Nov 14, 2010
Other Health Professions Student
Hi everyone,

I'm hoping that those of you out there who have been down this road can offer a little insight despite what's probably a redundant question. I'm a 32 year old woman, I have all the pre-reqs done, a masters degree in a healthcare field, and am currently in an accelerated BSN nursing program-I started this thinking I'd be a NP but the longer I'm in it, the more I'm second guessing this. I'm not sure I can be happy as a midlevel provider but I've always been drawn to medicine.

For those of you out there who have "been there done that", meaning are nontraditional students, how hard is it? I have an active and rewarding personal life that I cherish-do I have to give it all up to be a doctor? I am not currently married but I want to get married and have kids someday...would I have time for family or am I signing up for catastrophe if I head down this route?

Is it possible to have a life and be a medical student/resident/doctor?



10+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2007
Resident [Any Field]
You can have it all, there are lots of students here with children and they make it work. You will meet plenty of physicians after you get out of nursing school who do it all as well. But

First you have to see what makes you happy.. do you like being a student or absolutely hate it? If I could have been I would've been a professional student, besides the part of being broke and never getting much respect, i truly didn't mind the lifestyle of studying/test taking/pushing myself to learning new things. If you don't mind jumping in for another 4 years of medical school then another 3+ years for residency then this might be something worth undertaking, but it is something only you can determine.

It will be really hard if you're not the type to have patience, most people will advise you to finish your BSN and get a year or two of experience before applying. I worked as an ER nurse for 5 years prior to matriculating and it really helped my application, BUT it isn't fun balancing work and school. Like most nurses i worked two jobs around 60hrs a week while taking my post-bac courses and studying for the MCAT... there were moments that only single minded stubborness got me through. My honest advise is if you try to do this take a year off of school, learn how to be a good nurse, then go back and start your post-bac. I took two years before starting my post-bac courses. As you know RN's don't have a residency, so depending on what dept. you choose to work, there is a steep learning curve your first year out of nursing school. Med/surg being not as much as ICU/ER/L&D- im sure other people might have other opinions...

You have to realistically see what your gpa is and then shoot for an MCAT score that is in line with your goal (be that MD and/or DO). GPA and MCAT of at around at LEAST a 3.5/29 is EVERYTHING for allo schools- i would personally say a 3.6/32 is realistically what you should aim for. For osteopathic its slightly lower but I've "heard" it is getting more competitive.. im not one to ask as i only applied allo. If your GPA is around that area all ready then good job, you have half of what most non-trads really lack. If your gpa is a lot lower.. like in the 2.something and you really will need to set a firm plan down on how you will pull nothing but A's in all your courses which is easier said then done. Core sciences are not impossible but definitely difficult for some.

Depending on what part of the country your from and what your gpa/mcat and whether your set on MD or would be willing to do MD/DO- you might also have to be willing to relocate. I had to move to NYC to make the best choice for me. That meant leaving behind a partner in Cali because they have a stable job out there that they can't relocate... so im stuck doing long distance... its hard... but i suck it up and fly back once a month. The advantage of being a non-trad is knowing that 4 years is NOT eternity. But please realize that commiting to this path might mean having to relocate in order to finish.

Sit down think of what you are afraid to give up, what you are willing to give up, and what you hope to gain from this... and see what that all adds up to.

I can say, like i've said numerous times, for me it is totally worth it though. I'm loving it!:thumbup: