May be redundant, but . . .

I’ve heard similar stories to mine, so I apologize if this is just a repeat . . .
I’m 33 and teach high school English. I started pre-med way back when, but like many I didn’t do well. I went home after year two to work, take classes, and help support my family (mom, dad, sibs). I became an EMT, taught CPR/First Aid, was a student athletic trainer, and worked in community health–all at the same time (I became a major workaholic), while attending classes. My grades slowly rose to where I never saw a “C” again and seldom a B.
Then, life happened. I got married before I had the chance to finish and we have moved four times in nine years of marriage. Each time I made the best of the move—working, going to school, volunteering. We moved from a large urban area, to a small town, to another large urban area, and now back to a small town. I have held respectable positions in technology and now education. I now have a degree in English and a master’s in education.
So, what does this all mean? Of course, any time you defer a dream it has the potential to explode (taking this from the Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes). I already know this is a possibility (you all amaze me with your tenacious nature and passion for learning), but want to know if anyone has any advice/thoughts as to what I might do next.
My husband and I may be relocating to Philadelphia summer of next year. I would love to enroll is a post-bacc, but am unsure as to how choosy these schools are. Although my grades have steadily improved, I have some old science courses from my first two years that I did horrible in. Of course, I will retake in the program, but am concerned that they may keep me out.
Any advice in general in regards to my situation AND thoughts regarding gaining admittance to a post-bacc are appreciated. Finally, I have little time as I work with students both during and after school. I have recently taught ESL students English and computer skills and tutor for an adult literacy program. Would this, along with teaching, help with the volunteer requirements (commitment to my community) or should I start looking for other opportunities?
Thanks so much . . .

Briefly: I think your chances are excellent. You’ve shown that you know what to do, that you know how to do well in school, that you can recover from a screw-up and make the most of your opportunities. Your volunteer work absolutely shows the community commitment and desire to “help other people” that AdComs are looking for. Be sure you’ve done SOMEthing along the way that shows you’ve reality-tested your desires and really do know what you’d be getting yourself into if you go into medicine… that’s the only key thing in your story that I didn’t see.
As far as the rest of your education, do whatever works for you. I don’t think you’d need a formal post-bacc, you’ll need to do all the prerequisites obviously, and maybe more classes, but you should be able to arrange them in a way that suits you.
Try and get to meet with a med school admissions person, or a private counselor such as our own Judy Colwell about how to chart your course to maximize your chance of success. I think you’ve done great things and you are just the sort of person I’d like to see in a med school class.
Welcome and good luck!

Mary - you’ve mentioned Judy Colwell on a couple posts … could you explain more about how to contact Judy and how she advises (incl logistically)? I have not contacted any pre-med advisors (as I’m not currently in a university setting that offers such advisement). Also, even if my semi-local university does offer advisement in the pre-med arena, would it be better to (instead) seek such from a university that actually includes a medical school/curriculum?
Sorry — I’m not intending to hijack this post —

Thanks to Mary–your encouragement is so appreciated. I was just discussing your background with my husband earlier today, so it is a treat to hear your words. I think I know what you mean by “reality testing,” but could you elaborate?
As for the logistical end of all this, my husband and I spent years eating off-brand fruit loops and saving every penny. We’re finally in a place where we could afford me doing this without killing ourselves financially. Also, like you, I am one very lucky wife!
I’m considering a post-bacc with at linkage program. There are a couple in the Philadelphia area (where we hope to relocate next year). Both programs want to see that you are a good test-taker (as well as grades/experience). Unfortunately, I only had to take the ACT, which was years ago (my grad program didn’t require the GRE if your grades were high enough). I was thinking of taking the GRE just to make sure my application for the programs would be competitive.
Also, since these programs are for soon-to-be pre-meds, they help with preparing for the MCAT, getting volunteer hours, and if you link to a med school, you skip the glide year. I have spent so much time in school (heck, I teach it now) that I actually go through withdrawl when I’m not actively learning. Do you think this would be worth it?
Thanks for the input!

Judy belongs to the forum. you can look her up in the memebers directory and send her a PM. She’s really good about replying. or there’s also a link to her website out there. This will give you all contact information you might possibly need.

To reach Judy, go to her Web site at:

Thanks Denise. :slight_smile:
I’m just catching up on the Forum after my 900 mile cycling trip in July (wow, I can’t believe that this year we pedaled 900 miles!).