As a terminated, over-the-hill computer operator I never dreamed that I’d have an opportunity so late in life to strut down the halls of a major medical center, barking out orders on my way to scrubbing up for a mastopexy.
Up until now, all those years of drinking, bong smoking and my worthless junior college transcript relegated me to a life of dirty, low-paying jobs and the accompanying low self esteem. Going to medical school wasn’t even on my radar screen until the sagging economy, a shortage of new physicians and skyrocketing malpractice premiums made it possible for me to reach up and grab the brass ring. And thanks to a deal with the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo Escuela de Medicina, anyone can earn an advanced degree from the comfort of their living room – even medical school. Using an old 386 Dell PC and a dial-up modem connection to the Instituto, in 12 short weeks I became Allen Smith, M.D.
Getting started was easier than I thought. I spoke with Carmen to determine which of 14 specialties I was interested in exploring: neurosurgery, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, OB/GYN, podiatry, orthopedics, colon and rectal surgery, pathology, radiation oncology, thoracic surgery, anesthesiology, dermatology, plastic surgery or urology. After a few more questions, Carmen took my Visa card number, address and told me I could expect my medical school starter kit in 7 to 10 working days. No college transcript, proof of MCATs or letters of recommendation required. Even the textbooks and lab fees were included in the $79.95 tuition.