How to address past illness in med app


I’m looking for a bit of insight.

I was in medical school approximately 16 years ago. In my third year, I had to leave due to severe illness. I was a good student. My G.P.A was 3.69 and I passed the step 1 boards. However, I was sick long enough that I could not return and finish my studies.

It was 1995 when I left. Now I want to go back. Does anyone know of others who have been readmitted to school or had a long term illness that they had to explain to an admissions committee? I’m interested in which schools are the most accepting of these issues and how to explain (maybe in the PS) the circumstances behind leaving in the first place.

I am almost 41. I am more excited and determined than I was at 22 to become a physician. This is what I want for myself. This is how I want to serve others. I just need to work through a few minor challenges. This forum is a fantastic resource. I am thrilled that I found it!

Thanks so much.

I do believe the application asks you if you have ever matriculated into medical school and if so, explain. This would be the place to do it.

Many (most?) med schools would want a letter from the dean indicating that you left in good academic standing. Are you planning to return to where you left? That would be the easiest route.



Thanks so much for replying!

I have asked the school I originally attended for documentation that I left for medical reasons and not because I was dismissed. The asst. dean I spoke with said she’d look into it because she thought they kept that information. That response has me a bit concerned.

I will be applying to my former school, but I’m looking into others also - both MD and DO. I’m concerned about the ‘age’ of my course work. I have been in the non-profit and private sector since I left school and my most recent educational pursuit was a Masters in Public Administration. I think this will dovetail nicely with medicine, but it does not provide me with a pre-med advisory committee letter.

I’m not sure if other schools will take me without LORs from science professors, even with my history of good med school grades and passage of the boards. I get my MCAT scores tomorrow. I’m hoping I did well enough on those to show I am competitive.

If you have thoughts on schools most likely to accept non-traditional students, I’d love to hear them. I’ve talked to a handful of schools that will look at applications from folks who have already matriculated in med school. But I don’t know the success rate.

Thanks for your help.