Pre-Reqs Again!

OK - I’m going to ask it again. How many of you are currently taking classes at a community college? And, how many of you have taken the MCAT who, 1) have a BS in a non-science major, 2) current healthcare experience, and 3) pre-reqs that are >10 years old.
I am asking because I have spoken with a former instructor/prof of mine who suggested I just take the MCAT and apply to medical schools. Needless to say, I haven’t taken chem since the early 80’s and after a marriage, three kids, a divorce and the death of one of the children, the mind just ain’t what it used to be! The med schools do require pre-reqs more recent than 20 years ago, right?

It is probably in your best interest to either retake the pre-reqs again or take some more science classes (upper level). The MCAT is not an easy exam and also adcoms will want to see “recent” coursework to see that you can “hack it”…

I’m a yes on #1 (BSJ), a maybe on #2 (volunteer heathcare experience but no paid healthcare-related job), and a no on #3. Most medical schools will only accept prereqs that are no later than 5-7 years old. Past 7 years and you will probably have to retake them but ask the schools you are interested in what their requirements are. If your prereqs are 20 years old, you will definately have to retake them.
Oh, I also took some “prep” classes (mostly in math) at a CC but I’m transferring to a 4-year school this fall.
My 2 cents: start slow…baby steps. Good luck!

  1. Yes–BA in english and religion (no BS for those subjects). Took the MCAT only after finishing all science prereqs. Personally, I would not want to go into it cold without retaking those prereqs.
    2) hospital volunteering experience, nothing paid
    3) no.
    I took classes at a CC, but I’m not there now.

LM, med schools vary in how old prereqs can be to be acceptable; there’s no one “rule” about it. I do know someone who applied with 20-year-old prereqs, no recent science classes, and a decent MCAT (30). She didn’t get in, and was told that they wanted to see if she could still “hack it” in a science class. So she took ONE upper-level class (biochem), aced it, and got in on the next go-round.
However, I do believe that her experience was the exception, not the rule. You definitely need some recent coursework, whether it’s prereqs or upper level classes, and of course you need to do very well on the MCAT as one way of showing that you’ve still “got it” when it comes to science classes.
As for doing prereqs at a CC, that topic has been hashed out ad nauseum in other threads - if you search, you’ll find lots of opinions. Bottom line is, if you CAN take prereqs at a four-year school, that’s preferable. Of course if you decide not to repeat your prereqs, but instead take upper-level courses, you’ll need to do them at a four-year school.
Note: biology has advanced considerably in twenty years. Even if you decide not to do over the full sweep of prereqs, you definitely should consider taking cell biology, perhaps genetics and microbiology. Things have changed a LOT.

I just want to say I REALLY appreciate everyone’s responses. You cleared up a lot for me. Thanks again! —LM

I have worked as a pediatric nurse for 17 years, and had science classes (though no degree) that was 10-15 years old. I started with 6 hours at the local community college before going on to get my degree. I wouldn’t take the MCAT without taking the new classes either way, plus the schools will require they be newer. Good luck. Take your time.