Okay y'all... giving this a shot for my first thread. I've "lurked" for a while, searched a bunch of threads... can't find something all that close to my situation, so here goes. Turning 38 in the end of this month. BS in Applied Physics / Computer Software w/minor in mathematics, graduated 2001 w/3.36 GPA (3.39 major GPA). 24 credits of college work since then with As in all classes, to bring cumulative GPA close to 3.5. "Old" SAT 1470, SAT II writing 800, LECOM said I'm comfortably above the mimimum academic index for admission. No MCAT (yet). Married, one newborn child, wife (33yo) has always had an affinity for things medical (to the point where people have told her for years that she should be a nurse or a paramedic). She is probably going to nursing school soon. I've spent most of my working life as a professional musician. My wife and I have worked primarily as performing musicians for "senior facilities" (nursing homes, assisted living homes, senior centers, etc) for the past almost 5 years and prior to that I spent several years as a private teacher of music lessons. Prior to getting with me, my wife worked office jobs. She has no education beyond high school. This will be a dramatic career change, for sure! So why medicine for me? 1) My wife had three major surgeries in 2015 and there were many times when I was not impressed with the "bedside manner" of the doctors. Obviously they were competent, but they seemed somewhat uncaring beyond that. For example, I had a ton of questions and they didn't seem all that interested in answering them. 2) My wife and I have an "end goal" comprising the following, in no particular order: -ability to travel when we want, and stay put when we want (we've been full time RVers and our next RV is currently parked in our back yard, awaiting transformation from its current incarnation as a school bus) -ability to help people in need (we'd love to be able to do disaster relief, among other things, and I figure that being a doctor will provide not only necessary skills for such, but also enough money to be able to help needy people in other ways even if not medically) -establishing a "commune" for the purposes of seeding some real change in the world (that requires money, and also it would be a huge draw if we could tell people "there's a doctor on site")... okay, I'm a hippie, I admit it! -providing a good childhood for our son and whatever other children we may have in the future 3) I have the intelligence to handle it. Without bragging, let's just say that I recently saw an infographic on IQ distribution for medical doctors and I am significantly above the 90th percentile line. Also, my strength is natural science. (The other sciences, while legitimate, seem too abstract for my brain.) 4) I'm a rather "young" 38, and I anticipate living a long life. It seems like everyone in my family, on both sides, who doesn't smoke nor get killed tragically lives a life of above-average length. So, even if I can't practice until I'm in my mid-40s, I'll still have plenty of time. 5) Being a doctor seems to provide the ability to travel, especially if you are a family practice doctor willing to serve "underserved" populations. Those are my people. I've always been an "underserved" person myself, in many ways, and yet I grew up in an area that might best be called "overserved". I know the contrast, and I know what I like. Many years ago, I chose to get out of where I grew up and go to more rural places. So when I read that there is a high demand for doctors in rural areas, I realized that I wouldn't be short on work were I to go into this field. (Not to mention, I could do "locum tenens" work. There appears to be no shortage of such opportunities!) 6) I believe I'd prefer family practice. I have nothing against specialists, but I can't see myself going to a hurricane-ravaged area and saying "I can help; I'm a radiologist" or "I can help; I'm a dermatologist". It would seem that "jack of all trades" family doctors would be of the most use at times like that because a wide variety of people are going to have a wide variety of medical needs. (The only specialty I can see being useful to the end goal is emergency medicine, so that's still on the table for now at least.) Since that's an area of "critical need" in the medical profession (at least now), it'd seem that there's room for me. 7) I've always been a bit of a hypochondriac, and my dad is even worse. People generally fear going to the doctor because they think they're going to get bad news. I believe I can deliver bad news in a way that people would be more likely to accept. Does that mean that they'll like getting it? No, but if you want to get better, you need to hear it. Having been the guy who is afraid of going to the doctor, and having known people who are worse, I could treat people accordingly. 8) I really want to be respected. Yes, there is a bit of vanity in this for me, but how many people go into a career field entirely altruistically? I've always been the type to work hard and become the best at what I do, and if I do that and still don't get respect (which is the way I have felt for years in my current profession), it's going to burn me out. At least when you're a doctor, generally speaking, people come to you because they want you to improve their health... so they're willing to listen to you. Are there some who don't listen? Sure. I've known a few. But they seem the exception rather than the rule. This is becoming long-winded, isn't it? I'll probably have to break this up into multiple topic-specific threads. I'm leaning toward DO instead of MD, because I like the "holistic" approach to medicine and I've also been known, for many years, to give good massages. (Chalk it up to my strong hands from over 30 years of piano playing.) Further, I recently interviewed my primary care doctor (an internal medicine MD) and he said that not only is his practice style more like that of a DO, but he'd go the route of a DO if he had his career to do over again (he had no choice but to be an MD, studying medicine in India in the 1970s) and he has two children who are DOs. I knew I liked his style, and now I know why. So what do you think thus far?