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Career Change Advice

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by BHB2008, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. BHB2008

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    Folks,

    I've gleaned a lot of information from this forum, but was hoping for some input on a very specific question.

    First, about me: I'm early 30's non-traditional,career changer. I have an ivy B.A. with 3.6 GPA, and have little doubt after taking prereq's, my hard stats will be competitive. Since my degree was in the liberal arts, this process will be 4 semesters or so, and I'll need to pay for school and life somehow.

    I'm currently in a career that requires 8-5 office work, and secures me ~50k as a salary. I have very little recent clinical experience (lots of clinical experience from 10 years ago).

    I'm contemplating leaving my position to pursue a much less well-paid entry-level position in healthcare, probably as a phlebotomist. The advantages to this are it would give me recent clinical experience, be more enjoyable (I am eager to get working in healthcare, after all), and would be more flexible to schedule classes than the 8-5 gig I have now. The disadvantage would be financial, of course. Probably 20,000 a year.

    I could, on the other hand, remain in my current career, earning a decent salary and take night classes, and shadow on the weekends, I suppose.

    Forgot to mention: While I don't have children/severe family obligations, I do have to maintain some form of income to continue paying on student loans. I'm eligible for IBR, so these payments will fluctuate with my income.
     
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  3. kraskadva

    kraskadva ...
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    What's your question? To downgrade your salary or not? To go for it or not?
     
  4. avivace

    2+ Year Member

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    If you have two years of prereqs, I'd keep your current job for at least six months, while you start taking prereqs and shadowing on weekends. You could use that time to start living as if you only made 30k/yr or so and save the rest. It also keeps you from overcommitting in case you change your mind. You might find that you hate science or dislike what you see shadowing. You could switch to a phlebotomist job before turning in your application and use your savings to help with living expenses and the cost of applications. I was in a similar situation (without the Ivy degree) several years ago and, although I certainly wouldn't change my overall goal, it would have been helpful to keep a 8-5 job for as long as possible to help pay for this process.
     
    xffan624 and kraskadva like this.
  5. kraskadva

    kraskadva ...
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    ^If you can actually do this (bank 40% of what you're earning now) before switching to a phlebotamist job, you'll be in a pretty good position as you go through the process.
     
  6. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- Family Medicine Resident
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    I took classes on nights/weekends/online and kept my biotech job while volunteering, etc... It is up to you, being a phlebotomist will help, but not as much as good grades and a good MCAT...
     
  7. BHB2008

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    Thank you for the replies. Yes, the question is whether to pursue a career w/clinical experience during prereq period or stay put in career with more $$$.

    I suppose we are all naturally most focused on what our perceived weakness is, and for me, that will be lack of clinical experience. Thanks for the input.
     
  8. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
    Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Stay put in the career with more money. Focus on getting As in your prereqs and prepping for the MCAT when the time comes. You're better off doing some shadowing and volunteering part-time for clinical experience; being a phlebotomist is not going to give you a ton of exposure to physician-patient interactions, and it's also not going to count in terms of community service.
     

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