This is my first post on here and hopefully I don’t get flamed for not using the search button more effectively to answer some of my questions
However, I believe that my situation is unique and there might be some special advice for it
26 year old male. (Bday was December 10! wooo)
AA - Onondaga Community College (2001-2003)
BA - Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy (2004-2005)
Public Policy, dual major
MPA - Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy (2004-2005)
Master’s of Public Administration, specialization in Health Care and Risk Management
MSHSA - SUNY Institute of Technology (2006-Present)
Master’s of Science in Health Services Administration
(the only thing standing between me and graduation is an internship/AIT program, for which the school does not place you and you are entirely responsible for designing and finding a preceptor… might I add that the school is entirely online so I am here in NJ and the school is in Utica, NY - making it difficult to network.)
My mom has been involved in health care for the last 45 years; serving as a DON for the last 20 - gaining a reputation on the East Coast as one of the best. I have ALWAYS wanted to get involved in health care. My first stab at it was getting into politics (public policy degree) and receiving a Fellowship with the NYS Senate (undergrad and grad) working for Senators Marty Golden (Chair of the Aging Committee) and Michael Balboni (Chair of the Homeland Security Committee).
I slowly realized the nature of politics (in my last semester as an Ugrad student) and became apathetic. So I decided to get my MPA and focus on health care (as advized by NYS DOH) - taking the core courses I needed to sit for my licensing exam and take an AIT program in order to be a LTC Admin. Well, as it turns out, the DOH changed minimum requirements and what schools would be able to offer courses in NY and our very own SUNY School of Public Health (where I was taking courses through via an agreement between them and my college) did not count.
Now I REALLY wanted to be a health care administrator - so I found a good program within the SUNY system and went for it. Fast forward to today, and I am not sure if this is truly where I want to be.
Scratch that, I know it is not where I want to be. I love the elderly. I love the idea of being able to rehabilitate people, or ease one’s transition from this mortal place… but I don’t love the regulations, the unions, and the red-tape one must navigate in order to make a difference… beyond all that, I must have sipped on the kool-aid my advisor fed me at SUNYIT in thinking that an administrator can have a profound impact on residents… while this is true on different levels, it really isn’t what I want - I want to make a direct impact on lives.
Now, my mom has been telling me since I was getting into politics that I should just go to medical school - as I was going to end up there anyway… She was right. She warned me that even though having an MSHSA is still getting me into health care on some level, it isn’t where I truly want to be. So over this Christmas, I decided that I want to serve the public as a doctor.
At first, I thought - “hey, just go become an NP… take your sciences and find an accelerated program that combines clinical with higher learning and bang out the NCLEX and NP boards.”
Then I read a blog. One of the reasons that I wanted to be an administrator is because I feel some compulsion to “know it all.” Not to be a know-it-all, but to try and understand everything working in a system and to make decisions based on that knowledge to positively impact said system… I suppose one of my many faults is that I love to learn… As such, being an NP would be rewarding… I could make a large impact on many lives over the next 40+ years I will be working for… But I feel like I would regret not going “all the way,” because everytime I would have to default to a second year med student for advice would break my heart - fully knowing that could be me, if I only went for it.
If there is any possibility of regret, don’t do it. So NP is out of the question, leaving only MD as the path with least regret. So I have to take my chances and try for medical school.
I have absolutely NO SCIENCES. In high school, I didn’t have the money to pay for AP credit in my biology, chemistry, physics, and calc III classes… and because I wasn’t emancipated, I didn’t qualify for the assistance either. In high school, I never scored below a 95 in biology (advanced placement class to boot) and chemistry was still rather strong (scored the equivalent of 90 on the regents)… In physics, I turned a failing grade at mid-term (just skipped class all the time) to an 89 at the completion of the course (never scored below a 90 on a test, and almost perfectly aced the regents exam).
Now, I need my sciences to apply to med school. What should I do?
- Attend Passaic County Community College
a) matriculated into a premed program; or
b) take them non-matriculated
- Attend Rutgers
a) matriculated as an undergrad in premed; or
b) taken in a post-bacc program
- Attend CUNY
a) matriculated as an undergrad in premed; or
b) taken in a post-bacc program
Now, since I spent the last semester trying to find a preceptor in NJ/NY (relatively close to my fiance) so I can get out of my MSHSA, I wasn’t enrolled in classes… meaning, my deferrment period came up - so I need to get into classes ASAP.
I could try and get into the three above colleges (it is clearly past normal acceptance dates) with varying degrees of difficulty (the Senator I worked for went to CUNY and has a hand in securing their funding). Is it really better to take the prereqs at a university?
Would I be able to take some at a community college now and then transfer them into a university?
Should I apply to a school as if I am intending on completing a premed program and stop the minute I get accepted into a medical school? (can I apply/be accepted if I have all my prereqs done, even though I didn’t complete the premed program?)
Is that sneaky or underhanded to enroll in a program of study then cut out like that?
Do non-degree programs like the post-bacc stuff offer financial aid (stafford loan)? (can’t pay for this out of pocket)
Would any other science coursework help me be better prepared for the MCAT? Or will Human Biology, Chemistry I&II, and Physics be enough to get me through it?
I REALLY want to complete my MSHSA, can I be enrolled in that program (the internship I have to complete has a class component where you just log your hours and blog about the experience) and enrolled at another university?
I was also considering the time table of all this.
If I am able to take:
Biology (4 + 1 lab),
Chemistry (4 + 1 lab),
and Physics (4 + 1 lab) this semester; and,
Organic Chemistry (4 + 1 lab),
Anatomy and Physiology I (4 + 1 lab),
and Calculus (4) in the Fall; then,
what would I do in spring of 2010, other than take my MCATS? Is there going to come a point where I will just be playing a waiting game with medical school - where I will be in academic limbo that is, my student loans will need to be paid but I won’t be a student anymore? Its not uncommon to have all your prereqs, apply to med school, then have to take a job to pay back your other student loans while waiting to hear back about med school right?
The way I see it, I can have my prereqs done between this spring and the fall - OR I could take the summer courses offered at PCCC and have it done between now and the summer. But that wouldn’t matter correct? Since I would still need to take my MCAT and apply to medical school - and from what I understand if I apply to medical school this June, and I was accepted, I wouldn’t be starting school until the following year?
I am sorry I am all over the place with questions, really I am just so nervous and scatter-brained at the moment thinking about all this.
Bottom line - I see 2 semesters to complete the prereqs (this spring and next fall), take the MCATS in spring of 2010, apply to med school in 2010, get accepted and start med school in 2011, finish med school in 2015 (and because I wish to be primary care, we really need them) I will be out an on my own in 2018 - 9 and 1/2 years from now… does that sound about right?
Is becoming a doctor at 34/35 old? Will medical schools look at my age negatively (I’ve read posts about 35 y/o starting med school and having trouble)? I will be 27 when I take my MCATS and I am ready to apply to medical school… please tell me this is not that old!
Again sorry for the length of this post and how its all over the place… I really appreciate this forum and any advice you all have to offer.