Trying to decide

Hi Everyone,

My name is Camille.

I’m new to this forum and I would appreciate your advice. I am 39 years old. I have always wanted to be a medical doctor, I was very inspired by my grandmother who was a medical doctor and who taught me many medical things.

I have a Master’s from 2011 and Bachelor’s from 2001 and I don’t know if I have to do it all over again to go to medical school.

I would appreciate any advice I can get regarding the timing it takes to get med school completed in PA. I live near Philly and I don’t know whole lot about schools, what they require and the cost. I was hoping that I could transfer any credits towards the premed.



Hey Camille,

Welcome to the forums! I hope you can find some help here as you work along your path.

It sounds like you’re just getting started, so here is some basic advice:

  1. Be sure this is what you want. It takes a lot of work to get there, and it can be very challenging. Go out into your community, shadow some physicians, see what being a doctor is like in the real world. If you’re still committed, then you can move on to other things.
  2. To get into med school, you need to have taken the appropriate prerequisite courses. This varies from school to school, but is generally something along the lines of 2 semesters of biology, 2 semesters of general chemistry, 2 semesters of organic chemistry, physics, english. Some require calculus/statistics and biochemistry/genetics as well. You may be able to use some of your prior undergraduate/graduate coursework to satisfy these requirements. You can take some of these courses at a local university (called a DIY post-bach), or there are formal programs that are directed at helping students complete those requirements (formal post-bach programs. See for me details).
  3. You’ll need to take and pass the MCAT, which is the med school admissions standardized test. People generally take the test in the spring of the year they plan to apply. Note that it would be helpful to have most of your prereqs completed prior to taking the MCAT (so you have the background to do well on the test).
  4. After that is complete, you’ll need to apply to medical school(s). This process begins the year prior to school starting (for entry into a med school class starting in 2020, you’d have to apply in the summer of 2019).

    This is a marathon, not a sprint, so work diligently to set yourself up for success. Good luck!

You may also want to look at the websites for the schools in PA to see what they’re looking for in applicants as you begin to shape your credentials.

U Penn

U Pitt


Penn State



Thomas Jefferson

Philly College of Medicine (COM)

Lake Eerie COM

Thanks, all!