General Question About OPM's

I’ve been reading some of the posts on here and have seen multiple testimonies from older students who have been accepted to medical school. This is very encouraging to this 41y/o applicant. What I’m wondering is this: Are students who are older and accepted to medical school stellar academic outliers? I have a modest 3.5GPA and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Massachusetts and have been scoring around 28 on my practice MCAT’s thus far. Of course, I’m hoping to bring up my scores by the time I take the first MCAT of next year. Just wondering what those who have been accepted have for stats and what my chances are in applying to the DO colleges. Thanks for any input.

Hi Hughdog,

What I have noticed on this forum and the nontrad forum of SDN are that, many didn’t have that stellar background, but once upon deciding to work towards this goal, many have a positive upward trend in their grades.

You will find some OPM’s that have strong GPAs, but I think what has OPMs standing ahead are the varied experiences that they have. For the most part, traditional students haven’t really lived…yes, a few may have some real interesting stories, I think the adcom’s like to interview nontrads to break up the monotony. Of course, this is only my opinion…

Also, it seems as though DO schools are much more nontrad friendly. True there may be some MD schools that are, but I believe the majority still look to the traditional student.


Kris, thanks for your input.

I disagree somewhat with Kriss17 on the issue of “stellar” and I think a distinction should be made between “stellar” and near “perfect”. I’d guess that most nontrads have academic records that aren’t “perfect”. However, I think of the ability to say earn a 1.9 GPA in undergrad, then 10 years later earn a near perfect 4.0 in an all Science post bacc, with 2 kids, a wife and a dog is in fact “stellar”. Another example, would be getting a 4.0, earning a 32+ MCAT with 2 kids and as Kriss mentioned, I think some adcoms take note of these types of things.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that when I think about all the OPM’s that were admitted, many of them were certainly stellar in some regard or another with quite a few of them being stellar in most of not all regards as it relates to medical school admissions.

I don’t know, maybe I didn’t use stellar in the right way…I was just commenting that from the many posts that I have read, nontrads might be having to do more damage control due to earlier years when they might not have had med-school worthy grades.

Stellar is a very subjective term to use, and I think when it comes to applying to med school, the first thing that is going to come to the attention to adcoms is the objective part of the application, namely the GPA and the MCAT. Depending on the medical school, if you don’t meet their requirements with these two factors, it doesn’t matter how stellar you are…you may arrive at a deadend for that particular school. Now if you have the grades, then they will start looking at the whole package, and yes some adcoms might be impressed with personal struggle…but then again, they are looking for medical students that are going to be successful and finish.