single mom...

First post here, though I’ve been lurking for a while. Soooo appreciate this forum and the advice/info shared.

I’m a recently single mom of a two-year-old (I could write a book about how I got here…), feel like I’m getting a second chance at life, and am feeling that med school is the dream that’s in my heart. Undergrad GPA less than stellar, grad school quite lovely. I’ve been taking some science classes this semester, and now I’m thinking about pre-med post-baccs. (The plan was to do nursing BSN for the great schedule for my baby, but now that I’m in the classes I just want to keep going, kick MCAT butt, and fulfill what may be my purpose…)

What I’m looking for here is a little inspiration. How do you reconcile pursuing this dream when there are bills to pay, and inevitably days when I think I should be doing more PAID work? (“Another degree? Why don’t you just get a job?”) I believe that med school is still doable, and that I can still enjoy my life and love my daughter while I’m on this path. Is that crazy? Do you know anyone who is doing it?

I’m in the soul-searching-can-I-make -this-a-commitment phase, and I would appreciate your 2 cents. By the way, I have developed a thick skin…

Hi overthemoon and welocme! It is a great and resourceful forum. As you’ve seen, we have people all along the MD/DO spectrum, and I have found their comments quite constructive.

As I am sure you know, this is a quite a commitment that will take many years. It is definitely doable, but it is a good idea for you to sit down and think about this path. I say this more because your mentioning your 2-yr old and you being her sole support.

What kind of UG degree do you have? What do you consider a less than stellar GPA? If it is 3.0, it is going to take an awful lot to bring it up. There are actually 2 GPAs the med schools look at: your overall undergrad GPA (sorry but the graduate GPA has no bearing) and your math and science GPA. What would be in your benefit is if you didn’t take that many science or math classes or the ones you took you did well in.

Is it possible…of course it is…but that is not to say that it will be an easy ride.


Although, I don’t post here often, I wanted to respond. I just completed my first semester of medical school yesterday, and although I loved the ride, it was WAY more intense than I ever anticipated. I have two children 5 and 6, both in school, am married to a supportive spouse, and it was challenging. I made it through, but I would imagine that it would be VERY hard as a single mother…I won’t say impossible, but VERY difficult.

I’m by no means a genius, and I had to put in many hours of work including weekends…all I can say is that it is a HUGE commitment, and no one can fully explain it to you until you get there…

Woolfda, Congrats on finishing your first semester. Thanks for your post. HARDER than you anticipated? That’s a bit worrying for me…

This is a VERY big decision, which is why I’m taking my time. There are so many things to consider. (I wish there was one prayer you could pray or survey you could take to be absolutely sure that going to school for another 7 years makes sense…)

I have a fairly good support network here—My sister and a cadre of girlfriends. My ex also lives nearby, so that helps. I haven’t made the commitment to go for med school yet, which would also mean going into some debt for a post-bacc in the fall.

My undergraduate GPA was a 2.6, great school, 1995. I was young, immature, not ready. Only science was freshman biology. This fall I got an A in Chem and Anat&Phys. The post-bacc year would be a painful testing ground—3 science courses with labs and MCAT prep. I’ve met with 3 post-bacc advisors in the past month, and all were encouraging. Undergrad GPA was a reflection of maturity at the time, not of ability. A good post-bacc and MCAT could show that.

I agree that it wouldn’t be easy (I’m not a genius, either, though my daughter might be…). I heard a writer say that she knew that she was on the right track with a plot, because she could feel it in her whole body when she was writing. I honestly don’t know what the right decision is yet, because mostly I feel fear over doing or not doing it. Being a doctor fits me and is the dream that has been stuck inside for so many years.

What am I missing? Do you have any recommendations about how to set myself up for success until I apply? If I do this…I’m taking Chem II and up to Calculus over the summer, so that I’m prepared for the grueling post-bacc. I’ll also plan to take Genetics, Microbiology, Biochem, and Physiology in the slide year (or a similar combination).

  • overthemoon Said:
I have a fairly good support network here---My sister and a cadre of girlfriends. My ex also lives nearby, so that helps. I haven't made the commitment to go for med school yet, which would also mean going into some debt for a post-bacc in the fall

As a person who began to pursue this process as a soon-to-be divorced Mom, I'd say that WHO your husband/SO is if by far much more important than having one. If you have a husband/SO that works a lot, sin't very supportive, and/or doesn't earn much money, you could actually end up being in a worse position than as a single Mom. It's ALL about the support system which you seem to have, followed closely by finances IMHO.

As a single Mom, I'd personally only consider state schools since the tuition is cheaper (unless you're being "recruited" by a more expensive school or have substantial financial aide available). I also think that having a realistic plan timewise of how/when to get the preqs done is extremely important as well since it's real easy to become discouraged in the premed process.

Thanks. It’s nice to hear from someone who’s having success. Money…not sure what to do about that. Looking at a state school and a DO school here, so I don’t have to move. But the DO school is $42K or something crazy like that. That’s farther down the road…