Still Another Newbie

After a long time in the shadows, I have decided to step into the light.

I am a 38 year old architect with over a decade of unsatisfying work under my belt and began to become interested in a career change to medicine about 3 years ago. Since those first tentative steps I have: completed all prerequisites, volunteered for 6 months at a local hospital, was accepted into a summer research fellowship at a local medical school, and…almost applied this cycle. I started my application (and got darn close to completing it), but decided to not to take the MCAT less than a week before my scheduled date. I panicked when thinking about the commitment and “convinced” myself that I would just carry-on in my current profession, unfulfilled, and find another outlet for finding meaning in my life. After getting a position in an office again, I know that is not going to be possible.

There are many inspirational stories on this site that I hope will continue to energize me as I prepare for the next cycle. Perhaps I can add something in the process too!


From the sound of your letter, I think you are aching for a career in medicine, in spite of your efforts to just “carry on” in the safe career. I have been there. You have done some amazing things to prepare for medical school. Just don’t let up. You can’t afford to waste a year. Yes, you may be waiting for another cycle to apply, but be sure to keep making great efforts to show your commitment by continuing to find ways to prepare yourself better for your calling in life (medicine). FWIW, I probably could have made the same money in my lifetime by staying in the “safe” career, but I have not regretted my decision to go to medical school. I’m in my 3rd year, and even though I have had to work harder than I thought, it is 100% worth it!

Good Luck!



It sounds as if you have a classic case of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt). FUD has killed more pre-med dreams than all of the nation’s adcoms combined. My advice is to spend a little time around here taking in the inspiring stories to remotivate you out of your FUD. You never know, you may even find yourself in next year’s bumper crop of accepted OPM applicants.

I am 35 and had the same unfulfilled feeling and dread for my job. I am starting at LECOM in the summer. As Warren Miller says, “if you don’t do it this year you’ll be one year older when you do”

Here’s the thing, if I am going to work until I’m 70-75 anyway, I may as well enjoy the time spent! Otherwise, I will look back and say “what if” my whole life.

As for the MCAT, take the AAMC free test, see how you do. I got in with a 26Q, and I’m 12-16 years out of the courses for the test. You can do it, and you at least won’t have the regret of not doing it

@Jeanybean: I AM aching for a career in medicine; I just need to stay motivated. It’s always reassuring to hear people that have gone through it tell you not to give up. (There have been a few occasions where currently practicing doctors told me not to bother because of my age.)

I already have another volunteer position set-up at my local hospital that will begin this Friday or next, and will be meeting with my pre-health advisor after Jan. 1st to prepare a game plan for the next year.

@TicTocDoh: I sure hope I that I’ll find myself in next year’s crop! There definitely is some FUD that I feel and just need to work through it. How did you work through your case of FUD? (Assuming you had a case, of course.)

@Susan: I know what you mean regarding looking back and wondering “what if”. When I think about looking back however, I also wonder about what I might miss by making such a big commitment at this stage of my life. The one thing I know for sure is that I will remain unfulfilled in my career for the next 30 years if I stay the course. My time spent in the hospital tells me there is something more meaningful, I just need to trust what my head is telling me.