So I’m about to turn 36, am a licensed attorney, and have been working as a federal agent/US Diplomat for the better part of the last decade. I’ve always wanted to become a doctor, and I have looked at this route before, but always got nervous/scared and ended up doing something else (you can see from my profile I’ve been around a bit). Now, I have kids, a wife, and responsibilities, but I also have some money saved up. I have been thinking more and more about going for it, but am still nervous.

My current plan is to apply to Bryn Mawr and Goucher as they seem to be the most successful Post Bac programs, and if I get in then go for it. That said, a) are my nuts; b) are my missing any accelerated programs with strong success rates?

Any information/advice/experiences are appreciated.

Hello! I really think before you sink time and money into this pursuit you shadow some physicians first to make sure it’s something you truly cannot live without. And I mean that ‘cannot live without it’ part, because the reality of physician life is so much different from what we see as patients or even as medical students. My paperwork/administrative load has increased exponentially since I was a medical student, and my senior residents say it’s only going to become more onerous. You need to figure out if you can be happy doing something other than medicine. I don’t say this to discourage you, rather to make sure you have considered all aspects of your potential career change.

you are about to enter into a journey that will take many years. Unlike law school, you will need to complete 4 years of medical education and you must then complete a minimum of 3 years of training before you can start to work on your own. Between Post-Bacc, studying and preparing for the MCAT, and applying to medical school you are looking at several years depending if you go to school full time. Even then, there is no guarantee that you will be given an interview let alone an acceptance to medical school. The one question that you want to ask yourself is WHY. Why do you want to go to medical school? What is it about being a doctor that fulfills you that being an attorney could not? My next questions is, have you shadowed a doctor? Have you spent any time with them in the office or even in the hospital to see what the typical day is like? IF you have not, before you go ahead with this endeavor, I would advise that you do. It will give you a perspective that you probably have never experienced before.

I understand about your family. I have a family as well. When I started medical school I had 3 and ended medical school with 4 kids. It is the most difficult thing I have ever done. I missed a lot of family outings and gatherings. Whenever we would go to my parents’ house for a visit, my backpack came along and after a little visit, I went to the local coffee shop with wifi and studied for several hours before going to pick them up and go home. Only to study for several more hours.

You are going to have to treat this like it’s your full time job and even work weekends and holidays. This is the ugly truth, but you need to know exactly what you are are getting into.

Keep asking. Look at the diaries and welcome. You are among kindred spirits here.

Gabelerman - Thanks for the insights.

I’ve not been practicing as an attorney. I’ve been around the globe handling things in a different format for some time now. Why medicine? I’ve served in some pretty remote and dangerous areas. I’m a trauma medic and I have worked closely alongside doctors. When I get out (if I ever get there), I intend to continue working abroad in one capacity or another. I hope that answers the why?

The biggest concern for me is quitting my government job and risking it all for a maybe. If I do it, it will be for a full time, reputable, one year post bac program that will hopefully increase my liklihood of success. That said, will it? Or, will I even get into one of these programs?

All and all this is probably the most unpractical decision out there, but I continue to find myself wondering why I didn’t do it sooner.

Don’t think about the shoulda/coulda/woulda. There is nothing you can do now about the past. Look forward. As Rich used to say, there is only one way to ensure that you don’t get into medical school, never apply. Weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision you can for you and your family.

Good luck.

Thanks gabelerman. Here’s to getting this application together for Bryn Mawr and Goucher. Are there any others I am missing worth applying?

I can’t believe I have to submit nearly 20 year old ACT scores…

The Biomedical Sciences Masters program at Rowan-SOM in Stratford NJ is a feeder to the medical school as a post bacc program. Look into that. But apply broadly.

I checked that program out after reading your thread, it’s not set-up well enough that I could justify quitting a six figure job for. I need something more formal with potential linkage options for this to be feasible.

What about DIY postbact while working the six fig job? Is the any flex time work you can do so u can combine school and work? This way you may not have to risk everything…

I gather many on this forum are doing just that because this is their only option…

Not an option. My current position is overseas based, so I generally live abroad for 2-3 years at a click with small time Stateside in-between. It’s all or nothing.

So are there any other reputable 1 year programs that aren’t cutthroat, other than Goucher and Bryn Mawr?


Almost every program I know of geared toward medical school admissions, especially those with linkage agreements, are pretty cut throat IMHO.

I’d imagine that an exception to this rule would be programs geared toward DO matriculation, as I personally find students attracted to DO programs MUCH more laid back.

@Doc201X wrote:

Almost every program I know of geared toward medical school admissions, especially those with linkage agreements, are pretty cut throat IMHO.

I’d imagine that an exception to this rule would be programs geared toward DO matriculation, as I personally find students attracted to DO programs MUCH more laid back.

This will likely change given the new residency rules.

By “cut throat” do you mean in terms of admission? Or the atmosphere in the classes? Both Goucher and Bryn Mawr are challenging to get into but don’t have cut throat classes. They are both outstanding programs. I don’t know your stats (grades, test scores) but most people apply to more than just those two programs. Send me a private message for further details.



Hopefully you’ll get into Goucher etc. But if you don’t, do you have a plan B?