Practical Advice

1)Has anyone attended or attending UCI Med School in Irvine, CA?

2)Personal Profile: 32, Married, 8 month old son,Software Sales. Homeowner in Orange County, CA. Ambitious. Wife is a R.N. and works part time.

3) School Profile: Put on academic probation when I first attended college in 1994 (did not really attend hence my probation). Went back to school at the age of 27, and finished at UCI with 3.075. (B.A in International Studies) I was happy considering I was working 40+ hours a week and attending school full time.

4)Situation: I currently earn a respectable income 150K+ and have a comfortable life, but not satisfied. I have always enjoyed helping and working with people and even worked as a nurses assistant for a brief time. (until I needed a higher income)I have a couple of friends who are physicians and despite the nightmare of dealing with insurance/HMOs their work is pretty fascinating to me. Unfortunately, it just seems the chips are stacked against me. a.) Less than ideal GPA b.)older non-traditional student c.)somewhat anchored to where I live. i.e. own a home in Laguna Beach. d.)In need of pre-med reqs. i.e. Calc, bio, chem etc. So from my estimation I would be 42.

I would just love to hear from people who struggled with the decision considering the toll on a marriage, and family. My other concern is since the process is long and consuming, how did you convince your spouse this is the right decision?



Hi Mike,

I’m still struggling with the decision and my family is still getting used to the idea. I view it as a process, though. Am almost done with my first year of prereqs (one more to go) and every step of the way is a chance to continue the dialogue in your family. I’m 44, with 2 children (9 and 14). Some days I know my family thinks I’m crazy, other days (and there are more of these) they cheer my every chemistry quiz and lab exam. Just keep talking. It is overwhelming for them to think about it as a whole–really for any of us to think about the entire process at once. So I would encourage you and your family to deal with this decision in small pieces.

Good luck.


anthro PhD

Hi mdmckinzie,

I am in a similar situation regarding age (31), family (4 yr old son & wife who is a RN), occupation (advertising sales with similar income), home in the Bay Area, education background (BS at UCLA), and most importantly, I unsatisfied with my career and I know my heart is in medicine. I have the same concerns and I am frightened to death giving up my income for many years. But we only live once and I don’t want to live with any regrets. My wife is completely behind me and is willing to support us until I finish. I put her through nursing school and her masters program and she is willing to do the same for me. She knows this is what will make me happy and therefore is willing to make the sacrifices. We won’t be able to have the same type of lifestyle but hey, we can get by on her salary quite fine. RN’s make close to six figures nowadays. I hope that helps and good luck on your decision.

Yes same kind of demographics here too although we moved from the Bay Area to New Jersey, just down the street from the Sopranos. Just kidding, actually just down the street from Bruce and Jon (Springstein and Bongiovi).

Good luck