Jul 30, 2016
5
3
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello. I’m new here and I wanted to share my story. It’s a long one, with many details, so it may be a bit disjointed in an effort to keep it as short as possible

Many years ago, I studied biotechnology at RIT, and just two classes shy of graduation I took a job as a lab tech at University of Rochester with the intention of completing my degree while working. Life happened and I got married. A year and a half into my job, I had a baby and ended up quitting so that I could stay home with my son. I never did finish those classes….

Fast forward to today, and I am a 37 year old stay at home, homeschooling mother to two amazing boys. I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going back to school, and thought that when my kids were in college I’d volunteer at a hospital or pursue my photography hobby on a professional level, but all of that changed two years ago. My youngest son, who was ten at the time, was diagnosed with PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with strep). He literally changed overnight. My child wanted to die, and I felt helpless as a parent.

Our pediatrician was able to diagnose him, however he told us point blank that he never learned about it in medical school, so he was not really familiar with treatment. My husband and I spent tireless nights on the internet researching to find someone to help us. We ended up having traveling to Connecticut, to see a doctor who specialized in treating children with PANDAS. That was just the beginning what became a two year journey of traveling out of state for treatment, and over $50,000 in medical expenses.

This past winter he ended up getting diagnosed with CVID and Sydenham’s chorea by a neurologist in Washington, DC, and after one round of high dose IVIG, we finally had some semblance of our child back. It was such a relief, but it was unrealistic for us to travel back and forth to DC for treatment, so with the help of our pediatrician, we were able to find an amazing local immunologist and neurologist to continue his care.

So why medicine now? I’ve spent more hours than I can count reading, researching, and learning everything I can to be an advocate for my son’s health and well-being. Through all of this, I’ve fallen in love with medicine. It just never dawned on me that I should actually pursue a career in it.

Last winter, while on a plane, my husband sent me an email simply saying, ‘I think you should go back to school to become a pediatrician.’ As soon as I read it, I just knew. My husband is a big dream kind of guy, and it’s something I’ve always admired about him. When he says he’s going to do something, no matter how hard and impossible it may seem, he does it. He inspires me to dream big and go for it.

My first class starts on August 29th at Roberts Wesleyan. I will be starting almost back at square one, as a sophomore, since most of my credits didn’t transfer. I was not a good student the first time around, but not because I wasn’t capable. Homeschooling my children has been so redemptive when it comes to my own education, and it’s completely changed how I learn, so I know this will be a completely different experience than the first one.

As for med school, my dream would be to go to U of R, since I live in Rochester and this is where I ultimately want to end up working. It might be a long shot, but I’m not afraid of hard work and l have to go for it.

There’s a lot more to my story, so feel free to ask questions!
 

Newtonian21

2+ Year Member
May 11, 2016
117
34
Hello. I’m new here and I wanted to share my story. It’s a long one, with many details, so it may be a bit disjointed in an effort to keep it as short as possible

Many years ago, I studied biotechnology at RIT, and just two classes shy of graduation I took a job as a lab tech at University of Rochester with the intention of completing my degree while working. Life happened and I got married. A year and a half into my job, I had a baby and ended up quitting so that I could stay home with my son. I never did finish those classes….

Fast forward to today, and I am a 37 year old stay at home, homeschooling mother to two amazing boys. I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going back to school, and thought that when my kids were in college I’d volunteer at a hospital or pursue my photography hobby on a professional level, but all of that changed two years ago. My youngest son, who was ten at the time, was diagnosed with PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with strep). He literally changed overnight. My child wanted to die, and I felt helpless as a parent.

Our pediatrician was able to diagnose him, however he told us point blank that he never learned about it in medical school, so he was not really familiar with treatment. My husband and I spent tireless nights on the internet researching to find someone to help us. We ended up having traveling to Connecticut, to see a doctor who specialized in treating children with PANDAS. That was just the beginning what became a two year journey of traveling out of state for treatment, and over $50,000 in medical expenses.

This past winter he ended up getting diagnosed with CVID and Sydenham’s chorea by a neurologist in Washington, DC, and after one round of high dose IVIG, we finally had some semblance of our child back. It was such a relief, but it was unrealistic for us to travel back and forth to DC for treatment, so with the help of our pediatrician, we were able to find an amazing local immunologist and neurologist to continue his care.

So why medicine now? I’ve spent more hours than I can count reading, researching, and learning everything I can to be an advocate for my son’s health and well-being. Through all of this, I’ve fallen in love with medicine. It just never dawned on me that I should actually pursue a career in it.

Last winter, while on a plane, my husband sent me an email simply saying, ‘I think you should go back to school to become a pediatrician.’ As soon as I read it, I just knew. My husband is a big dream kind of guy, and it’s something I’ve always admired about him. When he says he’s going to do something, no matter how hard and impossible it may seem, he does it. He inspires me to dream big and go for it.

My first class starts on August 29th at Roberts Wesleyan. I will be starting almost back at square one, as a sophomore, since most of my credits didn’t transfer. I was not a good student the first time around, but not because I wasn’t capable. Homeschooling my children has been so redemptive when it comes to my own education, and it’s completely changed how I learn, so I know this will be a completely different experience than the first one.

As for med school, my dream would be to go to U of R, since I live in Rochester and this is where I ultimately want to end up working. It might be a long shot, but I’m not afraid of hard work and l have to go for it.

There’s a lot more to my story, so feel free to ask questions!
Start classes this fall, and move on with dedication and seriousness! Goodluck!
 
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Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,933
17,753
All of Time & Space
Be sure you're not approaching this with too much of a "I'll change the world to be a better place!" idealism.

Scour SDN for the dour.

Shadow. Be sure that you can handle the disillusionment and still come out addicted to medical science.

Good luck!
 
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OP
F
Jul 30, 2016
5
3
Status
Pre-Medical
I know I can't change the world, but I can make a difference. I've been to so many different doctors with my son over the course of the last two years, and it's those interactions that have driven this passion. We still don't have all the answers, or even a complete diagnosis, but these doctors have made such a meaningful impact by the care that they've given. That's what I want to do.

Ten years from now, I know that I will regret not pursuing this passion far more than if I took the easier road. I've spent a lot of time reading memoirs written by physicians (One Doctor by Brendan Reilly, Between Expectations: Lessons From Pediatric Residency by Meghan Weir, etc), and it drives me even more.

I'm just starting out, and the road ahead of me is going to be challenging, and maybe downright awful at times, but that doesn't scare me. For now I'm focusing on transitioning from my full time, homeschooling mom status to being a college student once again. I'm also going to be signing up for a volunteering program at String Memorial, and I am going to start shadowing. I'm generally a positive, upbeat person, so right now I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas....and I want to enjoy this little bubble until it pops come fall semester ;-)

FYI- if you have any good book recommendations, feel free to share!! Thanks!
 

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,933
17,753
All of Time & Space
I know I can't change the world, but I can make a difference. I've been to so many different doctors with my son over the course of the last two years, and it's those interactions that have driven this passion. We still don't have all the answers, or even a complete diagnosis, but these doctors have made such a meaningful impact by the care that they've given. That's what I want to do.

Ten years from now, I know that I will regret not pursuing this passion far more than if I took the easier road. I've spent a lot of time reading memoirs written by physicians (One Doctor by Brendan Reilly, Between Expectations: Lessons From Pediatric Residency by Meghan Weir, etc), and it drives me even more.

I'm just starting out, and the road ahead of me is going to be challenging, and maybe downright awful at times, but that doesn't scare me. For now I'm focusing on transitioning from my full time, homeschooling mom status to being a college student once again. I'm also going to be signing up for a volunteering program at String Memorial, and I am going to start shadowing. I'm generally a positive, upbeat person, so right now I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas....and I want to enjoy this little bubble until it pops come fall semester ;-)

FYI- if you have any good book recommendations, feel free to share!! Thanks!
The House of God by Samuel Shem