Just some advise please

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    Hello ladies,

    I am 31 years old and back in school finishing my undergrad. I have 2 girls 13 and almost 3. And oh yeah a husband. Well being back in the academic world my options again begin to unfold before me. But now I am stuck. I discussed with my husband going to medical school since being a doctor is what I have wanted since I was a little girl. ( ok a brain surgen but you get what I mean) Anyways he says that I can’t do it that it will be too demanding on this family and we can’t afford it and blah blah blah.. Well I really want to but as he also said am I too old now? Can I not do this? Mind you I have at least 3 years left of school (since I changed my major to Chemistry) but with my Chemistry degree I satisfy all the required classes for Med School. I guess I’m just lost I’m so tired all my life being told I CAN’T. Why can’t for once I be told JUST DO IT! I would love to hear from you this decision isn’t easy so all the input I can get will be WONDERFUL!



    Yes, you can do it!

    I’m 33, married with 3 school age kids and interviewing for med school. Many times over the years my husband and I have discussed how hard this is going to be, all the reasons why it doesn’t make sense. Ultimately, I couldn’t NOT do it!

    Read some of the other posts and you’ll see a ton of advice about how to decide if this is truly right for you. You’ll probably get lots of good replies here, too.

    I have one major question. Why Chemistry? Do you plan to use a Chem degree if you don’t get into med school? If not, could you graduate faster by taking the prereq’s and just finishing the major you already worked on? Non-science degrees are NOT a drawback when applying to med school, so don’t think you have to change your major just to be a doc. Especially with nontraditional students, there is a wide variety of educational and experience backgrounds that get accepted. I have a degree in Anthropology and worked s a teacher and speech therapist!

    Good luck!


    Well Chemistry because I was already doing biology. But it is chemistry that I really enjoy and well a BS in Chem has many more requirements involved and well lots of prereques to get to those requirements. I love lab work of any kind. I wasn’t any closer with a non science degree because I have always been more towards science. I just have no clue what to do with it. If I dont go to med school I will be looking into a graduate program and maybe get on with a chemical research company or pharmy company. Im almost afraid to decide because if I dont Like it I want the option of trying something else and Im afraid my husband will throw a fit and tell what a waste of time and money I have caused.


    Why don’t you investigate some of the alternative careers you could have with your chemistry degree and see if you would really want to do any of them. You could arrange to talk to people actually working for pharma or chemical companies or doing academic work in chemistry or even do an internship(maybe the career center could help). Pathdr2b on this board worked as a chemist for a pharma company so maybe she can provide some insight.

    If you really want to be a physician but feel you need a back-up plan (for whatever reasons), make sure it’s something you will really want to do before you spend so much money and many years of school. If you still have 3 years left you still have time to explore all the options.

    In my case, I majored in chemistry because I thought chemistry was a practical back-up in case I decided not to do medicine or vet (I never took the mcat or applied to med school though). I didn’t really like chemistry that much – I was always afraid I would blow up the lab 😮 . And later when I realised what working chemists were actually doing on a daily basis I knew I would never want to do that for a living. It was too much away from people and isolated. And by the time I graduated I really hated chemistry (with the exception of biochem) but I thought it was too late to change my major.

    (btw, I ended up working in psychiatric social work for several years (taking a break during undergrad to try to ‘find myself’) and then finshed my chem degree and went on to do a PhD in Anatomy/neurobiology) Now I do research for a pharma company, but I really don’t think I want to work in industry anymore and am looking for a change to work that I feel that I have more control over and is more useful and better in line with my values – hence my participation in this forum. I would like to get an MD but am not sure if it will work financially – I’m a single parent – so I’m trying to explore every alternative)


    Juliette, I’d think about talking your husband more. If you want to pursue medical school and have kids, having a supportive husband is a HUGE plus and having a negative and unsupportive husband is a liability. Is he worried about money or is he threatened by you doing something you are passionate about? If so, I think marriage work may be at least as important as figuring out your career. I did residency with 1 kid and now have 2 in solo practice, and I can’t imagine doing this without the active cheerleading and parenting of my husband. Just a thought …


    You can do anything you want to so if you want to be a doctor, you should work towards doing your prereqs, taking the MCAT, etc. However, if you love chemistry and since this is what your degree is, you should also check out the options available to you as a chemist. Become a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) or other professional groups so you can network. Or join the American Medical Association or other medical/pre-med organizations for the same reasons.

    Perhaps you can start by shadowing people in various fields (both in chemistry and medicine) to get a better understanding of what they do and whether this would appeal to you.

    Becoming a doctor is definately doable as many people in your situation have done so. But, it will take a lot of hard work and sacrifice and if you have a husband/family, you need to seriously sit down and talk to him/them about what it will entail. It can be done, but I think will be much more difficult if your spouse/family does not support you. Just my 2 cents.


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