Non-Traditional Seeking Advice


Just to introduce myself, I’m currently 27 years old. I have an undergraduate degree in Economics and an MBA. I had a 3.5 undergrad GPA and a 3.6 GPA in MBA school. I worked in sales/trading prior to MBA school and have returned to the same industry albeit in a different role. I flirted with a career in medicine as an undergrad and thus took all my pre-med recs. I earned As and Bs in all pre-recs except for organic chem II (C-). Over the past year I have realized that a career in medicine is what i am in fact looking to do. I have signed up for a MCAT test prep class. Do i need to think about a post-bacc program given my long layoff from science and lack of recs i will have from professors? what is the best path for someone in my situation to take to give myself the highest probability for accceptance into medical school? any advice is helpful.

Welcome to OPM .

It sounds like your pre-req coursework was motstly from 8 years ago or so? Many med schools do have a cutoff, though each varies on how firmly the limit is applied. You’ll want to ask around to schools you’re interested in, to see whether they accept courses from more than X years ago.

Either way, it may pay to get back into some upper level coursework. Solid grades in recent high-level courses (e.g. interesting biology stuff) will demonstrate your ability and recent interest, and it should also get you back into a science mindset. I’m not sure whether you’ll need to retake stuff like physics or chemistry.

Reviewing for the MCAT seems wise. Be sure you don’t take it until you are 100% good and ready.

As far as post-bacc programs go, you have different options. I’m an advocate of informal programs, which is what I did. I applied to the local university, signed on as a molec and microbio major, and am taking the courses I need. I’ve been up-front with the department about not intending to complete the major, and they’re fine with that.

Others recomend a more formal post-bacc, or even a special master’s program. SMPs are geared towards getting you into med school, and one may suit your needs quite well. They are typically expensive, though.

Again, welcome. Feel free to peruse the boards - lots of our discussions should be pertinent to your interests - and ask around.

I agree with almost everything in PI’s response. Getting in some classwork will definately help get you back into the academic swing. Consider a good Anatomy and Physiology class if you don’t have one under your belt. It won’t substitute for what you will have to do in Medical school but will serve as a good jumping off point. same basic microbio is also good.

My one disagreement is with the “wait til you are good and ready” comment on MCAT’s

I suppose it depends on your personallity, but if I followed that criteria to the letter I would never have done anything. You will learn to live with incertainty, and af you are so bold as to think you can ever be perfectly ready you may be rudely surprised. Reasonable prep like you are doing is certainly warrented, but sooner or later you are going to have to jump, ready or not. I would suggest setting a date and sticking to it. Preparing yourself as well as you can by that time.

Hi omba,

Your undergrad GPA appears to be solid and if you got all A’s and B’s in your science courses your BCPM probably will be solid as well. I agree with Adam that you probably should take a few classes to acclimate yourself to science coursework. Plus, I think it might help you on the MCATs. I am not suggesting you take your pre-med courses over again (even though I wouldn’t blame you if you did) but maybe some upper level biology courses like BioChem or Systems Physiology.

Putting aside the MCATs and grades for a moment - what have you done outside of the classroom to demonstrate that a career in medicine is what you really want? If you aren’t considering taking classes, you probably look into some volunteering and shadowing experience. I am sure you know much of what it means to be a physician but until you are actually immersed in the environment you can’t really appreciate it (at least thats how I saw it). Anyway, good luck w/ your journey dude!

Thanks for the advice. I’m actually looking to do some volunteer work on a weekly or monthly basis now that I’m trying to get back into it. I honestly haven’t done much of that since undergrad. As far as taking a class just to get back into science, i’ve looked at taking a physiology or maybe anatomy class on weekends. does this matter that this is at a junior college?

You are going to get many opinions on taking courses at a community college.

My .02 is this:

If you already have a degree and excellent grades and need a few courses and the CC is the best fit for your schedule, take them, but get As.

If you are just starting out and have no science background, be careful about taking CC courses. Not because of the level of difficulty, but how they are perceived. If your goal is Harvard or other similar school, they may not approve of them on your transcript. If your goal is DO or more rural/community oriented MD school, then CC courses won’t matter as much.

I had all my prereqs save ochem and physics many many years ago, but they were expired, so I ended up retaking them at a CC, mostly because of the hours. I did well in my courses and honored some of them, and I think that helped a lot. I got into my DO #1 and have an interview in Dec. at my MD #1. I wasn’t shooting for admission to Harvard or Stanford, but DO and rural-emphasizing MD programs and I called them prior to the application season to get their opinion on CC courses.

So, in closing, if you go the CC route:

  1. Make sure the schools you want to apply to accept them

  2. Get As and honor them if you can

  3. Try to take some upper-level bios at a university to show you can handle some harder science courses.

    Good luck!