Still confused!!!

Hello. My name is Carrie. I’m 33yo Dietitian from St Louis. The posts here are really helping to answer some questions. However, I always have more. This will be long, just wanted to warn you.

Here it goes…

I just don’t know which way to go about getting into med school. I’ve done alot of research, but ultimately I think I’m just confusing myself (which I am really good at!).

Here’s a brief bio…

'92-96 undergrad at SIUC. GPA 2.75 Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics. Core science classes taken 92, 93. & 94.

Graduated & worked for 2 years as Nutritionist for WIC (state supported program for supplemental food to those at poverty level)

Decided to become RD. Applied to St Louis Univ. Dietetic internship (very competative). Got in (wasn’t sure they knew what they were doing there). Completed 6 master level classes: Medical Dietetics 1 & 2, Nutrient biochem 1 & 2, Community Nutrition, and another class in payment systems (can’t remember the name). Got a 3.75 GPA from master level classes.

Passes reg exam for RD & worked in Renal, Enteral, Parenteral, Long term care, and obesity surgery Dietetics. Inpatient & outpatient exposure.

NOW…what the hell? I talked to the pre med advisor at Wash U- he says there are different ways to go about this.

#1: I haven’t had the core science since 12 or so years ago. Take em over, take higher level classes?

#2: Never did take Physics or Organic chem. I will take these this summer/fall coming up.

#3: I’m not taking my English over. I got A’s.

#4: The obvious: my undergrad GPA.

And the pity party:

I work full time. Teach part time fitness classes at healthclub. There is one post bac program here in St Louis. But it’s private, and expensive! Classes are available at the CC nearby, but I know that I should take classes at a 4 year university. However, none of the classes at other universities are at night. Or if there is one, the lab takes up significant time during the day. I teach patient classes during the day which drastically reduces the availability of me taking a class. I am in debt due to med bills. Maybe possible bankruptcy. Let’s see…I have 2 kids who are 8 and 4. The 8 year old is bipolar and has ADHD (which is one reason why I am determined to go to med school-can’t tell you how disappointed I am with the slow rate of medical advancement in this area). Then there’s the question of… what happens if I’m sitting in organic chem class and my son’s principal calls & asks me to pick him up because he hit someone, again!

I loved science in undergrad. The only thing I knew about science from high school was that I loved my science teachers and they made it exciting. Enter Chem 220A- what the hell? I wasn’t ready for the amount of studying that I needed to do. AND I was depressed and untreated.

The whole time I was in my Dietetic rotations, I would look over at the med students and think…“That should be me”.

Now I know that’s what I want to do. I like Geriatric, Peds, and Psych. So I want to keep my options open. But just to prepare for the MCAT and applications, etc. I just don’t know how to go about it.

The only reason why I want to do this is because I am sure it’s what I want to do. Plus, I’ve made it through a very intensive internship where my brain was pulled in all sorts of directions. I know this is how my life will be for years. Now that I am serious and know how to study, have a supportive family, and am treated for my depression- I think I could do very well in school. I don’t mind being poor, I always am.

I’m just wondering what is the best path for me to travel. I’ve surrendered to the idea that it may take 2 years for preparation to take the MCAT.

Any suggestions? Even if you don’t have suggestions, thanks for listening to me ramble.

Carrie Saupe

2 years to MCAT is about right. you gotta retake core science (bio, chem)–most schools require them no older than 5-7 years.

Your undergrad gpa is a problem. You need to do really well in your courses from here on out and bring up your gpa. Any courses you take now on an undergraduate level are going to contribute to your ug gpa so choose wisely and make each minute count.

Show an upward trend, write a convincing personal statement explaining why you need and want to do this–start it now, don’t wait until application time two years from now. Take some upper level courses after you take bio, chem, orgo, and phys. For example, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, A&P are all excellent choices. You’ve got a tough row to hoe but if you really want it, I know you’ll make it.

Best of luck,

Welcome :). I’ll second what Terry’s said: take the big pre-reqs to have them fresh, really nail organic, and keep working at it.

It really sounds like you have the perspective and understanding to manage this, and to explain to adcoms why it’s right for you. Just keep at it!

Thank you for replying. I want to do this the right way. I guess if that means I take a little more time and classes to get there- I’ll just have to do it.


On a philosphical note, hold on to the dream. If it is meant to happen it will. Your Under grad GPA is a bit a an obstical, but you have a LOT of good experience that is a plus. the better and smarter schools will look at the whole package. My GPA undergrad was a smidge better, but my experience was not nearly as relevant, much of my science was a lot farther out that people here are talking about and it still counted. and even if if does take you till 35 to get to MCAT you will still be 9 or ten years ahead of some of the serious olde phartes here – (me included)

the kids issue is another challenge all together. That is where you really have to evaluate your support structure. A lot of people do it with kids, but most I know have great support from spouses, other significants, or family. my quick read of your posts did not give me a sense if that was true with you or not.

Steve. (51 y/o Family Practice PGY2)

You know what, Carrie, I think that you should regard time as your friend rather than your enemy. Take the next few years to get your prereqs and upper level coursework done - this is your chance to show that you’ve got the academic chops to hack it. It certainly sounds like you do.

The time in undergrad courses gives you a chance to get that much further along the path with your family. No question that kids are a moving target - about the time you think you’ve got one “stage” figured out, something new comes along - but taking your time to do the coursework also gives you that much more time to figure out how you’re going to manage all these different pulls on your attention. I just don’t see a downside to going slow and figuring this out as you go along, frankly.

Well, okay, the downside is that you want to do this NOW and I am counseling that you take your time. I concede that. But from the standpoint of actually getting the coursework done, getting into med school, and staying involved with your family, I think you will be just fine if you don’t try to bite off more than you can chew.

And even if you go slow you will still be waaaaay ahead of me so from where I stand (and Steve already noted this) you’re still golden!

Good luck to you, I think you’ll have a good shot as long as you take your time to do it right.


Good luck with your decisions! I’ve gotten to know the post-bacc options in STL quite well and am in your position of a professional degree/position switching to medicine. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.