Just seeking some input

Just seeking some input:

I currently hold an Associates in liberal arts and a BS in nutrition sciences with a biology minor. GPA’s are 3.9 and 3.18 respectively. I have taken all the prereqs for med school except for two – O.Chem II and Physcis II. After graduation, I decided to take sometime from furthering my education to attempt to recover from an illness that began the end of the first year I started working on my BS degree. This illness had an impact on my GPA and has shaken my confidence in the ability to continue my education. Despite the illness, I have maintained a B average in all my Bio courses, an A average in the Nutrition courses, but a C average in Chem courses. I am a nutritionist for WIC and have worked for the past 7 years for a pediatrician. I also have experience as a Chiropractic Assistant. My goal is to be a D.O., but at the age of 33, I’m wondering if I should just settle for PA school. I feel like I am running against time. Before I started my BS, I shadowed an MD and felt so at home in the exam room – like I had found my niche in life. I sit at work longing to be the physician in the exam room instead of at the desk doing paperwork and all the other mundane tasks I do. So, I guess my questions are:

(1) Since I feel like I am running against time, what would be an efficient pathway for me to follow? - what should I be focusing on to adequately prepare myself for med school.

(2) Should I consider enrolling in a postbac program to boost my science GPA?

(3) Do I need to take O.Chem II and Physics II before enrolling in a postbac program – should it be at the university where I obtained my BS?

(4) MCAT – haven’t taken them – what would be an adequate amount of time to prepare for them and which is the best program to use?

(5) In your experience, should I let age be a factor in my decision? Marriage and children are not a factor at this point and I really don’t foresee either one to be an issue in the next three or so years.

(6) What is your viewpoint on PA’s? - I have mixed feelings on this option and would like another viewpoint. I have shadowed the PA’s where I work, so I do have some insight to the profession.

(7) Should I be working with an undergrad pre-med advisor?

(8) Do I need to do more volunteer work or shadowing – even though I currently have 7 years experience in the medical field?

I have been doing some research on the D.O profession, but I am beginning to feel slightly overwhelmed. While I understand that none of you can make the decision for me, your input would be greatly appreciated. Although I am interested in many areas of medicine, I would like to pursue rural family medicine and/or pediatric endocrinology. I have a passion for preventive medicine and would like to incorporate my background in nutrition into my role as a physician. I’m sure the further I get into this the more questions I’ll have. Thanks for all your help!

You may have better luck getting your questions answered if you break them down into multiple postings. We geezers around here tend to not be able to concentrate past two or three questions in a post.

Don’t let age stop you. There are quite a few people on here older than you who have taken the plunge and decided to go to medical school - a few over 40. I always like the dear abby comment of “and how old will you be in 10 years if you DON’T pursue your dream?”

Don’t make the mistake of feeling like you have to do this NOW and/or as fast as possible. This is a long, difficult path and if you choose to go down it, it is worth taking the time to do right (and well).

Thanks for the input! While I do realize that this is not something to rush through, I - at times - want to already be there. think it has to do with not finding fulfillment in my current career.

Anyway, had I taken time to explore the site more in depth, I wouldn’t have had to post such a lengthy blurb. I found most of my questions to be already addressed and adequately answered.

So I have one question left at this time to be answered:

Given my current situation initially posted what would be an efficient pathway for me to follow - what do I need to be focusing on to adequately prepare myself for med school and add uniqueness to my application?

I’ll take a stab at answering a few questionss.

  1. NEVER feel like you’re “running out of time”. Rushing generally leads to an application that isn’t as good as it could be.

  2. I think s podybacc is a great idea because it can boost yoru science GPA and help you prep for the MCAT which is equally important.

  3. No you don’t have to take these classes before enrolling in a post bacc but if given a choice of where to take them, definitely shoot for a University over Community College.

  4. Best time to to take them is after you: a) Complete ALL of the preq. courses and b) feel without a doubt that you’re ready. The best prep program varies from person to person. I like Berkeley Review and Exam Krackers.

  5. Others are going to disagree with me about this, but I think and have found that after age 40, “interest” in older applicants drops especially if you don’t have a flawless academic record.

  6. I think if I were seriously interested in something clinical, I’d consider PA school. Where I live, PA’s are integrated fully into the medical system and make great money. Downside is that I think it’s harder to get into PA school than med school.

  7. I say work with them as long as they don’t suck, LOL!! If they do, find an adcom in your area if you can and work with them. I’ve found med schools to be pretty accomadating toward premeds.

  8. Keep both your shadowing andv olunteering experiences current as med schools will want to see what your medical expereinces are now not necessarily what they were years ago.

    As for making your application unique, I say focus on being YOU. If you’re like most of us oldies but goodies you’re already strange/unique enough and I’m sure it’ll come out in your interviews, LOL!!

    Good luck!

I would say you should retake the chemistry classes you got C’s in and try to get A’s. From what I have heard you don’t want to really even have many B’s if you want to get into medical school. I think if you retake the classes and do well that admissions committees of the schools you apply to would definitely take into consideration your illness and its effect on your grades. PA school is not a very good backup plan as it is even more competitive for admissions than medical school. PA school is a very attractive option to a lot of people because it only takes 2 years and you still make pretty good money.

  • hmm... Said:
My goal is to be a D.O., but at the age of 33, I’m wondering if I should just settle for PA school.

Looks like your pre-med coursework is at least 7 years old. And will be even older if you take another year of classes for org/physics II.

If you do end up going back to school, you are on the cusp of having to re-do all those pre-reqs not just taking the missing ones.

Just a heads up.