BS is 2 old, great MCAT's -not enough..U need more

Whomever created this site, THANKS. In it I have found much solace and encouragement after much disappointment this past wk regarding my recent decision to pursue my goal of going to MS.

My sit. is not entirely unique. I am 35. However, in reading many of the threads, other posts, stories, etc… I have not found that others discuss the one limiting factor that I recently learned is indeed my problem (AND NEWS TO ME–I NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED IT!!!).

My story/problem: I grad’d from UG 11 years ago w/ a BS in Bio. and strong ++ science courses. Apparently, the only thing AdCom cares about is recent course work. Some have said, it doesn’t count unless it’s w/in last 7 years; others said, if I don’t demonstrate recent academic course work abilities, my app WON’T BE LOOKED AT!!! Some said, even GREAT MCAT scores will not get my app reviewed!!! w/o recent academic skills to review.

I have been in sales, not medically related, for the past 8+ yrs. Before that (after undergrad), worked in Georgetown’s O.R. for 3 years…I wanted to be a surgeon.

I have read that many have taken recent postbacc courses, but only b/c they have not taken the pre-med courses - ever. I did well in those courses in undergrad. I thought that would be enough–just “re-learn” the material to do well on the MCAT’s.


Furthermore, I have been told that re-taking these classes would not impress/demonstrate my academic skills AdCom b/c I already took them. They say I need to take more course work b4 even applying or I am wasting my time and $$$. I understand the need to demonstrate more related activities, since I did not do any in 8 years, but, if you know the material as demonstrated with high MCAT SCORES…???

In short, I surprised and disappointed, but not discouraged. I finally committed to what I always knew I needed to be. I am finally liberating myself from the path of least resistance. It’s amazing to feel such exhilaration again!!! To be awake!!! as HDT would say.

I will do whatever I need to do…I am just searching for what it truly is I need to do???

If anyone has familiarity with this issue, personally or otherwise, please offer me any info.

Thanks and best wishes to all!!! I know much of how you feel. Good stuff, huh?


Hi there,
Why don’t you look into Georgetown’s non-thesis masters in Physiology. If you did well in your original coursework, you should not have any difficulty getting into this program. While it is expensive, it is a sure-ticket into Georgetown Medical school if you do well. It is also only one year and you are taking the same courses that the medical students are taking.

Thanks so much for the suggestion-for responding. Interesting, if not ironic, that b4 I found this site I was searching job postings in physio at various Med U’s. I also noticed, b4 your reply to my post, that you had various comments indicating you had looked into GU. thanks again.

I can’t tell who you talked to about your situation. Did you talk to the admissions office at a medical school??
I’m 34, married, have 3 girls, and am starting med school in 9 days! The long version is at my website (see below).

thanks for responding… I also rev’d your statement at length. Good of you to put that up…I’m glad you all take the time to do so.
yes, I spoke w/ Med Admin…I could hardly believe initial answers given (typically by asst.s to Med admin) so I spoke directly with v.p.'s of med admin…all said same.
I was indeed surprised that on this site, I was not, am not (but I may be missing something on how to use this site since it’s my first day)able to find anyone who has overcome such circumstances. My sit. just can not be that unique in these days.
thanks again.

Oh my goodness, pls accept sincere apologies-I was remiss in my response…
MOST IMPORTANTLY-more than my trivial setback…BEST OF “LUCK”, CONGRATULATIONS. Women, like you, are my heroins!!! God bless you!!! and, great, great, great for you!!! and your family. You make my pursuit seem simple. I am truly happy for you (I don’t need to ‘know’ you to say that). Rock on…

Ah, I see through the glass darkly now!
So, you need recent and interesting coursework to show that your brain has not turned to mush since you last went to school…
And this is the message I think you were not seeing: The successful applicant needs a competitive MCAT score, good to excellent grades in pre-reqs, and recent academic proficiency.
Nat’s advice to you is (as usual) solid stuff!
All those sci details need to be fresh, and some have changed since you studied them last. Studying for the MCAT will be a separate job from studying for that program. Plan accordingly.
Glad you got something out of reading my med-school journey.
Soon you’ll have your own story to tell!

Ok, sometimes, I am dense…what does “I see through the glass darkly now” mean?
Oh, I knew-“got”-what they meant. I was just wondering why such an emphasis on recent academic skills when nothing is mentioned on websites. I have a lifetime of proven academic skills. Why would 11 years change what I inherently am? But, it is what it is…when they don’t know you, they have to start somewhere.
Now, on to estb.g plan B…and, yes, Nat’s advice is key.
I hope others read, as I have, what the new and loyal contrib.s, like yourself have to offer.

I don’t think you necessarily need to do a masters or some expensive private-school degree program (unless you want to of course).

Much of my coursework was about 10 years old when I applied to medical school. I took 2 classes during my ‘application year’ at my local state university (total cost less than $500) and the age of my coursework was not questioned at any of the schools that offered me interviews (perhaps some of those that rejected me pre-interview was due to old coursework but I never got any explicit reasons from them). My MCAT was above average.

Good luck.

MPP hit it right on the nail you do not need a full masters or anything unless you wish to do so. Just take a couple of upper level classes that you have not taken previously and demonstrate your academic prowess. Remember that this step along the way is just one of many so you better get used to jumping through hoops. Medical school cannot take anyone’s word for anything. Meaning that you have to back things up with numbers, lors, experiences, etc. They have to be able to determine quantitatively if you can do well in an academic environment and that is proved via recent coursework. Doing well on the MCAT is excellent but that is just one day and one test. I would contact various schools that you will be applying to and ask them directly.


Ok, sometimes, I am dense…what does “I see through the glass darkly now” mean?

I’m sorry, it is a literary reference from the New Testament. Sorry for the Old English King James wording that kinda sends ya in circles but it was handy (and doubles as a brain exercise, right?)…
1Co 13:11-13 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Thanks…I took no offense I understand now

Thanks to both MPP and efex101 for your insights. Very informative. I have been researching the web for a myriad of solutions for the past two days. Great to know that others have had a similar experience.
I agree that I will be encountering many unexpected, if unwanted, responses and temp. setbacks. This is just the beginning. These are the easy ones I suppose.
I really appreciate your thoughts. This forum’s folks are wonderful!!! Best regards

Hey! Welcome to the site. It is awesome, isn’t it! My BS is 7 years old, I did well on the MCAT in April, I have no recent classwork, but I’m giving it a shot anyway. My AMCAS application was just processed, so I’ll have to let you know how it goes without recent coursework. I’m a bit nervous/excited about it. Of the schools near me, I can’t apply to one b/c it requires the pre-req. courses w/in the last 7 yrs, but the other 3 are fair game for me. I will say that I have worked in the OR for the last several years in order to “keep my hand in” medicine, so that will be a plus for my application, but my UG gpa is in the low 3s. If all else fails, I may end up having to take Biochem. and Statistics or something like that in the spring and reapplying next year. I hope not, since it does seem like a colossal waste of time and money, but I’m sure there would be plenty in Biochem. that I’ll need to know in med school anyway.
Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes. Best of luck to you!

Yes I have the same problem. OR should I say HAD. Last year when I applied with a very mediocre score, the feed back I got was that even though my work and my past scholastic record prove that I can cut the school work the “lack of recent” work was the reason why I got outright rejected. I spoke to 8 deans and they all remembered my application and were willing to tell me what to do.
So this year I took two advanced level Cell bio courses and 1 Bio lab course. (I am an engineer so Bio looks good on it!!) In fact I emailed the course titles to 4 deans and asked them which one I should take before I took them.
Intrestingly all chose the same two courses for the first two!!! Go figure.
So Took them and now I have to see.
I hope you can talk to some deans or potential advisors to see which kind of class will benefit your application.
Good luck.

Thanks for your response, Uday! Your commment about follow up is interesting, if not a pivotal reminder to do so…even though it may be difficult after being “turned down”. And, good for you!!! Your app being remembered by 8 AdComs is outstanding!!!
I don’t understand you comment about “…all chose the same two courses for the first two!!” What first two? Adv’d cell bio?
Thanks a bunch and best of luck…

Sorry to be causing confusion.
I could have taken three courses with the job/time/family constraints I had:
1) Advanced Cell Bio
2) Molecular Bio
3) Human Phys (general)
That is the list I sent out. All of them wanted me to take the first two. I find that weird or something I was not able to see for myself when viewing my application.

Thanks Uday for the specifics…very helpful.

Okay I am not sure if you realize just how difficult getting 12’s on each section of the MCAT really is…not saying that you cannot do this but it is easier said than done. So yeah if you end up with a 36 most schools will make some allowances but that is a very teenie tiny amount of the folks taking it that will get even close to that score…just fyi.

58,764 took both the april and august 2003 mcat out of those only 1.2% received a combined score of 36 which is 96.7 and 97.8 percentile. It is extremely difficult get scores that high. All this data is available at