Applying to Med School/Confused

First time on the forum. I am kind of preparing for MCAT. But I am in dilemma because of my age (47). Briefly, Bachelors degree in Zoology (major), Botany (major), Organic chemistry (major), inorganic chemistry (major)and Physical Chemistry. I went to school in UK and also got a Ph.D. in medical Microbiology; married and settled in USA. I worked as as a postdoc in Microbiology at an American University and now I am working as a scientist in Immunology. Due to family circumstances I never could go into medicine. After working many years as a molecular biologist, with active research pursuits into molecular Microbiology and Immunology, I still continue to retain my interest and passion in medical science. Have published papers too. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I am seriously considering pursuing medical school. It has always been my dream to become a medical doctor and directly involve in patient care. Everyone in my family member is encouraging me - but I am very nervous and don’t know whether it is a correct decision at this stage of my life. If I take MCAT in September 2009 I won’t able to apply for fall 2010. It is going to be very late I think I am looking for some counseling here. I can’t make up my mind. Thanks, Myra

Hi medprep,

I wanted to welcome you to OPM. You definitely have a pretty impressive educational background. My main question is have you had any kind of clinical experience, specifically working directly with patients versus working as a scientist. That is the only thing I think that might come up since you most likely have the grades, prereqs and can probably due well on the MCAT.

Best of luck to you!

Hi Krisss 17,

Thanks for your reply and encouragement. I haven’t directly involved in any patient care. One thing is that all my projects have been medically oriented research studies (molecular genetics of antibiotics in patients with bacteriuria or molecular pathogenecity of a pneumococcal organism and new vaccine or gene regulation in autoimmune diseases). I am also involved in teaching the same subjects and involved in collecting some specimens from patients for my research project.

I may have good background, but taking Mcat is totally a different task. I am not that confident. I got exam krackers…any suggestions with regard to preparation for the test… Thanks, M

One question comes to mind about your background. Are you a US citizen or legal resident? If you look at the requirements for many US medical schools, especially state schools, this is a must.

If all of that is fine then there are a few things that you will need to work on. First off, you should do your best to get some time with a physician and shadow them. The schools want to ensure that you know what you are getting into and not going into medicine because of what you saw on television. However, in our group of people, this is rarely the case since we tend to be more mature than the average medical school applicant. But you will not be treated any differently because of this. Second, you need to take the MCAT and perform reasonably well.

If you have test jitters, this is something that will need to be worked on before you sit down and take the test. If you really want to see what the test is like, take the free practice MCAT to get a baseline of where you are. Then create a study plan. You can also use test prep companies such as Kaplan, Princeton Review, etc to help you.

Not doing well on the MCAT because of test jitters wont cut it. However, you need to keep in mind that what you are starting is a Marathon and not a sprint. It takes planning and proper preparation to achieve what you want. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to post them on here. You are among Kindred Spirits. Good luck and welcome.