Need Some Advice

I am new on here, even though I have been reading the forum for a while–first time posting.

I am 34, have been working in the medical field for about five years now as an ER Tech (I work 60 to 72 hours a week–two jobs). I am divorced have kids that I have joint custody of. The problem is that I have a terrible sGPA; as I flew through my first BS in Communication, I assumed that I wouldn’t need to study through the sciences, and got C’s, and a few F’s for just lackluster performance and no motivation whatsoever. I am paying for it now. I probably have no chance of MD school, but have repeated some of the science classes and gotten B’s and A’s, so have a decent shot at DO school. Cumulative GPA after retakes, 3.20.

Dilemma: I have enough experience to apply to PA school, be done in 28 months; be there for my children; and not be absent like I am now, working 60 to 72 hours a week.

Medical school would require me to study for the MCAT, retake six to eight classes as they have expired or retakes. I don’t know what to do, and I know you guys can’t decide my future for me, but could use some unbiased advice.

Should I take the MCAT this year or retake classes that I got a B in if my company is paying for it? I got B’s in Anatomy and Physiology, and my company will pay for me to take it. Should I? or should I study for the MCAT and take classes in January 2015?

Thank you in advance for taking the time out to read my post!

Anyone? Any input?

It sounds like you’ve already weighed the pros and cons of going doc or PA. PA has some unique prereqs depending on what school you’re looking at. They sometimes also have time requirements for when the prereqs were completed. Med schools differ in whether or not there are time requirements. For example, I got accepted to an MD and DO school with some prereqs as old as 13 years. However, I couldn’t apply to places like Duke. You should do some detailed looking at schools you’re interested in applying to. As of now, I’d say don’t retake B classes knowing nothing else about you, unless you absolutely feel you need them for mcat prep. I would recommend commercial study materials in lieu of retaking classes, though, because they’ll give you a more mcat-focused approach. Only take the mcat if you’re serious about going the dr route. It’s not worth it in cost to your wallet and soul otherwise.

Thank you for the response. I guess I have to figure out if I want to go the doctor route or the PA route first, before spending money on classes and/or the MCAT.

First of welcome here.

Did you contact PA schools? I would say start there. I don’t want to throw a rock in the water but these have become extremely competitive for the reasons you mention: quick studies, great salary and job once you are out. So perform your research and in my opinion, there is no better source than the admissions of whatever school you target. They are usually eager to talk to students who get in touch with them. Give it a shot, you won’t regret that.

With better info, you will make better decisions. Good luck.

Thank you so much for your response. I contacted a few programs, and they said that my science GPA was too low to make the cut. If I retake some of the science classes, it will only give my science GPA a small boost, however for DO school it would replace the bad grade, so that would be a plus.

My biggest fear is not being around for my children. I don’t want to be an “absent dad”. For some of you out there with kids–are you able to see your kids on a daily basis while in medical school/residency?


I have two kids and I have at least 1h with them everyday (and I also work on Saturdays). We don’t do much as a family but we have some time at home during the regular course of the day.

This path will take time away from family, so that’s just something to think about. It is still doable. It is all about time management.

Thank you redo-it-all for sharing your personal situation, gives me more confidence that this is indeed doable. I tried registering for MCAT in November, but there’s no seats available at all in my state, so perhaps have to wait for 2015.

I spoke with some of the Osteopathic schools that I want to apply to, and they adviced me to go for it. Only negative is that I can’t take the MCAT before January, other than that, my AACOMAS app is complete (awaiting transcripts).

Anyone know if AACOMAS calculates grade replacement or if the schools do it?

Just keep in mind that your mcat score won’t be posted until the feb time frame if you write in jan. That’ll put you in pretty late, but it’s not the end of the game. As long as schools are interviewing, there’s still a chance.

It is late in the game, and I’m wondering if I should just save my money and apply next year, but I still have a chance this year, so might as well give it a shot. Thank you for your post.

I don’t remember the DO school timeline. All of my interviews were mid feb/early march after submitting late (aacomas was in dec). I don’t think my file was actually complete at CUSOM until feb though. There’s still a chance. You should definitely do some research on which schools would be worth spending money ion that late.

Lots of school have the primary deadline in Feb/March and supplemental in to April. (Except for Texas schools). Touro COM-NY goes till April 21st, 2015.

Got this info from the 2015 Osteopathic Medical College Information Book.

Hoping those MCAT scores can be in by March, if I take it in January. 30 days for results is what I’ve heard, but not sure.

AACOMAS does the grade calculation. Your application will have both grades listed but will use only the more recent grade in a repeated subject in their calculation of your gpa.


Thank you Kate! By the way your posts are very inspirational–give me the courage to keep pushing along. Others on here as well!