thanks for any help/guidance :)

Dear All,

I am currently completing my Ph.D. in the history of medicine and, in the process, have begun to realize that I may want to apply to medical school. I was lucky enough to complete my bachelors and MPH at Ivies, and am completing my Ph.D. at one as well. However, my prerequs are all over the place. I took inorganic chemistry years ago and earned a B (it was two semesters wrapped into one semester). I took one semester of organic chemistry but, not thinking I was premed, I took it Pass/Fail. I took two bio courses with labs (A’s), two semesters of calculus (A’s) and no physics. My total GPA was something like 3.9.

My main question is, should I try to retake inorganic chemistry (2 semesters), since it’s been so long since I took it? Should I do the same with first semester organic chem (and therefore take 2 semesters orgo)? I know for sure I would have to take two semesters of physics. I’m trying to plan things out such that I’m a competitive candidate. At the same time, I would have to pay for most of these courses out of pocket, and I almost fainted when I saw that one semester of each type of chemistry is over $7,000!

Does anybody have any feedback on how I might figure out what to take again, what not to take again, and how to piece things together so that I am a compelling candidate for top schools?

Thanks so much for any help/guidance!!!


The best bet, I think, would be to contact the medical schools in which you’re interested and ask for a meeting to go over what you might need to do. Our medical school is fantastic about meeting with pre-meds, I’m not sure that others are. But it’s worth a shot.

I believe 2 semesters of inorganic are going to be required, so think it would be a good idea for you to retake these. The requirements are pretty strict for most schools, so in my opinion the best thing is to have everything in place as they want to see it given that you’re going to be a non-traditional candidate.

It’s exciting that you’re doing your Ph.D. work in the history of medicine! That will be a great topic of conversation for your medical school interviews in the not-so-distant future!

Best wishes.

I would call the schools. Don’t retake the classes unless you have to for a school that requires more recent courses. You’d probably be better spending that time on MCAT prep. I have not yet found any schools that specify a length of time for prerequisites though I have been told that some schools require them to be within 7 years. In fact, if you find any instances of this requirement please share.