Hi everyone–

What an incredible site! So inspiring… The energy and optimism and sense of community all seem terrific. And some of the stories have just blown me away…

Anyway–my name is Archie Roberts. I’m 37, a psychotherapist and organizational consultant–and seriously considering a shift to medicine. I’ve got about a thousand questions (of course), but for now want to limit myself to one or two that are at the top of my mind. Any help from anyone out there would be much appreciated!

My situation in-a-nutshell is this: I graduated from MIT in Political Science, but finished all the pre-med requirements back when I was in school. I had a GPA around 3.6 or so–but I took those pre-med courses 17 years ago. After graduating, I earned an M.A. in counseling psychology, and have been working in that field ever since. I’ve got research experience, a few publications, and clinical experience in hopsital settings.

So I’m wondering: if I did some solid review and prep for the MCAT, and I scored well, would medical colleges consider my application? Or does the 17 year lag-time automatically mean that medical schools will require me to go back and take once again all those courses I took when I was an undergrad?

Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks much much much!


We’ve got some other threads on this, but in my opinion it boils down to this: You’ve got to take some fresh biology at the very least. You can call a couple of med schools you’re interested in to get their specific requirements on this. Schools will vary with how old your other prereqs can be, though 17 years is an awfully long time. It is very possible that they won’t make you re-take the physics.

I agree with Denise on the biology - genetics especially has added a lot on that front.

Probably in order to get schools to waive the age of your pre-reqs, you’re going to have to do exceptionally well on the MCAT. Most of them probably won’t tell you that, though, even if you ask. Now - if you call them and say “hey, I got a 40+ on the MCAT, do I need to re-take pre-reqs?” you might get a different answer.

If you have any medical schools close by, see if you can arrange to talk to an admissions counselor in person or over the phone in order to see what they think about your situation. Some schools may just be okay with you taking a couple of upper level science courses as opposed to retaking the pre-reqs. Some may want you to retake part of them.


Welcome to OldPreMeds!

The answer to your question is: it depends. Some schools are strict in age-of-pre-req cut off & others do not make an issue of it. I do not recall any schools predilecting cut offs by certain MCAT scores, but it has been several years since I was applying to med school - THANK GOD!

The best thing to do is to call several programs you think may be on your short list. Or, pick up a copy of the MSAR (med school admissions requirements) put out by AMCAS.