Slow start

Well here it comes, 2 more weeks to final. I started with precalc after several years out of school (13 since the last math) I was losing ground more and more each week. I decided to withdraw and review then take it later. I will pick it back up this winter session. I did take, however, Biology. I loved this class and have gotten an A on absolutely every paper and test thus far. I am feeling a bit concerned though with my slow start. At 45 I feel my years are running against me if i don’t get through the pre-req’s quickly. Between work and school, using this past semester as an example, I don’t see how I am going to be able to take many classes at once. Looking at my plans, I would need math, biology, chemistry and physics all concurrently for several semesters. This is if I don’t use any school loans. Any advice, encouragement or funny jokes would be appreciated. Friends are continually pointing out how talented I am in what I do now and ask why I just don’t continue in it. Their words are starting to make me question my decision about returning to school.

Dream Chaser,

Your internet handle says it all. If medicine is what you want, you have a choice: go for it, or not go for it. Another way to look at it is that in a few years you’ll be 52. You can be 52 and be a physician, or 52 and not be a physician. Which do you prefer? If you’re feeling like you’re in a hurry, then ask yourself this: can I live with becoming a physician by 53 instead?

Note that calculus is not required at every medical school, though it’s nice to have. Algebra and trig are definitely prerequisite to succeeding in physics and general chemistry, though. Rather than getting bogged down in precalc, you might try switching gears for now and do algebra/trig or general chem if you feel ready, and come back to calculus later if you have time. Note that calculus can be taken during the application year while you’re waiting for interviews.

As for your friends, maybe they should be listening to you rather than telling you what to do with your life.

Well I understand how the “slow start” can be frustrating, especially in math. I withdrew the first calculus class because I couldn’t get what I needed at a particular institution. The next time I took it, I got an A.

I took Gen Chem after not taking math for almost a decade and could not ‘compete’ with my classmates either. I cried when I got my grades. I struggled through and by the end of the year had surpassed my classmates in virtually every subject.

Hang in there and keep up the hard work. It is not easy. I had to quit working (except for a few days here or there) in order to catch-up and keep going. I took all concurrently. It is not something that I would reccomend, it may take longer to go at a slower pace, but in the end you will get there. Plus, the actual grades are more important than class load, from what I have gathered.

Think about if you will be happy in your current situation. Just getting into medical school is challenging, then succeeding and going on to become a doctor is as well. You may not even get in on your first try, you may have to re-take MCAT. Many things can set you back a year or two. I got in my third year of applying. You will be what ever age you will be, and it is important to be happy where you are. Don’t stress about the years ticking away. If you are pursuing your dream and are happy, then that is what counts. I tend to ignore most people when it comes to my career choices. I feel I know myself better than they know me.


I can relate! I’ve asked myself those questions on more than one occasion. I can only take 1 class a semester at this time and it’s a little frustrating. I’d rather quit my job and take 9-12 credits a semester to get the pre-reqs over with - because I ain’t gettin’ any younger! But, as the previous poster so wisely put it - I’ll be 50-ish one way or another. So, it looks like patience is the virture to have. Hang in there and do well. We’ll get through this!