Taking the plunge

This semester off has had me thinking - alot!! My NHSC commitment to my job will end in September of next year. My student loan debt is entirely paid off and I have a clean slate. I have begun to ask myself, “Why not full-time post bacc?” " Why not just one more course now, and then take the plunge into a post-bacc?" It would add to my student debt for med school, but would eliminate 2 years off my timeline…and folx, I ain’t getting any younger! As I research post-bacc programs,many of them have non-trad apartment style housing on campus. Most of the tuition costs seem to be in the same range. I posed this to my SO and my sons, and they said “Why not?” So I pose it here…if I am not thinking wisely, please tell me “Why not?” I feel like I need to dive in…head first!! I searched the HRSA website today and there are 220 available positions in community health centers for psychiatry…I feel very content that there is a job market for my skills. Getting very excited…I think this might be a way to go…

Ahh…you remind me of myself and my husband. We have made a number of big jumps based on questions along the lines of the one you just posed.

“You shouldn’t get married till you’re done with college.” Why? We looked into the reasons and found none that were compelling - we knew what we wanted, our funding for scholarships & loans didn’t change, we could live more cheaply, and we got to be together. 17 years later, I have zero regrets about this decision.

“You shouldn’t have kids till you’ve been out of school (or married or…) x# of years” Why? Though our daughter’s arrival 5 weeks early, the week of my graduation from college, was a bit of a surprise, I’m glad we had our kids when we did, closely spaced.

“You can’t go on a cross-country bicycling tour with four young kids!” Why? They can handle 40-60mile/day rides without a problem, and won’t suffer from missing one quarter of the school year. See www.crazyguyonabike.com/ORNY2009 to see how that turned out. (I know, no anonymity now, like there every “really” was).

“You can’t go to med school now, with kids at home!” If not now, then when? We made it through my husband’s 4 years in grad school, plus all of my prereqs and MCAT studying (along w/full time work). I’m sure as heck going to try. Not at the cost of my family, but for my family and for me.

Though life has had twists and turns that I never could have anticipated, these questions that re-evaluate “common wisdom” often lead to adventures that are well worth the ride. With that clean slate and no obligations that prevent you from giving the post-bacc a go, I’d say you have nothing to lose.

  • VickiV Said:

-It would add to my student debt for med school

Hey Vick. For me this was a non starter. I decided that if I should be able to pull off an admission, then I would consider asking my family to take on debt and make some changes. But not for just the chance to go to med school. I had to have the guarantee of attendance first.

- I ain't getting any younger!

I'm with you here. I'm in my late 40's. The math isn't as easy for us versus a 30 year old. I see the comments about marathon vs sprint, but I have still let the urgency of my age talk me into 15 semester hours, two jobs, family etc and have, at times paid for this hubris. I still feel my circumstances are fairly pressing so I understand completely . . . I think the key is to let it motivate you, but not push you around. I recently (today in fact) decided to push the MCAT one more year. About depressed the heck out of me. But it was the right choice to wait.

- many of them have non-trad apartment style housing on campus.

Again, I couldn't ask my family to do that. Maybe if I actually get in somewhere, but not for just the chance that I might get in. Besides, one of the advantage of being an old premed, is that I get to live like an "old person". I mow my grass on my acreage, fall asleep on Sunday afternoons watching football, fish in my pond, etc. Sometimes I daydream of living like a 20 year old undergrad. Then I remember living like a 20 year old undergrad!!! LOL

- I feel like I need to dive in...head first!!

I understand this sentiment too. Got me a C+ in Organic Chem trying that. I was certain that I was smart enough, natural intelligence enough, that I could just jump in using all the short cuts I could find. 3 years ago I was explaining to a Dean at a community college that I didn't need to start with Intro to Bio, or Intro to Principles of Chemistry or Basic Algebra. I could just clep in or be life experienced in. He said there are no shortcuts and he was right. Best thing I did was take one hard class, then two hard classes at a time and then three. This semester I have 15 hours of science. Couple hiccups, but I am a better student now. I can read 150 pages a week and perform. I personally couldn't have just jumping in.

- I searched the HRSA website today and there are 220 available positions in community health centers for psychiatry..I feel very content that there is a job market for my skills. Getting very excited...I think this might be a way to go...

Not sure what this means. I have a backup plan too. I have a part time job that can become full time anytime I have to have it back (within reason, might have to wait a month for an opening). I maintain that job for that very reason. But I have also more and more come to believe that I will become a doctor and it helps me concentrate on reading those 120 pages when I otherwise am tempted to follow the course of least resistance and let up.

Overall your plan definitely may work for you. It wouldn't be my first choice, but it's absolutely your choice, so if its what you need to do go for it. What a blessing for you that you have a family that are willing to make sacrifices for you and your dreams. Treasure that! And of course good luck!!