Looking for guidance

I have a BS in Computer Information Systems and have spent the last 21 years of my career in the medical and dental software development field. During my career, I have worked with several leading companies who develop software for physicians. I started my own company in 1992 and provided consulting services and software to physicians to help them manage their practices. Throughout the years of consulting for doctors, I have always wanted to go back to school to become a doctor. Things that have held me back have been my family and the lack of medical education in the Phoenix metro area. In 2000, I sold my company and have spent the last 9 years as an independent developer and consultant so I could spend more time with my family. All of my kids are older now (although my youngest is 9) and I am ready to get back in the saddle. There are limited options for pursuing this in the Phoenix area. Medical students in Arizona typically go to the University of Arizona in Tucson. That is not an option for me because I still have 2 kids at home. I am currently looking at going to Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ to get a DO specializing in primary care and pediatrics. They do not offer an MD program here in the Phoenix area that I know of. I have to complete the basic science requirements which includes a year of biology, general chemistry with lab, organic chemistry with lab and physics. I don’t know how long it will take to complete the total of these requirements. Anyone have any ideas? I am currently seeking advice from Arizona State University to fulfill these requirements. I also must prepare for the MCAT once some of these requirements are out of the way. It appears that the one thing I have going against me is my age. I am 45 and I am looking for as much advice and resources as possible to ensure success. I would appreciate any comments or advice you can give.

Hi Jerilyn, Welcome to OPM!

Actually besides AZCOM, you also have ATSU-Arizona/Mesa, another osteopathic school. I was quite impressed with the school’s purpose and curriculum. You might want to research it more. One thing that I liked is that after the first year which you do on the campus, you are assigned to a CHC (community health center) in various parts of the country, including the Pheonix area. You do years 2-4 in this one group, where you are already more involved in the clinical setting versus the more traditional route.

Welcome to the journey!

Oops, forgot to add…usually the prereqs required take about 4 semesters, and you’ll definitely want to be careful about taking classes in the summer. I would only suggest summer classes if you are strong in the sciences, it is not the first of the sequence and it is definitely not organic chemistry. Also, make sure to take all of your prereqs before taking the MCAT.

What are the sequence of classes for the pre-reqs? Is it possible to do this sequence with multiple classes in the same semester or a subsequent semester within a year’s time? When does one typically take an MCAT and is it even feasible that I can apply to enter medical school for the 2010/2011 year? What are your thoughts on my age? I have found several posts on this site of people who started out at my age and the support they received and I was very encouraged. Thank you for your feedback.

Well, pretty much the reason why you need to look at the 4 semesters is because of the chemistry requirement. Gen Chem 1 - semester 1, Gen Chem 2 - semester 2, Organic Chem I - Semester 3, and Organic Chem 2 - Semester 4. You can either take the biology sequence during your first two years and then the physics or the other way around.

So it is pretty much the chemistry that puts you on the four semester route, and you really want to make sure that chem 2 is done before you start organic. Many schools have chem 2 as a prereq of Organic. You’ll also want to make sure to have these done by the time you apply. During your glide/i.e. interview year, I would suggest you take some advanced science classes.

Your totally welcome! I love this site!

In order to start medical school for the 2010-2011 school year, you would need to apply this summer. The medical school application process is the better part of a year long. If you haven’t even started the pre-reqs yet, you are looking at two years to complete those and a year of applying - so you would be applying to start in the 2012-2013 academic year. It is possible (although difficult because of the chemistry requirements) to complete the pre-reqs less than two years, either by taking summer courses or by enrolling in a formal post-bacc program that condenses everything into 1 year.

The MCAT is typically taken after you have completed most (if not all) of the pre-requisite coursework. Most people take the MCAT they same year they plan to apply.

Welcome to OPM!