32 Years Old and Rejected During this Application Cycle

My situation is weird. I am currently 32 years old. I dropped out of high school when I was 18. I developed some weird health issues in my early 20s that caused me to become obsessed with biochemistry and medicine. I went back to school at 26, graduated from a community college with a 4.0, and am about to graduate from the University of Michigan with a BS in biochemistry with a 3.97 GPA.

Originally, I wanted to just get a PhD in biochem. But, late last year, I decided I wanted to go for an MD instead. I spent the summer studying for the MCAT and took it on Aug. 20th and got a 515.

My extracurriculars are my biggest issue. I was an assistant manager for Eckerd Drugs (which became CVS) for about 6 years. I also worked as an assistant manager at a music store for several years, particularly helping to introduce music to young children. I don’t have a lot of volunteering experience. But, I did volunteer quite a bit for a nonprofit called Rescue Bank. This organization donates free pet food to animal rescue groups who can’t afford to feed their animals. But, I have zero research experience and very few shadowing hours. I am shadowing an endocrinologist as much as I can, but my schedule is so packed that it is difficult to get a lot of hours in.

I have not officially been rejected from all of my schools. However, in the event that I am rejected, what should I do?

I am considering going for a master’s in biochemistry (and possibly a PhD) and then reapplying 2-4 years down the road. However, I will be 35-37 years old by then and will also have to retake the MCAT. I am afraid I will be too old to make medical school financially worth it at that point.

Does anybody have any advice? Thanks!

With that late of an MCAT, you put yourself behind the application curve, especially for schools that have rolling admissions. I would stick it out and wait until the end of the cycle to admit defeat. Numbers-wise, you make a good applicant. It makes me think you might want to look at a) your personal statement and how you sold yourself, and b) your activities section and what they actually reflect about you. Especially as an older applicant, you should definitely focus on your experiences and how you have grown throughout all of the ups and downs of life, not just “i did this”. How broadly did you apply, and are you considering both MD and DO route?

I guess there are too many factors that go into an application for anyone here to be able to tell you what you need to “fix” and how. I would be willing to bet that if you apply at the start of the season next cycle that you’ll have more bites.

Ditto what Kennymac said with the following exception. Shadowing seems to be a very important aspect to med school applications.

I answered this on tomorrow’s (1/18/2018) podcast!