Pre-Req Question

With the Fall Semester starting, I’m in the middle of trying to decide what class (es) to take to get my feet wet again.

As a background, I already have a really old Bachelor’s degree and now…a pretty old Master’s in mol biology as well. I also have an expired MCAT…from a loooong time ago…that was pretty good…but I’ll have to resit.

So my question…It’s been years since I’ve had a science class (though I did teach college bio for 3 years in the recent past)…and I am thinking about starting from scratch.

Does that sound crazy?

So much information has fallen out of my brain AND I am struggling with low self-confidence…Chemistry was always my worst subject and I really remember next to nothing.

I am considering very strongly taking a 100 level biological chemistry class to just get my feet wet, bring my confidence level up and hopefully to fill in some of the blanks that I have missed along the way.

Is this absolutely nuts to think about just starting over with pre-reqs that have expired? Would it be a big deal for me to start with such a low level class and then work my way back up?


Kris, pre-med chemistry was what caused me to fall off the pre-med bandwagon during my first foray in college, and it was the obvious first course to take when I went back 23 years later… and I was plenty worried about how it would go. It went FINE, and I hadn’t done everything you’ve done in the meantime. I don’t know if you need to take the 100-level (presumably the non-majors course?) chemistry before taking the pre-med chemistry. I bet you will do fine. But if you think you’d be better off easing into it, I can’t see how that would hurt you.

As for repeating “too-old” pre-reqs, well, this seems like circular logic, but: if they’re too old, you HAVE to repeat them, don’t you? My apologies, as I didn’t have to look into this myself and so don’t know exactly how it works, but it seems to me that yes, repeating your prereqs is exactly what will serve you the best in this circumstance.


Bio can’t hurt; as you know, there have been significant changes and advances in the field. You’ll probably get a good grade and instill confidence in yourself that you can do this, and get the study centers of the brain up and running. Plus, if your previous coursework is more than 5 years old most medical schools will want you to retake. Best of luck,

Thanks for the feedback.

Really, I am not 100% committed yet either because I’m afraid of 1. not being good enough (because I feel like each time I gave birth I lost a large percentage of brain cells!) and 2. I’m afraid that I will be good enough to get in but that I won’t be a good doctor…because I’m afraid I’ll be embarassed by examining people’s…bodies. How’s that for overworrying this?

I am also still considering health psychology and plan on taking 1 graduate level psych class as well.

I’m looking at where I really feel is the best fit for me…and I’m not sure what I feel called to do. I keep looking for signs in my life… …and the signs that I find are conflicting.

When I was at our pediatricians office last month, out of the blue she said “you should go to medical school, Kris”…and I had never talked about career stuff with her…

I also have been doing some things with other cancer survivors…and people at various stages in the treatment process…and I find that I have a lot of patience listening to them…complain and be angry…and that in general people respond to my listening with a “too bad you don’t work at the cancer center” kind of a thing.

I don’t know…

Aaahhhh, I guess these are good problems to have!


Kris, I had similar worries about my science aptitude and took the gen. chem first to see if I could do this at all. It went well, and I took off from there. I hadn’t had any chemistry since high school more than 20 years previously. If your algebra skills are solid (there’s a LOT of math in gen. chem.) and you have the time to study, you may do just fine in general chemistry. But if you want to start a little slower and take the introductory chemistry course, go ahead and do it. There’s no shame in it!

Do what will make you thrive.

Thanks…I think that I just needed to say it out loud. I am ok with the idea of starting off a little easier to bolster my self-esteem, and get myself back into the swing of things in terms of my study skills/time management etc!

I’m just going to do it.