A newbie with questions old prereq

I’m 37 years old who graduated from college in 1994. I was premed got a biology degree and minor in chemistry. I took the mcat several times even with help I did bad. So I gave up and came up with plan b. Basically it was get a job in the biology field so I could get out of debt. Well things didn’t go as planned there either, instead I ended working as an analytical chemist. The funny part is I hate chemisty still do. Last year I walked away from chemistry to go back to biology. The idea this time is and still is, to find a job in the life sciences. I figure I find a full-time job, maybe in another year or so take the GRE and hopefully do well enough to get accepted to grad program.

Then 3 months I had the misfortune of meeting a 24 year old who filled my head with these crazy ideas of trying for med school again. My two excuses for this is I’m too old and I don’t want to go into debt again. Over the last month she blew those excuses out of the water. So instead of waiting to find a job and then take the GRE. I picked up a book yesterday to start studying. Last night I started looking into possible maybe taking the mcat again. Okay I’m seeing that I’m not that old but what I didn’t realize is there a time limit on when I took my classes.

I’ll be honest I didn’t enjoy taking the chemistry and physic in the first place. Plus I had to repeat several of these classes. I feel taking these again is waste of money (something I have of) since my grades will from then will still have wait. So what a midwest girl suppose to do?

I was worried about having to retake a lot of classes too. So I called the admissions office at the school that I am interested in and asked. They told me that my “old” classes (graduated 1998) didn’t need to be repeated. But, I was missing the biology and organic lab prerequisites, so I do have grades from recent coursework. Maybe you could call the places you are interested and find out what their opinions are.

I also talked to the pre-med advisor at the University here. Because I am an alumni, I can still use their services. She has been helpful with providing information, especially about how the in-state schools here operate. She told me that it wouldn’t be a problem for this school, but I had another question to ask admissions, so I called and asked about the age of prereqs anyway. I felt better after hearing the schools opinion.

I don’t think there’s enough info in your post to give you a good answer.

This particular statement gives me pause though:

  • In reply to:
I'll be honest I didn't enjoy taking the chemistry and physic in the first place. Plus I had to repeat several of these classes.

This indicates to me that you have a less than stellar GPA, particularly your math/science GPA if you had to repeat several of them. Your GPA may possibly be a bigger concern at this point than the age of your pre-reqs.

You probably won't have to repeat gen chem and physics, although you should consider it if your grades were C's or lower (if lower than a C, you should definitely consider repeating them). You don't necessarily need to repeat biology, but most will tell you that you should at least take a few new biology courses.

Another concern is having taken the MCAT several times and done poorly. You need to figure out why you did poorly on the MCAT, how you can do well and take it again and do well on it. Unfortunately, even though your scores are old, I believe that med schools will still see all of your MCAT scores.

So, I first think you probably need to shore up your GPA and show an upward trend by taking some upper level science classes and doing very well in them (mostly A's). If you haven't done so already, you need to look at volunteering, shadowing and the like. If you don't have any clinical experience, shadowing is crucially important.

If you have any medical schools nearby, try and schedule an appointment with an admissions counselor and see what they recommend (i.e. - what they would want to see from you in order to be a competitive candidate). Investigate osteopathic schools. Osteopathic schools are a little more forgiving in that when figuring your GPA, they only count the more recent grade for retakes (although adcoms see all the grades).

Welcome and good luck!

Funny my friend said the same thing. There is a pretty good instate med school that has the grad program I would like to get into too. There’s also a DO school that has a pretty interesting grad program that I need more info on. I’m also looking at one that’s thirty minutes from my hometown, though I would be considered out state.

Actually it was chem l and physic l, that I repeated at a junior college. I did better the second time around. I would like to take some advance classes. The master program I’m look at is in biochem and molecular biology two of my favorite classes in college.

As far as shadowing a doctor did it but it was something I enjoyed so doing again is no problem. I worked in several doctor’s office (including the lab) for ten years. Spent five years as analytical chemist in a clinical reference lab. I just did a temp position in lab, working cell lines and such for biotech lab. That’s my focus area for a full time job so I can go to grad school part time.

Yes, I was frustrated at my poor showing on the mcat so after several days of testing. It was discovered that I had a learning disability. Its not the learning of the information that’s the problem, its the manner in which I am tested. If the prof made the exam him or herself then I did fine because I learned the manner in which they test. Which is why I would do better the more courses I took with him or her. However, if it was a standard test then I was screwed. Couple with worst test anxiety they had ever seen. Of course I didn’t find this out until after I graduated from college. So why most be people will be able to get away with 8 week prep before taking the test. I will need to study twice as long and take twice as many test to feel comfortable. Which is why I’m looking to take the GRE in November or December.

Sorry this is more then you probably wanted to know.