Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Decision Points & Paths

Many of my contacts now know I'm heading back to school. Some look at me with a sense of "Seriously?" and others are merely astounded that at my age (I am 44!!) I'm heading back to try and get into med school.

"Mid life, eh?" I got asked with a look of utter disbelief.

"No," I smiled, "more like real life and real dreams."

Seems then people want to know if I'm serious, if the "right opportunity came your way, would you quit this path?"


Which makes this day sort of weird. I know I need to follow the calling and have no doubts about why, how, when, and where I'm following it. Feels to me though, life is throwing up decision points that make me ponder "what am I thinking" when I could be doing this over there for that much money.

So often I took the easy way out of chasing the dream, making up a plethora of excuses not to. Life took me on a course leading me to public company audits, IPO, and other related roles. I'm good at deciphering public company issues, strategically thinking and planning a course of corrective action, hiring the team to implement, and managing the changes. But I've always found the work somewhat... boring. Start talking derivative instruments and I'm going to sag in my chair and count sheep. Prattle on about treasury sales of s/t investment strategy and the back side of my eyelids are going to become internal explorations.

Yet, when I sit down with my chemistry book and biology diagrams, I love it. Biosphere, populations, organisms, tissue oh my! Mitochondrial transport. ATP. I can hardly wait!

Just need to make sure to surround myself with like thinking people, who are at a minimum supportive, and encouraging. This road is not easy and it shouldn't be. The path to an M.D. at the end of one's name deserves all the recognition and prestige.

Monday, December 15, 2008

And Then There is Reality

For a few months now, I've been researching, poring over any little nuance related to pre-med and medical school itself continually asking myself, "Seriously!?" To which the tiny, low voice says, "OH YEAH!"

This journey that I'm on is full of trepidation with Dad's questions still swirling around in my head, I "do" wonder how will I pay for all of this? How will I keep a roof over my head and the heat on? How can I focus on the sciences when the bills come in, unemployment is rising, the economy is faltering, and I read another 4,000 people are being asked to take buy-outs? It IS scary!

Those that know me off these forums say I'm fearless, and one of the most resourceful people they've ever known. If only they knew, deep inside I'm a little nervous. This dream of mine is almost tangible. This "need" to give back as a doctor so entrenched in who I am, I cannot think of doing anything else now. And that fear of failure is likewise, just as tangible.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Degree Seeking Candidate

There are no words to describe when one chases a dream, takes tiny steps towards it, and how much those steps mean.

Yesterday, it was confirmed what I've wanted for 20+ years:

I'm a degree seeking candidate from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, BA Physiology.

It's a tiny step, it's a tiny little door opening but the thrill is anything but.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Medical Gadgets

Last spring I'd been hearing about the latest/greatest innovative medical technologies. Apparently, a website tracks some of the latest to be publicized.

The latest post shows screws that indicate when it's fully tightened so no over-tightening occurs. Hate to think of that happening on a hip replacement, or Harrington rods in the back! (Loose screws = pain?)

Currently, the technology is available only to the construction industry but ortho and neuro surgeons are remarking on the possibility in the operating room. I could also see dentistry picking this up - replacement teeth, bridge repair work, jaw structure alignment, gum disease repair?

Here's a link to the site:

Lest I forget, it's official. I'm registered at the U for my first few steps into the new direction of pre-med. Biology and Chemistry and Math, oh my!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Placement Exams - 101

Spent the better part of today at the U talking to the admissions office for the college that houses the physiology department. At the physiology advisor's suggestion, I'm taking placement exams in both chemistry and math.

The last chemistry class I had was in 1983 and the last formalized math course was taken in 1982. Mind you, that's when typewriters - IBM Selectronics - were the "in", cool thing to have, gas was about $.35/gallon, and the only computers that existed were used by the DoD replete with punch cards. These exams should be interesting!

One thing I found amusing and almost comforting was the review of old course exams and answer sheets. Before taking the placement tests, it was suggested I study and do the old chem tests, figure out the ones I got wrong, or come in and ask for help.

So tonight, with a large smile on my face, I'm redoing old chem tests and so far, I think, by George, I've got it! Or at least, I'm getting close.

It'll be interesting to see how well I do and also, how my confidence level comes up just a tad; just enough to keep me saying, "This is soooo worth it."

And it is! One step at a time...