I’m new to this site, so forgive me if I’m asking questions that have already been answered for someone else. I am 35 years old, and want to make a career change. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, but ended up on a different path (I’ve been a federal law enforcement agent for the past 8 years). I have a BA in Psychology and underwent a pre-medical course of study, so I have all of the prerequisites. My GPA was 3.5. I also have a MSW (Masters in Social Work) and my GPA was 3.95. Obviously, I took these classes long ago (I graduated in 1994). How should I go about preparing for admission to medical school? Do you think I need to retake all of the prerequisite courses, or is there another avenue for review, etc., that will help prepare me for the MCAT/admission? I am just looking for the most expeditious way to pursue a career in medicine. Please advise!
Well welcome but I see some problems here (Like I had graduating in 1989)
You have a great GPA so thats not the problem
Its with the age of your work, most US schools want to see recent college work and the prereqs should be less then 10 years old ( I have read some on here claim some schools say they do not care but I understand this is only a few?)
You are not prepared for an MCAT since it has been so long and this test is crucial
SO I would retake the prereqs ( just the major ones ) and prepare for the MCAT over the next year.
WHile planning this out I would call up the interested schools and find out what they say.
You need to
Shadow a DOC
have Patient Experience
Its a marathon not a sprint.
Honestly the only “Fast way” Around this is the Caribbean, You could study and take the MCAT since you do not need a high one (22 to 28 would be just fine for the Big Caribbean 3)
The three Caribbean schools that you could look at are
these three you can practice in all 50 states and they have federal student loans
You study medicine on the islands for 1.5 to 2 years (With 3 breaks a year to visit the US) and then do clinicals in the USA ( various states)
( I chose the Caribbean due to the age of my credits)
Here’s my opinion on retaking premedical prerequsites:
- ihopetobeado2 Said:
There are some on this site who advocate retaking premedical coursework you've already done well in after a certain time period has elapsed. There are others, like myself, who advocate not doing this because in addtion to the unnecessary costs, itâ€™s kind of assumed that youâ€™ll get an easy â€œAâ€ retaking remedial coursework. Regardless of whichever route you take, you should take upper-level premedical coursework (like biochemistry, neuroanatomy, molecular biology, etc.) that build upon lower-division premedical coursework. Achieving in these courses not only proves that youâ€™ve mastered the lower-level premedical coursework, but also helps to prove that you can handle similar, graduate-level medical school coursework.
While working on the above, you should also try to find a physician who'd be willing to let you shadow him or her. Not only will you get an idea on what being a physician is really like, but this would also give you a chance to ask questions on the challenges of becoming a physician (medical school workload, time demands, residency hell, etc.) and hopefully gain some good advice.
Additionally, I know there have been at least two recent posters on this site (dtrainer and colby24TN) who received multiple medical schools acceptances without having to repeat prerequisites from long ago.
So, in your case, I'd say in addition to gaining clinical experience to prove that you know what you're getting yourself into, do well in some upper-level science courses, and rock the MCAT. If you have the money and time, you could consider a premed-completed, post-bacc enhancement program where you take certain upper-division and/or graduate-level biomedical science courses over a year to help prove your academic prowess to med schools. Obviously, though, next year would be the earliest you could enter an American medcial school. DRFP does have a point that if you wanted to cut to the chase, you could very realistically start this fall at one of the Big 3. Let us know what you decide.
Thank you both for your input. Although the “fast” way is enticing, I don’t think it’s an option for me. I’m recently married, and due to personal/family reasons, I will need to stay in the U.S. I know it’s a long road ahead of me. I’m in Chicago, and there’s a couple of post-bacc programs here (Northwestern and Loyola). They are, of course, very expensive. I did forget most of what I’ve learned from college, so if I really want to make myself a desirable candidate, I should probably retake the courses, maybe at a higher level as you suggested.
It seems so grueling, but I’ve always wanted to do it! So many obstacles…and I’m so OLD!
The 2007 OPM conference was in Chicago and Northwestern Post-Bacc exhibited as one of our members attended the program. The contact at the program is Ms. Carolyn Feller. In addition to Northwestern and Loyola, Dominican University has the only post-bacc program that I know of that is run by an MD, Dr. Louis Scannicchio, who started in dental school and went to medical school (if I recall).
retaking some pre-req or higher level courses not only serves the purpose of showing the med schools what you can do, but also to show yourself. You may have to relearn being a student You may have been out of school for sometime, may have different situation (married, kids) since you were, and even though post-baccs may not be cheap, it is much less expensive then starting medical school and finding out it isn’t what you want. About 30% of medical students drop out before graduating.
My two cents
- pam2334 Said:
It seems so grueling, but I've always wanted to do it! So many obstacles...and I'm so OLD!
Thats cool I just like to point out things and options. (I try not to be too negative hard to do when I'm so poor and have about 11 months to go LOL)
Also if things are changing then thats great, its been 4 years since I looked into the age of grades thing and back then what I believed is what I posted, I'm glad that some schools are not so blind to the hard work we do.
You don’t usually need to repeat pre-reqs (assuming that you didn’t get a C- in any of the classes), but schools usually want you to do “recent academic work” if it’s been a while since you’ve been in school. And this is where the upper division classes in the science subjects come in.