New to OPM

I am new to the OPM forum, and so far I have found this to be a fantastic resource. Kudos to everyone who has contributed to this community of support.
I currently work as the director of web communications for a prominent health organization in Bethesda, Maryland. I will turn 30 in July, and I just started my premed coursework in an evening program offered at the University of Maryland. I plan to finish general chemistry and core biology by summer of 2005, then take physics and o-chem 2005/2006, and take genetics and micro while studying for the MCAT the following April.
I have contacted a few phsyicians about shadowing, and I am planning on applying to GWU to become a volunteer as well.
My undergraduate record is an odd mix. I did well my first year, then I tanked in the second and third years, eventually dropping out. I began working at a publishing company full time and worked my way up the ladder where I then began taking evening classes to finish my BA. I received A’s in all of the later classes, finishing finally with a 2.9.
Because of family, I will need to stay in the DC metro area. My main worry is that I will not be competitive for the schools here even if I do well in all of my post bacc work and the MCAT. From earlier posts I have read on here, it seems Hopkins is unforgiving of past academic failures, and University of Maryland is highly competitive for out of state applicants (which I would be given that I live in DC). GWU and Georgetown seem to be my only hope, but I am worried about getting in there too.
Any advice?

Welcome to OldPreMeds! Search for some of Mary Renard’s posts. She’s a DC area resident as well and did end up staying in town. It sounds as if you have your plan well thought-out and I wish you every success. My only advice at this point is to enjoy the journey as much as you can. You can’t hold your breath until the destination.

I think that Maryland, though tough on out of state applicants in some regards, is kinder to DC residents because you are in our backyard. Part of the schools mission is to graduate physicians who will stay in the state to practice, and being from DC, you are more apt to do that than my classmates from California. That being said, when I was doing the admissions lunches last year, our Dean of Admissions told us that the school will take a qualified out-of-state applicant over an unqualified resident.
So don’t discount Maryland. If you have any questions or ever want to come up and see what it’s like for a 1/2 day (we only have class from 8-12), just let me know.

Thank you! So far, I have to say that I truly am enjoying the journey even though it’s just begun. I love being back in student-mode again, and I find the material interesting. I am also looking forward to shadowing some local physicians as well.
It’s also very encouraging to hear that Maryland looks more favorably upon DC residents than other out-of-staters. I was considering moving into Maryland just to have a better shot AND most importantly to get around paying out-of-state tuition for my post-bacc work.

Welcome to OPM!
You sound as though you have really thought about everything and are motivated to push ahead. Good luck in your pursuit, and welcome.

“Chad,” welcome! Don’t forget to include Howard on your list. They’re very receptive to non-trads. I was not well-informed enough to include them on my application list - assuming I wouldn’t be welcome as a white suburbanite. While Howard does have a mission of training physicians to treat underserved populations, and it is a historically black college, its medical student body is diverse. People can do great things from Howard - look for njbmd on this site (Natalie Belle), she’s a Howard grad now in her surgical residency at U.Va.
GW and Georgetown were both positive to me. In fact, one of my Georgetown interviewers said, “I guess you know that we are really receptive to non-traditional students.” Since the age ranges and means I’d seen for Georgetown had NOT given me that impression, I was surprised! Still, as an old lady of 44 I got wait-listed there… didn’t get in but that’s okay.
GWU is extremely non-trad friendly and I know that despite the huge volumes of applications they receive, they DO look at the whole package. If your new grades are very strong, and your MCATs decent, you’ve got a good shot at getting an interview.
Hope that helps, I could go on forever on this topic, but this is a start.

Hello and Welcome! I’m in the D.C. area too although I’m a pre-med like yourself. I also work in publishing so we have something in common too.
Check the boards frequently–“Calvin in a box by the river” (Alyson) posted something about a D.C. get-together but then she had to cancel. We may do something at a later date so then we can all meet in person. Don’t forget the OPM conference in Denver from June 10-13. Hopefully, you can make it.