Down Not Out: Putting this in the Ether

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Only way to go now is up
2+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2014
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Hello My Fellow Peoples,

31 year old, URM female here...

Back Story:
I am originally from Jamaica and left relatively young, around 5 years old. My mother is a Registered Nurse for the past 34 years and my father did some Book Keeping in Jamaica at the hospital but once they emigrated, he became a stay-at-home father. My parents initially went ahead to establish themselves in Toronto, Canada and I eventually joined them there when I was 5 years old. At the time, job prospects for my mother brought us to the U.S.A then subsequently Florida and I’ve been here since then.

School Ties: (<< Good movie by the way)
I graduated high school in 2005, started at my state university that fall and registered as a Biomedical Science major. I was very involved in volunteer and premed organizations holding some leadership roles; however, in hindsight, a combination of poor time management and procrastination had me shifting more focus on the extracurriculars instead of my studies. My grades slipped and oscillated for a bit which amounted to an academic dismissal in Fall 2007. I was essentially instructed to leave and register at a community college to prove my competence before coming back. I then registered at one of my local community colleges and was there for Spring, Summer and Fall of 2008 and graduated with an AA. I petitioned and got back into my former university Spring 2009 on the contingency that I switched my major to something else—I chose Psychology and graduated with a BA in it May 2011.

With all of this back and forth, repeat in coursework, dismissal, etc.,I exhausted the limits on my undergraduate federal loan limits and moving forward would essentially need to pay out of pocket for any coursework I would need to take. This caused several years worth of stagnation since I now I had bills to pay. Since graduation, I’ve been working and all the while tried to work in the healthcare sector to keep that familiarity and link. Currently, I’ve been at my current place of work for the past 3+ years at a private practice of minimally invasive orthopedic surgeons. I started there in June 2015 as a sort of intake/scribe (a new concept for them at the time), was promoted to the Clinical Office Manager in August 2016 and because of the need to decentralize my role in order for me to focus on getting back into school, I stepped down early this year in January 2018 and was able to take on an alternative role that I pitched and was accepted as Information Support that’s more project based and allows me some flexibility.

Due to my earlier academic and time management mistakes, my GPA took a hit and is therefore terrible (i.e. it’s between around a 2.2-2.5). I do understand that this will be an uphill battle and I’m willing to put the work in. I will be redoing the few science courses I took several years back including upper division coursework to fulfill prerequisites as well as in preparation of taking the MCAT. I reignited shadowing ( I did some earlier shadowing around the time I was still in university) in July and have so far shadowed a male Emergency Doctor that's a DO and have plans to shadow a female, URM, Trauma Surgeon that's an M.D. Yes, the identifiers are intentional because I want to in effect shadow a range of practitioners in different specialities that I find interest in to gain more insight especially now that, through the above-mentioned failings and delays, have transformed myself into an unintentional "non-traditional" prospective applicant.

Analysis Paralysis/Current Objective:
Researching post-bacc programs (William Paterson University and UFs ReStart Program to name a couple) and trying to figure out how the h$$ i'm going to pay for it which in my case loans are the only feasible options right now. I would hope to start one in Spring 2019 (that's looking less likely at this point in time due to rolling admissions and i'm already behind the curve) or Summer/Fall 2019. I'm also looking for another part time job to supplement my income that's flexible and remote (ideally). I'll also continue seeking out more shadowing opportunities.
P.S. I know that I can shadow the doctors I currently work for when i'm ready but I'm more keen on shadowing other specialities first.

'What's the point of this post?' you make ask. It's more a semi introduction, a bit of exercise in formulating a personal statement, a little cathartic and a means to connect with a community striving for similar goals. I've been aware and perusing SDN forums, articles, etc. around the time I was in college...since 2007 and NEVER posted! Can you believe that? So here's to the first post. :) Say 'hello" and chime in your thoughts.
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