Our favorite subject: pre-reqs

I am new to this board. I am glad to see that such a resource exists to encourage and guide “less young” folks to reach their dreams. My journey to this point has been filled with adventure, and I know it will make me a better physician.
Now, to the point: After leaving the Navy in 1998, I completed all my med-school pre-reqs not done in my undergrad (1987-1991). I was (still am) an engineer handling some pretty advanced stuff day-to-day, so the fact that it had been 10 years between Chem I and Chem II did not cause any issues, and my other courses went fine through Orgo II. And then life got in the way.
Now, 2 beautiful children later, I am seriously considering giving up a very lucrative career for a dream that has been on hold. Math, Physics, English and Chem I were completed about 16 years ago. The rest 7 years ago during the 1999-2000 post-bac years.
Is it wise to repeat Physics even though I use it every day? Will Chem and Orgo be too old for Med school to accept? My thought had been to maybe audit some Organic Chem courses, take a Biochem for credit, maybe Genetics, and hit the MCAT hard.
What y’all think?
Thanks for your advice!

Many med schools require that coursework be completed within seven years (or less). You might consider taking some advanced work (upper division) classes in biology (don’t audit them, take them for a grade and credit). Biology has changed enormously over the years. Make sure you are up to date with what’s happened in the field since you had an intro course.

Welcome - I am also a Navy Engineer re-tread.
There are two types of pre-reqs:
1. Non-science (like your English). Don’t worry about when you took these. I’ve never heard it matter.
2. The Big 4 science pre-reqs. I’ve heard anything from 5-7 years, but I’ve also heard of people given waivers. I think it depends on the school and the person asking.
A big part of this is how you did on your grades when you first took these. If you had all A’s, and did great on the MCAT, I think you will have a different answer than if you had all B’s and C’s and a mediocre MCAT.
You can call some schools and see what they say, which will give you an idea of where you stand.
I had taken Physics and Chem when I was an Engineering Student in the 89-93 time frame. I did OK, but not great back then. I decided to re-do all the pre-reqs in a full time post bacc back in '03-'04. I know where you are now, feel free to ask any other questions you might have.
Good Luck

Is 100% correct! As usual. There weren’t any schools that I’ve looked at that took prereqs more than 7 years ago. Most were at 5 years. IMO you would limit were you could apply if your prereqs aren’t current.

Just a comment about age of pre-reqs: in my experience, it depends on how strong the rest of your academic record is, as well as on whether you have ANY more recent coursework in the sciences. I found that several schools (probably about 2/3 of the ones where I applied) were willing to accept my pre-reqs even though those classes were 10+ years old and taken P/F. However, I had subsequently gone on to graduate school in chemistry, and thus I had more recent science coursework in chemistry and biology. I also did extremely well on the MCAT. If you do want to apply to med school with old pre-reqs, I advise that you avoid choosing schools that place a heavy emphasis on numbers. Even with my crazy MCAT score, I still had trouble with several of those schools. Interestingly, the one exception to that was Washington University in St. Louis, which probably has the biggest reputation of any school as being highly numbers-oriented.

I am in a similar situation. I completed my Computer Science degree back in 1997 so I assumed my Math and Physics pre-req’s were out of the way. It never crossed my mind that I might have to retake them.
My other concern is where to take my pre-req’s. I am currently considering two options: and would appreciate any everyone’s thoughts.
University of Washington as a Non-Matriculated Student
1. Well known rigorous national university
2. Many opportunities in Seattle to volunteer
3. Excellent pre-medical society
1. Requires I maintain my fulltime job
2. As a non-matriculated I can only take classes on an as available basis. I was told for Bio, Chem and O-Chem there is generally plenty space available but it could
3. Job and student status may impede my ability to complete the courses in a reasonable timeframe.
4. No official post-bac pre-medical program.
Oregon Institute of Technology
1. 4 year technical college where I received my bachelor’s degree so I have a high level of confidence in my ability to excel in this environment.
2. Bachelor’s in Health Science degree offers curriculum specifically designed for pre-medical students.
3. I would not be required to work full time.
1. Not a nationally known University
2. Requires I move my family
3. My wife and I would have to change jobs
4. Fewer volunteer opportunities
I am leaning towards OIT with my biggest concern being the relative obscurity of the college.

techmed -
You have a good set of pros/cons for UW and OIT. Another thing to consider: I have found it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. At a place like OIT, you have a better chance of really ‘standing out’, and as a result may get much more glowing LORs, etc.
Having access to classes is no small thing. Being kept out of 1 class could potentially set you back a year in certain situations.
In the end, though, I think either would work for you. Since you have a family as well to think about, I would put heavy emphasis on that aspect.
Good Luck

Thanks for your response. I spoke with a good friend last night who is a doc and he basically alluded to the same thing. This morning I made a few phone calls, sent a fax and was able to re-enroll at OIT as a returning student. Monday I sign up for classes for Fall 2006. I am really looking forward to getting started.