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Airline Pilot to Doctor?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by airbaker, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. airbaker

    airbaker 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    Hi folks, long time listener, first time caller.

    I haven't done an extensive search for my question, so I apologize if I'm beating a dead horse.

    I'm currently a 36 year old Captain for a major airline and looking at switching careers to medicine. I won't go into all of the motivations (altruistic awakenings, burn out with the airline industry, etc...), but suffice it to say I've always had my heart in medicine. Unfortunately, (and here's the common theme with a lot of us non-trads) I have a horrendous ug gpa. Immaturity, girlfriend issues, fraternity distractions - you name it, produced a whopping 2.7 in Anthropology. I was originally a Physics major (at UC-Irvine) and switched early on when the distractions got the best of me.

    Here's the $170,000 question (not adjusted for inflation by expected graduation): Do I have a realistic shot at even attempting to get into medical school?

    I recently met with a pre-medical adviser at UCI and she seemed to think that I'd be in "a category of my own" translation, you're an old dude!; she claimed that if I did really well with my post bacc (I need basically every prereq) and MCAT, I'd be evaluated much more on that, and less on my academic failures from 15 years ago. Does this sound accurate?

    Assuming I achieved a 3.8 on my post bacc, my overall would rise to just a hair over 3.0. Hopefully, if I could pair that with a 33+ MCAT, how would I look? FWIW, I just took e-mcat's verbal test cold (the only section I felt I was qualified to take) and scored a 13.

    Fortunately, my job affords me enough time off to pursue the post bacc work and still make a decent living. I'm currently enrolled at UCI in summer session Bio and Chem courses, and if all goes well, will continue the pursuit with an expected matriculation by 2009 (I'll be 39 yrs old).

    I feel like I have the desire and the intellectual horsepower to achieve the dream - I just hope adcomms can look past my undergraduate failings and give me a shot.

    Any comments, good/bad are most appreciated!
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  3. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Welcome to the fray. You'll be fun to interview, when the time comes. Here's what I think about your situation; apologies if this seems abrupt (you'll get used to it on SDN).

    As soon as possible, find a volunteer gig in a clinic or hospital where you can start clocking hours. Multiple years of this helps demonstrate commitment. If you've done community service work, continue to do so. Take advantage of anybody you know who is a physician or biomedical researcher, and use these contacts for shadowing, and if possible, to set yourself up to do some research.

    Start reading the health section of the NYT or WSJ, or both, every day, starting now. Also start reading books about health policy, physician memoirs, and stuff like House of God.

    Look for, and be willing to see, reasons to not do med school. The smartest thing to do right now is to find SOMETHING ELSE you want to do instead of medicine. On the other side of 7-10 years of med ed, you wouldn't wish it on yourself or anybody you love.

    OK, brass tacks. A 33+ isn't going to offset a 3.0+ GPA, for MD schools, unfortunately. There's too much competition: 60% of the 46,000+ well-qualified applicants don't get in. I applied to 34 MD schools with a 3.09 and a 31, and you can see what happened in my mdapps link. Even if you happen to be a truly fascinating, charismatic and popular candidate, and you by chance fall in front of a pair of eyeballs that loves you despite your 3.0, and fights for you, you still have to win against an abundance of rather perfect, published, polished youngsters. It's not your age that they'll balk at, it's your GPA: they have to compare apples to apples.

    You don't have a choice with taking prereqs, so it's great you've started. One factor to consider is that California residency is no perk: you quite honestly don't have much chance at any UC with your GPA. So if there's a chance that you could transfer to TX or FL, those are states with great acceptance odds for residents. And really, any state with a public school that isn't highly ranked or insanely competitive is a good bet (such as Mississippi or Oklahoma). The primary factor with residency is tuition savings, which are a big deal given that out-of-staters take on ~$300k in debt.

    Another factor to consider with prereqs is that there are postbac programs designed for premeds, such as the programs in CA at Mills and at Scripps. These give great structure and support (for more money) that might make a huge difference in keeping you on track. If I could do it again, I would have done one of these programs instead of working ala carte at a conveniently-located (but soul-crushing) university. (Oh Bennington, we coulda been so happy...)

    No matter what happens, do whatever you have to do to kill your prereqs. Absolutely get over 3.7. Quit flying, if you can't fly and get killer grades.

    You might want to consider getting a 2nd bachelors, to effectively "repair" your undergrad GPA in 3-4 years (and you could then pursue a UC). You can also look into the 1-year "Medical Masters" programs, which unlike normal grad programs are DESIGNED to improve your credentials for medical school. These are also called SMPs and there's a whole forum here about them. Generally, graduate study isn't used to evaluate you against your competition; just undergrad, but SMPs are an exception to this. In theory, a 3.0+ undergrad, a 33+ MCAT, and a 4.0 in an SMP could get you into any school.

    Lastly, if you just want to get going, like I did, look into DO schools. DOs have the same practice rights and opportunities as MDs, are a parallel medical education system (like DDS vs. DMD) and are far more accepting of nontraditional applicants with less than perfect GPAs than MD schools. There are DO neurosurgeons, DO faculty at MD schools, etc. A DO treated Stephen Colbert's broken wrist. If you haven't heard of them, it's because they're less than 5% of the physician population and are still recovering from stigmatizing political events in the 1960's.

    Best of luck to you.
  4. airbaker

    airbaker 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    Thank you so much for your honesty and insights. I'll take all of them to heart. The DO option might work best for me as I have 5 NR's (which basically count as F's) on my transcripts due to late drop requests, not caring at the time, etc... If I reversed just those 5 courses to A's I bump my overall up to a 3.15.

    I pretty much figured the UC's were out of reach, but moving right now isn't an option. It will be if/when I head off to medical school, but for now I have to keep my roots planted. Money isn't a big pressing concern, so when the application cycle rolls through, I'd plan on sending a lot of apps out and use the law of averages in my favor. It'll be an interesting journey.

    Thanks again.
  5. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine Physician 10+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2002
    New England
  6. Pandorina


    Dec 24, 2007
    I am another longtime lurker but I willing to break my silence to give encouragement to a fellow airline pilot. My situation was very similar to yours except my original GPA was worse, and I am a First Officer at a regional airline. I completed all my pre-med courses at a Community College (which is not considered the best option here on SDN) but I achieved a 3.96 GPA while I continued to fly a full schedule. I got an acceptable MCAT score (not 33+) and volunteered at a hospital.

    The MD schools wouldn't look at me but the DO schools were very welcoming. (They really do look at the whole person and they are very aware of the level of professionalism and responsibility that comes with your current job!) I was invited to interview at 11 out of the 13 DO schools to which I applied and I was accepted after all the interviews that I attended! (I canceled the rest after getting in to my first choice.) I start very soon and I am really going to miss the airline life!

    What I am trying to tell you is that I just finished the path which you are starting (even our ages are similar...except I am female) and I have had a great experience making the transition! Please PM me and I can give you some industry-specific advice that would bore the rest of the board to tears! (For example, you might consider bidding back to FO to get a better schedule to work around your classes.)

    The counsel you will get here is excellent. Pay specific attention to DrMidlife...her advice is so wise that I almost wish I was going to Nova so I could meet her. (I was going there until I was accepted to my in-state school! Yay! Cheap tuition.)
  7. airbaker

    airbaker 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Irvine, CA

    Thanks for the response. I'm heading out the door for a 3-day, but I'll formulate some questions and send you off a PM soon. Looking forward to our dialog.
  8. Fox3


    May 26, 2007
    The grass is never greener on the other side. You cannot fathom the profound misery of 300K in debt, studying 7 days a week, and hanging out with Type A kids all day long with a delay in gratification of close to 10 years. Find a reason NOT to make this jump.

    I used to fly CRJs then decided I would rather fly my own Baron around as a dentist than fly commercially. I guess I was bored. I should have found a job with NetJets and then started a business on the side. Needless to say, I'm almost done with my education but I promise you, the grass is not always greener on the other side. If you think pushing buttons at FL30 or snaking it down the ILS to mins is boring then you can't possibly imagine how boring doing a filling is or making rounds will be. Medicine is probably an even worse choice than dentistry. At least in dentistry you'll make awesome money, have good hours, and will be your own boss. None of these things are really true for medicine.

    So guess what I'm doing now?? I'm thinking about going back to the airlines and being a dentist part time! I'm flying some Hawker 800 charters now and I miss flying the bigger stuff.

    Seriously, at your age and your GPA and your position in the airlines, it makes NO SENSE to go back to school. If you're sick of the airlines, fly for NetJets (they're no better, trust me though, you'll hate wanting around for some rich guy who's 3 hours late).

  9. unsung

    unsung 10+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    This is good advice, and one of the first things I started to do when I decided to start the process last year. One thing that came to mind is- with your unique background, it might be possible for you to get into some unique, yet still clinically related forms of volunteering. Most of us when we're looking for volunteer work don't have much in the ways of useful technical skills yet to do much of anything... but you're a pilot. I'm not sure what you could do with that, but it might not be with a bad idea to explore. It could take you to interesting places... and if there aren't any ready made programs out there, perhaps you could make something of your own.

    Other than that, you do probably want to also get some "traditional" clinical volunteering experiences as well as some shadowing experience. Good luck!
  10. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P 2+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2008

    1. Don't have children -

    A. They are expensive (it will cost you about $204,000.00 per kid from birth - age 18)

    B. If you have one, it means you have to raise that child, factor in having to feed them, play with them, change their diapers, clean up their messes, put up with their bad behavior, worry about them, guide them, teach them, and eventually help them move out of your house.

    The grass is always greener, just because your neighbor looks like he's having fun with his kids, and they look so gosh darn cute, doesn't mean that you are going to have the same experience.

    I use to have a child, but it was just to gosh darn hard, so I dropped him off at the fire station at age 2, I am going back to single life, but I do volunteer to watch my sisters kids part time.

    2. Don’t get married

    • Marriage is expensive, you have to buy wedding rings, maybe a wedding dress, rent a tux, get a hall, a cake, some food to feed your guests. Of Course you can just go to city hall and piss off you friends and family.

    • Then you gotta live with that person for the rest of your life, because getting divorced will cost you a fortune especially if you don’t follow No. 1 above.

    • And to top it off, marriages are a lot of work you gotta actually love the person, talk to them, maybe have sex with them once in awhile, live with them, and lets hope they don’t get sick and you have to take care of them, you might be happy in the beginning, but the grass is never greener. Just because some of your friends and family are happy doesn’t mean you will be so why bother taking the chance.

    3. Don’t get a job

    • Getting a job is expensive, you gotta drive to interviews, get resumes copied, maybe pay some postage, if you get the job, you might have to buy some clothing that is work appropriate, you’ll have to put gas in your car to get to work or pay bus fair, maybe buy a lunch or two.

    • Besides the cost, working is hard work, you gotta do what they tell you to do, you gotta talk to customers and co-workers, maybe do some training, your expected to ACTUALLY WORK, the nerve of them, to tell you what you can and can’t do.

    • The grass in not always greener, being employed is not all what it is cracked up to be, I hate it, but I do work part time.

    4. Don’t EVEN get out of bed in the morning.

    • If you get out of bed its going to cost you money, you gotta flush the toilet at least once, that uses water, maybe eat something, damn that food bill is getting high, maybe take a shower, oh no, more water wasted I can see that water meter spinning so fast its going to catch fire, brush your teeth (every other day, tooth paste is expensive), and once your up, you might think about getting dressed but that means you gotta take the tag off of the pants and shirt, and if you do that, they will no longer be new, and that will cost money in the long run.
    • Lets not even talk about going out of the house, its too hard, and leaving the house is not what its cracked up to be, just because everyone else does it, does not mean the grass is any greener for them. Fools, just wasting time, energy and money.

    Of course this is a joke, but considering a career change is not, explore it, research it, talk about it, and then go for it. Your grass is as green as you make it.
  11. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Columbus, OH
    haha, awesome post! :smuggrin:

  12. CrouchingTiger

    CrouchingTiger 2+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Wow, wow, wow, that was a VERY inspiring post. No sarcasm intended. Sometimes being on SDN makes me wonder if this path is worth my time.... but posts like these make me remember NOTHING, NO JOB, is ever perfect.

    You rock, pdlaw!

    And I'm stealing this line from you: "Your grass is as green as you make it."
  13. anon-y-mouse

    anon-y-mouse Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2005
    I'm a trad med student, but I saw the title and couldn't help myself from posting. The medical field has learned a LOT from the airline industry in terms of systematic disaster management. We had a speaker come in to discuss mistakes in medicine and he was actually a pilot and consultant in both airline and medical industries! Just a tip you might want to consider for your essays, in case you were out of ideas. Good luck. One of my classmates is like 44 (at an MD school!) and is doing well.
  14. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering 10+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    great advice, work is for suckers! :thumbup:
  15. atomi

    atomi Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    You fly planes for a living. I'm a pilot, but can't fly professionally because I can't get a 1st class medical due to poor eyesight. You have one of the most desired jobs in the world. As a captain, you are probably making more than a lot of doctors make. There are so many cool opportunities in aviation. Think about what got you into planes in the first place and then decide if you really want to leave it. If you go over to the airline pilot forum, you'll see posts from doctors who are trying to become airline pilots asking the same questions you are now. Just remember it goes both ways. I would say only switch careers if you don't think there's anyway you could have a career in aviation for the rest of your life.
  16. airbaker

    airbaker 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    It's hard to succinctly express my desire to migrate careers into medicine; most are altruistic expressions and a yearning to satiate my intellectual curiosities...but I figure I have a few years to craft my PS!

    After 9/11 pilot salaries took a tremendous hit (40%+); some even lost their careers due to furloughs (I was furloughed from American Airlines but was fortunate enough to get on with a good LCC). Of course there's other factors such as the tremendous instability of most airline business models which are centered around a geopolitical time bomb, ie oil.

    I was one of those boy's that achieved their childhood dream. Ever since I was a little boy I wanted to fly planes. Growing up I was hyper-focused on realizing that dream (soloed at 16, ATP rating the day I turned 23, etc...) - so much so that I squelched any other interests that resided within me. I'm now at a proverbial crossroad, where I'm asking myself what really motivates me to get up in the morning (other than my wonderful family). Don't get me wrong, I have the best view from my office; I just wonder if I can find more satisfaction than admiring a setting sun from 38,000'.

    I realize this sounds so completely naive, but I want to help people, I want to make a difference in their lives. Of course I can volunteer (which I already do) and achieve some satisfaction, but I want to make more of an impact.

    Financially, this is ludicrous, let's be honest. I've already gone through what is analogous to med school and a long residency, at least from a financial and quality of life standpoint. But when I'm 46 year old I don't want to look back and say, "I could have, would have, should have".
  17. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P 2+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Ok, so being a airline pilot might be a desirable job, but why? Most pilots I know didn't do it becasue they wanted to get rich, but rather enjoy the travel, and I would imagin that flying a 747, or 757, or any other jumbo jet sounds like fun. But the airline industry is the last place I would want to be sending a resume to right now, and as for job security? Well consider these ods from the wall street Journal:

    Odds on Bankruptcy Filings in 2008:

    American Airlines 1 in 2 chances of going Bankrupt in 08
    United Airlines 1 in 4 chance of going Bankrupt in 08
    Northwest Airlines 1 in 5 chances of going Bankrupt (note 2nd time in 5 years, so they are done for, if you have Freq. flyer miles with them I would use them while you can).
    Delta Airlines 1 in 5 chance of going into Bankruptcy in 08
    Continental Airlines 1 in 25 chance of going Bankrupt.

    I would bet money that there are others close to folding including the little guys, spirit, jet blue, Airtran, and southwest. The key predictor of looming Bankruptcy filings are compnaies who start breaking contracts. And just about every airline listed have been Breaking contracts with airports for gates, Spirit had a contract fot 8 gates at the new detroit airport terminal, and now they are only needing 2. Mind you that the pre-sale/lease of gates is a major factor in getting funding to build a new terminal, so the airport authorities don't take this lightly.

    So, he may be like tom cruise in topgun to most of us, the truth is, he may not feel so secure in that position. Looking at both the airline and healthcare industrys, I would take the security and potential growth in the healthcare sector over the airlines any day. (the grass looks pretty green on the health care side of the fence) Us non-treds always have to look at the long term, $110,000 a year for 15 years is a much better choice than $150,000 a year for 5 years.

    I have never seen a news story talking about Doctors being forced to take a pay cut.
  18. For some reason this isn't being publicized very much.

    Right now the House and Senate are trying to decide if Medicare reimbursements for physicians should be cut.
  19. Pandorina


    Dec 24, 2007

    I completely understand how you feel...because it was the same way with me! I also achieved my goal to be an airline pilot and loved every minute of it...but I also want to be more than just a number. (Since you've been furloughed, you know all about that.)

    You are in a fantastic situation because you don't have to give up your current job while getting working on your pre-med courses, getting clinical experience/shadowing, and studying for the MCAT. You can even cut down your application costs by non-reving to interviews. (Did it all!) If you decide you don't want to make the switch in the end, you lose nothing -- you just have a bit more biology knowledge than the average pilot. In the meantime, you have an excuse to slam-click on the other members of your crew if you don't like them..."sorry, I won't join you for dinner, I have to study for an Organic Chem exam!" Delays waiting for a late inbound become much less frustrating, as you pull out your textbooks you will get all your homework done on the road and when you get home you will be free for your family (but you will get some weird looks in the crew room and just wait until you are deicing and you proudly show the other pilot that you can draw a molecule of propylene glycol: "This is what they are spraying on us right now.:laugh:").

    I felt that if I didn't give this a try, I would wonder about it for the rest of my life. I have just started school and I know I made the right choice! My school is on the approach to a major airport, and I do look up every time a jet flies over, however it's just regrets.
  20. atomi

    atomi Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    No, but that's just me. You gotta do what you gotta do. A doctor's income can buy you a real nice Cirrus and you can admire sunsets whenever and whereever you wish without having to worry about the SLF, but of course you will probably be pushing 60 by that time and if your eyes are anything like mine, too blind to appreciate it anyway.

    Good luck on your journey. Accomplishing what you have in aviation is no easy feat, and if you were able to do that, then certainly you could do it in medicine. Doctors (well, surgeons anyway) and pilots have a lot in common.

    By the way, you'll probably be a hero to your kids either way.
  21. LadyWolverine

    LadyWolverine 10+ Year Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Hiding in your closet
  22. kitten8

    kitten8 2+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Laid-off FA here............ It is nice to hear from some other people in the airline industry. After getting laid-off, and stuck in Chicago, I got a job working with a neuro guy. I've spent countless hours at the hospital, been to all of the Neurosurgery/Neurology conventions, and really want to become a doctor as well. I have a 2.9 GPA from undergrad and faced a lot of obstacles like you guys did (well, I foolishly got married to an abusive man who ended up having an extra-marital affair and ran off with my money!). I am in the process of trying to take my pre-reqs at the University of Chicago, studying for the MCAT and hopefully getting into medical school. Does anyone know what happened with the original poster? I don't blame him for wanting to get out of the airline industry - it is too unstable............
  23. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin 10+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Realistically you are going to be 39 when you matriculate, 43 when you graduate and at a minimum 46 when you finish residency. Toward the high end, you probably have around 20 years to work.

    The major problem with your age is the lost time to repay your loans. While the average indebtedness is $150K that takes everyone in account like those whose folks are footing the bill and those with full rides. Note that with interest and paying this off in 20 years it costs you 275K to take out 150 in loans

    With tuition and living expenses you will realistically be borrowing 40-75K per year (provided you dont get a scholarship, dont have a rich uncle or a wealthy spouse). Add interest to 40K/yr and that is upwards of 370K (courtesy of FinAid calculators).

    Just to afford that loan you would have to make 186,000 per year (again courtesy of FinAid), which is pushing it for primary care. Note that none of this takes into account the cost of the post-bac, applying or interviewing or the compounding interest during residency.

    We have a handful of older people in my class. Some are mid 30s while 2 are in their 40s. Many are using the armed forces to pay for it all so that they dont have the burden of a ton of debt. That is an option.

    Good luck
  24. airbaker

    airbaker 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    Fortunately, money doesn't factor into the equation as much for me as it would for a traditional student. Probably one of the few benefits of my age (and career) is that I've had time to put my financial house in order; that and being at the right place and time to participate in the housing bubble in Orange County, CA.

    So while I could sell one of my rental houses and easily pay for medical school, I'm starting to doubt whether my family could withstand the pursuit. I'm just not sure if I'm willing to miss out on my daughter growing up in order to achieve this...of course I vacillate daily, so ask me tomorrow and I might come up with a different answer! Baby steps, I guess.
  25. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P 2+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Why would you miss out on your daughter growing up? You planning on moving out to go to school? I pass a day care center every morning and watch working parents dropping off thier kids every morning. In my opiniom, those are the people missing out on watching their kids growing up.

    I think you might be over thinking things a bit as far as the time it will take to follow your dream. One of the advantages of being a non-trad is our knowledge of time managment, I have two young boys, and I look forward to setting a good example for them, to show them the benifits of hard work and a good education. I don't plan on missing anything in thier lives, well at least nothing that I would not miss on my current course.

    As an example, currently my wife and kids are on vacation, but I am stuck at home and in the office because I have a trial this week that the judge would not move, I spent the 4th and the weekend with them, and flew back for the trial (on the NW flight with the crushed nose cone). I'm bummed, but my kids are having a blast.

    Just my opinion, and when I make it to med school, rather than post here, I would use the time to play with my kids.
  26. airbaker

    airbaker 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    I think a lot of my emotions are tied up in what my daughter said to me last night: "Dad, when are you going to be done with the Doctor class? I'm sad because you always take me to ballet class with mom, and now you don't anymore because you're always reading your Doctor books..." So I guess my heart strings were pulled a little yesterday.
  27. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!

    As with many non-traditional students who have had successful careers, money isn't as much of a concern if you have made provisions for your family in terms of the years that you will be out of the work force. You can always make some money over the holidays and during the summer after your first year if you can get contract stuff or borrow for any additional living expenses that you might need which would be much less than those folks who haven't had a previous career.

    Faster than you could ever believe, your daughter is going to move you out of her life and move her "chums" into her life. Right now, when you are the center of her universe, you are in the preparation stages. Fast forward a few years and she will ask you to drop her off a block away from the movie theater so he friends won't see her getting out of your car. Children grow up and move into their own circles which are just part of life. Soon she will tug at the roots of your hair as it comes out.

    I was 45 when I started medical school and now, I am entering my academic practice of surgery. I left an excellent career as a college professor and I have never regretted my decision. Medicine/surgery is awesome and I love what I do. I also fly every chance I get too. The two things are not mutually exclusive and my loans (minimal because I had scholarships) will be paid off in my first six months of practice.

    If medicine is your goal, move slowly toward it and take your time. There is not age limit and if your stamina and interests are there, you can get this done.
  28. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P 2+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Right on..
  29. airbaker

    airbaker 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    Very well put. Your words are an inspiration to me. Maybe I'll drop down from two lectures with labs to one, remembering that it's a marathon and not a sprint (although as my grandfather used to say, "That's horse#hit, do you see the runners that actually win marathons? They're sprinting the entire way!")

    You hit the nail on the head regarding adolescence. She's Daddy's little girl right now and I'm absorbing every minute, every memory, like a sponge. It would actually be much easier on me if she was embarrassed of her old man; at least I wouldn't feel guilty that I was missing out on something.
  30. Prestone

    Prestone 7+ Year Member

    Aug 27, 2008
    This quote is scary. If I wouldn't have stumbled across what you posted, I'm pretty sure my thread would have been identical, down to the words spaces and periods...

    I am in a slightly different age situation but my thoughts, aspirations and my current career mimic your post.

    I am currently 22, fly right seat in an Embrarer 175 and will be furloughed effective September 8th from Republic Airways Holdings. From the beginning all I wanted to do was fly. I had my Private in high school and finished up all of my ratings through MEI by the time I was 21. I gradtuated early from OSU and It seemed I masked my other feelings in the effort to be a prodigy child and Captain by the time I was 23. I will currently finish my ATP for sh*ts and giggles in October when I turn 23 and reach 1500 hours. I feel like I acheived my childhood dream and quieted that voice inside of my head to pursue another vocation because I felt like I had a plan and I needed to acheive it.

    I stare out the window at 35,000 feet and ask myself the same questions. I feel I am wasting my potential and I have a higher calling to help other people as well as better myself.

    I just wanted to let you know you are definitly not the only one out there and my thoughts and prayers are with your decisions and efforts!
  31. Pandorina


    Dec 24, 2007
    I haven't visited the forum for a while...I've been busy! :D
    airbaker...I'm glad to see you are still working on it!

    prestone...start taking classes while furloughed! It will be a great opportunity to see if medicine is what you really want! I was just telling a classmate of mine the other day that I started taking pre-med courses the last time my company furloughed and I am now starting medical school when they are furloughing again. :( Those who survive furloughs best are those who use the time to explore other things. The opportunity to discover that it is NOT for you is very valuable...and then you would return to flying with a better perspective. If medicine is for you, you would be another one of the many who don't come back when recalled!

    It is no surprise to me that there are other pilots out there who want to be Doctors...we are goal oriented people! I do miss flying but starting out again in something else that is just as worthwhile lets me experience that newbie enthusiasm all over again! :luck: and pm me if I can be of any help!
  32. A320kid

    A320kid 2+ Year Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    New Mexico
    Just wanted to say hi to my fellow aviators...

    As the name says, getting furloughed from a major and actually pretty excited about it. I honesty don't think I would have had the guts to quite, but for the last 4 years I have telling my wife I really want to go back to school and finish the pre-recs!

    So here I am, 26, furloughed and I definitely have the blinders on. I am not going back if recalled!

    Someone had posted that surgeons have a lot in common with airline pilots and I have to agree somewhat. Having done the whole CFI, CFII, MEI route I made a lot of great friends who are now contacts that are surgeons, and are more than encouraging in my new journey to become a doc.

    One of my MD buddies is on the interview board for a med school and he said that we have a great advantage because we bring something very unique. (did you know there are more doctors than airline pilots?) To have made it to a major is great accomplishment and he said that when you attend you interviews you will feel as if your talking to a peer.

    As for the family, most people are not used to dad being gone for 3-4 days at a time. When you compare going back to school you can at least look at it like you will now be home every night sleeping in your own bed. And you know how nice that would be!

    Keep us posted and good luck with your journey.
  33. Whidbey


    Jul 22, 2009
    Airbaker / A320,

    How are you classes going? Any news?
  34. BennieBlanco

    BennieBlanco Banned

    Aug 24, 2008
    Another version of this quote, often times the grass is greener on the other side because they are taking better care of their lawn.
  35. fullpower


    Dec 14, 2010
    I wonder how Airbaker, A320 kid, or Pandorina is doing now? Well anyway, I signed up to this forum after reading Airbaker's revelation about his burning desire to switch careers from an airline captain to a medical doctor. I wanted to switch careers too, but from being a professional engineer to a medical doctor. But, whatever I did, it did happen due to age a factor. Simply put, I was too old to put me through the rigors of a medical student and yet I had that burning desire to become a doctor. So, here's what I am doing now to have at least a feel on the medical field. I am reading every medical journals, articles, and books I could lay my hand to and do it whenever I have a chance to do it. This way, my dreams of being a medical practitioner (just in my mind) are fulfilled somehow, and it makes me very happy.

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