Pharm.D. to MD/DO ???

Hello all!

I like to know if I have a chance at all at competing with students out there?


Pharm.D. in 1999 (specializing in pain management)

BS Biochemistry in 1995 (3.4 GPA Science/Non)

Is it true that MD schools favor the traditional student with no previous careers?

Am I better off just applying to DO schools?

Any schools out there do not require MCAT?

It would be hard to go back and study for the MCAT now but I think the review courses should be ok.


Welcome to OPM.

Your GPA is not bad at all, so it shouldn’t be your concern. And it’s not true that traditional students are prefered over non-traditional ones. If you can show the admission committees that you are a good candidate, the fact that you are a ‘non-traditional’ in any way might actually be pretty advantageous to you…if you can convince them and show them how your current career lead you to answering the call to become a physician. If you have some clinical experience you might be and will be a competitive candidate for both DO and MD schools.

I don’t think there are any schools out there that don’t require MCAT. So you’ll have to take this exam for sure.

Actually you might want to check with specific schools you’re interested in whether you have to retake your prerequisits or not, as most of the schools want them to be taken within 7 years range before matriculation.

Hope that helps,


I don’t want to scare you, but I’ll relate the experience of a friend of mine who attemted to switch gears from his Pharm. D. to OD/MD.

My friend had worked as a Pharmacist for a little over 6 years when I met him in a Neurobiology class that we both were taking. He had decided he wanted to try medical school because his career at the time was boring him to tears. He made pretty mad cash, but he rarely had time to spend it. His job had consumed all his time and he had let it destroy his marriage. To his mind, he had already seen the worst that a health career had to offer. He figured that as an M.D. he would have a few more options with regard to work environment, not mention a little more respect. He already had every pre-req for medical school from his Pharmacy training. The only thing he lacked to be competitive was a better GPA. He was taking classes (Organic, and a couple others) that he hadn’t done well on earlier to try to boost his GPA from 3.35 when graduate to something better. Even with straight A’s in 12-15 credit hours he only moved it to 3.37. He did “okay” on his MCAT (low 30-ish, if I remember right). He applied to one state school (Indiana U), and two out-of-state med schools, plus two Osteo schools. He was rejected outright at IU, and wait-listed (ultimately with no call-backs) at all the rest. He acknowledges now, several years later, that he had failed to plan very well, and really just wasted a bit of cash. I don’t know what he did specifically on his apps, but he says that IU interviewer asked him lots of questions about why he was willing to give up an otherwise successful career in Pharmacy to be a Physician. My friend never told me what his response was, but I have the feeling it wasn’t the one the interviewer was expecting.

I don’t know what your situation is, but there might be something to be learned from my friend’s misadventure. Have a plan, for one. Merely being disgruntled with your current occupation probably isn’t going to cut it with interviewers. I think he really could have benefitted from doing Kaplan or something similar in preparation for his MCAT, but he scoffed at the expense. I have a nagging suspicion that his MCAT scores could have been a lot better, especially for someone with a Pharm D. already. I didn’t reply to discourage you, just to relate. If you want to do it, just go balls to the wall. In the words of my hero, Yoda, “Do or Do Not. There is no ‘Try’” =)

Tim Forsythe

30+ is not a bad MCAT score. In fact it’s a great MCAT score regardless of previous profession.

Sounds like your friend’s attitude and preparation was his downfall.

Yes, those were my thoughts too.

He only applied at schools that were convenient to his plans, he had a chip on his shoulder like you wouldn’t believe, and he was really stubborn about his plans and his attitude. I think he should have been a great candidate otherwise, and his experiences made me rethink my own plans… “omg, if my really bright, capable friend couldn’t get in, there’s no way they’ll ever take me” was my thinking at the time. Of course that was circa 1995 when med school apps were at a historical peak as well. I’ve definitely taken my friend’s mistakes as a lesson for myself.