That single step...

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Do I have what it takes to become and MD? Yes, yes I do. I am confident that I have the passion and drive and thirst to know more about medicine and practice as an MD. This thousand mile journey I wish to endure comes with many rewards as it does sacrafices. I am not ashamed to admit fear; fear that my fiancee (very soon to be husband) will surrender to hardship and trying times through this epoch of educational exertion. I fear my burning desire to be a mother and role model to my future children will be hindered by this other “burning desire” to be a physician (which somehow has now become this thorn in my side). I fear financial tribulation.

I am a bachelors prepared RN, and since I was knee-high to a grasshopper I have wanted more than ever to persue my dream of becoming a physician. I have been teetering with the idea of becoming a Nurse Practitioner, or a Nurse Anesthetist for a while now (more so the CRNA). Primarily because it would be a more expedient process with which I would gain greater autonomy, knowledge and advance practice skills, however; That “thorn in my side” is still there, and I can’t get rid of it.

I am only 23 y/o, and I know I’m just a baby and have the rest of my life ahead of me, but I must admit I am an avid planner. I live for those, “five year plans”! I am new to this site, and I have been surfing everyones postings, and I must say I have learned ALOT! Many of the stories I’ve read have been deeply inspirational and motivating.

I graduated cum laude with a 3.3 gpa, and was inducted into the National Nursing Honor Society (Sigma Theta Tau). I also completed an Undergraduate Honors Thesis on “Munchausen by Proxy”. I am not very good at standardized tests, and am deathly afraid of the MCATs. My SATs were only 950! I am the only one in my entire family to graduate high school and go to college an obtaina degree. Its ashame many of my family members are preaching to me that I should count my blessings and be happy where I currently am in life…and start breeding!

Nursing was a wonderful alternative to the traditional biology student. I get paid wonderful money, there are PLENTY of jobs, and for now it satisfies my need to be an active member in the clinical setting. Providing educated, evidence-based, quality, compassionate care is what I am after. But…I already know even after one year experience as an RN; this is not the role I was meant to play. There is something inside me that says, “This isn’t where you belong”. I find myself wanting to know more; the why’s and why nots?

I guess what I’m getting at is Medical school is a lot of money and I’m not sure I really want to dedicate more than half my life to my career. With that said, who wants to get half way through the process and realize that being an MD isn’t what is going to fullfill me in life? To me that is one of the most frighteneing aspects of the decision making process. I guess I am hesitant to persue this dream just for my alturistic reasons alone.
I’m looking for advice and support. Until then…I’ll still be staring down the path of a thousand miles!
Thanks~(even just for listening ?reading?)
Jennifer RN

Hi Jennifer,
Banish the though that you are “no good” at standardized tests. Learning to master these types of tests can be easily learned. Don’t talk yourself into or out of anything. If you have the ability to do what you have already accomplished, you have the ability to do well on the MCAT.
Welcome to OPM!

Jennifer -


There are so many questions that go along with the decision to pursue medicine. You really sound like you are in a good position to make this decision, especially working in a clinical setting and the fact that you sound pretty put together and clear thinking about all of the many issues.

I have the “thorn” as well, along with many OPMers. I have tried everything to pull it out. I have started to think of it as less of a thorn and accepted it as something that I have to do in this life. It has taken me a while to get some traction on this path mostly because I really wanted to have kids first. For me, I was unable to put that part of my life on hold, by choice…which has turned out for the better…better balance, time management, inspiration to keep moving forward. So, I would just offer the thought that you have some time if you choose to take time to develop the other parts of your life. The thorn is probably not going anywhere.

This may not be what you were getting at exactly; but I thought I would put it out there…I was married at 23 and first born at 26, a total of 5 kids later, an MS and an MBA…the thorn is still there!!! Time is on your side if you want to take things slowly.

I just re-read your post…this is in no way a suggestion that you start “breeding”…just an example of taking things slowly but definitely accomplishing your goal. Certainly, reach beyond what your family has defined for you…and define yourself.

By the way, I agree with Dr. Belle, You can do well on the MCAT…it is just work.

Good luck.


Thank you soooo much Michelle and Natalie! I guess sometimes I just need to hear words of encouragement, and that I am not alone. It really helps to know that other women have done the child rearing thing, and are still able to quench their thirst to be a physician.
I think I am trying to decide which will be better for me: to have children before or after med school? I don’t think the question in my mind is really “To go or not to go to med school” its just when?
When is it “easiest” on one emotionally to start med school, actually; what age should your children be when you start the process? (I’m not sure how to ask that question, but I’m trying to ravel it all up into one ?)
I wish I knew about the conference in June before it ended! I really would have loved to go and reel in all that info. Do either of you know how it went?
Thanks Again~ Jennifer RN

women have had their kids before, during and after med school. It just kinda works out in whatever way suits you and your family. There is no one “right” way. As i’ve said elsewhere, I was certainly glad that I’d had my kids and spent lots of time doing Mom stuff prior to going to med school. But at the time I was doing the “Mom stuff,” my inclinations to help people in medically-related ways were being satisfied in other venues and I wasn’t aware of what became the strong pull to medicine. Had I KNOWN that I wanted to be a doctor when my kids were little, would I still have postponed it for so long? I doubt it, but who can say? So … follow your heart, do what’s best for you, it will work out in the end.