New from N. Louisiana


I am happy to have found this forum. I have just turned 31 years old and I am a jr. In a private liberal arts college studying biology/premed. I’m a Navy veteran and divorced mom to 3 young kids. I plan my first attempt at the MCAT in January.

Just thought I’d introduce myself here. Most of my fellow classmates are 18-21 so I feel way out of the social loop. I’m hoping to keep my 3.5 gpa and do well on the MCAT. I’m going to look into getting some research or shadowing experience over the summer, I’m fairly ignorant on how I need to go about it, but I realize it will be a weak spot in my application if I don’t get proactive.


Welcome!! We are so glad to have you…thanks for making us a part of your journey, and please keep us posted on your progress.

Where are you from in N Louisiana? I actually grew up there! =) (Tiny little town… Oak Grove, close to Monroe.)

Hi, thanks! I’m in shreveport, though I’m originally from the Phoenix, az area. Depending on my mcat scores I’m thinking of applying to only instate schools, bc of tuition resident fees being cheaper.

I have been reading up on MSTP schools that cover tuition and it makes me wonder how competitive I could be. So many variables, plus three kids to raise.

My background is mostly foreign language and business, so I am unproven in higher sciences thus far. I am optimistic. Thanks for the welcome!

Ah…the OTHER side of North Louisiana! I lived a stone’s throw from Mississippi and Arkansas, right in the opposite corner from you. =)

I wouldn’t try to make comparisons or worry too much at this point. Just take it one class, one semester at a time, and see how it goes. Decide what you want to accomplish over each semester, bite it off, and get it done. Then, you move on to the next pile of stuff.

Eventually, you find yourself applying to school and wondering how it all came together.

You definitely have a lot on your plate–just breathe, and have fun!! Best of luck!

I use to live in Bossier City, LA and worked at Willis-Knighton Hospital. I went to LSU Shreveport and took my O Chem II there. Nice to know your taking the MCAT in Jan. I’m taking it in March. Good Luck to you. It can be done.

Hi, nice to meet you. I had my youngest baby at Willis knighton south!

Hi Ayn8. Welcome! Here are some of my thoughts:

Shadowing: I’m currently shadowing an orthopedic surgeon now, and I love it. It reaffirms my decision to go to medical school and I’m also learning a lot of practical aspects that my textbooks don’t get into. Plus, I’m thoroughly enjoying myself. It’s actually quite fun! I would suggest starting out by volunteering at a hospital, doing whatever they need done. Usually it’s pretty mundane stuff like the front desk or refilling supply cabinets. This will get you in contact with a lot of doctors. After that, it’s just a matter of getting the courage to ask them if you can shadow them. Doctors are very busy so don’t be disappointed if they say they can’t. I went through 3 doctors before I found one that would let me shadow her. You should get started on this process immediately after your MCAT if not sooner because it takes a month for all the volunteer paperwork to go through (annual checkup, medical records, training, etc).

MSTP: Not sure if this is really a good avenue for older non-traditional applicants like us. If you find that you love research, you should definitely do this track. Otherwise, I’m not sure if it’s for you (or for me either). According to this website (, the average length of time is 7.5 years. That doesn’t include residency. So say you start medical school at 33, you’ll be done at 41, add 4 years for residency, and you’ll be practicing at 45. That’s a lot of time, and as older applicants, my assumption is that we’re all making up for “lost” time so that we can go to med school, become a doctor and start making a positive impact on people’s lives (the sooner the better). And because these programs are very competitive, statistically, your GPA (mine was a 3.5 as well) is a little under the average for MSTP. Of course, I understand the draw of having medical school paid for.

To reiterate carrieliz point, I would take a breath and take things one at a time. Right now, the focus should be to get good grades, make a positive impact on your courses so you can get good letters of recommendations (generally 2 required from science faculty), and study for MCAT.

Anyways, good luck. We’re rooting for you.

Welcome!! You will find this a very friendly forum, a bit of a safe haven from most other standard, critical, harsh forums. People here support each other very well, as much as one can over the internet.

I am also a Navy veteran; I was a corpsman stationed with the Marines on the west coast. I totally sympathize with feeling out of the loop with other students. I am also at a private libart college, with a majority traditional population, which means I am 10 years older than the freshman coming in, and on top of that I am married with a little one on the way. I am doing my best to bring together other veterans and non-trads, to create a community for us to have others to relate to, and it is working wonders for my innate social needs on campus (though I thought I was the loner type…guess not so much!).