My name is Mohamed and I am new here.
I am very thankful to have found this community. Thank you Dr. Gray for facilitating this, and thank you to all of you that participate in this forum to help us all navigate the complex path as non trad premeds - or premeds in general.
I am posting because I would like some advice on what I can be doing now to start my non traditional premed journey, and if it is the right choice for me.
I am 25 years old, and have a BA in Media from 2016 with a woeful 2.3 cumulative. My science GPA was 2.5 but almost non-existent as I only took one year of Bio. I currently work as a TV producer for a sports channel.
[Short story about my background - it can be skipped]
As an immigrant who came here in my preteens, neither I nor my parents had a clue about the process of undergraduate studies in USA let alone the premed path. It wasn’t even on the radar. The goal was to get me through the easiest path and that any degree was sufficient so that I can lead a simple “American dream” lifestyle. You know, the get a job, settle down thing. Although I’ve always been curious about human anatomy & the nervous system, I was discouraged from thinking too ambitiously because I’ve always struggled academically and also due to the fear of the unknown as an immigrant family from a middle eastern background - which is significantly different. I did not have any study techniques or even the drive to achieve on a high level because I had no goal. I was aimlessly going through the motions to fulfill a dream my parents had for me.
While I enjoy the creative aspect of my current profession, I do not feel fulfillment with what I am doing. Like many aspiring physicians, I want to have a direct and significant impact on my fellow humans’ lives. I want to be equipped with the knowledge and training to help people in there time of need when they are most vulnerable. I want to be a leader and a symbol of hope in my community. I also have a never ending hunger for knowledge about the miracle that is the human body. I want to learn everything there is to know and help pave the way for more knowledge to be acquired and shared. Therefore, after a lot of self reflection and extensive research, I decided to shadow a local primary care physician a month ago, and through observing his day to day life and patient interactions, I now know that I would like to be a physician.
I even have other dreams down the road to combine my media skill set with my medical experience and help revolutionize the use of media within the medical community, especially in developing countries like my home country, Egypt. (More on that if you’re curious)
With all of that being said I’d appreciate any input on the following questions I have:
I will be doing a DIY post bacc at a 4 year in spring 2020; is my undergrad GPA (2.3) going to be an issue if I do really well in post bacc & MCAT and have enough clinical experience?
I want to take a rigorous load of coursework to prove that I can achieve on a demanding level and also get clinical experience under my belt. Is it fairly feasible to do this while working full time or is it better to pursue a part time job that will provide clinical experience? I.e. scribing (my current job allows schedule flexibility and I will be able to have my two days off during the week to go to classes).
When I told my parents and sibling about my plans, they all discouraged me and believe that I will fail because of my poor academic history. But constructive criticism was lacking. Dr. Gray always mentions the importance of loved ones’ support and I don’t have that. Should I continue on my path anyway or do I need to make sure to have them on my side? Although they may not be the mentors I need in this journey, they are still my immediate family and their support would mean a lot to me.
What should I be doing now until I start classes this upcoming spring semester? Should I continue shadowing or should I focus on volunteering? Anything else I should focus on to solidify my decision? And I only ask the latter question because of my family’s doubt.
Any advice would be highly appreciated!