Introduction and Questions

Wow, I’m so happy I found this website! I’ve spent the last 9 months trying to absorb as much information as possible from books and websites on medical school and I just now came across this.

My name is Justin by the way.

I’m sure everyone here gets sick of answering questions, but let me throw out a couple that I’ve been asking friends in medical school, and the pre-med adviser here on campus.

Long story short, I’m 29 and considering going to medical school in a few years. I have a BS in Computer Science and a year left before I get my MBA from The University of Texas. I work and take my business classes part time. My undergrad GPA is an astonishing 2.4. So here is my question…

Texas has a state program called “Fresh Start” that allows you completely erase classes over 10 yrs old from your record. If I was to use that, I would have to retake a lot of the prerequisite classes, but would wind up with a 3.6ish overall and a 3.8ish science GPA assuming I get mostly As. ( I’m pretty confident I can do that ) I would need to be back in school taking a full course load for 4 semesters for that.

Alternatively, I could keep working, take my remaining prerequisite classes part time. ( 4 Chems, 2 Bios ) and do volunteering and shadowing in my free time. This would take around 2 years, my application probably wouldn’t be as strong, but I wouldn’t be so far in the financial hole because I could keep working.

The medical school adviser I talked to at Texas told me that my GPA wasn’t as big of an issue because of the MBA program I’m in. Her words were, " Medical schools know you’re smart enough because of the reputation of the MBA here. They’re going to be more concerned about your lack of volunteer work. " And she said I should focus on that instead.

What do you guys think? Should I use the fresh start program and focus on GPA? Or should I not use it and focus on volunteer / medical experience? Or is there something better I’m not seeing here?

Thanks everyone, I’m really happy I found this website.

Welcome to the site Justin! Though I am not as qualified to answer your questions as our more experienced members, I would strongly suggest that you really be cautious with so called “premed” advisers…Heed this warning.

Can’t really answer your question. Some of the more seasoned vets should chime in soon. I did however, want to give you a welcome. Hi!


Not sure I can answer your questions, but for info on the Texas Fresh Start program, do a search on the topics within this web site. I remember quite a few people discussing this topic about 6-9 months ago.

As to your MBA, I have one already and my understanding is that med schools don’t even look at them. It is your undergrad GPA that is of primary concern to them.

As for volunteer work, look for something that is meaningful to you, and if you haven’t had a lot of exposure to the medical field, perhaps something in that area (hospice, hospital etc) and plan on getting in about 4 hours per week for the next couple of years. That’s what I am currently doing.

Hope this helps and welcome.


There is another thread somewhere at length about volunteering where Judy and Mary have both answered numberous questions…I’ve asked alot. It’s hard to know how/where to wisely put in the hours. I gather the 4 hours is a good base and you want to try to “serve the underserved” and/or get clinical experience. I’m sure both is better!

And welcome to the board…it’s a great place to get answers and get pointed in the right direction!

Welcome to OPM, Justin.

For starters, I didn’t apply to the Texas schools, so I don’t know if Fresh Start matters on the the TMDSAS. As for the AMCAS and/or AACOMAS applications, every grade you ever got factors into your GPAs. Retaking courses helps as long as you are showing improvement.

If it’s been over ten years since you took your prerequisite courses, you should consider taking them again to be current when you take the MCAT regardless of GPA implications.

Just for instance, I started with Gen Chem II only because my current career involves enough chemistry I didn’t need to retake Chem I. I retook all the others not only to demonstrate grade improvement but also to make certain I knew the information well enough to excel on the entrance exam. So, do you need to take physics, too? Take a look at the MCAT material before you decide.

Above all, you are on the course to making a plan for an informal post-baccalaureate pre-med program, but don’t rush yourself. Carefully consider what you need, make a workable plan, and stick to it if you really want to apply to medical school in today’s environment…

Welcome Justin,

Did you speak with a medical school advisor at a medical school or at a college/university? I would strongly suggest you go speak with the admissions dean at a medical school. I did. I have a lot of bad information from my so called premed advisors…

Also, I am in Texas as well. It is my understanding that the MBA GPA would not be considered. But, double check for yourself with a medical school admissions dean.

I found the experience with the dean of admissions very welcoming and informative. I had prepared a spread sheet of all the college/university I attended, plus a preliminary personal statement, my planned course work, etc and asked for his opinion and he freely and honestly gave me his opinion.

So, go directly to the source.

As far as, volunteer work…you have a couple of years to build your hours up. Have you done any community volunteering up to now? One of the questions on the TMDSAS application asks you what have you done since graduating from high school. Hopefully, you can build your story and incorporate all your clinical experiences with past nonmedical experiences.

I am applying this June. I am so excited. I spend hours per week optimizing my platform and building my story. Between your application and MCAT…those are the key components to getting an interview. Build your best story and score big on the MCAT…and you be competitive.

Best wishes on your journey to med school…