More advice please!!!

Okay so here goes a snipet of the story. Please feel free to give any opinion that can help. I wanted to know about the BS/MD degrees before but what do you feel about this option? the end of the story.

I am 28 going on 29 years old and I have 3 children and I am married. I always knew that I wanted to be a doctor but I went off track a lot of times because of life’s curve balls. I know that I have what it takes to be a doctor but sometimes I am so confused as to where to start. I have about 52 college credits but it is just a hodge podge of classes because I changed my mind about my major so many times. I am currently a certified ultrasound technologist ( that means I get the title RDMS behind my name :slight_smile: ) I have been a tech since I was 20 so at least that has been constant. I am just at a crossroad now and I was wondering if you all can give a little advice. I am about to enroll in a long distant learning degree program with Florida College Hospital to obtain my BS degree in Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound…which is what I do. They offer these types of programs to Licensed X-Ray techs and for RN’s with just an associate degree. So basically they are going off of my experience and my registry exams in which I passed to become licensed. My question to you all is: do you think that it is wise to do this degree and then attend my local community college (because of finances) to complete my pre req courses such as Bio with lab, Chem with lab etc.? I was informed that med schools most likely will not accept science labs through distant learning (labs via computer programs) they prefer the in class labs. What do you think is the best course of action?

Thank you for any advice given.

Hi -

I don’t mean this to sound harsh, but I think you need to quit looking for shortcuts. I totally understand the feeling of “I’ve decided that medical school is what I want - how do I get there as fast as possible.” We non-trads all tend to feel that way - we feel like we’re already behind because we are older and we want to do whatever we can to minimize the time in getting there.

However, the reality is that there are very few shortcuts. Medical school admission is a very competitive process that seems to get more and more competitive every year. You need to look at this from an admission’s committee perspective. They can literally have their pick of thousands of applicants for their medical school. When your application is sitting there next to the applications from traditional students who have literally done it all - awesome GPAs, great MCAT scores, research, a history of being actively involved in tons of activities and volunteering - how will your application stack up? Why should they pick you and your online degree and CC classes over them?

Now, I’m not saying that any of this determines whether or not you’ll be a good doctor. Trying to determine that is a little like trying to look in a crystal ball. But, the medical schools have set the criteria that they use to try and determine that and we have to work within their criteria to convince them that we are qualified enough to attend their school and become a doctor.

I think you need to slow down for a little bit and decide what it is that you truly want. If you truly want to go to medical school and be a doctor, you need to figure out how you can make yourself a great candidate. What is the better plan - take your time and do it right the FIRST time or take the quickest and not as good of quality route and end up not getting in to medical school?

At a minimum, I would recommend that you find a four year institution to enroll in, pick a degree (as Mary pointed out - any degree), complete the degree requirements and the med school pre-reqs and as many upper level science courses as you can fit in without adding significant time to the whole process.

Again, not trying to be harsh here, just realistic. I don’t know what your family situation is, but with three kids, it seems likely that your family situation may limit you to a small geographic area for medical school. If that is the case, then you definitely want to do everything in your power to make sure that you are a competitive candidate for those schools.

Thank you very much. To be honest before I even read your post I did look into a 4 year college, it is a part of the state university system. I have decided to go ahead and major in biology. I guess that I will just use the other credits for some core curriculum classes and then use the rest for electives. I did read a lot more posts in the forum and realized that what you are saying is very true. I have to take one day at a time instead of looking at how far I have to go…after all the schools are not going to run away and I am just after the end product. I read Richard B’s post and he did give much needed insight. Thank you again for taking the time to answer my post.

Emergency and all,

I will apologize in advance, I am writing this from the hotel computer, I am in Atlanta taking my Step 2 (CS)… thus NO SPELL CHECK!

I could not have answered more eloquently… and accurately!

(Watch this: in my feeble attempt to simply “second you” this post is liable to run for pages and pages!)

There are NO shortcuts! Specific courses have to be taken within a specific time frame with specific results obtained PERIOD. At the end of the day even if one manages to get away with a shortcut as far as your undergraduate or pre-medicine work is concerned, you still have to get by the admissions committee who by virtue of the “HELLISH” AMCAS application can readily “see all”.

It is far better to get a good grip on all of the steps and minutia (IN the proper ORDER) you need to accomplish to get to the FRONT DOOR in an “upright, proper and proficient” Pre-medicine manner (“fair and square” IS as THEY define it), the very FIRST THING before one enrolls in ANY COURSES ANY WHERE (One of the most important and universal of “Richard’s rules”).

I found one of the toughest concepts we as non-trads have to overcome is EGO! However, one simply MUST get our arms out from around one EGO! “Ego” must be checked at the (front)door (if not the “parking lot”)!

I understand (believe me I DO), it is only natural (easier for some than others) to feel that professional accomplishments entitle one to “something”.

There is one observation I really must make after having spent a few months now looking at a variety of OPM posts. It seems to me, the Ego swallowing thing in some ways is harder for younger non-trads, I think because they have degrees that in the context of their profession is “still current”, possibly even recently graduating, wheras when I started at age 38, I knew darn good and well I wouldn’t DARE try to take a second level “Pre-Medical science” based on what I could remember from a lower “Pre-Nursing science”! This idea is not strange to ME PERSONALLY and probably had something to do with my own MASSIVE career re-direction!

Funny thing tho, I was able for all intents and purposes “start over” working up for my career in Medicine, but I will confess I was unable to do so for nursing.

As an Associates Degree Nurse, for career advancement, I originally looked into the RN to BSN “bridge program”. At the time of this inquiry, I was the Director of Nurses for a 250 bed facility and made JUST shy of SIX FIGURES. When I went to see the BSN advisor, I was told that since I was “only” an AD nurse, I would need to repeat many of my clinicals to “demonstrate competency” and there were many courses I needed for “management principles” and “leadership” (IT DID NOT MATTER WHAT I THOUGHT: THEIR RULES)

I must say, I am of the “old school” as far a leadership is concerned… either you ARE or you AREN’T, leadership can’t be “taught” (refined maybe, like being left or right handed). (IT DID NOT MATTER WHAT I THOUGHT: THEIR RULES)

Besides, as an administrator, I secretly came to regard BSN’s as “four year wonders”, they always applied and demanded top dollar and were just simply loaded up with “mamgement theory” but I could not COUNT all the times I had to teach a new hire BSN basic nursing skills like what a wet to dry dressing was or how to do basic foley insertion… (IT DID NOT MATTER WHAT I THOUGHT: THEIR RULES)

“NO thanks…” to quote the SPIRIT of the Great Arlo Guthrie:

“Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench ‘cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.”

In this example, I was NOT willing to jump the “nursing hoops” as every single the “successful RN to BSN candidate” did!

SEE I WARNED ALL OF YOU this might go on for a while…