Nontraditional road to becoming an OB-GYN Doctor


I am 28 years old and a mother to four beautiful children under the age of 8. I work fulltime as the sole provider for our household. Their dad stays home and raises them, cooks, cleans, gets them off to school, etc…While I have been attending school part time at night after work. I am about to graduate with my Associates of Science come summer term 2021. I would like to move on to undergrad school. I am debating getting my BSN in Nursing and then applying to med school. (While potentially taking additional science and Chem classes dually enrolled during nursing school) or transferring to a different University altogether and getting my bachelors in science. There are certainly benefits to both paths. If I do nursing, I could get clinical experience before applying to med school while continuing to support my family for the meantime in between the time I start the MD program. I can also fall back on that if I do not get accepted into Med school. OR I could go ahead with the science option and hopefully find a way to get clinical experience, or shadowing hours. The classes I would be taking for this degree would surely help me with the MCAT. I am stuck on which is the better choice! I am a nontrad who also waited later in life to start education. I really need to make smart decisions for myself and my family. I am a first generation college student. I like to be well prepared with life and school which is why I am seeking help early on with my education plan.

Additionally, if I choose Nursing I would have to quit my job and go to school fulltime during the day. My partner would have to work to support us during this time. As well as leaning on my mom for housing assistance during school. If I choose science degree then I could continue working and do online night classes fulltime and not need to move until I get accepted into med school…

Finally, I wanted to say that OB is my calling. I could not see myself doing anything else. I want to connect with patients, families, mothers, and babies out there during the most exciting and special time of their lives.

Please help!

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Hi there!!

I don’t have an exact answer for you as I just started on this path, myself, but I’ll give you my situation/plan and maybe it’ll help. But first, I wanted to give you kudos for doing all that you’re doing while also pursuing your dreams! That’s awesome and you should be very proud of yourself!

Second, I wanted to tell you that I’m in a VERY similar boat! I know it’s nice to know when we’re not alone! :slight_smile: Slight difference for me is that I’m a little older (35) and I have 3 kids but they’re all teens, so my hubby works full-time, too. All 4 of them are a big help at home (although I’d trade toddler chaos for teen drama any day! Lol) Oh and we don’t have any family nearby to help us. I work full-time, too, and I’m also currently enrolled in an associate of science program. I didn’t do much after high school (besides 12 credits) and I’ve mainly worked in customer service, sales, admin environments so I’m needing clinical hours, too! It’s so hard right now because of Covid so I had been considering doing the same thing as you with nursing.

After listening to Dr. Gray a whole lot, talking to advisors at one of the 4yr schools I’m going to apply to transfer into, and discussing it with my husband, here’s what I’ve decided: after this semester, I’m going to get CNA certified (I found a course that does it over multiple weekends) and get a part-time job. Even though this is a pay cut from where I’m at now and also compared to nursing, it’s much faster than becoming a nurse and the experience will be worth it. Working part-time, I’ll go to school full-time, and also work on shadowing and studying for the MCAT, too. It’s important for me to switch focus to school more than work because that’s what med school will be, all school. The med schools and we, as pre-meds, need to know that we’re somewhat prepared for that. This is what will work for me, but everyone’s situation is different, so it may not work for you.

I know you mentioned that you’d have to stop working for nursing school, but consider that it might needed either way before applying to med school, or least cutting back hours. Upper level classes will need your attention, as well as preparing for the MCAT (which is like a part-time job), and then applications are a lot of work, too. I know when I first came to this realization it wasn’t easy. Getting rid of my income means a lot of sacrifices for my family and lifestyle changes, too. This is where having a good support system is key.

Sorry for the long reply and again, I’m pretty new at this, so feel free to disregard lol. Either way, I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do!


The decision is going to be based on how risk adverse you are.

If you are risk adverse, go nursing. Since you are the sole provider of your family, you have a nice 4 year road for nursing school and you’ll come out with a nice income. You can decide on going to med school after nursing school - depending on where you are in your life.

If you are risk tolerant, i’d go all in for med school. Do 4 years of sciences then go to med school. This option would make you relatively unavailable to your children, with your time being split doing your classes, shadowing, volunteering, clinical experiences, MCAT, etc.

With either decision, since you have children, you have more things to consider than a “traditional” premed who is 18-22. Consider your income, expenses, time, family, etc. when making this decision. I’d also consult the father to make sure he is on board as well.

Jmtitus thank you for your response! I really liked the idea of getting my CNA to gain clinical experience. I hadnt thought about that! Now, I am thinking maybe I will go ahead with the Bachelors in Science degree and possibly get my CNA on the side to gain clinical experience on my time off from studying. It is so hard when you do not have a support system while trying to do school, and work, raise kids, etc… It is also nice to know I am not alone. Many others are facing obstacles just like ours.

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dy003 Thank you for your advise as well. I think I am leaning towards earning my bachelors in science. It is a free program too. I forgot to mention that… I would be saving about 90 thousand dollars in debt if I go that route. Plus, my dream really is to be an OBGYN so I just want to go all the way. It is easy to doubt yourself into thinking that you will not do well on the MCAT and not get accepted into med school. But, the truth is that people get accepted to med school every year. AND people do well on the MCAT!

Thanks again :slight_smile:

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If you don’t have an associates in nursing already, don’t go for the BSN. Your associates in science would be completely wasted because you can’t use many of those classes for the nursing program anyway. Time-wise it makes more sense to do the biology bachelor’s because those classes all help on the road to med school. I like the suggestion of getting CNA certified, or you could even do phlebotomy (both take a much shorter time than if you were to change courses and do nursing).

Just wanted to add that I am also in a similar boat. I am 30, married, mother of two (7 and 11 years old), working full-time night shifts in a hospital and doing school on my days off. I am also the sole provider and my husband stays home right now. I graduate in May with an associates in science and one in general studies from a community college. I am transferring to a university in the fall for the biology program. I have considered nursing as well, but decided to get clinical experience other ways to prevent wasting time doing another associates degree program.

My dream specialty is neonatology :heart:

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Mrs. H

Thank you for your response, I really appreciate the advise! Do you mind if I ask you what you do at the hospital right now? are you a CNA? I love hearing stories of moms working, supporting their families and also doing school! that is so amazing. You should be proud of yourself :slight_smile:

I am leaning more towards doing the “transfers finish free” program in either psychology or science. BUT I just learned that Biden is most likely going to pass funding for undergrads education financial assistance so it might be in my best interest to do the nursing degree… I could get most of the funding forgiven and then could take extra time to do the additional science courses needed to pass the MCAT.
(or skip those and self teach. But I may not get in that way… MD programs want to see your science GPA)

I am stuck! OHSU school of nursing is my dream school… and a great nursing career I could rely on if I needed to.

IF I did the BA in science, and the MD thing doesn’t work out, I will have a degree in which I am not satisfied with so it is completely dependent on getting into med school. Sorry I am so wishy-washy. I think what I will do is just wait and see if I am accepted into the school of Nursing and make my decision at that time.

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