Please help!

Successful Optometrist (40 years old)wants to become MD. Wife, 3 kids, financially stable - not a millionaire here, but most things are paid for, and I have some liquid assets so I can feed my family while in school and not rely on loans too much. I am willing to move/relocate, travel, etc - don’t care about where I go, I just want to go to a ‘good’ school in terms of residency placement because I would like to have my pick of careers.

This is a wonderful site, I have read through a lot of these posts, but haven’t found anything too relevant yet. Being out of school for 10 years, I would just like advice on the best place to start - post bacc/ foreign school/ masters progr, slaughter the MCAT? Are there counselors or professional advisors I can hire? Any advice will be appreciated - Ed

Have you looked at the AAMC website, specifically the area for applying and/or aspiring students?

You may find answers to some of your questions there, including requirements and the most reliable info on the MCAT (they do write it, after all.)

Have you already taken all of the required courses? Typically full year with labs of bio, chemistry, physics, ochem (or 1semester ochem, 1 semester biochem), plus scattered humanities/writing req’s. If you have, many schools will take the “old” prereqs as long as you have some current coursework to show you still have academic aptitude; doing well on the MCAT helps them to confirm that you have the academic ability. If you have specific schools in mind, look at their web pages - each has slightly different requirements. Some require genetics, some require writing courses, some require a certain # of humanities credits, etc.

The best option depends on you, really. For some, choosing an affordable route is important. Taking the prerequisites at a community college might do the trick, but that has drawbacks. A set post-bacc program might be more expensive, but everything could be laid out for you. You can Ad-hoc the post bacc if you have gaps to fill but don’t need the whole picture. How do you learn best? different programs might be right depending on this. Every option has plusses and minuses.

As far as being out of school for ten years, I have sort of done this, and survived enough to get an interview, though no guarantees past that yet. I think you can do it, but you’ll have to sort out what is right for you. Good luck.

Judy Colwell is an advisor you can hire - you can do a search and find her. You could try that.

I’m applying right now and I’ve been out of school for 8 years. Currently I have 3 MD interviews, 2 DO interviews. Here’s my advice.

  1. Take a practice MCAT. You can take one for free from Kaplan, Princeton Review or from AAMC. It’ll give you an idea of what you’re facing and where your weaknesses are.

  2. Don’t take community colleges course. Take courses at a 4-year and from a professor that is tenured faculty. During the application process, most of the medical schools will ask you to submit either a letter from a pre-med committee or 2 letters from science faculty. Even if you take a course at a 4 year university, you need to make sure that they are faculty and not a PhD student. I fulfilled my pre-reqs at a community college because I was working full-time and it was the only way I could fit classes into my schedule but I wouldn’t recommend it.

  3. I don’t think you need to hire an advisor or counselor just yet. You’re not at the application cycle yet so not sure how much they are going to help.

  4. What do you define as a good school? Are you shooting for Mayo/Johns Hopskins or would a state school do? You can buy MSAR through AAMC and see the stats for all allopathic (MD) schools. You’ll also find that it’s really difficult to get into medical school.

  5. At 40, I’m not sure if you have time for an official post-bac program. Personally, if I was younger and had a bit more saved, I would have done one because they have great linkages to medical schools. However, if you haven’t applied to one yet, that means you have to apply, wait to get accepted and then worst case start next year. I would say your best bet is to sign up for classes in the spring and do it yourself.

    Good luck!

Aloha eyedoc:

I just wanted to chime in on the CC vs University route. If you have a specific school you want to get into, go ahead and check its requirements for the required prereqs. If not, here is a link for you to decide on taking your prereqs at a CC or a university. You’ll find that there are students that took all of their prereqs at CC’s or junior colleges, and STILL got into top medical schools. I had to go through the CC route as well – I didn’t take the SATs or ACTs, and no money. In the end it’s your decision, but don’t think that you’re doing yourself a disservice for taking any prereqs at a CC or junior college. Good luck.…