Questions from an extremely non-trad applicant!

Help me!

I’m 27 years old, and over the past year, I have come to the realization that I want to start my professional life over and head full speed towards medicine. I’m just not fulfilled, and I know that a career in health care would be the best fit for me. Right now, I am trying to decide between pursuing a DPT or MD degree. I’m leaning towards the PT degree, just because I’ve been a runner / dancer my whole life.

I have a humanities background (BA in Anthropology from an Ivy League and a graduate degree in planning), but I took practically no science courses during my undergraduate years other than the gen ed requirements. I am trying to decide if I should take my pre-requisites at a local community college (which would take a while, coupled with the fact I currently work full time and need to keep working full time) or if I should enroll in a post-bacc program at a 4 year school. Does anyone know which of these “tracks” med schools or PT schools prefer? Does it matter where pre reqs are completed as long as I maintain a high GPA?

I appreciate any advice.



Finally a post I feel I could be helpful with. I usually defer the answering of questions to those that have been at this longer than me, but this is right in my area of expertise. I graduated college took a year off to work and decide what I wanted to do. I decided to get my DPT and have been a practiceing PT for 3 years now, but realized I acutally wanted to be a physician. My advice to you is to think about what you really want and do not pursue the DPT unless this is aboslutely what you want to do until you retire (I have met quite a few people who pursued PT because they couldnt or thought they couldnt pursue medical school and then are unhappy later). If you decide that you want to be a PT the community college should be fine for pre-reqs just get decent grades. I think a post bac for PT school would be a huge waste of money. I have a lot I could say about being a PT and about getting the DPT degree and why I decided to apply to med school but Im not sure anyone wants to hear all that. If you have specific questions about PT/DPT I would be happy to answer. I am applying this year to MD schools so I dont have too much to say about that yet… . Good luck and welcome!


you’re really not extremely non-trad, or if you are than I am too. I am 27 years old and have a BA in humanities and have hardly no science background whatsoever.

Personally for me I would like to do the post bacc route, only because from what I have learned/read, the post bacc makes you a matriculated student and you have a little more guidance than if you did it yourself at a community college. That’s just my opinion.

I know I think 27 is “so old” and that I’d probably be in my late 30s by the time I finished but I try to look at the whole spectrum and who cares if I’d be in my late 30s. 27 is so so young anyway. Nah it’s not 18 but we’re not 85 either =)

I might also suggest, since you’ve never really taken science courses, take one University oriented science course (chem, microbiolgy or physics) at a comm college, and feel it out. Studying for science is different, and may through you off if you’re not used to it. The post-bacc programs are heavily science based. Fell out the rigors before you jump into a post-bacc program. Generally, from what I’ve read, Allopathic Med schools want to know that you can perform the equivalent to 4-year University type science work.

Melissa7 is right. Don’t worry about being “extremely” non-trad – you’re really not. Spend some time on OPM and you will find MANY people who don’t have much, if any, science background who want to become physicians. You are not alone!

Anyway … regarding your questions. I don’t know much about PT requirements, so if you decide to go that route I can’t speak to those. In terms of MD requirements, it’s somewhat of a debate as to whether CC courses are a good idea. Search the forums and you will find some differing opinions on this issue. My own feeling is that it’s better to take the courses at a 4-year university if possible; med schools may consider CC courses as less rigorous than those taken at a 4-year university, and you don’t really want that. If you do go the CC route for your pre-reqs, however, try to take some upper-division courses (anatomy, biochem, etc.) at a 4-year university to show med schools you can handle the material at that level. (FYI - I am about to start a formal post-bac program at a 4-yr university this fall, so that’s where I’m coming from on this subject.)

Good luck as you decide!

Caru35: I would agree with the other posters, that you are not what most of us would call an “extreme” non-trad. I think that some premeds like to call themselves or wear the label non-trad as if that confers some sort of social status or specialness; it does not. In short, most of us are non-traditional in that we have chosen to pursue a medical degree at an age and at a time (often after having pursued another career), but that doesn’t make it “extreme” in any particular sense.

I, too, have a non-science BA, pursued work in a non-medical field, and am considerably older than you (by about 20 years). Yet, I don’t consider myself a non-traditional applicant to medical school, just an older applicant.

As far as what to pursue: Would you regret not getting a medical degree? If you would, then pursue that medical degree. I cannot begin to tell you how fast life goes by, and how fleeting opportunities not taken will never return. My life has been perfect proof of that.

  • datsa Said:
Caru35: I would agree with the other posters, that you are not what most of us would call an "extreme" non-trad.

Extremely non-trad!?! I think you are barely non-trad. Certainly by age, you are youngster in this crowd. We have members literally twice your age either preparing for, attending, or recently finishing medical school. I would venture to say that less than half of the individuals who apply to yearly are now direct high school to college to medical school with a bio-science undergrad major and under 25 years old. They are no longer the majority.

The application self-assigned labels and the inherent negative connotations that they come with, only serve to feed the negative psychological factors of FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. That has stopped more premeds than GPA and MCAT combined

If that is so

Extreme … LOL !!!

I don’t think so but I guess you get it by now. You are young!