Pursue Medical Career?

  • Yes

    Votes: 13 52.0%
  • No

    Votes: 12 48.0%

  • Total voters
    25
Sep 11, 2017
26
12
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Dear all,

I am asking for your opinion on whether or not I should pursue the medical career path.

I am a 33 year old mother of two, one is 2 years of age and one is 3 months old.

I graduated with Bachelor of Economics with GPA of 3.0 in 2006 from an internationally-recognized and accredited university in Asia. I took rigorous math classes including statistics and research methods, calculus, etc.

My highschool GPA is 3.6 in 2002.
I went to a reputable private highschool established by the American embassy of a foreign country I used to live in. Without too much detail: this school is where several key figures in the Obama administration enrolled in when they lived in that country.

During highschool, I took a lot of HL (higher level) science courses - chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biology, human anatomy, etc. and although these are AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) classes, I am wondering if they are too far back to matter. Moreover, apart from Psychology, Biology, Human Anatomy where I recieved A's, my grades were just B's and I have had a couple of C's. My mistake then was that I bit more than I can chew, enrolling myself into harder, college-level classes when standard level classes were just as sufficient to graduate. Since middle school, I was hoping to become a doctor and my grades were stellar back then. I was placed in advanced classes and invited to compete in national math olympics type of events. As I enter highschool, I went along with what my academic advisor suggested and signed up for very demanding courses the school had to offer. I ended up struggling during highschool thus the lower grades and my ambition towards career in medicine turning sour.

The university I went to carries a certain prestige. There was a small pressure from my family to be in that familiar community but the university did not offer science programs in English. Economics was among a few that were taught in 100% English, so I decided on that. This, coupled with the renewed self-diagnosis that I must be dumb in science, got me off the medicine path. I went into Economics as an undergrad instead and I cannot say I entirely enjoy the discipline. I honestly did not study much and I had my interest in extracurricular activities elsewhere.

It did work out well for me at the time however, to posess that Economics major and be heavily involved in activities outside of school because I was offered a job as a financial news analysis and reporter since 4th year in. At one point, I had my own TV show interviewing CEOs of big businesses all over Asia. My face was on different magazines and TV channels but no one actually care that much for the content I deliver (business and finance). Overtime, I came to realize that people in the country kind of recognize my familiar face but they do not know my name. I don't think this adds value to my application but from my media career in my 20s, I have a lot saved up and I do have enough to fund myself all the way through medical school.

After two babies and countless of visits to the hospital, seeing how healthcare workers and healthcare services mean so much to our lives, my love for medicine is rekindled. I wish not go into details about why such frequency to the hospital but let's just say I am re-inspired to be part of this field and to help make a difference in other families' lives in some specific areas. Every night when I have time alone to myself after putting my little ones to sleep, I write my thoughts on research topics that, according from Google, had not yet been covered and I would chuckle to myself that I should just go dream in my sleep. After months of heavily advising my friends on child birth, and volunteering as a lactation consultant, I have had feedbacks that I was more helpful than their OB/GYNs and pediatricians and that I should go into medicine or healthcare. I have considered becoming a nurse or a midwife but really, yolo, if I can become a doctor, why invest my money and time away from my children for less.

The question is, can I become a doctor though? Do you see a path for me here? It has been over 10 years since I graduated from college. As said, I can support myself financially. The one concern is, I am pretty attached to my kids and have some hesitation with accepting help / putting my babies into childcare but I can get my parents involved. Right now, I am not sure which city/state we will live in yet by the time I complete my MCAT and post-bacc courses so I cannot call a school directly to ask if my courses are still relevant. I am interested in online courses to refurbish my undergrad / highschool grades. Any input or advise will be greatly appreciated.
 
Last edited:

workaholic181

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
1,292
818
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Dear all,

I am asking for your opinion on whether or not I should pursue the medical career path.

I am a 33 year old mother of two, one is 2 years of age and one is 3 months old.

I graduated with Bachelor of Economics with GPA of 3.0 in 2006 from an internationally-recognized and accredited university in Asia. I took rigorous math classes including statistics and research methods, calculus, etc.

My highschool GPA is 3.6 in 2002.
I went to a reputable private highschool established by the American embassy of a foreign country I used to live in. Without too much detail: this school is where several key figures in the Obama administration enrolled in when they lived in that country.

During highschool, I took a lot of HL (higher level) science courses - chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biology, human anatomy, etc. and although these are AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) classes, I am wondering if they are too far back to matter. Moreover, apart from Psychology, Biology, Human Anatomy where I recieved A's, my grades were just B's and I have had a couple of C's. My mistake then was that I bit more than I can chew, enrolling myself into harder, college-level classes when standard level classes were just as sufficient to graduate. Since middle school, I was hoping to become a doctor and my grades were stellar back then. I was placed in advanced classes and invited to compete in national math olympics type of events. As I enter highschool, I went along with what my academic advisor suggested and signed up for very demanding courses the school had to offer. I ended up struggling during highschool thus the lower grades and my ambition towards career in medicine turning sour.

The university I went to carries a certain prestige. There was a small pressure from my family to be in that familiar community but the university did not offer science programs in English. Economics was among a few that were taught in 100% English, so I decided on that. This, coupled with the renewed self-diagnosis that I must be dumb in science, got me off the medicine path. I went into Economics as an undergrad instead and I cannot say I entirely enjoy the discipline. I honestly did not study much and I had my interest in extracurricular activities elsewhere.

It did work out well for me at the time however, to posess that Economics major and be heavily involved in activities outside of school because I was offered a job as a financial news analysis and reporter since 4th year in. At one point, I had my own TV show interviewing CEOs of big businesses all over Asia. My face was on different magazines and TV channels but no one actually care that much for the content I deliver (business and finance). Overtime, I came to realize that people in the country kind of recognize my familiar face but they do not know my name. I don't think this adds value to my application but from my media career in my 20s, I have a lot saved up and I do have enough to fund myself all the way through medical school.

After two babies and countless of visits to the hospital, seeing how healthcare workers and healthcare services mean so much to our lives, my love for medicine is rekindled. I wish not go into details about why such frequency to the hospital but let's just say I am re-inspired to be part of this field and to help make a difference in other families' lives in some specific areas. Every night when I have time alone to myself after putting my little ones to sleep, I write my thoughts on research topics that, according from Google, had not yet been covered and I would chuckle to myself that I should just go dream in my sleep. After months of heavily advising my friends on child birth, and volunteering as a lactation consultant, I have had feedbacks that I was more helpful than their OB/GYNs and pediatricians and that I should go into medicine or healthcare. I have considered becoming a nurse or a midwife but really, yolo, if I can become a doctor, why invest my money and time away from my children for less.

The question is, can I become a doctor though? Do you see a path for me here? It has been over 10 years since I graduated from college. As said, I can support myself financially. The one concern is, I am pretty attached to my kids and have some in accepting help / putting my babies into childcare but I can get my parents involved. Right now, I am not sure which city/state we will live in yet by the time I complete my MCAT and post-bacc courses so I cannot call a school directly to ask if my courses are still relevant. I am interested in online courses to refurbish my undergrad / highschool grades. Any input or advise will be greatly appreciated.
People your age do it all the time. Only you can decide if it's worth pursuing for you.

I would sit down and make a plan. See how many prereqs you need to finish, scope out when potentially you could take the MCAT, figure out where you might shadow/clinically volunteer.
 

Wjldenver

5+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2013
492
798
Denver, Colorado
Status
Non-Student
My advice is to make the decision step-by-step. See how well you do on your remaining pre-reqs and the MCAT, and use the MSAR to gauge your probabilities of acceptance. I would also incorporate a financial analysis of sorts and look at the ROI of a medical career vs something else in the health sciences. Then there are the intangibles like what effect this decision is going to have on your marriage and kids. Med school is very demanding, even for 23 year olds with nothing else to worry about.
 
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Apr 16, 2017
10
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I would agree with the other posters, you have to take some time to think about it and really consider what it is worth to you. I have met doctors who are just starting their residencies in their mid 30's/early 40's. However, you definitely have a commitment to your children which I'm sure you do not take lightly.

Whatever decision you make, I hope it can come to fruition
 
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Theseus

5+ Year Member
May 8, 2014
383
270
Status
Medical Student
Have a 30 year old single parent in my class. Can be done. You need to do well on your post-bacc and on the MCAT.
 
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ciestar

All grown up! MS4!
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
6,225
6,910
Status
Medical Student
Was your college done abroad? Most med schools require a certain amount of credits in US schools to even apply. That is also something to consider.
 
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LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,386
34,088
Status
Academic Administration
First step: acquire access to the MSAR and find out what the requirements are for medical school admission. Most US medical schools require a bachelor's degree earned in the US or Canada. Some will accept applicants who did undergrad abroad but who then complete a graduate degree in the US and have completed the pre-reqs as well. Either way you will need several years of coursework before starting medical school and you will need to do very well academically (much better than your undergrad 3.0). You should look into whether undergraduate programs will give you credit for work done abroad or credit for life experience (called CLEP). Some medical schools may accept degrees and courses completed online and some may not. The same applies to CLEP. Again, you need to consult the MSAR.

Nothing you did in HS will matter at all. Your GPA earned abroad will not matter at all which is good because it isn't very good from US med school standards.

Medical School Admission Requirements™

This is going to be a long and expensive process. You are going to need to be away from home overnight when your kids are young and you are in training. Only you can determine if the end result will be worth making school/training your primary focus for the next 10 years.
 
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OP
ptm33
Sep 11, 2017
26
12
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Thank you so much for these insightful response, you guys. As much as your comments help set my expectations straight, I am even more intrigued to discover the level thoughtfulness y'all put into gratuitously advising a neophyte. THIS is the community I want to be involved in. Discovering this community reaffirms my interest in going into this field.

@workaholic181 @GABAGoober @Theseus @Moose A Moose thank you so much for your encouragement. It's great to hear I am not that odd of a ball/case. I am definitely sitting down and making a plan, doing ROI analysis as @Wjldenver suggested as we speak and realizing there are so many variables and unknowns right now for me to come up with a workable equation. So executing this step by step is the way to go indeed. The intangibles like the possible (and very likely) strain on our marriage and the forces that will be working against my commitment to my young children are definitely the biggest factors right now. Cost of tuition is not an issue, both my husband and I have earned and saved enough to take care of our children all the way through their college if we keep this minimalist/economist lifestyle of ours and according to the current math, my savings alone will be able to fund this long haul medschool education and buy all the coffee I will need. The biggest cost right now is opportunity cost - my absence and all those OTHER things I could be doing, the not being able to go to all my children music recitals or hand make their Halloween costumes, robotic family dinner (everybody just eat and run) instead of chatty happy family dinner like you see in the movies and lonely evenings, no more family holiday cards, etc. And most importantly, not being able to be there to help my kids through their own schooling and making sure they themselves have their best chance of doing well academically so that they too have their choice to be whatever they want to be when they come to this point in their lives in their own adulthood.

To keep my original post short, I did not mention that my husband is also a former somewhat successful investor who was sick of making rich people richer and wanted to do something more meaningful and make a difference. He quit his job and became a physician, too. It was a long road for him but he inspired me deeply. However, what do you think about TWO physicians in a house. There's a Chinese saying that goes "there cannot be two tigers in a cave". Apart from two tigers creating a scene though, this will also mean both of us will be away, busy with our careers. I would love to hear any thoughts on this.
 
OP
ptm33
Sep 11, 2017
26
12
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
@ciestar @LizzyM very good point. Yes, I am thinking about earning a graduate degree here first upon your recommendation also to see if my brain is still intact and weather reentering academia is realistic for me. My GPA was embarrassing on paper, very true. My LizzyM score will only look good if I nail the MCAT and ace my remaining science pre-reqs. Admittedly, I hardly show up for classes (while pursuing Economics degree) being involved in the outside and inside of university extracurricular activities in the level that I was. But looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way, because that loss of one whole grade point average (which was due to my interest outside school) enabled me to get the kind of jobs I had and acquired financial resources to retire early and even consider going back to (med)school in the US right now.

I want to test waters on the right pool though. I am not sure if this is the right place to continue asking but what graduate degree should I acquire that will be most effective in bridging me into medschool. Currently, I'm looking at:

MPH -- a natural direction for several Econ undergrads
MS in Nutrition -- I was also interested in becoming an RDN before babies and all this inspiration (and obsession) to become a physician to help families set in
MA in Psychology -- I am recommended to look into becoming a Psychiatrist on several occasion
MSW -- if I cannot become a physician, I believe being a social worker will enable me to help others to an extent.

Interested specialty in order of interest:
General pediatrics
Family medicine (geriatrics / end of life care)
OB/Gyn
Psychiatry

As I earn my MA/MS degree, I plan on taking premed post-bacc / pre-requisites at the university my husband's hospital is associated with and prepare for the MCAT separately (ie. I am not looking for a graduate degree that will prepare me for MCAT).

Let me know of your thoughts and/or where should I be posting this question.
 
Mar 5, 2018
13
0
Hi ptm33,

I am in a similar situation to you and was wondering if you made a decision or tried anything yet? I am 33 with 2 children and regretting not going to med school before children and wondering if it is too late or if I should pursue a different field (psychology, nurse, dentist). Love to hear if you have an update?
 
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