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So I am thinking about going to medical school, any advice?

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    So I am thinking about going to medical school, any advice?


    here is the deal.

    I skillfully flew my motorcycle off a large sand dune and landed with just enough force to earn a "t-6 complete" on my discharge papers about six months ago. I have about three semesters left to get my undergrad economics degree. But being paralyzed kinda has a way of rearranging your priorities. When I was in rehab, one of my doctors was a paraplegic too. I started thinking "hey I could do that". And I've been doing some research. I am sure that I could do that, at least as far as the schoolwork and learning and whatnot is concerned.

    But can I REALLY do it? I dont know. It would require an extra 2 or 3 semesters undergrad (no problem. Then it would get tuff. If I studied my ass off and did good on the MCAT I might have a 50% chance of getting into med school (any med school, 60% of all applicants dont get into ANY school each year, and the average applicant applies to 15 schools). Then it would get really tough.

    I would have to work hard for the first couple of years in med school, but I dont see that being too much of an issue, its mostly book learnin' from what I understand. Then it would get a bit tricky.

    The last two years of med school I would have to do clinical rotations and try out some of the different specialties. That could be a bit tricky for some of them from a wheelchair. But I am sure I could figure my way thru it. Then it would get REALLY REALLY difficult.

    I would have to do a residency somewhere in whatever specialty I picked. And I would have to work about 80 hours a week with 30+ hour shifts for 3-7 years while getting paid just enough to not starve.

    Then I would be able to get a job doing something that I really want to do, in the end I think it would probably be worth all the work (and the quarter million in student loans).

    But that being said, I am a noob at going back to school (I dont go back until August, its only been 6 months since my crash). Considering that more than half of the AB applicants to med school cant make the grade, will I be able to do it and still take care of myself? That is the big question. I remember in rehab they drew us a big pie chart of what people did with their time pre-injury and post injury. They said 50% of your time at 1 yr post injury was spent on maintenance (bathing, eating, using the restroom, dressing, etc) that seems a bit high to me, but there's no doubt that it takes longer to do stuff than it did before.

    What do you guys think? Any advice??? Any advice on going to school post injury in general??? Do you think I could cut it??? Know anybody who's gone thru med school (or any REALLY difficult type of education) in a chair??



    Oh yeah, one more thing.

    Do you think that being in a chair will cause medical schools to be more apt or less apt to accept me? They will obviously know because I have to do an interview before I would be accepted.

    They have a great program for underrepresented minorities, but that means underrepresented by race (I'm not). Do you think they really want diversity on campus, or programs like that are kind of forced on the schools.


      No advice, but I just finished reading some updates in this thread /forum/showthread.php?t=77419 where the posters son is currently applying to med school. It has discussed some issurs hr has had with it. (last few pages of the thread).
      T7-8 since Feb 2005


        Thanks for the link... I think I should be able to avoid some of the issues as far as getting in goes because my injury is lower than his.


          I assume you have established a really high gpa in college, otherwise your ability to get in may be nil. If your gpa is good enough then you can use the additional 2 to 3 semesters to adjust to your sci while you anticipate med school. You may find that adjustment harder than you believe right now. I would anticipate also some anti-deluvian ideas from the med school admission dept. I just have the impression that there is so much elitism in this field that they may not be welcoming or willing to accommodate. If you enjoy a good fight, go for it.


            All I can say is go for it. You seem to have the willingness and determination to continue your education. If this is what you want and you understand that it is going to be a bit hard and you may have to jump a few hurdles and go over a few bumps then I dont see why you shouldnt persue it. This is exactly what I want for my daughter when she gets older, to realize that no door has been closed to her because of her disability, and to not let anything or anyone stand in her way once she decides to go through it.

            Stay safe my son. See you around thanksgiving!


              I say go for it, you never know if it's for you, if you don't give it a try...Don't let others hold you back b/c of the have every right to go for it! get going and do it!!!...


                thanks for all the positive comments.

                I have a 3.82 gpa and I test well. I think I have a better shot than most applicants (assuming I do well on the MCAT). And I guess I need that better than average chance since only 40% of people get in.

                Has anybody here had any experience with something like 30 hour shifts (this is honestly the part which I doubt myself the most in)? It seems like 30 straight hours working would undoubtedly lead to some bowel/bladder accidents at some point.


                  This is from the New York Times
                  Thomas E. Strax, professor and chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, N.J.; he has cerebral palsy. Another is Dr. Shane VerVoort, who practices physical medicine and rehabilitation in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He became the first quadriplegic to be accepted by a medical school in this country when he entered the Medical College of Georgia in 1979.

                  Here's the link to the entire article

                  Don't be discouraged, you can manage your bowel and bladder. Just remember to take your vitamins!
                  Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

                  I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.


                    one of the senior research scientists at my job, dr. trevor dyson hudson, has a c6 level SCI, which i think he acquired before he got his MD.
                    "The only true currency in this bankrupt what you share with someone else when you're uncool." - Almost Famous


                      Thanks for all the stories and encouragement.

                      I am meeting with my premed advisor this week, which we hopefully start me on the path to becoming a doctor!


                        The last time I saw my neurologist at Johns Hopkins he had a low level quad on his team. I figured his level solely because he used a chek-writer to scrible my script. He was probably still a resident. Might google Dr Doug Kerr at Hopkins and see if he has an email to his office manager. I don't remmber the new doc's naame.
                        Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                        Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.


                          I met with my adviser last week. She seemed to think that I was a very good candidate for med school (when compared with other premed students at my school... which may not be much of a compliment at all). So I am going for it. Only time will tell if I can actually hack it. I think getting in will be the hard part. Once I am in I will have no choice but to succeed.