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Starting the Journey at 40 - "Keep your eye on the prize"

12 years 1 month ago #69730 by texas40chickmd
"Keep your eye on the prize"...

The journey begins... Here I am at 40 and FINALLY starting my quest for a career in medicine. I'm so pumped!! I bought my Gen Chem I and Pre-Calculus books yesterday - OMG have books gone up by about 600% or what? For what I'm spending on 2 classes, I used to spend for a WHOLE semester back in the late 80's. It is definitely worth it.

I'll give a little history which may also help me put the dream in perspective. I started college in the summer of '86, was married by the end of the year and delivering my first child by summer of '87. Needless to say, I became a full-blown adult with loads of responsibility in a hurry. I continued school on scholarship, working 30 hours a week, rasing a baby as a married single mom (my 1st husband did little to help), I managed to graduate in 4 years with 3.6 GPA. I still remember the day my family talked me out of medicine and into education... medicine was no job for "a mother". I needed to "go into education to be with my children..." and other comments swayed me. Not only that, but I had a husband that really would not have supported me in the long haul (we divorced 1 child and 5 years later). I wasn't opposed to education - I LOVE teaching and have made it a very successful career, BUT I'm very ready to finally emark on my dream.

After college, I spend 10 years teaching both sciences and English/reading at middle school and high school. I moved to the next level by teaching other teachers through professional development opportunities. Along the way, I obtained my Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction while working full-time, raising a family of 3 (new husband and additional child). I was really impresssed with my 3.8 GPA - I was obsessed with performance.

My husband now is VERY supportive of my dream and has wanted me to pursue it since we married 11 years ago. It was never the right time. Now we are making the money necessary to build up enough funds to live on during the 4 years of medical school. Our youngest is 9 and fairly self-sufficient. I feel more compelled than ever to be a doctor and I know it is right now for me...

Might be good to think about what has to be done to accomplish my goal:

1. Complete pre-reqs - Gen Chem I&II (I took them 17 years ago... a little rusty!); Organic Chem Iⅈ Physics Iⅈ Calculus and Statistics. I'm taking both calc and stats to better prepare. I'll also have to take pre-calc to prepare for the calc.
2. Sell our house and stockpile $ for expenses during med school. Prepare to live on one salary.
3. Begin volunteer work at the University hospital - get face time with patients - gather experience for application/essays.
4. Use Fall '08 to focus on prep - work 1/2 time or 3/4 time.
1. Prep for MCAT and get the best score possible for ME.
2. Learn conversational Spanish in prep for application.
3. Apply to med schools that have a reputation for viewing non-traditional students
4. Work full-time to continue to stockpile $ waiting for interviews.
1. Interview and begin med school (moving?)

Will continue this list in future...

For tonight - I'm thrilled to start - I'm ready to make a difference - FOR ME! :D

Keeping my eye on the prize!

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12 years 1 month ago #69731 by AggieMD2B
Good Luck! I just turned 40 and will be starting school in the Fall. Scary to walk away from a nice job etc. and go back to school! Wow, but us 'non-traditional' students can show these young ones a thing or two! Ha! Keep your head up and keep plugging away to reach your dream.

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12 years 1 month ago #69732 by texas40chickmd
It is official!! I feel like screaming from the top of the tallest building - I paid for my first two prereqs, parking sticker, and remainder of books this morning. I'm really going to do this. The elation comes from a pent-up dream for 20 YEARS.... wow!

Here's the difficult thing - my husband, although supportive, is apprehensive. I called him right after paying to celebrate with him and was met with a lukewarm greeting. I understand his apprehension. He needs to see numbers of how we are going to do this financially. He's worried about making it on his salary alone, but we used to live on 1/2 of what he is making now at the beginning of our marriage 10 years ago. I'm making more than he does, but we should be able to put most of my salary away if we do it right. I KNOW that we have the dedication to do it. We have been working on becoming debt-free for a couple of years, but haven't really kicked it into gear. We were getting soft and enjoyinging the extra money.

I'm a little worried about leaving a fantastic job (I'll probably do so by August) and working 1/2 time to focus on school and MCAT. Either way, I want this more than anything.

I have to put together a schedule of finances for my hubby so he can see the pathway. His brain needs numbers to understand.

Classes start in a week - Being on campus was fantastic!

Keeping my eye on the prize!

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12 years 1 month ago #69733 by texas40chickmd
Okay, so what do you do when your "supportive" husband is suddenly VERY anxious about what you want to do? If I was younger (thank God I'm NOT), I would give up my dream and give in to his fears. I have so much more confidence in myself and what I know is right, I won't give up!! I'm very proud of myself because this is a huge turning point.

All of my life, I have done things for others, made sacrifices for others, put myself at the very bottom of the barrel, and tossed away my needs. Thank goodness I have the guts to put my foot down now. Everyone else will benefit from my pursuit AND I'm sure I will still continue to put other's needs before my own. I will just need to make sure that I put mine before others just as often.

Enough ranting... I just needed to check in and hear me say that I am important and my dream is important as well.

On another front, I made a concious decision to begin caring for myself - health - food, sleep, exercise, time. I don't want this to be a "New Year's Resolution" although it is the right time of the year. For me, the thought was more - "If I am going to tell others how to live and fully care for the human body, then by gummies I better live what I plan to preach!" We all know what to do, but we have to make concious decisions every day. I've half-heartedly followed good habits for the last year, but I have not fully committed. I'm here to put it in writing in a place that is sacred to me. My health is also part of my dream.


Keeping my eye on the prize!

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12 years 1 month ago #69734 by texas40chickmd
Started my first prereqs - Chemisty and Pre-Calculus (prep for Calc). The chemisty is coming back - I had it in college but that was 18 years ago. I thought it was best to retake it. It is really WEIRD to be back in the classroom on the student side, although not uncomfortable. I always loved school and learning, so I'm not too worried about that.

Here's the hard part - I'm taking pre-calc as an internet course or idependent study. The first homework was 50 problems that were supposed to be review from College Algebra. OMG!!! I am having to go back and reteach myself ALL of college algebra to prep for the first week of precalc. I'm TERRIFIED! I've never looked at something before and had NO CLUE how to solve it! Anyhow, I was VERY discouraged and was planning to drop early. My husband - the godsend - talked me through the panic and focused me back on my ability to learn. I just have to put in triple effort right now to build the blocks back up. I CAN DO THIS!!!

Keeping my eye on the prize!

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11 years 7 months ago #69735 by texas40chickmd
Wellllll.... here I am 7 months later and I almost lost my dream. I started prereqs in the Spring, but my husband was also transfered from Texas to Florida. We decided to do the long-distance relationship thing - he came home every two weeks for a weekend. Needless to say, about 4 weeks into classes, I saw our daughter suffering from getting home at 11:00 PM two nights a week. :eek: I don't have any family in town and I have a very demanding day job. I was going to two night classes and she was staying with a friend in the evening. She could not wind down and go to sleep, so she would just wait for me. Long story short - I gave up. His move was TOTALLY unexpected, but they closed down his office in San Antonio. :mad: He had no choice but to go to save his job.
Fast forward to June 2008 - he starts a new job IN SAN ANTONIO tomorrow. I will be back on track and WILL NOT let this happen again!!!!! I will start my prerequs up again in the Fall. It puts me off my a year, but it means I should graduate when I am 50 years old - ripe young age for a Dr. I would think.

I've missed this forum and the wonderful ladies in it. See you in the blogs... :) Pat :D

Keeping my eye on the prize!

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