Do I need to take all premed courses over again?!

Hi all,

For many years, I’ve struggled with the decision if I wanted to attend medical school or not. I graduated undergrad in 2001 with a BA in neuroscience and completed most of the premed requirements. However, after that, my path diverged and while I did get two graduate degrees in unrelated disciplines, almost all my premed courses were now taken over 16 years ago. My question is:

Will it be necessary for me to take ALL the basic premed courses (including dreaded Orgo ;_) and lab work over again because I originally took them so long ago? (I have seen that different medical school have different and often vague requirements. I am also very open to considering OD schools if they are more accepting of non-traditional students.) So, from the medical school application requirement, will I mostly likely have to take every single basic premed course over, in addition to some more advanced classes?

Also, does anyone know of any specific schools that are more lenient regarding this, schools that are more willing to work with a student on a one-on-one basis? Any insights and thoughts would be much appreciated…

I graduated in '08 with a CS degree but w/ a bioinformatics focus so I took quite a bit of premed prereqs to go with computer science. As part of my postbacc journey, I’ve been retaking all these courses for a variety of reasons:

  • for some prereqs I only had to take 2 out of 3 quarters worth. It’s unreasonable for me to ace the last 3rd of orgo when I took the first 2/3 a decade ago; might as well repeat the entire sequence.
  • the only lab courses I took were upper division and these do not fulfill prereqs. Again, unreasonable to just sign up for lab when I’ve forgotten the lecture component from so long ago.
  • I forgot everything and needed to relearn for the MCAT anyway.
  • I did not have the best go-around in my undergrad years and want to demonstrate that I currently am capable of handling a full load and succeeding (I am now taking upper div electives to provide additional evidence).

How much you retake is really dependent on what you are trying to do. For me, it made sense to just redo everything. A friend of mine redid everything except organic chemistry, took some electives she hadn’t before, and now has acceptances to a few allopathic programs. I think, in your case, the most important thing to demonstrate is that you still know how to student. Otherwise, I would reach out directly to schools and ask if there’s a limit to how old grades can be for satisfying prereqs.