Is July to late to take the MCAT

Hello all,

So I am in a very agonizing position. I have always contemplated a health care career but have been highly interested in a dental career. I graduated from undergrad in December 09 and applied for dental school in August of 09. I still have not heard from two schools but it doesn’t look good. I am looking into my plan B options and am freaking out. I didn’t want to register for another test until I knew about dental school but now I am in a time crunch. I am looking into applying to DO schools but cannot take the MCAT until July. Do you think that is too late? Do you think I will have enough time to study? Should I just wait until Fall of 2012 acceptance? I am also looking into PA and plan to apply to dental school again but I would like to apply to something else too. Any advice would help.

you aren’t sure where you want to be.

you aren’t sure if you’ll have enough time to study.

you aren’t sure if July will be too late.

The confusion and desperation I hear in your voice demands


Rushing to do the MCAT may lead to a lower score, then applying slightly behind the the timing curve without a real commitment to being a physician is likely to lead to rejections. Whether or not you’ll make a good applicant is beyond the point. You clearly do NOT know what you want to do.

I would strongly suggest that you NOT apply to schools this year, spend the time volunteering in facilities and/or shadowing dentists, physicians, and PAs to figure out what you really want. You can then spend the time mastering the MCAT and the DAT and be in a much stronger, more confident position next year to apply.

Thanks for your reply. I know I want to be a dentist. I am just so flustered with potentially, most likely, not getting in that I want/need a plan B as well. I know I can be a very strong physician or dentist if I choose to be. I am so borderline with everything on the dental application that I’m having a hard time imagining that I will be able to make myself stand out. I have shadowed, volunteered, and scored decent on the DAT. I am currently shadowing my general dentist to increase my hours and consistently volunteering as a caregiver. I just do not have the financial luxury to wait. I have to start paying back my loans and would like to get my life started. Ugh…I just want to know the answers. I’ve worked so hard and long to become a dentist and someone gets to tell me that I won’t be good at it. That’s a harsh reality.

gonnif hit it right on the head. Health care professional programs (whether it be a dental program, a nursing program, a PA program, etc.) don’t want to consider applicants who consider the program to be a plan B or a plan C. They want to accept those who consider the program to be a plan A and who will be totally committed to the profession afterward. kgrapes25, your shotgun approach will earn you an expensive drawer full of rejection letters and most likely get you scorn and rebuke from the programs that you applied to. Case in point, I knew of someone like yourself who was panicking about his future and blindly applied all over the place to medical schools, PA programs, and direct entry MSN programs. After several years of doing this, he was told he was a “persona non grata” by some of the programs until “he matured and could explain why he wanted to enter the profession, other than saying ‘I want to help people.’” (His words, not mine.)

Sounds like your heart is in dentistry, stick with it. Don’t panic and start to waiver.