Not-so-good advising....

Hello guys, it’s been a while…

Today I met with my pre-med advisor and he was not very fond of my idea of going to Med School when I mentioned that I have two kids. Now I’m in a guilt-trip because I’m afraid I won’t have time for my kids. How would you handle that? All my family live in other countries. Here in US it’s only me, my husband, my kids and a cat! =)

Think about it. Your advisor has a boring job…sitting at a desk all day telling people (that are trying to pursue their dreams) what classes to take. And they’re pissed about it. I think the last place to look for encouragement from is an academic advisor. Sure some can be helpful, but that’s the exception IMO. The only reason I would go to my AA is to get my curriculum all in check and not even mention med school.

LOL. What is an advisor’s job? Is it to give their opinion on your personal life or to advise you on what you need to do academically? The pursuit of higher learning and medical school are hard on families (whether it is husband or wife attending). Nobody can tell you what works for your family. Or because it worked for mine, doesn’t mean it will work for yours. I have found college to be challenging with children, I know medical school will be too. Are you up for the challenge?

I think going to med school when you have a family is a serious decision and you need to discuss the pros and cons with them and commit to the plan together. The nearest med school may be able to put you in touch with a student who has kids to talk to you about how they cope. People DO manage. There are several students with families in my class including one woman with five (FIVE!) FIVE children, ranging in ages from 7-14 when she started.

Bottom line, there are Soldiers in the U.S. who are on their fifth and sixth combat deployments. I’m just mentioning this as a piece of mind. Many of their families have found ways to cope by learning about the available community resources and relying on families in similar situations. Your academic adviser is a unique person with unique experiences, but it sounds like that person has been defined by experiences of “defeat”. Follow your heart. You will not get another chance to live your life. Cut the crap and go to med-school. Make it happen, be good to your family, use available resources, and be motivated about the contibution are making to society. My wife finished half of her masters degree while I was in Iraq, and she took care of two children; one year old and three year old. You owe it to your kids to go to med-school. They’ll most likely want to walk in your footsteps, or something similar. Cannot go wrong.

Don’t listen to the advisors; listen to your heart. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was ready to hang it up. I quit everything to dedicate my next 5-6 years to this, and things were not going well because I haven’t been back to school in about 15 years. So I went to the “university advisors” for some advice. Well, they were about ready to tell me “don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out”. NOT what I expected. These advisors are geared to the 20-something geniuses, and not to us non-trads. If I would have listened to them, I’d be back at my old job and being really unhappy.

In the end, I figured out that I really didn’t need their assistance for anything more than signing a few registration forms. I’m shooting for optometry school in the fall. I determined what classes I needed from visiting the prospective schools’ websites and calling them directly. I completed my entire application package without their assistance, which impressed a few ad comms. If I don’t get into optometry school, I have my medical school application ready for this spring. All with little assistance from my university’s “healthcare advising” office.

Hello, Flavia! It has been a long time for sure! Hey, don’t listen to this guy. Recently I had a physical with my PCP. She is wonderful and when I told her I was back in school she told me she has a daughter doing the same thing. She told me not to let what people say get in your way because your life will not stop when you are in medical school. It is not as bad as people try to make it. I believe her. And I believe in you! You helped me a lot and still serve as inspiration, so keep up. I am going for Calculus and English next semester. Lord knows how long it will take for me to finish my pre-recs - Who cares?!!! In the end, the best you can do for your children is give them the example of how to live an authentic live and pursue their dreams.

Best wishes,