Is it a good idea to introduce myself to a medical school before applying?

My question:

I would prefer to remain local in Chicago and would like to attend University of Illinois Medical School. I will be applying late in the application cycle due to the timing of prerequisite and MCAT completion. Would it benefit me to introduce myself to the medical school in advance in any way? Is there a formal/informal process for doing this? What is this process? Or is this frowned upon?

Thanks for any and all feedback!

My background:

I am 31 and have spent the last 10 years heavily involved with cell salvage. I ran a cell saver company, including the technical side. I worked in thousands of surgeries and have seen many specialties. I was involved in establishing the industry’s regulations and quality standards as a consultant, and have traveled nationally to help hospitals and private groups establish those quality standards in their cell saver programs.

In 2015 I took a trip around the US in a traveler trailer with my husband and dog. I continued to work during that time, building an online educational platform for cell saver. I was halfway through that trip when I decided that I wanted to become a doctor. We returned home to Chicago September 2016 and since then I have been taking action to complete prerequisites (done summer 2017), study for MCAT (taking summer 2017), shadow surgeons, and volunteer. I am shooting for a desired 2018 start, but realize that it might be 2019.

Honestly, I don’t think they would remember you unless it was a tight relationship with someone on the admissions committee.

So I just listened to podcast number 74 from the premed podcast. In it, the guest said that she was a non-traditional applicant and did reach out to the deans of the schools. She found it helpful. Just wanted to leave this info here for reference.

I haven’t listened to it, but did she say why it was helpful? It’d be interesting to know if it was because she was able to get information from them to strengthen her app or because they remembered her and it somehow swayed them toward accepting her.