pre-med pre-reqs, integretive medicine, volunteer

Hello! I’ve been digging through the posts on this great site and am so relieved to find so many kindred spirits!
I’m in the midst of a major life transition at the tender age of 34, and considering a career in medicine. My educational background includes an English B.A. (1994) and a four-year certificate in the fine arts (printmaking, 1999).
Several years ago I stumbled across a description of alternative/complementary medicine (Naturopathy, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, etc.), and since that time (1996) complementary medicine has become increasingly visible. I recently had a conversation with an RN who works at a natural health center, and she suggested I pursue Osteopathy with alternative therapies incorporated per my interest. I agree with her advice and would like to find a balance between the allopathic and the alternative (i.e. integrative medicine). As an aside: I am a certified yoga instructor and am fascinated by the healing of the body as well as the direct one-to-one relationships I have with my students.
Five years ago I considered this course, but rationalized my way out of it. And now I’m five years older…Today, I’m taking a deep breath and finding the steps to undertake this challenge. I’m looking at post-bac pre-med programs in the Philadelphia area…currently leaning towards West Chester University’s program (reasonable cost). I have plans to volunteer at HUP in their pre-med volunteer program (starting in May), as well as at a hospice (training in April).
I would love to hear about your opinions of and experience/exposure to alternative/complementary medecine; especially in medical school. Also, am I overlooking anything in terms of being an attractive pre-med and medical school candidate? I worry that I will have to justify my desire to purse medicine. As an OPM, has anyone had to do so?
I would greatly appreciate hearing anyone’s insight/advice/opinions.
Thanks so much!

First, welcome to OldPreMeds! You will find this to be a group of extremely helpful and friendly folks.
As to the alternative/complementary medicine: I think your friend hit the nail on the head when aencouraging you to consider osteopathic medicine. Several of our instructors and doctors here at WVSOM use and endorse such options, especially when you have a patient that comes to you with a belief in them.
As to justifying your pursuit of medicine, just be honest. We all change and develop as we grow, and your life’s experiences have caused you to come to the decision that medicine is where you should be. You have nothing to apologize for, and many schools find that life experience can be an important and integral part of one’s medical education.
Keep us posted as things progress. And if you have any questions or need help with anything along the line, you have found the right forum in which to seek help.
Another thing to consider would be attending the conference in DC this June 9-12. It will be filled with information and advice for premed and medical students alike. I have attended all but one of our conferences, and have always left feeling like I had a much better idea of what to expect along my chosen pathway.