I need some advice on what to do.
I am a PhD student in life sciences focusing on heart research. I had previously earned a BS and Masters in chemical engineering. My GPA was pretty low (2.89 and 3.14) for my earlier education (with total of 120K debt- half due to Masters). One D in organic chemistry lab (the lecture I got B and B- in)
I then had trouble finding a job as an engineer in 2010- great economy and eventually found work as a research assistant and took some classes while working (~2.9 in science courses with a C+ in the organic chemistry lab retake).
Two years ago I got accepted to the PhD program where I was working at and have been in the lab ever since. I did interview at a DO school but that did not go well. So that led me to the PhD program.
Now in the PhD program I have earned a 3.9 in my coursework (physiology, biochemistry) and just passed my candidacy exams. I earned a publication so far but have yet to come out with my first author publication (which is still in preparation). At the moment working on grants and hoping to take the MCAT in Jan (last expired score 31R). I might retake it.
I have shadowed some doctors and volunteer 2-3 hours on weekends at a hospital. Research takes full-time.
Now the thoughts on my head:
- I wanted to finish the PhD in four years due to my RA experience. However I find that this is just not happening with all the stuff happening. I wanted to finish in 2016 but I don’t know if it will happen.
- If the MCAT goes well, should I attempt to apply to medical schools (MD or DO) and just leave PhD if admitted or finish PhD first.
- I am in debt of 130K though I am making payments on the non-federal loans (university). The federal loans I know can be consolidated and worked through with IBR or something similar. I don’t want to go excessive. I have no credit card debt or any other thing of that kind. From what I know I can borrow basically all my medical school loans with Grad Plus and Stafford. I did read an article where some guy ran out of loans. Sounds scary.
- GPA is low but my recent grad coursework has been really good. Some med school admissions people have said it would take care of past problems.
- I am 29 also and not getting any younger. I am impatient.
What do you guys think?
I am a bit lost