33y old mom/wife with spotty grades

Well, I really can’t believe that I’ve waited this long to decide to try to go to med. school, but hindsight is 20/20. I graduated with a bio degree in 97; was having fun with my friends most of the time…it shows with an overall 2.9 gpa. I’ve worked in pharma/surgical device sales for 10 years. Doing well financially with my job. Have a great husband and a 10 month old son. Things seem great, all but I hate my job. As the years passed, the thought of going to med school did cross my mind…just wasn’t settled with other aspects of my life to be serious about it then. Now I am. So, I’m planning on quitting my job in 3 weeks and scheduled to take the MCAT on Aug. 6th. Taking Kaplan and pretty much going to be treating studying as a job until test day. Been going over the info on and off over the last few months, so I think it’s possible to do well if I dedicate 3 solid months to it. However, because of my terrible gpa, can anyone let me know their thoughts on if a great mcat score can compensate for bad grades 10 years ago? One ass. dean of add. told me that because it had been so long, to take my mcat, do well and apply. They’d be looking more at my mcat and work exp. She also said to take a few classes to show I was in the academic mode again. Don’t want to have to take all my classes over again because of my age. Anyway, any advice would be much appreciated!

You are going to have to really do well on the MCAT (>30) but it’s not unheard of for someone with a 2.9 to get into med school. Be sure to look into DO schools as well as MD schools. Good luck.

33 is not old at all; lots of us including those who have already gotten into med school or are into residency programs are already in our 40s! Face it, you’re a young’un around here.

I would recommend retaking your basic science courses: biology, physics, general chemistry, and organic chem. 10 years is a bit long ago for some schools, most of which require recent coursework especially in the life sciences which are advancing very rapidly. You should confirm this for yourself by calling a few schools that you are likely to apply to.

As a nontraditional applicant you also need to demonstrate that you can handle the academic rigor and that means getting pretty good grades in a competitive setting. Medical school is not a cake walk. Step up to the plate and take those courses and do really well in them, rock the MCAT as Megboo advises, and you will have a very good basis on which to proceed with your new career. I would also consider taking a few upper level science courses such as biochemistry, genetics, physiology, etc., all of which are excellent preparation and will further boost your GPA. Many of us have had to deal with poor GPA from undergraduate days but these obstacles can be overcome if you are really bound to achieve this goal. Best of luck,

Admissions committees will be looking for more than excellent MCAT, they will also want to see RECENT science courses with A’s. I realize that you are anxious to get going but an excellent MCAT will not on it’s own compensate for a poor undergrad GPA. Recent coursework is a must.

Every post telling you to take recent courses is on the money. You need to take several upper division life science courses and get mostly A’s (with the occassional B) to have a shot.

Also, realize that your application will initially be screened by a computer. Many schools have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (unless you application has a special reason for individual attention is is pulled out of the pile), and below this the computer automatically kicks out your AMCAS. When it comes to the 2nd round of elimination, they will take some combination of GPA/MCAT scores (for eg, GPAx10 + MCAT) and eliminate even more applicants.

Sorry, it sounds terrible. To get your foot in the door for an interview, it is still all about the numbers.

Good luck, and don’t give up. It is really worth it.

I am a 34 yr old mother of two boys. I am starting med school this fall! It can be done. I had a low-ish average from my undergrad, but I did extensive science post bacc and got better grades. I would suggest taking some post bacc classes and getting A’s. Find some beginning graduate level stuff or upper level stuff you didn’t take, like epi or extra genetics.

And, apply broadly. Good luck!

If your MCAT practice scores aren’t WAAAAAY up there (by which I mean at least a few points above 30), don’t take it until you’ve got some new coursework under your belt. It’s much better to take it once and do well than to have a so-so score that you then have to “remediate.” Good luck!