Organic Nightmare

I have only posted on this forum once. Today, I’m in a huge quandary. I’ve tried so hard to reach this point in my life, like so many others, and hopefully apply to med school next year. I wanted to vent a lot of my frustration with this class - Organic Chemistry. I hate it.

As soon as I think I’m starting to understand the material, I get thrown more loops and different scenarios that make my head spin. I try and study, but my 2-year old constantly needs attention. I try and study after work, but since I work nights, I have to stay up after 2am and study as long as possible, and be up to watch my 2-year old while my wife leaves for work at 9am. I try and study between 2-6am, and try to study more throughout the day, until I pick up our 9-year old at 2:30pm. Then it’s back to the night routine with the work and family. I try to catch up on the weekends, but then it’s a nightmare. By the weekend, it seems like a mountain of material to catch up on, including Biology I.

Again, I just wanted to vent my frustration in this forum. I appreciate all the experiences I read about and highly encourage everyone to keep up the hard work to be a doctor. It’s definitely not easy. I’ll be 42 when I apply next year for the 2015 class; at this point, I hope to get accepted anywhere.

I thought retaking OCHEM 1 would be good to help me refresh everything in preparation for taking the MCAT next spring. I took OCHEM 2 years ago and got a B, but thought I could get an A this time around. The problem is that there is so much material to understand, I forgot how I managed to get a B the first time.

Should I drop the class and take the B from 2 years ago? Some schools don’t accept grades outside of the past 3 (or so) years; I would be applying next year, which means my last OCHEM grade would be a little over 3 years ago.

I know I can do this, I just wish there were fewer responsibilities on my plate. Again, these are the plights of the ‘non-traditional’ pre-med student. Woe is me? or Whoa, it’s me!

Organic chemistry makes big boys out of little boys.

sysyphas -

Stop pushing that rock up the hill! That’s my advice. Most places that DO have a limit on how old your prereqs can be use FIVE years as a figure, not three. If in doubt, check the specific web sites of those schools you are interested in, AND talk with admissions. I would not keep going with the Org. Chem - sounds like you do not have the “bandwidth” for that course right now.

I would start thinking about how to arrange your schedule for med school. That will likely involve some child care, some planned studying at school before you go home, and SLEEPING some Can’t process the volumes of new info without some sleep. What you are after is time for all the classes/labs + 4 hours/day study during the week (although if you are a very fast reader, you might squeek by with 3), with about 6-8 hours/day on weekends (that’s 12/16 hrs/weekend). Ask yourself how you can block that out, and also how you can block out supper with your family, and bedtime with your kids.

Don’t despair, just cut yourself a break now and engage in some problem solving for med school

Anyway, that’s my advice. YMMV.

Best wishes!


Thank you so much for the encouragement. Non-traditionals definitely differ in breed and taste. You are right about the acceptance of previous courses; it is up to the school and MANY schools accept courses within the last 5 years.

I was so flustered today that most of my rant could have been ill-advised (wink wink). I think the best thing is to talk to my professor and discuss the options of withdrawal and avoid the negative affect on dropping my GPA (i.e. currently 3.5 science, 3.7 overall).

Again, thanks Kate!

@Kate: By the way, did you appear on the podcast at Medical School HQ?

Doc Gray’s podcast - yes, yes I did


The 3 year old requirement is for MCAT scores I believe, not for prereqs.

I’m in physics and Ochem now and it’s scary. All I know is that knowing all the reagents and what reactions they do and understanding where the electrons and charges are helps a lot. Also the names of all the electrons and why we use them helps. Good luck!

Most of the schools I looked at take the MCAT for the previous 3 years. Some schools required all prereqs within the last 5 or so years, but I’ve gotten a couple of interview invites with my prereqs being completed between the last 6 months to 13 years…