Advice on what's needed...

Hello All:

I’d like some feedback on my situation. First a bit of background. I completed my undergraduate in 1986 with a B.S. in Chemistry. I then went to graduate school and recieved a Ph.D. in pharmacology (1992). Spent the next 4 years in an academic post-doc and then another 1.5 yrs running a research neurology lab. In 1998 in went into the pharma industry in clincal drug development.

Going to med school is something that I’ve always wanted to do, and I’ve finally come to the decision that now is the time to get things moving.

In my situation would I be required to take any typical prerequisites - i.e. organic chem, physics, etc? In terms of my academics as an undergrad my overall GPA was 3.3 with a 3.5 in sciences. How do admissions reviewers look at grad school work and other post-graduate experiences, or does any of this matter at all? Would the fact that I have both preclinical and clinical research experience be something schools would consider make me a good candidate?

Right now I’m looking at 2008 as the potential time; this would make me 45 when I start.

Any thoughts or insights are greatly appreciated.


Ivory 43,

You have a great background in science. It’s possible that some med schools will require more recent exposure to the basic four prerequisites (chem, org chem, bio, and physics)–typically the courses should be taken within the past seven years. Given your Ph.D. in a scientific field, perhaps they will waive such a requirement but the best thing is to call a few schools that you are interested in and talk to the dean of admissions or someone similar (keeping in mind that right now is a very busy time for admissions).

If a school does want you to retake the courses, you can look at it as an opportunity to raise your GPA and make you a little more competitive as a candidate. Clinical research is excellent but you will need some direct patient exposure to round out your portfolio, such as volunteering at a hospital or clinic.

Good luck!

Ivory -

There was a recent thread that dealt with a similar situation. The poster in that thread also had old pre-reqs, but had an outstanding MCAT score (40+, if I remember correctly). He contacted several schools and after hearing his MCAT, most of them said they would be willing to waive the pre-req age requirement.

You might want to search for that thread as well as calling various schools and getting their perspectives.