NP considering Med School

I have a few questions; i’m hoping maybe there is another RN or NP who may have had a similar situation who can comment.

I did a Pre-Med Biology degree graduated 2003 3.028/4.00. Several courses are not counted in my GPA b/c I did study abroad in Germany, Physics, Genetics, Animal Physiology.

I also got C’s in all my Chemistry courses. I do believe some of this had to do with getting adjusted to University and this is reflected with my Junior/senior years with my grades improving and all A’s and few B’s. (1 C in Photography… just not talented :o)

My 2nd Degree is accelerated BSN my transcripts say 2.7/4.0 GPA but not sure how that is correct because I had mostly As and only 2 B-. No C’s.


My 3rd degree MS for Nurse Practitioner: 3.852/4.0

I realize my grades are not the best considering my C’s in undergrad. But my grades have overall improved.

I have taken the MCAT once and did poorly because I did not study at all.

I think if I actually study and/or take a review course I could do fairly well.

Do schools consider life experience and work in the health care industry to offset grades at all? Esp if I can get an okay MCAT score?

I know all schools look at things differently, but for example Texas schools do not accept foreign credit for the required courses. So I would probably have to take Physics again, and I have never taken BioChem.

I am basically wondering if I take the MCAT and perhaps take 1-2 classes such as Physics and Biochem and get As if I could apply with what i got. Or would I really need to take ALL my pre-reqs again and get better grades?

Also any online schools that are recommended? Currently I do traveling work/locum tenens.

I feel like once you get past the first 2 years of Med school, it is mostly hospital/clinic work and then residency. Being a Nurse Practitioner I feel I would do well in this respect.

I also have NPs, and Doctors that would write letters of rec for me. I also have volunteer work experience, just got back from Haiti, and I volunteer at Marathons as medical help.

As for why? I feel like I could serve my patients better if I had the medical knowledge of a Doctor. I just don’t have the skills and knowledge that is gained from Medical school and especially from Residency. As well as I may like to pursue a different path such as Anesthesiology or Surgery, or ER. Most of my experience has been in Urgent Care.

Thanks for suggestions.

I would like to consider applying in summer 2011, so I need to formulate a plan to act on now. I don’t have any particular school in mind as of yet.

Hi there

I can’t really speak for the grades and the MCAT. You mentioned Texas schools.Like you, that’s where I am. Now when you say that most school don’t accept foreign credits for core pre-reqs, in fact all of them don’t accept foreign credits for the core. Besides most of them actually require the 90 credit hours done here (even if the AMCAS website says otherwise). For instance, and in my case with a PhD in Biochem from France, I still have to retake all the pre-req. A school may waive biology requirements (as I am a biology teacher, aside from having been a faculty for 6 years at that medical school), but that’s pretty much all.

The bottom line is that you need to take your pre-reqs here, as many as you can. You also evidently need to score high on the MCAT (especially for Texas state schools). My first choice school accepts students with an average 35 on the MCAT. It’s very high for an average.

For all your questions, the best would be to still contact the admission offices directly and see what you can glean from them. But I can tell you right now that when you come from abroad, it is a bit hard to swallow the pill (when I heard that even though I have a PhD I still have to do the pre-reqs). I am taking Chemistry now, and I am not learning much. Obviously I am getting 100s and As, but there is nothing to be proud of. I enjoy going back to school, it’s just that the time lacks with the kids and stuff.

Don’t rush these things, take you time and do it well.

Anyway, good luck.

Well, I have a couple of opening thoughts. It looks like you are aware that any sciences taken abroad that are requirements will have to be retaken in the US. You mentioned the physics. I think you would do well to retake at least Organic Chemistry and work VERY hard to ace it.

Your graduate GPA is great, but that is NOT counted in your overall or science GPA in the AMCAS application. However, if you are considering osteopathic medical school, your graduate courses DO contribute to your calculated GPA on the AACOMAS application, which leaves you in much better shape overall. Taking an MCAT prep course may be worthwhile.

Biochemistry is suggested but not required for most medical schools. Talking to a premed advisor would be helpful as they might have a better feel for whether taking biochemistry or retaking Organic chemistry would be most helpful. All the prereqs should be done and your MCAT redone by June in order to submit your application in June, which helps you be more competitive. You’ll need confidential letters of recommendation by then also (either sent directly to the AMCAS letter service, or to an Interfolio account where you can forward them as needed).

Good luck!!!

Kate429: Thanks! Its also nice to see someone from the Nursing field going into Medicine. Are you going to continue in the same field ie. OB/GYN? Or switch to something different?

Did you take a MCAT prep course? They seem to all be so expensive, I have the exam krackers audio osmosis cd’s already when I was thinking of Med school right after I started NP school.

I do like the DO approach to medicine and am really open to either/or. I have heard of DO schools being more open to non-traditional students.

My plan is to start studying for the MCAT and take it in Sept. It looks like I could take it again Jan 2011 if I needed to.

Then I can either re-take classes Physics and possibly the Biochem (I pray to God I don’t have to re-take O-Chem, but maybe it won’t be so bad the 2nd time…;o() in the Fall or most likely Spring unless I can figure out to take them online.

Did you find schools cared one way or another about your nursing/midwife experience?

Thanks again!

I believe the the reason why experienced health care professionals (and, correspondingly, why older medical schools applicants) have lower rates of acceptance than younger, less health care experienced applicants is because all too often experienced health care professionals believe that their health care experience somehow earns them an exemption from achieving excellent grades and earning an excellent MCAT score. These kind of experienced health care professionals applicants will try to play up their health care experience in order to compensate for their lower academic performance before the admissions committee. What usually happens though is that admissions committees interpret these efforts as meaning that the applicants are arrogant, unteachable, and lack the academic skills to handle medical schools.

The following link from our president who was also a former nurse,… .

ihopetobeado2: I don’t know if your comments are directly addressed to me or other healthcare professionals in general. I am not arrogant in any sense and do not believe I should get a short-cut in any sense. I simply asked if it would be worth while trying to get in with what I got, (plus good MCAT) or to re-do classes.

But for what its worth “our” healthcare experience should care for something. I frequently had 1st year interns asking me just a regular old RN at the time for advice on what medications to give, how much, what they should do etc… So our experience is worth something but no it is not an “exchange” or bypass for the pre-req’s. (which I never inferred.)


I don’t think that Ihopetobeado2 was criticizing you personally as he usually gives excellent info on this inform. You should take what he mentions at face value. This might be a fact (or not), but surely NOT against you.

It doesn’t change the fact that like him (and others), you have to do well for your pre-reqs and score very high on your MCAT. I may add that because of your maturity, some schools may expect more of you than an 20+ yo students. For instance and in my case, do you think that with a PhD in sciences I can afford Bs in my science classes and a poor MCAT? Doing very well is expected and puts me only on par with the other applicants. Even good numbers won’t make me shine.

No doubt that your experience as a nurse will serve you. Best of luck