Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Decisions, decisions, decisions.............................

So I have my fall schedule and here it is, drum roll please:

Pharmacology Research
Molecular Physiology
Tumor Biology

In other words, I'd better be able to pull that 4.0 everyone has told me I need to get this Fall while carrying a full load.

I also met with 2 additional adcoms, one of who I've known personally since 2002 and the other was a letter writer for me and teaches one of the classes I'll be taking this Fall. Both were surprised I wasn't accepted to the 5 year MD program, and both very much encourage my path, provided I retake the MCAT. Well dam! A done deal, but at least I feel good about my plan (they also both suggested I talk to someone at AMCAS about how my Pharma classes were classified because this GPA issue is more concerning than I originally thought). And allow me to keep this real, they both agreed I didn't give the 1000% effort I should have in making a case for my admissions.

I also decided to see the recruiter for the PhD program in Micro/Emerging Infectious Diseases/Bioterrorist Agents in part to keep my options open and see what would be said. I was shocked to learn that I could pretty much come in starting with my research since ALL of my Pharma coursework would transfer. I'd then only need 4 core classes to sit for my Oral exams, then move on to PhD candidacy. I could also start January 2010 if I choose to as well. So what happened to Pathology? Well, nothing really other than I'd have to change schools, my current school doesn't have a Pathology PhD, and NOTHING from my Master's degrees would transfer. Absolutely NOTHING, so I'd be starting from scratch. The thing about PhD program is that it really doesn't matter what you get your degree in, it's about learning how to be a Scientist: write grants, defend a hypothesis, design experiments, ect ect you get the picture. And did I mention it would be paid for? So it would take anywhere from 3 to 4 years to finish which would get me right to the time my kiddo finishes high school. And speaking of kiddo..................

She made it VERY clear to me the other day that she does NOT want to move and to be honest I have to consider that (My husband is down for whatever). In fact, both the adcoms I mentioned earlier suggested I really think about not moving because they are both parents and I truly believe they want the best for me and my family. The one adcom was a close personal confidant during the time I was battling my daughters' school decision to put my child in special ed (the same daughter that was just yesterday selected as on of the top middle school students in the county for second year in a row!!). This person's point was that me and my "village" worked so hard to get her to this point that moving at this point in her life could potentially have devastating affects. Add to that, my daughter asked me just this past Sunday to wait until she finished high school if we had to move so I could attend medical school. So what does a responsible parent do in this case?

Well, I'm going to pray about it, but I will likely only consider schools in the immediate area except the one where I've been in contact with the powers that be since forever. That's still a darn good number of schools in different tiers so I should be able to get some local love. If not, I'll likely finish my PhD and reconsider my options after kiddo finishes high school. Either way, my future still looks so bright, I gotta wear shades!!!

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