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Becoming a doctor after all of this I have going on?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by CamWahn, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. CamWahn

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    I'll keep this as short as possible. All of my life I wanted to become a doctor, until my dad founded an oil and gas service company and I started working for him at 16 years old. I still wanted to become a doctor, however now the electronics and petroleum industry sparked interest in me. After acceptance into a university, I began in engineering, switched to pre med, and with the horrible state of mind I had at the time, flunked out with a 0.7 GPA. Mind you, I finished high school with a 3.8. This was unlike me, and my uncertainty led me to not caring about my education. Shortly after that, two of my close relatives died of Alzheimer's disease. This hit hard, and made me remember that at one point I wanted to pursue medicine. After flunking out of college, I reentered into a technical program in electronics and excelled with a 4.0. Before that, our company's electrical engineer died and we were left without a programmer. I learned our system's programming language in its entirety and began designing systems at only 20 years old. My proven work experience has given me a known name in our industry. However, at 21 years old, I still want to pursue medicine. The mere thought of being an M.D. or D.O. is so amazing to me because of the responsibility one carries. I carry a good bit of weight on my shoulders by running the entire technical operations of our company, however I still feel empty inside. I will have a 60k annual salary in January and I am only 21.

    So here I ask all of you professionals and prospects, is it worth giving up all I have in front of me for medicine? Returning to school, retaking every flunked class, etc. Would I be able to make it into med school after all of this?
     
  2. Dral

    Physician PhD 7+ Year Member

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    How many classes did you take by the time you failed out?

    If not many, you could go MD or DO if you turn it around. If it was a good number, you'll likely be shooting for DO with grade replacement.

    Only you can decide what you're asking. You gave us a small text wall window into your life experiences. Only you can decide.

    I can't believe I'm getting paid to do what I do (in other words, I love it). However, I can't reliably say you would have a similar experience.

    Have you shadowed yet? If not, you should so you have a better idea of what you would be getting yourself into. That is probably the best thing you can do right now to help you decide.
     
    #2 Dral, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  3. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    I have no idea what your current career means to you and thus cannot estimate what you are giving up.
    You could re-take all your grades below a B and be in good shape for DO.
     
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  4. CamWahn

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    I was planning on asking a radiologist or neurologist for an opportunity to job shadow. I like what I do when it comes to the technical aspect of programming and design. However, being a part of a small business forces me to do other things. This includes working physically grueling tasks in fire ******ant clothing in 100+ degree heat for hours on end with no breaks. I would suck it up if the passion for what I have was strong enough. I just feel as if I will regret not doing everything I can to become a doctor years down the road.

    I took a total of around 8-10 classes at the university. 2 of which I received a B and one which I received a C ( I failed the rest). I then took two transferable credits at a community college and made a B and C. This was all when I was very immature and not dedicated. After a reality check in my life, I joined a technical program and made an A in every single class. However, those classes won't transfer to a university.

    I'm guessing my best shot is a DO school? Would MD be possible from life experience and being a non traditional student? How much will my MCAT affect this?
     
  5. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor
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    MD schools average grades.
    DO schools replace them, making them the clear choice for someone with this many F's.
    The best MCAT does not compensate for weak academic performance.
     
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  6. Dral

    Physician PhD 7+ Year Member

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    So about 30 credits. Tough to tell. I'm not devaluing the electrical program, but you have to prove you can handle the rigors of med school. A high GPA in prerequisites while taking a full course load is how you do this.

    After the MCAT, I have taken 8 high stakes standardized exams, with one more to go. This is why you have to prove you can do well on the MCAT...taking exams...tough ones that make undergrad exams seem like something a toddler could pass comparatively...will be part of what you do.

    Non trad and experiences may help you write a good PS, but they don't matter all too much otherwise. Half of the people you are going against have already cured AIDS, cancer, and instilled peace to the Middle East (being facetious of course, but you catch my drift).
     
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  7. CamWahn

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    Thank you. I have a lot to consider.
     
  8. CamWahn

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    Lol so I see. It's a huge risk for me to take to pursue medicine. Not to mention that the only in-state medical school for DO would be Tulane, meaning loans galore on top of the 20k I owe right now. I would probably finish everything with 300-350k of loans if I went that route. LSU only has an MD program so I would definitely have to move out of state and pay more or go to Tulane and pay more.

    It is what it is... I did this to myself. I hope to make the right decision.
     
  9. Dral

    Physician PhD 7+ Year Member

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    I think if you shadow and take a semester or two of a legitimate course load, you will be better poised to make your decision.

    Best of luck! If you make it through, it can be very rewarding. I still can barely believe that I basically have made it through at this point.
     
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  10. Crayola227

    Crayola227 The Oncoming Storm
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    You have the makings of a good PS (personal statement).

    You'll need to go back to school full time, take your pre-reqs, be a generally straight A student, get some med/shadowing experience, research, extracurriculars, volunteer, work part-time job in addition to all that, and if you do that well, position to get good letters of rec not just from basic science teachers but also from a doc would be great, and have a good strategy as far as the MD/DO school applications go, if you do all of this and get good grades to raise that GPA, good MCAT scores, yes you absolutely can turn this around and prove that the performance previously was a hiccup for the reasons you've stated. That's what it would take and it isn't easy.

    Hard work can only get you so far, if 100% effort doesn't end up with scores to match.

    No one can guarantee how you do ir if you end up admitted after years of pre-med but people have come back from worse.

    As far as if you should or if it's worth it, hard to say. Check out my posts for more info.

    Good luck
     
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  11. CamWahn

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    Thank you. Your words are definitely inspiring me to think more positively about returning to school.
     
  12. CamWahn

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    Thank you so much for your time. A little off topic, but will I be able to live comfortably with 250-350k in student loans after I finish?
     
  13. I'mJustCurious

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    I am in the same situation as you. I had to work for my parent's business and did not do so well in some of my classes because I was so tired of working full time that I could not put any effort into my schoolwork. I feel that as long as we keep working hard and getting A's in most of our classes we will do fine!
     
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  14. ehwhatsupdoc

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    250-350k in loans is nothing if you are making 200k+. You will definitely pay of your loans within 10 years or even sooner. I've calculated that I will have 550k in debt (undergrad and med school)by the time I finish a 5 year residency/fellowship ( remember interest accrues during residency) and yet I've projected I would still manage to save 2-3k per month after all expenses and loan payments and have all debt paid off in 10 years if I make 240k gross per year. After 10 years I'll be able to save 100k per year. Definitely comfortable for me.
     
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  15. Crayola227

    Crayola227 The Oncoming Storm
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    Depends on what you mean by love comfortably. Also, if loans are all government or if they are private.

    Read on other threads about the money part of things.

    Some docs don't find that for the headaches, hours, that between loans and payment and time off it isn't a good bargain.

    Loans are anywhere between a 10 and 25 year repayment gig.

    The loan payments can be income based.

    Don't take those loans lightly but most docs don't find that they're impossible, just varies doc to doc how much a nuisance and if they really think they're worth it.
     
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  16. CamWahn

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    Glad to see that someone has a similar situation. My dad founded our company, and I'll have to tell him that what he's giving me isn't going to be what I pursue, and that may seem petty but it's hard to tell him that after everything we've done with the company. There's a lot to think about, but in time I know I'll make the right decision.
     
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  17. I'mJustCurious

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    Don't forget to tell him that you need his support, financially and emotionally, because that was something my parents didn't understand when I was trying to tell them that I needed to focus on my career that I was going to pursue. Everything will workout eventually.
     
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  18. CamWahn

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    Thank you for your advice. I live in Louisiana.
     
  19. Goro

    Faculty 7+ Year Member

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    Yes, it's still possible to reinvent yourself.

    You might as well start over with a new UG degree, as a premed. But the very first hints you should do are shadow a doctor, and start volunteering in a clinical setting.

    But I have to tell you that wanting to be a doctor for the reason oh "having a lot of responsibility" is a horrible rationale. Unless you weren't articulating your thoughts adequately?
     
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  20. Cawolf

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    Just FYI Tulane is not a DO school, there are no DO schools in Louisiana.
     
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  21. Seth Joo

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    I would not call that nothing, you also have to consider taxes, living expenses like food, rent, transportation, etc as well, then that loan payment will look like a lot more money. Student debt is not a joke, there is a reason why home ownership is not catching on among recent graduates, its because of student debt.

    My cousin is an attending and her husband is an attorney and they rent, mostly because they are deluged by their student loans. A generation ago, a couple like that would be a buying a white picket fenced house in the suburbs.
     
  22. ehwhatsupdoc

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    What I mean to say is that it's manageable debt, but the caveat is your salary. If you make 200k+ you should be okay as long as you don't live in a major city like NYC, LA etc. If you live in an area where real estate costs 400k-800k for a 3-5 bedrm home than you'll be hurting. But I would plan to live in a mid-small sized city where avg price for a home is 130-200k. (Def affordable). You won't be ballin but you should be fine.
     
  23. Seth Joo

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    Boston, SF, and Chicago, would be out of the question as well. Oh yeah San Diego and Seattle too.
     
  24. ehwhatsupdoc

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    It really is crazy how housing in these cities have gotten so expensive. It seems like foreign buyers are also causing a run up in prices in these markets, many of whom don't even live there. They just see it as an income stream from renting. Many people are getting priced out.
     
  25. Seth Joo

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    Of all those big cities, Boston and San Diego are the most livable and pleasant places. Boston does not have the greatest weather, but little chance of a San Andreas style event happening there either.

    I could never live in NYC, I have no idea why so many people want to live there, its dirty, crowded, the people there are rude and nasty, and its ridiculously expensive, even more expensive than Boston, plus I would have put up with Yankees fans. LA is basically just like NYC but hot and with lots of highways and idiots, I could not live there either. Given my conservative views I would never be able to live in the San Francisco area because of all the liberal loons over there, I would be surrounded by a bunch of America hating commies and fruitcakes.
     
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  26. CamWahn

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    Thanks. I want to be a doctor for many other reasons besides having a lot of responsibility. I love helping and caring others. Even in what I do as a 21 year old foreman and programmer, one slip up can be devastating and result in fatalities that our company is liable for. It's also personal for me. Many of my closest relatives were lost to mental illnesses and cancer. I've spent so much time in nursing homes and in hospital settings, and being able to make a patient feel at ease and trust me with their life is something I would take very seriously. I've had to grow up extremely fast in these past couple of years. I now have a totally different mindset and a whole new perspective on life.

    It all comes down to the amount of debt I will have and being able to pay it all off, being able to afford to support myself along the way, and finding a way for my family's company to go on without me. Getting into med school is the most stressful part since I've shown pathetic academic performance in the past. I just hope that I can recover.
     
  27. CamWahn

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  28. CamWahn

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    However, Tulane's tuition is outrageous and I hope to God that I can somehow pull off getting in to the MD school at LSUHSC Shreveport or New Orleans.
     
  29. akuko2

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    That page is a career counseling page from the pre-medical section of Tulane's undergraduate institution. Tulane School of Medicine is an MD school.
     
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  30. treeye

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    woa you seem very smart. just make sure you understand all aspects of being a doctor including the long hours, the lifestyle, the daily routine, etc. not just the glorious part
     
  31. jl lin

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    Sorry, but $350K is still a LOT when making 200K--if indeed the physician makes that or gets to that point. You won't just be dealing with educational loan costs, and I think that is what is most disturbing for me to read here on SDN. If only it were all that simple.

    @ CamWahn
    http://www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/about/affiliates/Pages/osteopathic-medical-schools.aspx
     
    #31 jl lin, Oct 19, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  32. GreenDuck12

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    It's way too early to be worrying about where to go to medical school. You can have a goal, of course, but the first thing you need to answer is do you want to be a doctor? If you want to be a doctor then where you go to school is just a means to an end . If you want to be a doctor only if you can attend a certain medical school or type of school, don't pursue medicine. You really have to go all in on medicine (just like you have to go all in on a career in music). There are many ways to be happy in a variety of careers. Make sure you choose wisely. Volunteer in a hospital, shadow physicians, take your time before jumping in.

     
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  33. akuko2

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    CAN you make it in to medical school? Absolutely! Many schools now days, especially the one I am going to attend next fall, evaluate a candidate based upon their competency as a medical student but also on their behavioral competency, as well as demonstrated interest in medical service. (By demonstrated, I mean having something to show for it, not just saying "I'd like to help people") If you can pull your grades up and get a good score on the MCAT then you will have shown that you are competent to most schools. Bear in mind IMO, I don't think you would have to have a GPA as strong as candidates in or fresh out of college, because by the time you apply to medical school you should have a wicked personal statement and a lot of life experience, you are sacrificing a lot in order to take this path and I think schools will notice that. I would shadow a few physicians or at least call them up and talk to them to see if it is the life you truly want to pursue. There are also a few ways to get involved with medical volunteer organizations where you can serve and witness the physicians work firsthand. (I live in New Orleans, so if you want specifics DM me!) Like some have said above, there are many other ways to serve in the medical community that are less demanding and less expensive, but I can honestly say that I've always dreamed of being a physician, so if your mindset is anything like mine don't let anyone hold you back!
     
  34. doit4humanity

    doit4humanity It's Morphin' Time!
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    Yea, the main foreign buyers come from China. Most of them hope to gain permanent resident status through purchasing a certain amount of home. I was close to getting out priced by a Chinese family when I purchased my house, right after my offer was accepted and went into escrow, a Chinese family made an offer that was 30k more than asking price and willing to pay in cash lol.
     

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