Advice Needed for Pre-req Path

I’m re-posting my question with some clarification… I realized what I wrote may not be as clear as I intended it to be.

Background info:

-Graduated with a BS in Nursing 2001- 3.5 GPA

-Took most of the pre-reqs for Med School 1997-1998

-Science GPA is 3.2

-Worked as RN X1 yr in L&D then 4 years in infertility

-2006 graduated from UPENN with 3.97 from the Women’s Health NP Program

-Now have 2 years experience as women’s health NP

I’ve met with an associate director of admissions at one of the local med schools and she suggested taking O-Chem and Physics this year at 4 year institution and then MCAT in Spring with hopes of applying for 2010 admission into med school.

(The info I left out from the orevious post is… technically the only two pre-reqs I am missing are physics and o-chem.)

Here are my thoughts:

I’m thinking about re-taking gen Chem 1&2 this year with physics and then Bio + O-chem next year. Then, take MCAT spring of 2010 and apply for 2011.

I asked the admissions person I met with for her take on this and she said that it was not necessary, as I would be expected to get As in these courses since I’ve already taken them, and she also said that it would not be very impressive even if I did well on them b/c they are intro courses and I would be re-taking them. I did get Bs in these courses, so she also said if I wanted to re-take them to improve scores and for personal reasons, it certainly would not hurt. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve taken these courses, so I’m thinking it may be a good idea?

My thoughts are as follows:

Spreading out the pre-reqs may give me an overall better chance of doing well in the tougher course- o- cham, and will prepare me better for the MCAT. But on the flip side, I have already met with the school and they seem to think I could try to apply after doing really well with the shoreter option. We’re talking As in both O-chem and physics, plus a 30 on MCAT. (Basically she told me I would not be considered if I didn’t make As in these courses + a 27 on MCAT- but then she went back and said “well, over a 27 would be impressive as well…”)

One other issue I’m running into, is that I can’t register until next Tuesday and all o-chem sections for lecture and lab are closed on both campuses! I know everybody keeps telling me that space will open up, but I guess I’m just looking for alternatives if that is not the case. Either way though, I’m seriously considering the longer option over the shorter!

I need some help sorting this out. Any advice is welcome!

I don’t really have any advice other than to do whatever you feel is the best decision. I was missing Biology and Organic Lab as prereqs. When I first talked to an advisor (it was early May) she told me - you can finish your prereqs this summer, take the MCAT and apply in August. While it would be nice to be about to enter med school in 2008, I was not comfortable with things moving that quickly last summer. I feel much better having taken two semesters to do it. Plus I did not have the clinical experience that you do, so I needed some time to get things going.

Have you looked at an MCAT review book? I would breeze through the chemistry and biology portions to see if you think you can review them on your own, or if you think retaking the classes would be worth it.

I would say—don’t let the registration process be a sig factor in your decision. People drop out of ochem…maybe not in droves, but I would expect one or two. Could you meet with the pre-med advisor at the school? If you explain the situation, maybe they would make an acception for you.

It sounds like you are on your way. I don’t know much about this stuff, but I think as a NP with an awesome graduate GPA, you could do the shorter version just fine. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Thanks Moonshine. I took a pracitce MCAT last night (the free one from AMCAS). I did OK, I guess for someone who has not taken phsics or O-chem yet. I got a 22- 6PS/8BIO/8VR. I definitely have to brush off some cob webs- especially when it comes to chemisty! I’m still mulling over my decision. Thanks for the advice.

Just another thought… what about auditing gen chem while taking physics and 0-chem. This way I’ll be getting a review of the chem but I won’t have any pressure of taking tests and making a great grade etc? Anybody haave any experience with that?

I was also a RN in a past life but 3/4 way through NP school, dropped out to take pre-reqs for MCAT & med school.

IMHO do not retake Bio or gen chem - a long time to “brush up” on something you have already taken and may cover worthless information not needed for MCAT. You can take a review course through Kaplan or whatever group is close to you to refresh your brain on those basic classes, its not that hard. I did it without problem. My kaplan course covered all the subjects needed, plus you had access to hundreds of old tests, old lectures that you could review to help study for bio and chem. You can also buy a MCAT review book.

Just my $.02


Thanks Rwankum! As I’ve been tossing the decision around, I think I have found myself leaning towards not retaking gen cham and bio. I bought a gen chem review book and have been going through each chapter. The info is coming back bit by bit, and I’m understanding it. I’m glad you told me about KAplan, b/c that is the only review course offered in my area.I’m planning to start the course this fall while taking ochem and physics… assuming there is an open seat in o-chem!!! Thanks for the advice.

Good luck! Keep us posted.

Rachel Yealy