Pre-req/MCAT plan

Hello everyone-

I have been reading a lot of the posts that people have been putting on here and have found a lot of stories that I feel I can relate to. Here is mine.

In undergrad I was a Computer Science major and graduated with a 3.62 GPA. I went to grad school a year after undergrad and got my MSEd in Health and Human Performance. My graduate GPA was 3.95. For the last 3 years I have been a strength and conditioning coach on the professional level and now have decided I want to take all this anatomy and science stuff I really enjoy as a coach, but take it further, challenge myself more, and help people more than what my knowledge currently allows me to do.

Unfortunately, in undergrad the only pre-req med school course I took was Phys I. So here is my current plan. I am quitting my job and lucky enough to have a fiancee (soon to be wife in about 2 months) who is willing to support me for the next 6+ years. I am enrolled in Bio I and Chem I for Fall '08. I will then take Bio II and Chem II in Spring '09 and then Organic Chem I and Phys II in Summer '09. During Spring/Summer '09 I also plan on taking a Kaplan MCAT prep course and then taking the MCAT in August of 2009. Unfortunately, this means I will be taking the MCAT before taking my last pre-req course, Organic Chem II, which will be done in Fall '09, but in order for me to apply to med-school for August 2010 enrollemnt this is the way it has to be done as far as I can figure.

I also plan on doing volunteer/shadowing while I am doing my pre-reqs. I have contacts in Denver (where I will be) from my cousin who is a cardiologist who did his residency in Denver, and also from our team doctors who know the team doctors for the professional teams in Denver, so I’m hoping finding those opportunities won’t be a problem.

I have two radiologists for parents, neither of which has ever pushed me to do medicine, so this choice is completely on my own, and I am really excited about it. My parents support me, but they have also warned me it is a long and difficult process and that once I start I can’t quit, even though there will be times I want to.

Anyway, I just wanted to throw my story and my plan out there to get any feedback at all. Is there anything I have overlooked? I have been told this plan is ambitious and to go for it but don’t be dissapointed if I need to take 3 years to get into med-school instead of two, what do you gusy think? Is it crazy to do the MCAT without having taken Organic Chem 2? Any thoughts on my potential as a med-school candidate? Anything at all is most appreciated.

I’m glad I found this site, it is very reassuring to know other people are going and have gone through what I am. Thanks so much.


Welcome, Chris.

I do think your plan is a bit overambitious. Organic Chemistry over the summer by itself is brutal, especially with a lab. Unless the summer organic I and physics are scheduled the same length as during the regular year, I definitely would not recommend taking the two of them together over the summer AND studying for the MCAT AND filling out your application.

People underestimate the amount of time it takes to complete the application, personal statement, and round up LORs.

IMO, you would be better off waiting a year to apply for the above mentioned reasons and also because it would allow you to have an early application vs a pretty late application. This can be very important, especially if you are not fortunate enough to live somewhere that has a lot of state medical schools.

I actually did a similar plan to what you’re suggesting - except I took the entire year of organic w/lab over 8 weeks in the summer and took the fall MCAT without the last quarter of physics. It worked out well for me, but it was a brutal summer and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it if you have the ability take the extra year. During the extra year you can take courses that will help you in med school (micro, biochem, immuno, A&P, etc) and/or work to save up some money and/or pay off debt.

Again, welcome and good luck!

Thanks for the response Emergency! What you are saying agrees a lot with what some of the pre-med advisors I have spoken to have said. Summer of next year really will be the time when things get tough I feel. I have no doubt in myself as far as this fall and Spring go though, so I feel like, hey, I can give it a shot anyways, and then if I feel that things aren’t going to work out well for me during that summer then I just push it back a year at that point.

Thanks again for the response.

Any other words from anyone else? I’d love to hear it all. I really want to make sure I’m crossing all my t’s and dotting all my i’s here.

Thanks again.

I think you’re fine up until the summer, but I have grave reservations about two courses, much less two courses plus MCAT. If you’re going to do this, get your application ready to roll in the spring. But I just honestly think you’re going to need another year. If you overload and mess up your grades in your pre-req courses, you have to do enormous damage control. Not good.

I do understand the feeling that you’ve just got to get done! But don’t let it push you over the edge.

Welcome to OldPreMeds!