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'What a coincidence:' Teacher turned doctor says Carol's Second Act resembles her career change

CBS show features character who went from the classroom to the emergency room

OVIEDO, Fla. – Next week is the premiere of CBS' new comedy, "Carol's Second Act." The show seems to mirror the life of a Central Florida woman. 

Lindsey Elmes had been a teacher for five years but felt she needed a career change. 

"I was doing a lot of soul-searching, figuring out what my passions are," Elmes said. "Everything from being an environmental scientist to medicine came up when I was considering a different career."

The mother of two decided on medicine and went from checking homework to checking heart rates.

"I always enjoyed science and service types of careers where you're helping people so there's a lot of overlap between teaching and medicine," Elmes said.

The 36-year-old had taught science for two Seminole County schools during her years as a teacher.

"I love teaching and that's what I always wanted to do but after doing it for five years, I couldn't see myself doing it for the rest of my life," Elmes said.

Elmes went back to the classroom in 2011. It took seven years of schooling and residency for her to go from Ms. Elmes to Dr. Elmes.

Her story is similar to one that will soon be seen on News 6.

Patricia Heaton portrays a 50-year-old divorced teacher who had already retired, raised her kids and then decides to become a doctor.

"I thought 'what a coincidence' and I jokingly wondered if they somehow heard my story and then decided that would make a good show," Elmes said. "There's definitely some parallels and that she's a mom and she had another career as a teacher and then decides to change careers but there are a few differences in the way she decided to do it later in life."

In Elmes' case, she was a new mom when she started medical school. She credits her husband who supported her since day one.

"My husband was all for it. He's always been supportive," she said. "My mom, who is a nurse, was more skeptical because she knows how difficult medicine is. So she was asking me: 'Are you sure this is what you wanna do?'" Elmes recalled.

But before taking that leap of faith, she did some research and volunteer work.

"I started shadowing and volunteering and the more I was exposed to that's when I realized that's what I wanted to do," Elmes said.

Although Elmes realized it's a demanding career, she said none of the challenges she has faced has made her regret the decision.

"You're definitely pushed to the limits; mentally, physically, emotionally -- experiencing things you've never done before. It definitely changed me for the better, I wouldn't change anything," Elmes said. "It's fulfilling to help people on a daily basis, make a difference in their lives. Sometimes it's something small other times it's huge, you know, saving a life."

"Carol's Second Act" premieres Sept. 26 at 9:30 pm on CBS.


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