Personal Intro - RD to MD hopeful

Hi Everyone,

I’m an almost 27 year old registered dietitian (RD) and certified diabetes educator (CDE) with a master’s degree in nutrition. I teach an Intro to Nutrition course part-time at a community college, and I work full-time at an outpatient diabetes education program. I have practically no clinical experience, and I’ve never shadowed a doctor.

My dream has always been to become a physician, but I gave up on it in college when I struggled with calculus and the sciences. I loved my science courses, but was too distracted to do well in them. Currently I am dissatisfied with my career, and feel like I am finally ready to and need to go through with med school. Otherwise I’ll continue jumping from one thing to another without ever feeling professionally fulfilled.

Undergrad gpa: 3.34

Grad gpa: 3.78

Undergrad science gpa, though I’m not sure I calculated it right: something around 2.8 (includes chem, ochem, bio, cell bio, a&p 1, microbio, biochem, mammalian physiology, calculus)

I have one or two Ws (in calc) and a few Fs (one in chem), and in general my grades feel like they are all over the place across a variety of subjects.

Most of my pre-reqs are from a community college (Montgomery College in MD) that were transferred to UMD - College Park.

I have all pre-reqs for med school except physics. I plan to take physics this summer, but nervous the classes will be filled before my application is processed and I am admitted. Options include George Mason University, UMD, and American University.

I plan to re-take all sciences because I’m nervous they are old now (graduated in 2007), I didn’t do too well, and I don’t remember anything from them that would help with MCAT preparation. Is this a good idea? Has anyone had success studying for MCAT basically from scratch? What resources did you use?

I would like to do this all as quickly as possible, but I want to do it thoughtfully - I don’t want to take short-cuts I’ll later regret. I’m eager to get started. I’m hoping to be ready to apply to med school in… 2014? Does this sound right?

Should I apply to George Mason’s/Georgetown’s post bacc program? It’s grad classes, and I don’t feel confident I would do well without thorough review of the sciences.… And lack of chemistry in their curriculum makes me feel that it wouldn’t be too helpful with MCAT prep. That’s even if they let me in… I wouldn’t be able to apply until I complete physics this summer (hopefully).

Personal life: I am dating and living with a great guy, but we’re not sure where the relationship is headed. He plans on going back to school (not healthcare related), too, and intends to apply to programs around the country and possibly outside of the country. I feel stuck in the DC area because my family is here, and, I like it here. My dad died in February and my mom needs me to be around. My mom and brother fully support my decision to go to med school, and mom suggested I move in with her rent free while taking pre-req classes. I want to have kids one day (before 30-32?), and a small part of me feels like I’m choosing between a career and a family here. Though I don’t even have anyone I would have kids with yet, so, whatever. (My boyfriend is a wonderful person but I don’t think we have a forever thing… although of course I don’t have a crystal ball and can’t predict the future.)

Ok! Thanks for reading!

I just wanted to introduce myself. I’ve read through a lot of the posts here and am comforted that many of you have had similar feelings and similar challenges in planning and decision-making.

I would deeply appreciate any advice or thoughts you have for me.


Not sure I can offer much advice, but wanted to chime in with an “I hear you!!”

I am also a mid/late 20s female returning to school. Unlike you I have NO science background, so am also expecting to take all of the prereqs in a formal post bacc program.

Your comment about choosing between work and family life really resonated with me - that is something I have been struggling with. I would also like to have kids in my early 30s, but at this point, I can expect to complete my residency in my mid 30s. I’m also dating someone, but we’re not far enough along to really be talking about those kinds of timelines and life goals, so it remains this intangible, looming concern! (Never mind he freelances and travels a lot for work, so couldn’t be counted on for providing stability for these hypothetical future kids!)

Welcome to both (late welcome Lucy)!!

Remember - -

Life = Journey

Life ≠Destination

Your path ≠my path (though some of the scenery may be the same)


It does sound like a good idea for you to re-take the basic sciences, since you didn’t do well the first time around and it’s been a while. You can take your classes piecemeal at any university; it is not really necessary to enroll at a formal post-bacc and those programs are often very competitive. No point stressing over ANOTHER application process; med school application is stress enough. Re-taking also allows you the opportunity to draw a firm line between the bad grades of the past and the super student you are becoming now.

So that being said, how do you draw that line? Can you identify the factors that led to the poor grades before? Can you correct them? Have a plan before you enroll.

I would also really strongly suggest coming to conference in Orlando this year. Conference really kicked off my pre-med studies for me, helped me formulate my plan, and helped inspire me that I could do it. I met great people who are still my friends and mentors today.

I think you have a good chance to get this done, but you do have planning and thinking to do. Get cracking!

If math hit you the hardest in the sciences before, for some people the key is just to practice enough. Do the homework over and over until you are fast at it. You have to think of math (and chemistry and physics, which are really math classes in my mind) like learning to play the piano. Understanding doesn’t get you there. Practice is essential. I hope this helps!