig a LOT into hipaa compliance as well as a bunch of other stuff. and i get to deal with some doctors, which is fun… even though i’m usually trying to figure out what their departments are doing wrong procedurally. probably not the best way to make connections! LOL but usually they are very nice about it. but i’m mostly working there because… dum di de dum! i get to take free classes!!! up to 5 a year, one each semester!!!
well, ok. don’t want to hijack your thread here… so best of luck to you!

What a great idea you had about working for the University for free tuition. Way to go! And yes I do miss the NY pizza and bagels. One can’t just buy a slice down here and there aren’t even pizza shops. You have to buy the whole pie! Anyway, I am interviewing for a full time position of Clinical Trials Research Coordinator for a transcutaneous vaccine development firm. There wouldnt be much clinical exposure (vitals, ECG, patient history, blood draws) rather more paperwork oriented making sure sites, clinicians, data collection and protocols are being striclty adhered to. I am also interviewing for the position of medical scribe in the ER at a local hospital. I would work side by side with a doctor f/t and take his notes for him and record test results in the charts. The job was advertised as a min of 1 yr required and great for a premed. I think this would be a great job to get to know a DR f/t for a yr and see procedures being done in the ER. I would also be with the Dr when he takes the patient history and throughout the entire process from beginning to end. Wish me luck! If anyone has any feedback on the pros and cons of these jobs please let me know. I also am applying to them because they do interest me.

I had the interview this morning for the position of ER Dept Medical Scribe. It went very well. The Medical Scribe Director offered me the position (four 10 hr shifts per week, 16 per month) and she said she also wanted to submit my resume for her position since it will be vacant come June when she leaves for DC school. There are 30 scribes (29 women, 1 man and now me the 2nd guy). There are teams of 4-5 scribes with a team leader that cover the same 8 ER Drs of the 70 ER DRs. . The team leader sees to it that the 3 month schedule is figured out by the scribes. She said there is immense scheduling flexibility. There are no health/life/retirement benefits, the pay is paltry and the position is as a consultant through a company that won the bid to staff the ER with DRs and scribes. So i would have to withhold my own taxes and probably pay them 1/4ly. I am providing this other info just in case someone is unfamiliar wiht the position of medical scribe. I was.

She also said that the scribe takes the notes from the patient history, records them, ensures test results are received and recorded, procedure coding for billing, learns some legal aspects of the job as well as the business/coding/billing end of it, and also sees all the procedures side by side with the Drs and residents. I told her I would take it. I would prefer being in a clinical setting than in a lab with notebooks, calculators, beakers and HPLC’s. It would be more motivating to continue my dream of MD as well as provide me an excellent LOR from a relevant current experince since mine are dated. Just trying to cover all the bases.

Hope all is well. See you guys later.

Hey Charlie -
That sounds like a GREAT opportunity! You should definitely gain a lot of insight into the world of medicine from a doctor’s perspective (at least an Emergency doctor’s perspective).
Good luck!

Just an update. I got the job of fulltime medical scribe and what can I say- I love it! Its a great blend of bio and chemc with medical applications and people. The Dr’s I work with as well as other medical staff are very friendly and are open to questions about diagnosing and treatments. It’s great. I get to see so much and it’s only been my first week at work.

Welcome to OPM, the greatest group of people I know.

WOW just wanted to add welcome.