New Here - Please tell me I'm not crazy

I’m so glad I found this forum!!! I apologize for the lengthy post, but I’ve had no one to talk to about my dreams who understands.

I’m just beginning the journey to potentially attend med school. I’m 34, married, have a teenaged daughter, and a well paying job as a paralegal that sucks the life out of me.

I first attended college right out of high school, dropped out, joined the Army, dropped out of that due to pregnancy, and spent the next 8-10 years with my head firmly up my ass. My grades were terrible (I think I had a 2.5, but I have less than two years completed toward an Art degree), I had to take whatever job I could to support my daughter as a single parent. I basically lost 10 valuable years making ends meet.

Fast forward to today. I’m much more stable and mature, and finally in a position where I can focus on what I’ve always wanted to do: go into medicine.

I have taken two hard science classes to far, both with an A, and am feeling great about my abilities. I have devised a schedule of classes I feel I can handle while working full-time which will put me in a position to apply to med school in June of 2013, after having completed a BS in Public Health.

My husband is 110% behind me, and willing to take up the slack at home while I’m doing my prerequisites. My daughter will be out of high school and in college by the time I start med school. We’re willing to sell our house and relocate for med school if need be (we live in SoCal, and I know those schools are VERY competitive).

I think I can do this. I really do! I mean, I know I’m insane. But this is feasible, right?

I guess I’m just looking for some reassurance that this dream IS possible.

Thanks for reading.


Sorry, but yes, you are crazy. The good news is that we all are and it seems like you have an nice laid down plan. So go for it. With your husband’s support and your kid not being a kid anymore, then the sky is the limit. As far as your age, you will see that many here are the same age as yours and older.

I wish you the best of luck. As you said, you can do this and you should do it.

Now I am not sure I followed the GPA story, but try to get it as high as you can, even if you have to do more than just the pre-reqs before applying. The other issue is with your full time job, you will have to try and fit some extracurricular activities (usual stuff like shadowing, volunteering etc…). Because you have 2 or 3 years in front of you, I’d suggest to think about that as soon as you can to get it out of the way.

Good luck and keep us posted.


RE: The GPA… I went to college right out of high school for about two years and did horribly. I haven’t been back except to get my paralegal certificate (not graded classes). In order to get to the level I need to be to take the prerequisite classes I have to take a number of entry level courses so that should help bring my GPA up. For example, as of right now, the highest math I’ve taken was an Elementary Algebra class back in 1994. It’s a long way to Calculus, but lots of opportunities to boost the GPA.

And I didn’t mention, I am already a volunteer at my local hospital ER (4 hours a week). I also have about 1500 hours of volunteer experience from when I was a teenager. Don’t know if I’ll even bother mentioning that. I also sit on the Board of Directors for my Homeowner’s Association, so that’s another EC I can add.

You are doing great I think. Boost up the GPA as much as you can. How about the MCAT? It might be early but I think it is a major undertaking that deserves as much time as you can afford.

Well, I’m not planning to take any Winter intersession classes, so I was hoping to do MCAT study during the Winters of 2011, 2012 and 2013, then take the actual test in March of 2013 or so. I’m going to take a practice MCAT in the next couple of weeks just to see how far I need to go!

The only hang up with that is that in my sequence of classes, Physics is absolutely last, and I won’t have taken it before I take the MCAT. I’m hoping I can make up for that via independent study during the preceding years.

Alright then. Sounds like a plan. As for physics, if you want to study indenpendtly there is the MIT opencourseware website (just google) where you can watch lectures FOR FREE. The site is very well done and I believe it should help preparing the MCAT, although it might be a bit on the deeper side of things.

Physics seems to be a very popular online course. In fact a few schools, such as cornell apparently, physics is now offered on campus via online lectures. In any event I wouldn’t take the MCAT without having the physics course under your belt, whether actual course or disciplined self study. You might want to put off the MCAT until say May or June of your application year so it is after your course finals

Also as for MCAT, you should strongly consider one of the prep classes via kaplan, princeton review, etc. Either online or in classroom, especially for the practice exams. I know at least kaplan did offer a 24-week program meeting once a week (instead of the 12-week, meeting twice a week course). The once a week meeting over a longer period of time to me seemed like not quite as much cramming, especially if you are taking regular classes at the same time. Sometimes they have a 4 week “boot-camp” course over winter breaks but unless you have been exposed to most of the material already, I am not sure I’d recommend it.

Lastly, and I should mention this is separate posting on MCAT as well, at Kaplan, once you sign up and pay for a course, even if the class doesn’t meet for months, you have full access to online material. So, for example, you can sign up in August for a 12-week program that runs the following March thru January, you get all the class books and have full access to the online material immediately and thru 20 weeks after the actual course starts to meet. Seems like a good way to prep before the class starts

good luck…

If you’re crazy then I’m crazy too!

I have about the same plan, similiar GPA only when I went to get my paralegal it’s an Associates degree so they count on my transcript as part of my cum. GPA.

I would definitely agree with the being a paralegal sucking the life out of a person…I always thought I would like it, now I just sit at my desk dreaming day after day of being a doctor.

I’m so glad to hear there is another disenchanted paralegal considering medicine! My dissatisfaction with my job mainly lies in the fact that I have very little actual work to do from day to day, and it’s extremely stressful to “look” like I’m very busy, LOL. The good thing is that it gives me lots of free time to read for school during work hours.

I’ve re-arranged my planned coursework so that I’ll have one semester of physics under my belt before taking the MCAT, so that’s progress.

The bad thing is that I added up all my previous classes and grades, and calculate that even if I get A’s in all my future prerequisites, AND the courses to complete the BS in Public Health, I’ll be looking at a cumulative GPA of 3.2. While this scares me, I’m hoping that I can focus on the MCAT and really score well there with some very hard work, and use my strong change of grade history in my favor when writing my personal statement. I have a pretty compelling story to tell, and think that my personal statement will be a key to getting interviews.

Not ready to throw in the towel yet.