Long time lurker, first time poster

Hey all,

I have been reading posts and trying to decide when and what to post for about a year now. So here it goes. I am 35, with a wife and two sons, one is 9 and the other is 7 months. My wife is a dental hygienist and I was selling medical equipment up until December of last year. I have a bachelor’s degree from UF,3.28 GPA, in exercise science. I have decided to go back to school to be a pediatric surgeon. I am currently a full-time student at USF in Tampa. My courses this semester are Chm 1 & Lab, Bio 1 & Lab, and Calculus. I thought I could handle such a load but I only have a C average in those classes at this point. I think that trying to put an addition on my house at the same time is just too much.Combine that with watching the baby two days during the week, which is incredibly distracting for me personally,and I may be in over my head. I feel overwhelmed at times. Now I realize I went against better judgement of easing into classes, but the advisor in the medical school at USF told me they expect to see two consecutive semesters of 15-18 credit hours taken for students who want to enter med. school. This demonstrates to them that the student can handle a high volume of course work to prepare them for the curriculum of med. school. I am thinking I will wait until the next round of exams to see if I should withdraw from one of the classes and I would prefer to drop the calculus since it is not technically a prereq. Any suggestions? Also it looks as if my lender, a.k.a. father, is not going to be able to help me financially as he thought he would be able to do. Now what, where do I go for a personal loan of say 40-50K. I mean I don’t want to have to sell my house and live in a trailer. My wife would never forgive me. Are banks willing to lend this kind of money for someone who has not even gotten into med school yet. Finally, this is more than a dream for me, I truly believe I need to do this for a few reasons. One being the lack of pediatric surgeons at an all childrens hospital, true story.I am highly motivated to make this happen but I am very discouraged about my grades at this point. Though I am almost finished with the addition to the house, so I should have some free time here in the next month or so. Any advice would be appreciated. Take care and GOD bless.


You should go to the financial aid office at your school for a guaranteed student loan-- not a bank for a personal (i.e. high interest) loan.

I agree - if you report that you are taking classes to obtain a second bachelors degree you will get more favorable rates and terms.

When I decided to start this journey my wife, kids and I decided that we would all work towards this and that it was our family’s priority. I was freed up to study and just be a dad and husband but everyone has to work it out the best that they know how. Just don’t shoot yourself in the foot - your GPA is extremely important.

P.S. For us this meant that we actually did sell our house and moved into a nice rental house to lessen the financial strain of undergrad pre-reqs. Next year when I am in med school we will be living on loans like everyone else - my wife also works as a teacher.

You are definitely in over your head; the money is the least of your problems as far as making yourself a competitive applicant is concerned. If you want to go to school full time, you cannot also be building additions to your house and babysitting for two days per week. USF is a large state school with literally a couple thousand premeds. No one will notice or care if you fall through the cracks except for you. Don’t let that happen to you.

If I were in your shoes, I’d start by considering what I really need to do. Is it essential that you spend your time building an addition to your house right now? If possible, hire someone to get it done, or just board it up until summer break. Can you hire someone to care for your child while you study, or can your parents (or your wife’s) help with child care? If you answered no to all of those questions, then it is not realistic for you to go to school full time. Take bio or chem with the lab and calculus, and drop the other science with the lab. Make As and move on with your life.

Best of luck to you.