Should I go back?

I will try to make a long story short. I graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with a 3.2 aver and MCAT scores of 10,9,7. I could not get into an American medical school, so I went to St. George’s in Greneda. The school back then was very primitive. A church acted as a lecture hall, steel prefab dorms with no air conditioning. I went down there as an immature kid and hated the heat, lack of water, food, electrical outages. I was just very uncomfortable there. My roommate bailed after the first week, which was not good because that made me think about leaving. I left after six weeks. I tried to use my Bachelors in Psychology degree and got an Master’s in Social Work. But the field is not for me. I am not a people person. I like to work in isolation and do my own thing. Social work is very people intensive and very stressful work, and you are very under paid. It does not make me feel good about myself that I could have been a doctor and did not finish what I started. I made a stupid, immature, impulsive decision and I am still paying for it. I have not been able to establish a career in sw…it is not for me and live with my parents at age 51. Never married, no kids. Leaving Greneda essentially ruined my life…as I never really had a plan B. What I saw then as suffering I see now as an opportunity. I felt back then it was a fly by night school and it looked it. But a lot of people graduated and practicing in the US and doing just fine. It was the biggest mistake in my life. It has prevented me from starting a career, getting married and having a family. If I had stayed in Greneda, gotten thru and graduated I probably would have like to go into something like pathology or radiology. I like working behind the scenes, in a quiet environment doing my own work. Kinda like when I was studying. This social work thing is not working out. I have worked in prisons and psychiatric hospitals. Some gigs are better than others, but making $23 does not make me feel good about myself. I know guys I went to school with, no smarter than me, who are GI, pathologist, psychiatrists make 200-400k. Yes… money is important to me as I grew up in an affluent area. But I have always been strong in sciences got A’s, and a few B’s in chem, orgo, physics and seriously have been thinking about going back. I don’t know. I would be 56 when I am starting my residency. I had a late puberty and look about 40. I jog…stay in good shape and have a lot of energy. I have always looked 10-15 years younger than my age… so I won’t look so much older than my class. I know two doctors I am friendly with. One went to school in Mexico and the other a psychiatrist went to Greneda. He feels I should go back and do what makes me feel good about myself. I would like to have some pride in my life for once, and feel I have something to offer someone. I am currently studying for my MCAT. I have all the Kaplan books, Princeston Review, and plan on taking practice tests from the MCAT website. I am afraid it might be too late. I tried to get back into Greneda at 32 but they would not take me. Ross offered me a spot at 40, but I did not take it…that was another poor decision. Should have gone and would be a doctor by now. I am good with the books, and do well when I concentrate and apply myself. My father is 85, looks about 65… so I plan to be around another 35-40 years. I have to do something with my life. I figured even if I graduated at 56, I could be spending the last 25 of my life practicing medicine. And I would work until I am until able too. Another thought going thru my mind is podiatry school. I am an avid runner… do about 5-6 miles a day, have had my share of foot injuries and would be interested in going into sports medicine and sports related injuries. Many athletes have foot problems, torn ankles and podiatry school is easier to get into. I am considering going to an offshore school and returning to Greneda and being more serious about it. I had personal problems at the time which I have worked out thru therapy. Just wondering what your thoughts are… I do have some things going for me. A lot of life/people experience, everyone tells me I am very smart(I debate that as I do make poor decisions), look young for my age(I was dating a girl and I told her I was 38 and she never suspected i was older, not very nice thing to do…but I do pass for late 30’s, she was 33), have a lot of insight, know myself better and what I would like to do, have longevity in my family(father will live to 90 and my mother in to her 80’s). I want to make myself and them proud. I do come from an upper middle class home and they would support my decision. I have no kids to worry about. I just feel stuck. Like a guy just out of college who can’t figure out what to do. I want to go back and work hard and get thru. I plan to study for the MCAT hard for the next 4 months, and take it in early jan or feb. Do you think I have a chance…should I go the Carib route for MD or take Podiatry school. Podiatry is desperate for students…But I have heard negative things about the profession. Like it is not recognized by insurance company’s for reimbursement. But I do like disease, why things go wrong in the body, and heavily into running sports. Tough decision… curious what your thoughts are. I can’t do SW…dealing with nuts and idiots who can’t answer simple questions. If I am going to deal with that much stress might as well get paid for it. I don’t expect to be rich…but I just want to do something I enjoy that gives me pride… and actually have some interest in!!!

Well first of all, let me welcome you to the forum. Many here have their hidden skeletons, so in that respect you are a like many of us.

Secondly I’d like to demystify the age issue. Kate here has started Med School and is in her 50s and I am sure she is not the only one, so it is definitely doable.

Now the issue is that you started Med School and did quit. Which is what I did myself, a bit differently but I did none the less. I am currently interviewing at a few school including one that is quite competitive. At first I though this would be a major issue, but in retrospect I think it helped me because I can say “That’s what I wanted to do from the beginning, I tried, it didn’t work” So you can always present your past as a positive rather than a negative. The major issue you MUST address though, is that since you quit once, how can you show that it won’t happen again. And simply communicating proper motivation can go a long way.

The other thing that caught my eye is that you are not a people person, but this sounds like a paradox to me. Make sure you reflect on that and frame that in a way that will suit the pursuit of medicine.

The podiatry route is very viable in my opinion (but I am not an expert). I was thinking about it myself but decided not to pursue it for 2 reasons: 1) cost and family issues: there are no schools near me, and I don’t think I can afford the tuition. This is also true for most MD/DO schools outside of the state of Texas, where I applied almost exclusively. 2) The specialization on 1 part of the body put me off. What if I want to practice and do something else. So the MD/DO route offers the opportunity to learn more about medicine before picking a specialty.

Aside from these 2 reasons, I think podiatry offers opportunities, for a challenging and stimulating career as well as a decent income.

So you are asking the question “Should I go back”. I can tell that it is possible to do so. So I am asking the question “Do you want to go back?”. If the answer is yes, the go for it.

You have missed a few opportunities and the dream has been hunting and haunting. Don’t miss it once more. Shoot for it.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Thanks redo for your words of wisdom. Yes… I am much more mature than I was out of college and know myself better. You can turn a negative like leaving, and make it into a positive. If you are older and still want to do it… it must be a calling. Yes… my poor decision has haunted me for pretty much my entire adult life. I let myself down, my family down, and it made it difficult for me to get into relationships because I did not have much to offer. Women think I am cute and smart… I here that all the time. But I really don’t have much to offer other than a nice personality and good bedroom skills. What has helped me is I come from an upper middle class home. Without that… I would probably be on the street. I have been doing a lot of introspection after my relationship with this 33 year old. I was working in a prison when I met her… and lost the job about a month after we met. I hated the place, and my supervisor who was a sadist who everyone hated. Just on a side note… social work attracts some of the nastiest, cold blooded, emotionally fractured people you will ever find. My supervisor couldn’t care less about whether or not I ate or the stress I was under. Funny how SW, which is a helping profession, tends to attract people with as much empathy as a rat’s ass. As you have guessed it is not something I enjoy. I thought I could become an LCSW and go into private practice, but that is not going to happen. I am just not getting hired in this field. They want a young girl just out of school who they can over work and under pay. They see I am too wise, and have been around and not someone you want to take advantage of. So they pass on me. I have always enjoyed the logic of science,the disease process, helping people. To me that’s the best thing in life. To do something you enjoy, help people and get nicely rewarded for it. I guess it is not too late. I would be older than most of the people in my class, but I have been hearing of more and more people making career changes and going into medicine in their 40’s and 50’s. My friend suggest phy assistant. That would be 3 years. Your not a dr, but you are essentially doing the same things. However the book work, is essentially the same. I don’t know. I will take my MCAT and with all the time I have to study I will probably ace it. I will give them good reason why I want to do this… and why now. My only concern is my concentration and memory. It is not what it used to be. I have been thru alot in my life and think about past events that did not work out. I have to put that aside and focus on the task at hand. I know US med schools have a bias against non-traditional applicants, so it would either be offshore or podiatry. There are about 3-4 good offshore med schools. AUC, SABA,Ross, among others. I am just concerned about getting a residency as an older student and being from an offshore school. I really would like to be a radiologist or pathologist but those are competitive residencies. Good pay and good hours. I would probably have to settle for something less competitive like family medicine. I am seriously thinking about podiatry. People say why do you want to look at people’s feet? A dentist stare into peoples’ mouths all day long. It is a lot like medicine…you just specialize in one area so you are limited. A good residency would be general practice with specialty in sports medicine. Have always been a fanatical athlete, runner, and sports fan. Would love to be a team doctor of a prof or college team. Ah…nice to dream. Step 1 MCAT. I think I could ace it if I applied myself. I have done it before. Than we have to decide where to go. Did get interviewed at a DO school nearby, but did not get in. Like I said, I was very immature and they saw a guy who was not ready. I will keep you posted and thanks.

pb123 -

I’m the Kate that Redo was talking about. You said that it would have to be off-shore because US med schools have a prejudice against non-trads. I think you are seeing what used to be the case. Age discrimination is illegal although I’m sure it influences admission decisions at some schools anyway. But there are quite a few US schools that welcome non-trads (Case Western University is one, Albert Einstein School of Medicine at Yeshiva University is another), and I’d say a majority of D.O. schools not only admit but actively recruit non-trads.

I see your plan of redoing the MCAT, and that’s fine, but I’d think to have a good chance of admission you will need to demonstrate an ability to perform well academically. It’s been a long time since you had the prereqs. When I decided to apply to med school, I still lacked second semester organic chemistry and physics. I had shifted gears my third year of college and transferred to a BSN program instead of completing my premed prerequisites. Those I did have dated back to 1976-78. I’d gotten a master’s degree 20 years later.

I chose to go back to school and do a post-bac program covering all the basic science prerequisites in 1 year - that updated my science background and let me complete the second half of organic chem and physics right after redoing the first part. Although many programs state they do not let you repeat prerequisites I found that when I spoke in person with the deans of those programs and explained how long ago I had taken the courses, they realized I was wanting to redo them not for grade improvement but for refreshing and updating my knowldedge and had no problem with my applying. The year of heavy academic work demonstrated my ability to succeed in a rigorous academic endeavor. And doing a formal program allowed me to save time (important as I was already over fifty).

I’d suggest that you, at a minimum, plan on 1 or 2 semesters of advanced biology courses. However, I’d seriously think about redoing your science prereqs so that you are not limited to only applying to schools that have no limit on how long ago you took the prerequisites.

I think you could be successful applying in the US.


Would really like to bust apart your notions of the stereotype of the professional social worker. In my 28 years in human services, I have seen some real idiots that make me ashamed to call this my profession. However, and conversely, I have been mentored by some amazing and highly talented clinicians. My motto, in the department I run, is “small miracles performed daily.” I have a more “Mother Theresa” style, than the snooty overeducated in theory clinician style. I hire and mentor clinicians who subscribe to my way of doing things. I also field instruct for the local university in the School Of Social Welfare. I try to mentor my students into helpers and healers, rather than theory based know it alls. Maybe those of my ilk are few in number, but I have never wandered away from Carl Rogers and Virginia Satir, not to mention Bertha Capen Reynolds, and Whitney M.Young. Now I am bumping it up a notch…but do not aspire to be the SDN doctor, but more along the lines of Dr. Jose Gregorio Hernandez. Hoping you don’t paint us all with same brush…There are some good apples in the bin.

Thanks…I have re-done some science classes. I don’t see myself taking orgo, bio, physics again. I am kind of reviewing all that for my MCAT. There is a separate Kaplan book for organic chem, inorg, physics, bio … and essentially reviews a years worth of class in a two hundred page paperback. All together it’s about 1200 pages of reading, plus I am doing the Princeston review and taking old MCAT’s. So I am not going to go to some college to take Bio or Physics… I did that and it has gotten me no where. If I do well on my Mcat I can show them I can handle the academic rigors. Really…the first two years of med school tests how go you can memorize and retain material. It’s not that abstract.

I just want to say taking your pre reqs now to go to med school in 2017 is quite an accomplishment. I assume you are working as social worker while doing these. Yes…there a lot of emotionally fractured idiots in the field. And some good people. Living in New York area, I have met more of the former. I can tell you story after story with these people, but it will just make me angry. One supervisor I sued and actually won a settlement against. He was removed from his position. He was 60 years old, but made comments like you would hear in a high school cafeteria. Point is… I doubt I would find this kind of person in a non-mental health related field. The mental health field…and this include sw, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, LMHClinicians tends to attract a certain type. Social workers being at the bottom of the food chain tend to be the most angry/messed up because they did not or could not rise higher. I have had clinical directors call me a lyer, because I got lost. Angry miserable people…who come from dysfunctional homes. This supervisor would routinely make comments to me like, “don’t look so guilty”, thru a paper ball into my eye at a meeting, and inappropriately touched me. I filed a complaint with the NYSTATE commission on civil rights. Many people have complained about this guy, but I was the first person to go OUTSIDE the company. This forced the company to get an attorney, which cost them much money. They settled with my attorney for lost pay and the company let this guy go. This guy was a emotionally fractured sadist who never should have been put in charge of people in the first place. I have just met too many people like this man… in NY. I got my degree at Temple in Philly…and the people seemed much cooler. Easy going types and free spirits. Also the field is woman dominated. It’s about feelings. I am more of a brass tax guy, and not great with empathy. I am obviously in the wrong field. What bother’s me is that I was there is the med school and left. What I saw as suffering was really an opportunity of a lifetime. I have not been able to make a career with my BA in psych and MSW clinical concentration. Mental health is extremely stressful. I really don’t know who is more sick… the supervisors or patient’s. Also the pay $23-25 does NOT make me feel good about myself. I have had low self-esteem/depression all my life.Was overweight in high school and small. This contributed to my not finishing school in the first place.I have been in and out of therapy for years… I did not get thru the first time because I did not feel worthy. Well…now I feel worthy!!! I did not know there were American med schools that looks at non-traditionals. I think my main task is to get a high score on the MCAT. You seem like a nice person…but most of the people in the SW field, certainly in NEW YOrk, you don’t want to work with. Sorry…just an opinion.

Allow me to break it down in simple terms: you have essentially wasted most of your adult life, never quite learned the meaning of responsibility, commitment, and growing up. Still live in your parents basement at age 51 when they should be they ones expecting that kind of help from you. I’d say go get your self checked out by a shrink and maybe you’ll get a shot at early social security for a mental disability. Grow up and don’t wasted an admissions panel time on your “dream” request.

Sorry for being so blunt but others may have been thinking it, I just put it out there.

I believe we have a troll…