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thinking of waving the white flag

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by mommy2three, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. mommy2three

    mommy2three PGY-1 10+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    well, this app season did not go well for me.

    basically when i called all of them to find out what to do to better my chances, i was told the same thing...raise my cum gpa. to do that is virtually impossible given i have a combined close to 300 credit hrs between grad and undergrad, so even if i took 30 credit hrs and got straight A's, it would raise my cum gpa by a whopping 0.05 which is really not enough to make much of a difference.
    and then there is the smp which essentially has screwed me over. one lousy question away....which i keep kicking myself for since i changed my answer. but that is neither here nor there, since i can not change it. but it is a HUGE black mark against me.
    i feel like a dog chasing it's tail. i keep going around and around in circles and getting nowhere.
    basically i am stuck. i do not have the ability to apply broadly due to dh's work and the house situation (just purchased our house 3 yrs ago) and spending 4 yrs away from my kids is also not something i am quite willing to do, not to mention the extra expense that would add on.

    so i am sitting here and i am strongly contemplating giving up, waving the white flag of surrender and moving on. i am thinking of getting my bsn, working as a nicu nurse then pursuing my np in neonatology.
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  3. Luxian

    Luxian 5+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2006
    I feel your pain, but I wouldn't give up quite yet. I had a 3.1 GPA as well, and I got soundly rejected from all 7 schools I applied to my first time around.

    But then I got back up, redid my essays, and applied more widely the second time.

    A few things I would do. It's all very well to say that you should improve you UGPA, but you're right, there's little you can do. What you CAN do is improve your MCAT score. I know it sounds far fetched, but a 35 will go a long way to alleviate their concerns about your academic ability. A 35 on a single test is easier than pulling up your GPA to 3.5.

    Secondly, you only applied to four schools. I know you had to stay in Chicago (I read your MDapp), but four schools isn't enough even to cover chance in this game. I applied to 16 and got into one. That's the kind of odds you may also be facing. Perhaps you can wait and reapply when you would be willing to move?

    You can go to med school. I certainly believe it. But you may have to take more time, get more experience, improve your MCAT, and consider leaving that lovely city. It just depends what you want more.
  4. gman33

    gman33 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    You can't always have everything at once.
    Based on your app, you need to apply very broadly to have a shot.
    I totally understand family and other concerns coming first, in the long run they are much more important.

    If you can see yourself being happy with a career in nursing and maybe a NP, I'd go down that route. It's not that you are giving up, you're making the best decision for you given your current options.

    :luck: with whatever you choose.
  5. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Sorry to hear that you had no joy, Mommy2three. That's a touch knock.
    Okay, a couple of points that are relevant:

    1. This is not one school telling you to raise your GPA. ALL schools are telling you to raise your GPA. If you want to apply again, you need to raise your GPA.

    2. Do not combine grad and undergrad hours. Schools do not do this. You probably need to raise your undergrad GPA. Doing so is sloooooow going. So it comes down to the "how bad do you want to be a doctor?" thing. Many folks take two or three years of classes to improve their GPA. Are you willing to?
    How did they screw you over? What was your performance like? Folks throw around SMP's like they're the cure-all, but they're a double-edged sword. If you do well, they can make the case you're ready for med school, but if you don't, they imply you're not ready.
    Apologies, but I don't know what "dh" refers to?

    If feel you are restricted to a set number of schools and all those schools told you exactly the same advice (to raise your GPA), you need to decide if you want to follow that advice. If you do not, I personally don't see any point in applying to those schools again.

    Raising GPA is a tough gig. If you decide to do it, the best of luck to you. If you don't, and decide to pursue nursing, it is a great career and probably a lot more parent-friendly than medicine anyway.

    Good luck with whatever you decide....
  6. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Not true. There is something you can do. There just isn't a quick fix. I know we like to look for the easy way out, it's human nature. But sometimes the only repair is the long and arduous one. She can repair her GPA, it will just take a lot of time and effort.
    She contacted all the schools she applied to and all the schools she's planning on reapplying to and all told her that she needed to raise her GPA, not her MCAT.

    I know raising the MCAT is always the hail mary to avoid raising the GPA, since you can raise the MCAT in a day if the stars align. But the schools told her what aspect of her app needs improvement. If she doesn't address that, unless the schools get new admissions staff, she'll get rejected again.
    Good advice. If she doesn't want to make the change the schools she was rejected from recommend, she needs to apply to more schools.

    I understand her not wanting to move. So it becomes a matter of priorities (and with kids, med school doesn't always win).

    Another thought though, Mommy2Three: have you considered DO schools? If I'm not mistaken, Chicago has a couple. You'll be a doctor at the end and they tend to be a little more lenient during admissions.
  7. spideyman44

    spideyman44 5+ Year Member

    May 28, 2008
    dh = dear husband

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious????? Physician 10+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2003
    Philadelphia Area
    Take a breather.....

    May I suggest coming to the Old Pre Meds conference in June. in Washington D.C.

    In addition to getting some very valuable insight into the application process, there will be a number of schools there with which you can speak to and get some advice.

    In addition, apply very broadly. Have you looking in Osteopathy? Have you thought about Overseas? Have you thought about being a Physician's Assistant?

    Don't be so quick to give up. If this is what you want, you will find a way.
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    DId you read her post? She spelled out why she doesn't want to apply to more than immediate area schools (which, granted, will cost her). Being tight on money, invested on real estate and having kids at home is a pretty good reason not to head to the Carribean.
    I agree she needs to fully explore options before deciding whether or not to pull the plug, but the "you'll find a way" philosophy only applies to those without debt and responsibilities.

    Having other people depending on your attention and income, especially kids, can eliminate options. Making getting into medical school your first priority in life is just not an option everyone has.
  10. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Ah. Got it. Thought it might be divorced husband, and was confused....
  11. mommy2three

    mommy2three PGY-1 10+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    hubby and i talked about it last night, and we could possibly swing a nearby state, but i just don't know if i would be willing to sacrifice seeing my kids on the weekends and breaks for 4 yrs. yes i could potentially transfer after two to a closer school, but it is unlikely.

    i did apply osteo, in fact ccom was my top choice. that is why i was advised to apply to their mbs program, for which i a currently on the waitlist.

    i got mostly b's, a few a's and two c's in the smp i did. i ended up with a 2.88 gpa which was not enough to continue in the program. thus, even though i did not do badly, i still have the black mark against me for not completing the program.

    this is what i desperately want, however if i take 2 yrs and get a second bachelors and get straight a's it manages to raise my ugrad cum gpa not very much (i calculated it would raise to maybe 3.3 or so from my current 3.19).
    while i would be willing to put in the work, i do not see that this would make much of a difference application wise. it would take literally YEARS to raise my gpa anywhere near a 3.5, a sacrifice that going on 34 this yr i am also not willing to make.
  12. mommy2three

    mommy2three PGY-1 10+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    we are comfortable money wise. the only major debt we have is the house. car is paid off as are all cc's. we could potentially swing me living in a nearby state for a few years, but it means sacrificing other things we would like to do with our savings. and it would mean purchasing another car which would add to debt since we would put down a significant down payment but would still finance maybe 40-50% of cost. plus an additional apartment, etc.
  13. MJB

    MJB Senior Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    I know it's silly, but DO schools replace grades rather than average them, so if you've got some C's (or worse) on your transcript, I would re-take those and GET A's in them...then re-apply.

    And, I would highly, highly recommend talking to CCOM folks every chance you get because that appears to be your best option.

    I'm still not sure I understand the SMP....did you have to have a 3.0 to complete it?
  14. QofQuimica

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

    Oct 12, 2004
    Just to be sure I understand: You have a 28 MCAT and a 3.1 GPA from college, correct? So you joined an SMP and earned a 2.88 GPA in that.

    I really don't want to kick you while you're down, but this has worsened your situation to the point where it will take herculean effort to even attempt to recover from it. I think you are probably right that you should seriously consider doing something else and moving on with your life. We all have dreams, but sometimes there just are too many odds against us. I wanted to be an astronaut, but you know what? I get seriously motion sick, and my vision is too bad to be a pilot. I'm not unhappy doing what I'm doing, but I would be lying if I said I still didn't feel a little wistful every time a shuttle takes off from Cape Canaveral....

    At some point, continuing to chase our dreams into outer space stops being admirable, and starts being plain pig-headed and hurtful to the people who love us back here on earth. There was a great movie that came out when I was in college called Mr. Holland's Opus. It was about a man who wanted to be a famous composer and ended up spending his career as a HS music teacher. In the end, he wound up being a much greater man than he ever would have been if he'd simply "followed his dreams."

    OP, none of us can really tell you what to do in your situation, least of all me--FWIW, I wish you the best of luck with your future plans, wherever they take you. :)
  15. sunny1

    sunny1 2+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I'm just grasping at straws here to see if there are any other options left for you.

    What kind of work does your husband do that he can only work in the Chicago area? If this is your dream, why can't he find similar work for 4 years in another location with you vs. breaking apart the family? I know my husband is limited to certain areas of the U.S. due to his job, but there is still more than 1 city we could live in that he could have a reasonably paid job appropriate to his skills and interests. If he's in the military, though, disregard all that I just said. Then I get it.

    You sacrifice money and savings for your dreams sometimes. You might have to get that extra car payment or sell the house and take a hit to your savings if you need to move to pursue medical school and sell your house in a bad market.

    We had only owned our house for a little over a year when we decided to pack up and move to pursue a better job path for my husband. Of course we didn't plan it that way and it wasn't the best financial decision short term considering the housing market as it was last fall. However, in the long run my husband is much, much happier with his new job and he makes more money. And thank goodness we sold the house (even though it was at a loss). Granted, I don't yet have children, so perhaps this changes one's perspective and willingness to take risks. I can appreciate that.

    As someone else said, it might be easier to increase your GPA for CCOM compared to the other schools. Did you look at that calculation/how long would that take you? Was their reasoning the same as the other schools, i.e., low GPA?

    Alternatively, if you would be ok with the RN->NP option, I think that's perfectly reasonable. You can still be a part of research teams even and present, publish, etc. Heck, it might even give your more time with your family in the long run and would still be a fulfilling and interesting career choice. Good luck with everything.

    EDIT: Depending on your own ability to get a job, how long until your current MCAT expires, etc. I supposed you could wait a few years until your husband is done with his stuff (is he in a graduate program?) and just work. Then after he graduates, you get ready to apply again (it might mean taking MCAT again) but this time applying more broadly if you can move to other states with the family in tow. Just another thought. Or you could go ahead and start now with the nursing option if you guys want to stay in the Chicago area forever.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  16. 8744

    8744 Guest

    Dec 7, 2001
    In all seriousness, you should give it up. I know you think you want to be a doctor but I assure you that this mother****er is not worth the time and emotional capital you are investing in it. I know this now and I would never, ever, do it again if I had known nine years ago what I know now. Sure, it can be a good job and it has it's rewarding moments but the frustrations, overwork, and annoyances of residency are, I repeat, not worth the effort.

    You are 33. If you get another Bachelors Degree you'll be 37 when you can reasonably hope to apply again. You'll be 46 by the time you finish even a basic residency and who even knows what the reimbursement structure will be like much less how you'll feel about the whole thing. Imagine Q4 call as a 45-year-old resident with family responsibilities.

    It blows.

    It does blow.
  17. themule

    themule Donkey Punch Central 7+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2006
    The funny farm
    I am probably going to be castigated for what I have to say but here goes anyway. From reading this thread I have gleaned that you are quite the Princess. What I mean is that you want what you want in the way that you want it. Don't we all. Very few will ever get that, the rest of us have to do what ever we have to do to get where we have to get. Normally that entails sacrifices. You yourself said that you are unwilling to make too many sacrifices, i.e. location, time away from family, etc. So then really what it boils down to is priorities. Your family is a greater priority than becoming a doctor. That is not a bad thing it is admirable. Like Q said sometimes the cards are stacked too much against us to overcome and we must play the hand that's dealt. If you are really worried about home life and are still interested in working in health care I would strongly urge you to look into nursing. The hours are better, sometimes you can work 3 12hour days and have 4 days a week off. That's pretty darn cool if you ask me. I don't think that your decision boils down to what you are capable of doing but more what you are willing to do. Best of luck.
  18. remo

    remo Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2005
    Bailout Nation
    Because you are so geographically restricted and you did not perform well in the smp I would say that your chances for an MD are next to impossible. Your best bet for becoming a doctor would be the DO schools in IL and IA.

    Spending the next several years and $$$ taking classes to try and raise your gpa just to apply to a handful of Chicago-area schools would be a long, long shot. Non-trads with low gpas need to be willing to move anywhere in the country in order to have a shot at an MD. That's just the way it is.

    P.S. you are going to get a lot of "you can do anything!" advice but I would say that you need to be realistic at the same time. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  19. m3unsure

    m3unsure Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    To the OP,

    What are your other career options at this point?
    Seriously, I would consider them looking back. Really seriously.

    You may have seen other posts from myself about how medicine is really not that fun as you progress. Well, I guess it's hard to tell until you actually do it, but the problem is that you can't just quit. Debt keeps you going.

    I'm sure you can do something else that can give you mental stimulation without all the political BS of medicine these days. The bronze age is here and by the time you are done, it will be the dark ages (hopefully not, but I have no faith in our political powers).

    PLEASE REALLY REALLY reconsider medicine. I know the feeling you have. You want to do your best and get in the best possible school. But it is a temptation that needs to be addressed by experiencing the life of a resident. I urge you to follow a resident for at least 1 month. Let that dictate if will continue to pursue medicine.
  20. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Gotta agree with this. We are now talking about a multi-year project before I see you having a real shot. And that assumes you manage to only improve things and not have more setbacks like you did in the SMP. It might pay to take a hard look at what tasks you see yourself doing in medicine, and see if there is a way to do some of those things in an ancillary healthcare field, rather than as a physician. You might hit less resistance in one of those routes.
  21. mommy2three

    mommy2three PGY-1 10+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    hubby does software development for a wall street firm. our only options to live and have him work in this field are here in chicago and in ny....and well if chicago schools are a reach, east coast schools are a pipe dream.
  22. mommy2three

    mommy2three PGY-1 10+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    i am by no means a princess, in fact i am a very down to earth person. i know my limits of what i am willing to put myself and my family through. and it simply comes down to hubby's job is here, our house is here therefore i am here. and my extra family support system is here.
    could i do 2-4yrs elsewhere? yes. do i deep down in my heart want to spend that amount of time away from my youngest who is barely 2 and my oldest who is almost 9? not particularly.
    as you said it is about priorities. and for me being here while i am in school to see my kids grow up is a priority. if i am a princess for that then so be it.
  23. mommy2three

    mommy2three PGY-1 10+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    i would but retaking at the original college is not an option. i am in chicago and sub-par grades came from siu-carbondale.
    plus i am not really sure what a degree in radio-television would get me (which is what i would get by re-taking classes) :confused:
  24. tbo

    tbo MS-4 10+ Year Member

    May 5, 2002
    I agree with Q and Law2Doc for the most part in this thread. The odds are stacked against you and a major commitment on your part must exist for you to succeed (see the Allopathic thread about how people are missing their siblings weddings for MS3/4 clinical rotations! insane!) However, as a fellow odds-stacked-against-me applicant and entering med student, I have to say if you still feel the fire to apply again after you improve at least some aspect of your application (MCAT is the quickest but least comprehensive improvement), you must expand your school selection.

    There are a lot of MD and DO schools in the NY and NJ area that would make family life doable for your family situation. That could effectively multiply your school choices by about 3-4 times and help alleviate the horrid odds for non-trad, poor GPA applicants. Sure it makes the whole house situation difficult but if med school is what you want, something has to give - and if I was you and med school was The Dream, equity in a house would be damn near the top of that list. That's as best a compromise as any. Give a call to NYCOM (Osteopathic in Manhattan) and see if they can't offer any insight into their admissions process. Put in some directed elbow grease and see what you can do within the confines of reality... and if it's what you want, go for it and don't harp on the challenges. Best of luck.
  25. silas2642

    silas2642 silas2642 10+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2005
    As un-fun as delivering bad news can be, I have to agree with Q here. It's pretty unrealistic to think that you're going to get into med school at this point with the low gpa and the less than stellar mcat. The death blow was the poor performance in the smp which to adcoms shows that you can't handle the med school curriculum.

    Life goes on-- there is way more to life than medicine, and you have what a lot of us crave. It sounds as if you have this wonderful husband and two great kids. Being a physician is certainly not all glamour, and maybe it would be for the best to just move on with your life. As others as mentioned, there are careers as nurse practioners (where, you could still be a doctor), PAs, CRNAs, or just plain nursing that you may find fulfilling.
  26. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Nurse practitioners are not doctors, and I suspect there will be some backlash on the handful who are holding themselves out as such in the not too distant future. But this is a good field for those who want to perform a decent number of the tasks that physicians perform.
  27. efex101

    efex101 attending Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2002
    I agree with Q and think that maybe right NOW may not be the time for you to pursue medicine *but* this does not mean that you cannot pursue this later. Medical school will always be there and this dream can be put on "hold" to later be picked up. It seems that family is your priority right now and to be honest medical school and residency are not the most accomodating for spending quality time with your loved ones. If you can see yourself pursuing something else like nursing then I say go for it *but* make sure you will truly enjoy the process and the career.
  28. Orthodoc40

    Orthodoc40 7+ Year Member

    Well, you are saying that your priorities are to be there for your kids while they grow up. What's wrong with that? Nothing! It may be difficult for you to resolve that you can't do both of the things you want to do right now, exactly the way you want to, but knowing what is most important to you is really all you need. Make the rest work around that.

    You can stay where you are, and try either a PA or NP or CRNA or some other great, short term, short investment of time & money program. You can stay where you are and try to do something to improve your application (Sounds like a challenge, at this point!)

    Or you can move your family somewhere where you can still be with your kids AND go to medical school, and it sounds like your most realistic option is going to be at a DO school.

    Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do. I'm sorry that it has been disappointing. Listen to PandaBear - it's really not all it's cracked up to be. :luck:
  29. MLT2MT2DO

    MLT2MT2DO 10+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2008

    You have your priorities and only you know them. From what I understand being a doctor is just not high enough on your priority list, which I believe deserves total respect. You have to remember on top of being away from your family for med school, you'd also have to cope with 16 hour days as a resident, and even when you become an attendant you're not talking anywhere near 40 hours a week.
    I'm thinking maybe you haven't thought the idea of "giving" your life to medicine. Can you have a full life outside medicine, yes. Are you going to have to make sacrifices which will include your family at times, yes.
    I think going the NP route sounds like a great idea for you, you are able to be an important part of medicine AND you can do it all on YOUR terms.

    Gl in your future!
  30. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Ah. This changes things.

    SMPs are the last chance to prove to adcoms you can cut it at med school. For folks with substandard GPAs, great performance in an SMP is a way for possibly let adcoms look beyond it.

    But even going back and doing significant undergrad repair will probably not help much with a 2.88 at an SMP. Might look at Plan B.
  31. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee. Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2004
    Where I hang my hat.
    I'd have to agree. With the SMP grades not being good enough (and while a b-/c+ average isn't bad, it's just not good enough for med school) and even being lower than your other undergrad grades, I think your med school dreams are probably over. If you have to do an SMP, you have to do very well in it to be considered for med school admission. And if you fail at their "second chance program" (which basically an SMP is), you're pretty much done. Especially when you're being picky about where you apply.
  32. CCbound

    CCbound Make it count

    May 23, 2008
    mommy2three - despite all the well intentioned advice you get here, the choice ends up being only yours. Not your dh, not your kids, not your advisors, etc. If you don't know what to do, then don't make a decision to stop completely trying to reach your goal. Take some more classes. Keep in mind GPA is separate for undergrad and grad. Do some more shadowing and volunteering to make sure you still have the passion, and to solidify the reasons why you are in this to begin with.

    A couple of people have said maybe this just isn't the right time in your life - your family is your priority. Find a way to keep the dream alive, but don't give up now - you can pick it up again in the future when priorities and responsibilities change.

    I gave up on pursuing medicine 24 years ago after 2 years of rejections.I thought I could be satisfied with my current career, but after 27 years now (in Information Technology) I am very bored with it and I am ready to take on my second career. I am starting down the path to MD/DO in my late 40's. I still have alot of life to give to my second career and am very excited about turning my attention to reskilling. The kids are nearly grown and out of the house (2 in college, one senior in High School).

    Bottom line for me is I couldn't get this fire in my gut to go away, so I have returned to the dream I had as a 24 year old. Don't give up unless you are convinced you can live the rest of your life doing something else.

    Also, have you considered podiatric medicine? Scholl is a podiatric medical school in chicago-land. Check it out and maybe you will see a good fit for you - shadow a pod, read about it on sdn, call the schools, etc.

    Good luck with whatever you decide is best for you!
  33. 177983


    Dec 2, 2007
    Central VA
    I would really encourage you to look at the PA route. There are plenty of peds PAs out there, and I have no doubt that some do neonate stuff. With all your sciences, you're probably already done with the pre-reqs. Just get some patient experience under your belt and you're there. The whole thing will probably take ~3 years, and seems like it will put your whole family through much less stress. On a day to day basis, PAs do much of the same work as doctors. In the PA experiences I've had, the PAs were quite independent. They went to the doctor to talk about cases, and the doc was never checking over their shoulder. Both had been working in their fields for quite a few years, and had the trust of the MDs they worked with. Even one MD I spoke with encouraged me to become a PA instead of an MD because of all the sacrifices MDs make to get where they are.

    The PA route isn't a panacea, but I think it can easily fulfill your dream of patient care w/o as much potential for family hardship.
  34. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    I know you said you can't move, but I don't see why you don't at least apply to other DO schools (i.e. NYCOM, Touro-NY, etc.). Med school requires alot of sacrifice, if you're married it requires double the sacrifice. I am a non-trad and I really wanted to stay in Colorado because my husband has a great job here. BUT...I want to be a doc enough to move and (most importantly) he wants me to (follow my dreams and) be a doc enough to move.

    He is a wildlife biologist and if there is a more specialized field that is truly geography limited - I can't think of one. He has a master's degree, but in all likelyhood is going to take on a crappy, lower paying job not utilizing his 7 years of advanced education, just to make med school happen for me. I am forever grateful for this and after I am a doc, I will be in the position to allow him to take a job of his choosing. I think the fact that your husband won't leave Chicago speaks volumes. I refuse to believe that a related career cannot be found for a different company in any large city in the country. If you really want this you need to have your family to support you and you need to apply much much much more broadly or it won't happen.
  35. Dorise04

    Dorise04 Undergrad student 5+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    People before me have posted some great suggesting and you may have to think out-of-state....

    But just relax and try to come up with the best option for you and your family.

    Good luck:love:
  36. nontrdgsbuiucmd

    nontrdgsbuiucmd 2+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    my own little world
    Yep it definitely must be a joint decision for this to work I believe. You've got some great schools in Chicago, did you look at Chicago Med School/Rosalind Franklin? I'm counting Loyola, Rush, CMS, NW, U of C, UIC, maybe SIU as Illinois possibilities, did you look at all of these? I was very surprised at what U of C was looking for when I spoke with them recently, not at all the high gpa/mcat that I had suspected would be of primary importance.

    Other thought regarding where to be, as my spouse is grad degreed and mid-career + we have two children, our parameters for med schools included mid-sized or larger cities where she can find work relatively easily, rotations likely will be local, and there's a decent chance of a residency in the same city/area. Quite a few schools around that meet those parameters, but Iowa, Kansas, & Indiana put lots of weight on in-state status (Iowa less than the others). I'd look closely at the Wisconsin schools, they seemed more open to OOS candidates. Moving stinks, moving with kids is tough in my experience, medicine is a higher priority than staying in our city to me (us)
  37. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS 7+ Year Member

    May 22, 2005
    OP- you have been very blessed in life. You have a husband that has stood by you while you chased a dream, beautiful children, a home, no major debt, the energy to pursue your ambitions and other things that I am sure you have not mentioned here.

    Have you considered accepting all of these wonderful blessings as enough? The only way to even have the CHANCE of becoming a physician for you will require you to sacrifice some of the above - and the major question is why? There are career paths that are just as fulfilling both intellectually and financially. Have you considered any of those?

    The other consideration (again not trying to sound harsh) is that medical school is very hard, and requires a great deal of work. The REASON medical schools require performance at a certain level in undergrad (or SMP) work is to make sure you can handle that level of work. If you weren't able to perform at the SMP level, what makes you think you will develop a magical ability to keep up at the medical school level?

    You also say you don't want to be away from your family - are you aware of how many hours a day medical students are studying (I can only speak to the first two years)? My day starts at 8:30am and I don't get home until after 10:30pm. For two years I have been doing this - would you be willing to do the same?
  38. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious????? Physician 10+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2003
    Philadelphia Area
    There is reason behind what I said. When I applied to medical school the year before last, my 3rd baby was born. My wife was working from home, and I had a career that I was giving up (not to mention I was making 2X what my wife was making and we were barely scraping by).

    I also applied to local schools the first time I applied and I got nothing. However, I cast my net a little greater the second time (better MCAT scores did help) and I got in. I had to have a loooong talk with my wife about the schools I wanted to apply to. In the end, the move was good for several reasons. It is going to be tough for the next few years, but I believe the sacrifice will be worth it.

    The worse thing a person can possibly experience is life with regret. The What ifs kill a lot of brain cells. I was advising the OP that if this is what she really wants to do, then seek out all options. However, in the end the decision is theirs.

    So to answer your question...yes I DID read her statement. Do you now understand why I said mine?
  39. wisconsindoctor

    wisconsindoctor Banned

    Dec 11, 2007

    I would advice to become a nurse. A nursing career is a great career to have. If your husband got a promotion, or offered a new job in a new city, your nursing degree will allow you to pick and leave. I assume you would not be able to do that as an MD. If you ask me, an MD is a littler overrated (due to being so specialized).

    I would love to be a doctor myself, but I know I don't have what it takes. I just have to face the truth. I know the truth hurts......I've been hurt a lot of times by what we call the truth (I'm a realist person).

    When I was in high school, all I wanted to do was play college football. I didn't care about anything else. Well, no college would recruit me to play college football because I was too small. So then I graduated high school and had to find myself.

    I'm sure you could get a nursing degree in about 2 years. You can then earn a good 60k+ in the Chicago area and have the ability to move from department to department and hospital/clinicl to hospital/clinic.

    Let's say that your husbands business moves to a new area of the city. So you and the family need to move to a new location. With your nursing degree, you have the ability to pick up and move. I assume you can't do that as an MD.

    Family is more important than a career. You won't have much family time trying to get into medical school, while being a medical student, and residency. You basically won't ever see your children during a residency. By the time you get home at night from the hospital, you will need to eat, tuck your children into bed, and then go to sleep yourself. Repeat for four years. Is this really what you want for your family?

    Once your children move out, you won't see them much. Take the time you have with them now to help them grow into good American citizens and try to help your children succeed in life.

    You will have succeed in life by becoming a nurse. Your husband has been ver successful as well.
  40. futureboy

    futureboy 7+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Just throwing this out -- what about taking another look at a carib school? You would only be away for 20-24 months and may be able to do your clinical rotations in the Chicago area for your 3rd and 4th years.
  41. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!

    The above is your problem and in reality, it is what it is. Special masters programs can be wonderful if you do very well but you didn't do very well. I would disagree with your statement "even though i did not do badly" because for the standards that SMPs demand, you DID "do badly".

    Now for options:

    Look at other careers that might give you satisfaction for which you may be competitive.

    You mentioned nursing (and nurse practitioner) in one of your posts. This might not be a bad option if it is satisfying for you in terms of loving what you do. Attempting to enter nursing (nurse practitioner) because you couldn't get into medical school or medicine is not a good reason to pursue these very demanding careers. Entering nursing (nurse practitioner) because you love the career is a better reason. Nursing is not easy to do well as the hours are long and the work is quite demanding.

    Physician assistant
    This career uses the medical model but entering these programs is no "chip shot". They are quite competitive but job satisfaction is very high among PAs and they are able to perform about 90% of what a physician would perform on any given day. This is definitely a career worth investigating but make sure that you can qualify for admission to these programs. The qualifications, in many cases, require hours of health care experience and coursework that is outside the Pre-med classes. In addition, many of these programs want recent coursework.

    Your situation is what it is and in reality, everyone who wants to become a physician will not be able to enter this career. You certainly have many obligations right now that will make continuing along this path very difficult with the chances of success becoming more distant. As you have indicated, it's not just you in this process but your family too.

    Hard choice? Yes, but deciding to pursue another career may turn out to be the best choice at this point. The good thing is that you may be able to revisit medicine in the future (there is no age limit on medical school).

    The oldest person in my class started at age 53 and graduated at age 57. He tried to get into medical school when he first graduated from college but was unable to get into any school. With a wife and young children to support, he went on to Yale Divinity school and became a minister. Fast forward 20+ years with retakes on his pre-med coursework and he achieved his career that he put on the "back burner" for his family. Now he is practicing Family Medicine on a Native American reservation in North Dakota and could not be happier.
  42. 8744

    8744 Guest

    Dec 7, 2001
    Oh man. Just my personal opinion but if I wasn't a physician, this mother****er would so not be worth it and if I hadn't been accepted to medical school, in no way would I have considered any other medical career. When I hear phrases like "fulfill your dream of patient care" I cringe, although I know what you mean.

    As far as medicine goes, if you're not a physician, it's just a job. Hell, being a physician is mostly just a job and, as I have said, not really worth all of the emotional capital people invest in it. Is this clear? What I mean is that people go through seven to ten years of training in this mother****er for two reasons, one being the pay and the other being the "intangibles." No intangibles and I'd rather be an engineer, a priest, a lawyer, a plumber, an electrician, a college professor, a Naval Officer, or any one of many other respectable career, especially if the pay is going to blow.
  43. Strength&Speed

    Strength&Speed Need more speed...... 10+ Year Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    I dont' understand how you can make any restrictions on getting into an MD school when you didn't pass the SMP program. You are going to have to get on your knees and beg anyone to interview you, let alone close to your home. You say you didn't "do too badly" with a 2.8. Sorry, but you did. I'm not being mean, it's just you are going to have to make some serious concessions if you want to be an MD/DO. Go ahead and try, as other posters have said, stranger things have happened. But you have absolutely no leverage in this situation until you change your stats or region.
  44. Trismegistus4

    Trismegistus4 Worried Wellologist Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2003
    Location: Location
    I have to agree with the others here who are saying that maybe medicine and you aren't meant to be. I know this is harsh, but a 2.8 in an SMP is a virtual death knell.

    More importantly than that, though, it sounds like you have a great life, and from the other side of the fence I would say it would be unwise to disrupt it by going to medical school. You have a husband and three children. Your husband is not only supportive but also has a job that allows you to stay at home with the kids while living debt-free except for the mortgage. Why disrupt that? Plus, you took marriage vows to your husband and birthed the children; you have obligations to them that should come before your own personal ambitions. How do you think the kids will feel about seeing their mom go from being at home and always there for them to totally unavailable? Is that really what's best for them?

    Pursuing a dream can only go so far. Our popular culture sells us a nice bill of goods with all of this "pursue your dreams" stuff, but for most people it's not true. Those high school motivational talks aren't true: you CAN'T be anything you want to be. I was a music major in college and would have loved to be a professional musician, but in the end I just wasn't good enough. It's kind of like QofQuimica said about being an astronaut: when I see a musician up on the stage wowing the crowd, I get a little wistful, but I realized I wanted to have a family and had to pay the bills, so I turned to somsething more practical: medicine.

    Finally, have you considered that having a family in and of itself is the successful accomplishment of a dream? There are women who would give their right arm to be in your shoes: a husband with a good job, children, and from what you say, a happy family life. I know the biological clock is a female thing, but even as a man now aged 31 I get a little wistful when I see fathers out with their little kids, holding their hands, playing... you've managed to achieve something many of us can still only dream of.
  45. Runtita

    Runtita Goddess on the Move 7+ Year Member


    So suck it up and keep on cooking dinner and doing that laundry, right? Bury that ambition deep down 'cuz you gots to do what's best for the children. :bullcrap:

    What a total and complete load of crap!
  46. 8744

    8744 Guest

    Dec 7, 2001
    Whoa. The OP has no valid reason for wanting to continue the struggle except pride and vanity.
  47. LUCPM

    LUCPM 10+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Very well said.

    I'm not in a position to tell anyone what to do but I think odds are stacked up too high against the OP.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  48. SBK

    SBK Class of 2013 - WSU 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2006
    For what it is worth: you have one option.

    Re-take the MCAT. Getting a 30+ is not far fetched as you have room to improve in each of the 3 sections. CCOM (and most DO schools) look favorably at the situation you are in; and, 2-3 months of solid dedication WILL get you the score you need.

    Seriously, the MCAT here is the way out. A 28 is already good for a DO, but you need to break another standard deviation to make up for the GPA.
  49. Runtita

    Runtita Goddess on the Move 7+ Year Member

    I wasn't addressing the OP- I was addressing the inane comments about how the OP should remember her vows and the children she "birthed" and to essentially forsake a career to care for her family.
  50. Trismegistus4

    Trismegistus4 Worried Wellologist Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2003
    Location: Location
    Why is "birthed" in quotation marks? Did she not really birth the children?

    You said that it's a "complete and total load of crap" to say that a mother should make sacrifices for her children. Do you realize how wrong it is to say that a parent should NOT make sacrifices for his children, but instead should put his own personal desires first?

    When you get married, you are obligated to put your husband's or wife's welfare before your own. When you have children, you are obligated to put their welfare before your own. Those principles are part of what makes civilization possible. To say that everyone should do what he himself wants, first and foremost, is to advocate barbarism.
  51. Runtita

    Runtita Goddess on the Move 7+ Year Member

    Putting one's children first does not equate to staying home and sacrificing career goals, nor does getting married equate to placing the interests of your spouse above that of your own. Life is full of compromises; marriage and parenthood are a series of compromises.

    While the hierarchy of a parent/child relationship is that of the parent protecting/caring for the child, who dictates who is "more important" in a marriage? Should the wife follow the husband around, or vice versa?

    What bothered me about your comment was that you seemed to be telling the OP that she should just be happy with her kids, her husband, and her comfortable life, and that her vows and the fact that she is a parent mean that she should completely devote her life to just those pursuits.

    And "birthed" was in quotations just because I felt like it- it's such an archaic word.

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