Questions from El New Guy

Hi. Long-time reader, first-time poster.
I’m trying to figure out how to approach the med school preparation and application process. I graduated in 1997 with a degree in biochemistry and quickly moved to Japan to teach English (Isn’t that what everybody does with their biochem degree?). I never gave any thought to practicing medicine until a year and a half ago. Now it has become “what I want to do with my life.”
Looking at my undergrad years, my GPA was just over 3.0, but my upper division sciences were rather weak due to a loss of motivation late in the game. There are several other weak spots. My clinical experience is nil and I have no letters of rec lined up.
On the plus side, I am quite good at learning new material and applying it. I also have several years of community service (as a camp counselor for underprivileged children and in a service club), though that was mostly in college.
Knowing all that, has anybody any suggestions on how (or IF) I should proceed? What classes should I look for in a postbacc? What other steps would you recommend? What can I do now to prepare for postbacc/medical school? Would it be worth it to get a full second bachelors? Would a masters be a better idea?
Other potentially relevant information: I am 30 years old and have no family of my own nor do I have any debt. I have pretty much complete flexibility, locationwise. I am not sure what sort of medicine I want to practice.
Thank you in advance,

What do you still need to complete the required pre-medical courses (physics, chemistry, biology and biochemistry)?
I don’t think a 2nd bachelor’s or a master’s degree is necessary. If you just are looking to raise your GPA, then just enroll as a non-degree seeking student at any inexpensive public university and take some upper level science courses. Graduate courses will not affect the undergraduate GPA that a lot of the admissions committees might use to screen your application.

I would take mpp’s advice, and also look into some medical experiences, whether in the paid allied health sector, shadowing, and/or volunteer work in a medical setting. Good luck, and welcome to OPM (as a poster! )

Thanks for the replies so far.
I took all of the prereqs (1 yr ea. bio, chem, ochem, phys, biochem) in undergrad. The grades ranged from stellar to awful. I did not take English classes, having passed out of them via AP tests.
Assuiming the prereq’s haven’t expired (the earliest is '93, the latest '96), then undergrad courses pretty much anywhere and some form of hands on work/volunteer/shadowing experience would be the way to go? That’s at least the feeling I’m getting.
One former doctor recommended that I take two months and volunteer in a hospital every satruday and sunday for 10hrs each. The theory being that I’d learn a lot and also decide real quick if this was a career for me. Who do you contact at a hospital for shadowing, etc?

Hi there,
If you want to volunteer in a hospital, you need to contact the Volunteer Department. There is usually some training involved and you have to get in line behind the high school students who generally hold these jobs. Sometimes, especially if you are persistant, you can nab a volunteer job.
If you are interested in shadowing a physician, contact your local medical society for list of physicians who would be willing to shadow you. With the new HIPPA laws and patient privacy, many physicians have become reluctant to do this but not all. With some basic ground rules, you can shadow a physician and get a pretty good idea of what this job entails.
P.S. In answer to your first post: If you did awful in any of the core pre-med classes, you really need to retake them and do well. Needless to say, you are going to need a competitive MCAT score too.