Ancient pre-reqs--say I'll retake on app??

New to this site. Feeling so unusual generally, I’m glad to find some folks with some similarities at least!

Hoping to submit AMCAS this week but not sure what to do for upcoming coursework. I finished prereqs with my BA in 1995 (!!!) and am really hoping with decent MCAT (will hear June 25th) not to retake everything. I have taken Genetics and am doing Organic 1 now and Cell Bio. later in the summer. As an old person I am starting nursing school in the fall and won’t have time for more prereqs until spring–maybe one course–and summer–could do chemistry or physics (again). I have been a stay at home mom all this time, so not out in some science-y or health related field. I think I have gone about this totally the wrong way, but too late for now…

The question is, assuming I have one slot in the spring and two next summer, should I say I will be taking Organic 2 and Chem 1 and 2 or should I just leave it blank. Frankly, I don’t want to feel like I have to take those over if they don’t need/want me to. If I were to get accepted somewhere, saying that I was going to do that, I would feel pretty obligated to follow through.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for your help!

If you do well on the MCAT you will have proven that your content is still fresh despite the hiatus in time. So it may be a moot point. Frankly, it will look very strange to take Chem 1 and 2, in addition to Orgo, after taking the MCAT. My advice is to wait and see what your score is on the MCAT, then decide how to proceed. The MCAT will give you needed information to make decisions going forward.

Good luck!



Thank you so much for getting back to me! No one had responded, and I wanted to get my application submitted, so I decided to say I would be taking the courses. I took my MCAT in May and just got the scores. I did well. I think the score should show that I know my stuff. However, my advisor at the college at which I just took Genetics thinks no one will let me in with such old pre-reqs. He thinks I need to take everything over, or no one will let me in. I am super confused. The last thing I ever wanted to do was take all these classes again, but here I am finishing up Organic 1. In a regular undergraduate institution, I am such an anomaly, no one knows what advice to give me, and I think may be guessing more than I am.

I’m so confused! If I had bombed the MCAT, I might have been able to say, “Oh forget it, it wasn’t meant to be.” but that wasn’t the case at all, and it makes me confused about what I should do with the next year of my life to show medical schools that I am worthy and still have a good brain in my head.

Thanks again for your response.

Your advisor is giving idiotic advice. There might be some schools that would ask for a redo but not likely. Expect to be asked how you will deal with the rigors of school from not having taken classes recently. That is the most I would expect. To counter any possibility of schools asking you to retake, which I highly doubt, apply broadly.

Ignore your advisor, don’t let them confuse you, and apply to school. Next year this time you will be just about to start med school. There are plenty of old bio majors who merely took the MCAT and applied and got in. The only caveat is that they did well on the MCAT just like you did. So just like them, now just have an awesome interview, and next year you will be StudentDoctor YoungatHeart.

School advisor’s need to begin to communicate with some adcoms and get the inside scoop cuz the info these advisor decimate is just bogus for OPM’s and even trad students.

Forward my future doctor friend!!!

I agree with crooz. Do not base any decision or action on what an advisor says.

However, some schools may have a time limit for pre-reqs. I would highly recommend that you get in touch with the schools you target and now is the best time to do so (between two seasons).

Good luck.

Thank you so much for your responses! I have a counseling appointment with my top choice school in the admissions office, so I hope that will really give me some good, real answers.

As of now I am finishing up Organic 1 and will start Cell Bio in a couple weeks. I am registered to start nursing school in the fall, (and had time in my schedule for Gen Chem 1, which I planned with my advisor’s advice).

What do you guys think about the nursing school thing? I mean, realistically, if I don’t get into med school, I’d like to be a masters level nurse one day, and, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger here! On the other hand, I’m thinking that medical schools want to hear that med school is the only thing that will satisfy. Plus, why put time, effort and money into the year of nursing school, if I will go to med school in a year? I could take a couple upper level bio courses instead, and maybe get my EMT certification or work as a patient tech or CNA at a local hospital.


  • youngatheart Said:
Thank you so much for your responses! I have a counseling appointment with my top choice school in the admissions office, so I hope that will really give me some good, real answers.

Excellent. Now the news may be good or bad, however they will be solid and allow you to draw a reasonable plan. That is the most important thing to do in my opinion.

  • youngatheart Said:
What do you guys think about the nursing school thing? I mean, realistically, if I don't get into med school, I'd like to be a masters level nurse one day

My take is that if you really want to med school, you will do whatever it takes to do so. I personally wouldn't go for nursing. It may display a lack of confidence or a bit of defeatism that may not be well perceived (although I have no clue). Don't settle for anything less than your own dream. Go for it full blast, don't look back and don't doubt. You will make it.

If there is one constant I’ve noted in physicians or anyone else who’s accomplished anything of note, is if you mention a plan B then you aren’t serious about plan A. My own mentor questioned my dedication when I mentioned his plan for me was plan A and I was going to also do a postbacc for my plan B. They don’t hear that you are trying to cover your bases just in case, they hear a lack of confidence. The reality is that every physician had their own doubts but overcame them and soldiered on. Whether they doubted themselves in undergrad, med school, and training, they overcame the doubt and got it done.

So all that to say I would not waste time with nursing. There is absolutely no way you can demonstrate to an adcom your progression into medicine by taking a detour into nursing. Do not make the mistake of assuming nursing and medicine are the same.

By your post you already know this, so go with your gut. Take the upper classes and look into getting into the hospital or clinic. Nursing should only be an option once you’ve exhausted your attempts to get into med school. So you only work on plan B once plan A is no longer on the table not before nor simultaneously.

Take what is useful for you and discard the rest.

I don’t know the full answer to this, but don’t a lot of med schools have a caveat that you will complete whatever program you are currently enrolled in prior to matriculation? ie, if you start an MSN program and get into med school this go around, could this be a factor?