question for OPMs: was rejected 10yrs ago, can i ever make up for past?


I’m new to this group, so forgive me if I’m posing an old question buried in a thread somewhere.

I’m 34 yrs old and want to apply to med school again because it has always been my dream to be a physician. I applied a long time ago, right after graduating from undergrad in 1997 from Cornell (BA, Psych), but was rejected. I want to re-take pre-med coursework again, retake the MCAT and reapply, but I don’t know if it can ever make up for my failed past applications in the eyes of admissions committees. I want to go for it if there is a real possibility that, if I have good numbers, I can get in.

Some background…

While in undergrad, I took Bio and O Chem at Cornell, but did very poorly in O Chem. I ended up taking G Chem and Physics during summers home at SUNY Buffalo and then O Chem at Columbia University after graduating. I took the MCAT in Apr 1998 getting only a 28 (S,11,9,8). I retook it 3 months later, but got the same score (I attribute some of this to the fact that I was going through a difficult personal period at the time and was in treatment for depression). This experience made me afraid to take it a 3rd time and I stupidly convinced myself that I could get in with a 28 somewhere. I made another major mistake in my application process back then: I had no hospital volunteer experience (For some reason, I also convinced myself that my bio-med academic research experience and recommendations from physician researchers was a decent substitute).

After being rejected, I worked in academic bio research for 8 years at Columbia and Rockefeller and was able to get co-authorship on a couple of publications. Lab work wasn’t really paying the rent though, so I got and MBA and now I work at a major pharmaceutical company in a marketing management track program. Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen the many faces of medicine through my work experience and I’m convinced that my first dream, to become a physician, was the right one, but I don’t know if my history of rejection will prevent me from ever getting in.

Now I am older, happier, wiser and better able to apply myself and I sincerely think I could get good grades and MCAT scores if I tried. But can the “sins” of my past failure ever be washed away in the eyes of admissions committees?

Looking for brutal honesty,


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