Thursday, January 21, 2010

Financing The Pre-Med, Non-Trad Way

As is already documented, my way of financing my pre-med journey fell through about 2 weeks ago or rather, I just found out that it had. The equity in my house was going to sufficiently pay for the pre-med journey and then most of med school. Guess Wells Fargo has some extra play money when they sell this place. There's no doubt it will sell at market value which is far above what I owed.

Next thoughts all along had been private student loans. After subsidized and unsubbed undergraduate limits are hit, there is only one means and that is private loans. However, with the financial markets dithering away, and the federal government's bailout of them, there is little money left over from the financial institutions for students. There's not a whole lot of money in student funding even if the loans get paid back. Suffice to say, one must have stellar credit to get a private loan even with a co-signer. Interestingly, if my credit were stellar, I would not have been foreclosed upon!

Next on the "will this work" list?

Undergraduate research opportunities. They are not abundant for non-trads as researchers like the younger brethren who bow and pray to the gods in the classroom and the lab. I always defer to the doctoral lot as they ARE much smarter and better educated than I am... hence their PhDs and my... not so much one. So far, I'm batting zero when it comes to scrubbing up a UROP but I'm not giving up. Research opportunities offer a stipend and limited expense fund most likely from the proposal the PI wrote and grant received (yes, I work for a grant funding organization but it is not in the medical or hard science field). A research opportunity here and there could help pay for the cost of tuition or at a minimum, decrease the expense.

I've begun to look at a master's degree. It would take two years for me to complete it, during which time I could probably finish up my required pre-reqs for med school and take the MCAT.

Using a graduate degree as a means to get funding for the pre-med classes is an interesting (to me) approach. The limits for graduate student unsub and subsidized loans are higher. The aggregate amounts pushed up might give enough wiggle room to get the required funding, or at least, a portion of it.

Question is: in what field?

I'm thinking about it. I could also quit. Which brings me to my last point of this post:

A few days ago I was wandering aimlessly through the med school text book section and saw this BIG BLUE PRINTED TITLE:

"So You Want To Be A Doctor?" Inside were various vignettes about people who had chosen to pursue the path and the initials. Happened to open it up to a chapter about a non-trad (and people insist there is NO God!)...

The story entailed a lifelong nurse giving it all up to pursue medicine at 41. (I was hooked there.) Turns out between raising her child (yep, can totally understand) and helping her husband recover from a major heart attack, she failed physiology. She almost quit then. Going through remediation for that class, she mastered the material and then the 2nd year of med school hit her. She took a 6 month leave of absence due to medical issues with her husband.

Most people, she said, would have given up, gone back to their former careers and lives. She went on to say she could not fathom that and instead of quitting, finished med school 2.5 years later. Practicing now for 8 years, she never regrets stepping back a time to catch her breath, and never regrets coming back to finish the path.

Wonder if she'd have lunch with me?! :D

Make it a great day!


Old MD Girl said...

Do public health or epidemiology. YOu can always get a research job as a project manager with those degrees.

A Doc 2 Be said...

While going to school as well?

My thought was:

Work on Master's
Get research work WHILE doing MS
Get u-grad premed reqs done WHILE doing MS

Med school :D

(the phrase, "giving up" is apparently NOT in my dictionary)

Slamdunk said...

I hope you get some good feedback--financing education is quite the challenge. Not sure I could go through that all over again.

A Doc 2 Be said...

Well, SD, I had it figured out... had it planned, even had Plan B.

Both blew up. What's somewhat ironic about all of this is:

my style tends to be much more - research, think, move.

This med school path was ploddingly slow... meticulously planned out, researched, reviewed, discussed, tested, planned again, evaluated, discussed and THEN launched.

lol - oh well. I'm not quitting.

As I was told by a new friend of mine, I'm not the sort to quit nor do I lack the will... or should I say, most days I do not lack the will.

Old MD Girl said...

Hm, well then see if you can do project management before med school. I got a job doing that without an MPH. Sometimes those doctor-folks can see that you can do a good job (with all those years of work experience) and will hire you anyway.

That's what I did, anyway.