So this past Thursday, I was unofficially accepted to an MS program in Bioinformatics beginning in the fall of 2011, so if I don't find a gig by then, that's what I'll be doing. And if I do find a gig, I'll do this program part-time. However, while in the program, I'll be following the same track as the PhD students (I only need 12 credits for the degree), sit for the first part of my PhD oral exams in the Spring of 2012, and will have the opportunity to take 2 more courses in the med school curriculum if I choose. Ironically, it turns our that the director of this track taught one section of the medical school biochem course that I just happened to do extremely well in. So I wasn't all that surprised he remembered me, but was VERY surprised that his first question to me was "Aren't you supposed to be in Residency by now"?. Gee, thanks for reminding me that I've been in quick sand for the past 5 years, LOL!! So the idea of starting med school as a PhD candidate is gonna be too much for me to pass over!
This new plan of course, changes a few things in my life, the first of which is that now my primary academic focus will be to get through my MCAT prep, which in hindsight would have been impossible to do before August 2012 given my schedule (and I don't know why it's so hard for me to see these things ahead of time!). I'm still going through my Java programming course (what fun!), but I've put the bioinformatics course on the back burner since it's at a different school and won't help me prep for this school's oral exams. I haven't eliminated it completely because I really like it and more importantly, may need those skills should I find a Bioinfo job soon.
On Thursday, I also met with one of the deans of a local med school whom I've known for years to let her know that my app would be forth coming this year if all goes well and at the latest summer of 2012. Most importantly, I'm STILL very interested and committed to the MD/PhD program and to quote one of my late 30 something MD/PhD mentors, "if you had tuned out all the naysayers and just went for it 5 years ago, you'd be half way through the program by now"! Yeah, tell me about it and it's this revelation that has me more committed than ever! Because when it comes to "naysayers", I've heard EVERY reason why I shouldn't pursue the MD/PhD for my entire career, the ONLY thing that has changed are the "excuses" people give me for why I shouldn't it do it. When I was in my early to mid 20's it was "you'll have a hard time balancing that with family issues which you'll be thinking a lot about as a 30 something med student/resident". Then when I got married in my late 20's, it was "that's a long haul and you'll be taking your family through a lot". Then in my mid 30's the "tactic" switched to my age, "you'll be in your mid 40s by the time you finish". Well $hit, I'm in my mid 40's NOW and I'd rather be an MD/PhD in my mid 40's NOW than a wannabe!!! And these days, I'm REALLY hearing the "age" excuse, "you'll be in your early 50's before you're done with your training".
So now I'm thinking, ALL of you "naysayers" can kiss where the sun don't shine, I'm going to go for it because it's clear "they" will ALAWYS be on the sidelines talking smack about why I shouldn't do it!!!!! And while they're talking, I'll be moving on with my life.... PhD2, MS1-2, PhD3-4, MS3-4, then