I am a longtime lurker and thought I’d say hello. I am 29, and I’m looking back on the last decade and reflecting on what I’ve done. Honestly, it’s been a lot! I worked as a pilot, invested in real estate, owned horses, volunteered as a veterinary assistant, rebuilt engines, and have worked full-time as an application developer for a major US corporation for most of that time. It’s been a great ride and I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. Most might think I am crazy, but I am not a person to sit on the couch and let life slip by. Now, almost at the beginning of my 30’s, I’m thinking about medicine, which has been in and out of my mind for a long time.
I’ll try to give the abridged version of my path. Both my parents were flight instructors. I grew up around airplanes and decided at a young age that I wanted to be a pilot. I was hyper-focused on my goal, got my license in high school, and all of my other ratings shortly thereafter. At my parents encouragement - I majored in business as it would diversify me. By my sophmore year, I was a flight instructor and I worked as many hours as I could to build experience. It was a fun job, I loved working with my students, and I was gaining experience fast. In school, I didn’t get terrible grades, but they weren’t the best either. At the time it seemed more important to get flying experience under my belt. During this time, I got an introduction to medicine as several of my students were doctors. I’d never known any doctors personally, and I learned a bit about about their profession. It wasn’t something I thought I was capable of, but it was certainly interesting to hear. At the end of college, my dad became terminally ill, and I got my second introduction to medicine. It wasn’t a welcome one, but I learned a lot about the medical profession and life as a whole. My dad and I were very close, and I saw how large of an impact good (and bad) physicians can make on a patient and their family. I thought breifly that it was a place where I could make an impact someday - but I got discouraged as my graduating GPA was 2.98. To satisfy my intellectual curiosity, I volunteered at a veterinary clinic for some time to at least be involved in the science of medicine. I was involved in some procedures, lab work, and general care of the patients. It was a great experienced and further reinforced my interest.
I continued to fly, but began to see a dismal future in the airline industry. I met my wife during this time, and that sealed the deal. I wanted a stable job that I could count on. I called on my old skills in IT and began working as an application developer for a major US corporation. I am still there today, and it has treated me well. I finally had enough money and time to enjoy life and see what it had to offer. The last several years have been a true eye opener. I’ve been very successful at work, began consulting, taught myself how to rebuild engines in my spare time, and realized that I have a lot more ambition that I thought. Most of my peers have settled into their job and are happy to spend the evening watching TV. To this day, I still can’t do that. I feel like I am just getting started - and for the first time, medicine seems almost possible - so I found this site.
I was pleased to see some members with a similar background and similar GPA’s getting into medical school. I realize it’s a tough road with my stats, but I wonder if my life experience, and an academic turn around in the pre-requisites/MCAT could give me a chance at med school.
-I have to balance my low gpa/chances of admission with the cost of prerequisites. I know community college is frowned on, but I can pay cash for the classes there. I would like to stay debt free at the moment since nothing is a guarantee yet. Does anyone have direct experience doing this?
-If I were to do this, and be accepted, I know that I will suffer a complete loss of income for 4 years. Fortunately, I have a very supportive wife. Any comments from the married folks on how you swung it?
Sorry for the length of this post!
Hi welcome to the site. I enjoyed reading your post. You life experience is quite interesting. Seems like you have accomplished a lot at still a young age. I, myself have taken most of my prereq’s for medical school at a community college or city college as named in some states. Many of the medical schools I have come acrossed have not looked at that in a negative way. The classes are just as rigorous as a 4 year institution and by no means less informative. I chose to go to a community college based on cost and location. I worked full time and took one or two classes each semester. It worked out. To make sure the medical schools that I considered applying to viewed my classes evenly as a 4 year institution, I called the admissions representative at the medical school and just asked. It gave me peace of mind. Good luck. Try to come to the old-premed conference next year. You will definitely get the support and info to make that first step in becoming a physician.
Thank you for the info! I plan to register at the local community college for next semester. My wife graduated from their dental hygiene program and had good things to say. It’s nice hearing from others doing something most would consider too non-traditional. I will definitely look into attending the conference next year. I appreciate the encouragement!!
- juardine Said:
I just want to add a caveat to your statement.
You are taking classes at a community college (CC) in California. I know from having lived in CA and from having attended undergrad there that the CC's in CA are tied in to/have an arrangement with the CSU/UC schools such that most of the courses taken at the CC's are considered equivalent to courses taken at a CSU or UC school and are designed to be transferrable to the 4-year schools.
However, this is not always the case for CC coursework taken in states/locales outside of CA so your situation may not necessarily be applicable to the OP's situation. Unless the OP is also planning to take CC coursework in a CA community college, the assumption that medical schools may not look at his/her CC courswork in a negative way and that the classes will be just as rigorous as a 4 year institution and by no means less informative may or may not be true.