Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

Advice Please

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by sci4me, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. sci4me

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Hello everyone,
    This is my first time posting, but I think it will help me if anyone can give me any advice. To make a long story short, I graduated with a BA in Psychology in 2006 (GPA 3.9). It took me 10 years to get my BA since I was in and out of school due to family responsibilities. I also dropped 4 classes with a W during that time. After I received my BA, I had a baby, and therefore I never worked in that field, because I stayed home for a year with the 3 kids. However, during that time off I reflected a lot on what I wanted to do as a career, and I realized that my passion was in the medical field. I went back to begin taking pre-reqs in 2007, and so far with gen chem and gen biol and calculus finished I have a 4.0 science GPA, but I haven't taken the dreaded Org Chem and Physics yet, but I feel pretty confident I'll do well (because I study soooo hard).

    My question is I'll be 37, possibly 38 when I apply to medical/optometry/pharmacy school (I haven't decided which one yet), and with my age and the fact that it took me so long to get my BA, do I have any chance at all? Which one will I have the best chance of getting into?

    I keep going back and forth wondering if I would be better off in some medical tech field that would take the same 2 years that it will take for me start my applications to the professional schools. I'm scared:eek: that I won't get in, but I'm also scared not to try because I know I won't be happy 10 years from now if I'm not working in a career where I can use my full potential. Thanks for any insight.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. dragonfly99

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5,092
    Likes Received:
    46
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    IMHO doing a residency, particularly something other than psych and maybe a few other fields, would be extremely stressful and tiring for someone who is 40-something with 3 kids in tow. With MD or DO you need to think of the residency + med school as one thing/unit and not think that it's "4 years of school and then I'll be done". Being a resident is kind of like being in school plus working full time. You might have to work up to 24 to 30 hours at a time. If your kids and spouse are OK with that, then so be it, but don't be confused about what you are getting in to.

    For optometry I believe it's 4 years of school and then no (or minimal) residency time.

    Pharmacists I am not sure if all are required to do a residency. I know that the more clinically-focused ones do, but it would not be the same hours as an MD or DO residency (i.e. not 80 hours/week with potentially multiple overnight shifts of 24-30 hours maybe up to every 3rd or 4th night, and only 1 day off in seven).

    I think the work hours are a major difference between these fields and need consideration by someone in your position. Also there is the delayed earnings potential...pharmacists and optometrists start getting paid all right at the get-go, while if you do MD or DO it's 3-9 years of being a resident/fellow with 40k or so salary (well would be more, like probably 45-46k, by the time you get there). The salary isn't awful but for the hours worked it's not too hot.
     
  4. The Clash

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I am also a little older than most applicants, use it to your advantage! You've gained important life experience, you're more mature, and also probably lead a more stable personal life. Emphasize the fact that you have an amazing support system at home. I also dreaded O-chem and physics, because of what other (less hard-working) students had told me, so I put it off for a year... MISTAKE!! Turns out, with hard work and dedicated study time, O-chem and physics are a breeze (I got A's in all, and 100% in O-chem 1). Don't listen to other under-grads, they most likely don't put in the hard work that you do, and are used to easy high school classes, plus they usually have a more raging social life than us family women.
    On your other idea of going into a field that requires less classroom study, really ask yourself if you won't someday regret not going the distance. I know for me, I was originally thinking of nursing, then when I thought about it, I realized I would always say to myself: "I could have done it, why didn't I?" I know it feels like you're at the base of Mt. Everest looking up at an impossible feat, but it goes by fast, and once you get O-chem and physics down, your M-CAT is next, and it's all down-hill from there. you can do it! :thumbup:
     
  5. droz1

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    I always wondered why residents have to go trough this. What is gained by having residents run around with sharp objects half asleep?
     
  6. nontrdgsbuiucmd

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,000
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Medical Student
    A consideration if you decide that med school is the right path for you is how to prove dedication to the field, this may be more of an issue for you specifically, as you'd completed academic work in a field and then, per the post above, had not worked in that field. How will the med school know you won't complete med school, or most of med school, and then change your mind?

    This is not insurmountable, but it's something to keep in mind, possible ways to overcome it would be to put in tons of clinical volunteer hours or other similar activities that would clearly show dedication to becoming a physicians.

    I am.. similar to the age you'd be when applying, and will be starting this Fall. It's tough in the sense of the body deteriorating slightly (per my a&p materials) every year, but I prefer to think of the additional experiences and perspective that I can add to a class. Like you, part of what made me first consider this seriously was to realize that I'll be 10 years older regardless; I'd rather be doing what makes me fulfilled at that time!
     
  7. OncoCaP

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,016
    Likes Received:
    1
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Your age won't be a problem. In terms of taking a long time to complete a BA, the question will be whether you can dedicate 7+ or so more or less continuous years to training as a physician. You'll need to think that through.

    Some options you'll want to either seriously consider or rule out (I see you are already looking at some) are becoming a physician assistant, nurse anesthetist, audiologist, optometrist, pharmacist, dentist, physical therapist, nutritionist, or other medical professional as an alternative that doesn't take as long. Up to now it looks like you have a good chance no matter what you decide to do. You should consider the pros and cons of the various options and take it from there. Don't be afraid to go for the career that makes the best sense for you.:luck:
     
  8. sci4me

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Thanks for all of your replies. You all are very inspiring. Just to clear something up, the reason i didn't work in the field that I went to school for for my BA was because there are really no jobs in that field without a PHD and possibly a Masters. But instead of going that route, I really wanted to do something in the Medical field instead, but I understand where you're coming from. That is a question I may be asked in an interview, and I appreciate your insight.
     

Share This Page