Online Colleges

New member just starting the quest. I will be 32(ugh) in several months.

I’m looking in joining Kaplan U online courses to obtain my Bachelors in Health Sciences to make the pre-req for Med school.

I need to maintain a full time job for now in order to put myself through college. I’m hopeing this to be an appropriate route.

My goal “for now” is to join the Field of radiology as a radiologist. I work at a hospital in the IT field and basically I’m doing a 180 career change.

A doctor here has mentioned that it will be TOUGH to pursue these goals. By the time I’m done with BS and Med school, IF i get accepted (test really well) I’ll be 36-38. Then i have to do a 4 year residency and 1 year internship. I’ve heard some places merge the internship and residency last year.

I’ve basically been told that crawling out of Med school residency at the ripe age of 40 will be a challenge to get a job. I’ve been directed to pursue a career as a physicians assistant.

If I do this path (phys Assis), would it be feasible to later become a full fledge Radiologist? Will that prior experience allow me to skirt Residency or is that just an unavoidable future?

I’ve got quite a bit I want to achieve in a decade.


I don’t really think that becoming a doctor at the age of 40 or so will put you in a disadvantage on a job market. Many people on this web site are the best proof of that! So instead of focusing on your age, focus on what really matters…which is school!

I’m not sure how to comment on the online college idea. My first instict would be: NO! Go to 4-year institution that offers in-class courses. But again, I don’t know much about that. The only thing I know is that most medical school want to see the prereqs taken in as rigorous environment as possible, and online classes just don’t seem to fall in this category. And how are you going to fullfill the lab requirement? I don’t think you can take chemistry, organic or biology labs online.

Welcome to the website, and good luck on your pre-med path.



I think before you start pondering what your job prospects are, you really need to step back and decide if this is really what you want to do.

A majority of older premeds are pursuing medical education not because of the job prospects, pay, prestige etc., but because they want to pursue their dreams and passion.

Personally, if I were to worry about job prospects, difficulty, and what other people’s opinions were I would not be going down this path. I left a VERY lucrative job to follow my dream.

I know it’s going to be difficult and I don’t know what lies for me at the end of the path. But gosh darn it, just the satisfaction of being able to follow my dream is euphoric every single day!

Finally, if you want to do this do it right and don’t cut corners. You’ll only be putting yourself at a greater disadvantage if you try to “get things done”. My personal advice would be to look at a University - online science classes are still not mainstream academia.

Just my 2c. Hope it helps.

Thank you all for the words of Wisdom.

My desire to become a radiologist started about 2 years ago, when I took on my current job at the Hospital. I administer the servers used by the radiologists.

I had the honor of taking the tour of a rather large Radiology lab and in it I saw these really nice high tech monitors, full of people pondering over CT scans, MRIs, and X-RAys. Observing the room, these people were essentially playing a huge puzzle game of the human body. Seeking out clues, analyzing composites or the various scans looking for anything that would hint at an abnormality.

It seemed to me an exciting job. The people I know from the radiology lab all love their career. I’ve never heard too much negative feedback. I spent from that time to now researching the job and looking into what is needed.

Long story short, I am starting my Bachelors program. While I dont fully believe in Online colleges, I can at the very least take the pre-req’s and transfer credits to a brick and mortor college to take the rest of the labs. Possibly finish my last year at a real college. I have a nice paying job that I cannot afford to quit for 4-8 years of college.

I’ve been in the IT field 6 years longer than I wanted. I had originally planned on a few years off after high School, then college… oops things dont work out the way you plan them.

I understand the long road, I know I’ll want to quit at least 10000 times, but i know its a job I would love to do. I’m determined to reach for the stars and pluck them from the sky.

I’m glad this board exists. Nothing beats peer support.

It’s better if you take things OTHER than the pre-reqs online, and take as many of the sciences as you can at a brick-and-mortar college. I don’t think most med schools care if you take your math online, but I won’t swear to that, either.

Also plan ahead about where you will transfer the credits and contact that college in advance to find out what will transfer neatly, and what will not so you can get your bachelor’s with the minimum of waste. Credits do not always transfer in a nice and orderly way the way you’d think they should.

Several different observations:

First, on the career choice of radiologist:

Many folks on this board and elsewhere have an idea that they want to pursue a particular specialty, only to decide somewhere along the line that they’d actually like to do something else. What do you know more generally about the practice of medicine? What have you observed, besides the radiology reading room? Have you seen radiologists interacting with real live patients? Because they do. They may be the one to tell someone that there is something awfully wrong with them, in fact. Have you observed such interactions? Have you observed other physicians interacting with patients?

I bring up these questions because, frankly, I think you’re putting the cart before the horse just a bit. I hope that as you go on with your studies and do some further investigating into what a career in medicine entails, that you’ll become ever more excited about it. But right now I think you’ve seen an extremely narrow slice of medicine, and a somewhat non-representative slice at that. If this slice is what has gotten you excited about medicine, that is GREAT and I am definitely not posing these comments to discourage you. Just cautioning a bit, I guess.

Next, samenewme is absolutely right when she says that you should NOT do your prereqs online. Do whatever is NOT important online, and do the prereqs and additional science courses at a “real” college. Aside from the reasons she’s already mentioned, another important one is that when you apply to medical school, you’re going to need letters of recommendation from academicians who can comment knowledgeably about your performance. Good LORs are much, much more detailed than, “He was one of the top students in my class.” A good LOR will give specifics about your participation, interest in the subject, etc. etc. You have to BE there and be SEEN by a person to earn a letter like this. If I were an admissions committee member reading a letter that I knew had been written by someone who had never actually met the applicant, I would give that letter very little credence. (We all know how people can b.s. on the internet, right?)

And just a word of caution: if you want to pursue radiology, you’re going to need to put plenty of math and physics under your belt in undergrad. Radiology is a seriously nerdy specialty.

Finally, I can’t think of a single reason why you wouldn’t be hire-able at age 40 regardless of what specialty you choose. If you are qualified and present yourself well, you will be hired by someone.


Good points made here.

Radiologists are the ones finding and treating cancers. I’ve seen how it ravages people: friends and family. Telling someone they’re going to die in 4 months and offering an end of life treatment plan is emotionally taxing. I know there will be times I’ll go home in a slump and not want to be bothered.

I’m aware of the math and physics involved in Radiology. The “base” reqs just for a Rad Tech are College Algebra, Anatomy and physics. Some of those equations make my head spin like the Exorcist. Thankfully I have my PDA and study guides for those days on the road.

I’ve read through many testimonials of people in the past weeks. Alot say in med school you’ll change your profession at lesat 4 times. Maybe it is true. I may in fact prefer to head towards a cardiac or physical therapy style profession. I’ve spent over 6 years in martial arts, and have had to help put people back together a few times. Torn knees, ankles, joints the works. It was interesting but not something I particularly enjoyed.

THe online courses thing is starting to scare me now. I wonder if I can get my Associates degree online first, then finish 2 years in a B&M college moving to Med school. By then my car will be paid off and I’ll have far less expenses to worry.

Your help is greatly appreciated here. going it alone is deffinately not easy.

Let me echo what has already been said…do not do your pre-reqs online. Go to the most rigorous four-year institution that time/$$$ will allow.



Ripe of old age of 40? NO! You REALLY think 40 is a RIPE OLD AGE (you have much to learn)? E GADS dude… LOOK around you! A ripe old age in my book is closer to 60…

Actually 65 is pretty good as far as being “ripe”… they can RETIRE and be financially secure enough to DO a lot of the stuff I could not!

Joking aside, I agree with all of the above… YOU cannot get to medical school as a “Bellsaw” graduate! (picking at the old “Parade” magazine incert)

Please see (Richards Rules)……

there are NO shortcuts, but the trip is frankly THRILLING and a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Age is a distinct advantage at least I used MY age that way, you can too!

Do your homework; that is research regarding what must be done (it sounds like you are off to a great start) then get going!