Bear with the long post, apologies in advance to those who read through it all. Just spitballing what looks to be the beginning of a long journey. Going to preface this with the need to knows: turning 30 this year, have a wife and kid. Have a house with equity and decent savings and wife has a good job. Have done alright for myself in real estate and politics and tutoring/consulting. Don't care too much about debt, just tied to location (SoCal). I never finished college and I'll be honest, I've had an interesting life. Started a homeless job training nonprofit after high school because I was homeless after my parents divorced. Eventually went to community college for a couple years and earned an AA with a 3.8ish like 7 years ago. Never got to commit to education because of family/work/chaos. Divorced parents. Mom's an addict with mental health issues. Barely knew dad until a few years ago. URM, tough upbringing, blah blah. I've done well for myself through survival and therapy and what not. Always worked too much to finish school but I'm an enormous bookworm. Been reading philosophy since high school and a chunk of my closest friends are academics. Thought about being an academic but 10 years in school to write stuff that doesn't impact people's lives to vie for a tenure track job in Wichita, KS sounds awful. I've mostly just schlepped around, working my butt off, making money to keep my family healthy and happy, and trying to build myself into the person my parents didn't have the capacity to teach me to be. As much as I love philosophy and literature, nothing ever struck me as a life calling. Except medicine. But that was when I was like 15 and I gave up on that dream around 20 when I realized I wouldn't have any chance to commit to school. Aaaand then some ridiculousness happened. After just a few years being close with my old man, a couple months ago, he had a major watershed stroke. No one knew exactly what happened because I just found him aspirated and non-responsive when I was supposed to pick him up for dinner. For months I've been reading medical journals to understand anoxic brain injury and prognosis and fMRI readings. He went from persistent vegetative to minimally conscious to now showing signs of recovery. Every doc I've spoken to asks if I'm in medicine because of the sheer amount of time I've spent becoming minimally proficient in what he's got. Dad is still nonverbal but... almost 3 months in and he's actually responding to commands; nonverbal communication, real awareness and alertness. I don't know how much he'll recover but for now there's hope. These people... from the EMT to the ICU nurses to the DU docs to the LTAC neurologist... they saved my dad. Politics and business and academia, they're all fine. But medicine is the bare bones of it. People helping people. On the ground. Every day. Having a stable home life, a supportive spouse with a good job, and some savings... I'm going back to school. Going to use my community college credits (there's a good chunk of them + APs) to get my BA somewhere. Don't really care where. Could be brick and mortar, could be online. Major was philosophy so I guess I'll just finish that. When I commit I'm a pretty good student. Solid test taker, did like 9 APs in high school, scored well on GRE and LSAT just to land tutoring gigs. I'll probably finish BA with a pretty good GPA, just gonna be an old man when it's done but meh. I'm thinking after that, I do a post-bacc somewhere hopefully with a linkage to a med school. As long as it's in SoCal, I don't care about rankings and stuff. Just want to get somewhere and do well. Also, currently finishing an EMT program so I can go do that. I want to be in the van, on the ground helping folks, long before I'm a med student. I figure, it'll take about 1 year to finish my BA. Tack on a year or 2 for post-bacc + slide. Maybe I start M1 at 34. 40/41 finishing residency is fine by me. I'll have the rest of my life to do what I love. As the memes say, "I'm an old man going back to school to practice medicine because the dad I was just getting to know and love almost died and medical professionals saved him. Change my mind." EDIT: A few concrete questions: I want help getting a handle on whether this plan makes sense. Is a post-bacc worth it or if I'm going back to finish my BA anyway should I just take a little longer and switch majors to Bio or something. What MCAT do I need for any of the SoCal med schools (MD or DO)? In practice and job prospects what are differences between MDs and DOs?