Hi Guys! Need Advice!

Hello. Really glad I found this site. My name is Jen and I’m a teacher and considering medical school. Let me tell you a little about my background. I’m 29 and I was a biology pre-med major in undergrad. I graduated with a 3.6 cummulative GPA and 3.2 science GPA back in 2007. I am finishing up my grad studies in Science Education with a 3.6 GPA. This year I’m gearing up for MCAT. Do you think with my grades I have a strong chance of getting in to med school or need to take a refresher course? Any advice given is welcome.

Jen - I find that when I look at your post, I wonder what else you have to share. Grades by themselves are not the qualifier that get you in to medical school. I don’t feel your grades would be a barrier, and I don’t see a need for you to take “a refresher” if the purpose is to get some more A’s. But do you ned a refresher becausre you finished your bachelors in 2007, so perhaps took basic Bio and inorganic chem in 2004 so it is 8 yrs old, and organic chem 7 years old…do you need a “refresher” in the basic sciences for MCAT? Maybe. I’d think about what your most effective strategy for MCAT prep is. If you have been taking higher level classes and working in the science field, you may do fine with a review of topics on your own, and possibly an MCAT prep course. Ideally, you want to take it ONCE and do excellently.

BUT, also, have you done physician shadowing. What volunteer activities are you involved in? Do you have any clinically related experience? Why do you want to be a doctor? Those are the parts of your application that may help paint a complete picture of you that med schools will be looking at.

Best of luck on your journey!!


Hello Kate! Sorry for the lack of info, was kind of pressed for time. Well I started school in 2001 and graduated 2007. From 2001 to 2004 I took Gen Chem, O-Chem, and majority of my math at the community college. In Gen Chem 1, Calculus, O-Chem 1 and 2, I made Cs. In Gen Chem 2, I made a D in the first attempt and made a B in the second attempt. In Trig, I made a D the first time and made an A the second time. At university, I made mostly A’s and B’s in my courses. I did shadowed doctors from 2005-2007. Did a lot a volunteer work during undergrad. Right now, I volunteer with local American Red Cross and American Cancer Society. Hope that fleshes my story out a bit.

It seems like you share a story that is fairly common among non-trad med students. You basically will need to convince an adcom that you are worthy of their school’s time, and you can obviously show very strong character attributes that the study of medicine requires. I speak in relation to your teaching career, of course (I am assuming a lot though). The pre-med grades you got back in 2007 probably do not fall too far from the averages at that time, which were lower than they are now. Refresher courses or a short post-bacc program will probably only serve to bolster your hard stats (in my opinion, at least). If you have the time and money to do a program, then why not? There is certainly no need to rush the med school option. Show up to an interview with the ability to say, look, I did OK back in the day, got a career, and now I am coming back with updated knowledge, the grades to get me in, and the maturity to know what I want in life.

Best of luck!!

I was thinking doing a post-bacc, however with teaching, student loans, I don’t know if I can afford it (irrational, I know).

At the time of your applying your science coursework would be between 6-9 years old correct? Most adcoms would prefer to recent coursework and in fact some schools would expire your pre-reqs so you’d have to take them again.

I would do some research on the schools you are considering applying and see what their policies are.

Honestly I would think you would have to take (or re-take) at least some science classes before you apply.