How do you go to medical school and pay the mortgage?

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  • #87126
    LouiseLouise
    Participant

    I am 34 year old wife and mother of two daughters(ages 15 months and 7 years). I’ve always wanted to become a physician, but put my dream aside after having my first child. Presently, I work as a lab technician in a research lab at a medical school. I find myself being envious of the students whenever I see them going to class. I’m so happy to find MOMMD. My question is: How do you go to medical school and still pay the bills? My husband does not make a lot of money. How are you single mothers doing it? Is anyone else out there with a similar situation?

    #87127
    LaramisaLaramisa
    Participant

    Hi Louise,
    I’m not in med school yet but I’m a single working mom with a 6 year old, planning to apply next year. I manage on one income and probably also have higher child care and home help costs than a 2 income family, so it can be done if you live within reason. I guess it depends on what things you consider essential and what are extras. I’m so busy that I don’t have much time to spend money going out or buying things. But by the same token, I don’t always have time to look for bargains, so often I end up spending too much for things.

    Loans are available (I think up to 38,000 per year) to pay for med school. If you really want to go to med school I think you can find a way. Do you already have the pre-reqs finished?
    LM

    #87129
    LouiseLouise
    Participant

    Hi Laramisa,
    Thanks for the advice. Your’e right. If I really want to do this then nothing will stop me.
    I graduated in 1990 with a degree in chemistry. I applied to med school before I had my first child, but I didn’t get in. My GPA was pretty good, but I probably needed to do better on the MCAT. I plan to retake it in April. Have you taken the MCAT yet?

    #87130
    MelissaGrayMelissaGray
    Participant

    See if you can talk to someone at the school(s) you plan on applying on. There may be some scholarships available. I was able to get one based on my MCAT and GPA. Everything helps!

    #87132
    LaramisaLaramisa
    Participant

    Hi Louise,
    I’m also taking the MCAT in April for the first time. I decided this summer to apply and used my 3 weeks of summer holiday to review, but decided I wasn’t ready. It’s been a long time since I did the pre-reqs (I also did a chem degree), though I have done a graduate degree in between and I work in research. I’ve wanted to go to med school since undergraduate but didn’t for various reasons – family, money, time, life etc….

    After finishing undergrad, grad school (with the stipend) just seemed like a more sensible option. I had worked all through undergrad – it took me forever and I was still in debt. So I just felt overwhelmed by the idea of accumulating even more debt at the time. [But I know what you mean about envy. I also worked as a technician in a med school research lab during the year after undergraduate.]

    As Melissa mentioned there are sometimes scholarships available. Tuition also varies alot between schools- spend some time researching their websites or talking to the schools and reading through these forums. If you want to continue with research, MD/PhD programs might be an option – but takes longer of course. I wasn’t even really aware of MD/PhD programs at the time I started grad school. They are few slots though, so I don’t know if I would have been competitive anyway.

    For now, I’ve just decided to concentrate on getting accepted and worry about the money later – if I worried about all the reasons not to do it (and there are plenty) I won’t focus on doing well on the MCAT. (And then there would always be the what ifs) And at the same time I’m researching the schools and financing options and just hope that somehow things will fall into place.

    Good luck deciding what you want to do!
    LM 😎

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