timeliness of prerequisites

I know this has been hashed over before, but I couldn’t find the answer to my specific question.

I was looking at a med school’s website and their page listing the requirements for application states that all science prerequisites must be taken within 7 years of starting. I asked someone in the admissions department about it and they said that the 7 years is an AAMC and LCME mandate.

I hadn’t heard of the AAMC and LCME part of this before. Does anyone have any more info on it perchance?

BTW, my specific problem is with my physics classes. I have credit for physics but it will be almost 10 years old when I matriculate. The school I am going to will not allow a retake for credit if you already have transfer credit for a class, so I’m kinda stuck there…


Have you asked several people at the school about retaking the class and not just listened to one person? I am retaking Chem 1, because it has been about 4 years since i took it and was afraid to jump into Chem 2 without a refresher, it was no problem, i just had to get the head of the chemistry department to waive something or another to allow me to retake the class. It still counts as a class for financial aid purposes and everything, even tho its a retake…

I’ve pretty much explored my options as far as a retake. I added that bit in my original post just for the curious at heart. I was really trying to get at where the limitation comes from, since I hadn’t heard the AAMC or LCME mentioned in these discussions before.


I don’t think this is an AAMC guideline. I graduated with my BS in 1996 and my Doctor of Optometry in 2000. I have met with admissions at KU and there was not an issue with the age of my classes. What school told you this was an AAMC guideline?

You’re talking about Duke medical school, right? http://medschool.duke.edu/modules/som_education /in…

Duke medical school only teaches one year of basic sciences instead of the traditional two years of basic sciences at all other US medical schools. http://medschool.duke.edu/modules/som_curriculu m/i…

As I remember, the LCME and some state laws mandate that medical students must complete two years of medical school basic sciences and complete their medical school’s curriculum within seven years of starting medical school. So I think the LCME is mirroring this seven year window backwards in allowing Duke to use their medical students’ premedical coursework as meeting one of the mandated two years of basic sciences. With this in mind, while you could technically fulfill Duke’s premedical science requirements with lower-division premedical courses, I think Duke would rather have those premedical science requirements be fulfilled with advance-level, premedical science courses (like a full year of biochemistry for general chemistry and/or organic chemistry, a year of second-year physics (what the engineering and physics majors take), and a couple of advance-level biology courses (immunology, virology, etc.)) to be completed within that seven year window to compensate for the lost year of basic sciences. You should double-check on my interpretation with Duke, but I’m pretty confident that I’m right because the vagueness in Duke’s stated premedical science requirements and Duke’s expectation that the third year (and possibly fourth year) of medical school be spent doing research and preparing a required thesis or a grant application.

  • ihopetobeado2 Said:

As I remember, the LCME and some state laws mandate that medical students must complete two years of medical school basic sciences and complete their medical school’s curriculum within seven years of starting medical school.

I must assume you meant residency instead of medical school for the italicized part, no?

Anyways, it was indeed Duke that I was looking at. I suppose I didn't do as much digging as you did as to why that was stated; I didn't realize the difference in their curriculum. That said, I was given options as to how to fulfill this for them, such as taking upper level physics courses. The concerns I have with that are twofold (and kinda greedy):

1) It would be easier for me to do a class I already had, so even though it would have been physics with lab, it would have made for an easy A

2) I'm not sure I can jump into another upper level physics class without a thorough review of basic physics. Also, I need a good review for the MCAT. It's much easier for me to do a review like that with some structure (like a class!).

This won't be the last little bump I have to deal with and nobody said it would be easy, so I'll do what I have to do. It just wasn't in the cards this semester...

Thanks for the insightful post.


Checked with our director of admissions. Here is her response–

“There is no overriding rule through the AAMC about how many years old the pre-req’s can be. It’s up to individual schools to decide that.”

Hope that clears it up for all!

Yes, it’s up to individual schools and the time can range from “recent academic work” to “no later than xx” years. Check with each medical school.