What are my chances?

Hi All,

I’m new to the forum and it’s great to be hear with all like minded people. I’m putting this out there to see what some of you more experienced folks think my chances are for going the D.O. route. Here it goes:

I’m 36 years old and have a BA in Psych (1996) an MBA in Finance (2000) and 10 years of finance work experience. I was originally a bio major and then changed to psych after failing bio, chem, and calc 1 in 1993 because I wanted to party more than study. My cumulative undergrad GPA was 3.3 (i took calc 1, calc 2, calc 3, and differential equations in 2001-2004 for fun and scored A’s in both 1 and 2 - that boosted GPA by 1/10’s of a point). My psych GPA was 3.8. Although it probably is irrelevant my MBA GPA was 3.66.

My dream was to become a doctor even though I was repeatedly told that I’d never amount to anything when I was younger, but that’s another story for another post on another forum. So, I ended up settling for being something less than I truly wanted to be. But after many years of reflection I’m going for it. I’m going to apply to post-bacc programs for the Fall 2011 semester.

Let’s assume I score A’s in all of my post-bacc courses and have an average MCAT, do you think my chances are good for the D.O. route??? What are your thoughts on applying to some MD programs?? Would my undergrad GPA hurt me?

As a side note, how else could I strengthen my application? I was thinking of getting EMT certification and working part-time during my post-bacc program, in addition to some hospital volunteering stuff. I have to still work because I live in NYC and need to cover living expenses.

I’m open to all suggestions. Like I said I’m 36 years old and would be giving up my nice cushy lifestyle to finally pursue my dream. I’m looking for all the angles that’ll help me get into med school.

Much appreciated,


Hey, Joe. Welcome to the forum!

The past is the past, and there’s nothing you can do about it but move beyond it and not make a repeat. If you can do what you have set forth with grades and MCAT I believe your chances of getting into D.O. programs will be very good, and I would say M.D. programs are not completely out of the question, depending on what else you can do with your application. You will want to go solid, though, and be sure that A’s are your bottom line expectation–don’t be satisfied with getting B’s. Your undergrad GPA is going to play a role, especially when you are applying to M.D. programs, but recent solid work is going to really help to offset that.

What else can you do? Definitely volunteering is important. My personal take is that EMT doesn’t really set a person apart anymore–so many people are doing this as they prepare to go to medical school. Instead I would focus on volunteering in hospitals and in community organizations where you can really make a difference, and ones where you can get involved in leadership positions. You want to be sure that you have researched what medicine is like–they will want to know that your pursuit is well-grounded.

Also, be sure to keep a balance to life so that you are able to maintain both a satisfactory level of living while maintaining those A’s.

Finally, begin documenting your thoughts and experiences as you go through this process–this will be outstanding material for you as you begin to work on through your personal statement. Your statement will be an incredibly important part of your application.

Again, welcome! Feel free to private if you’ve got any more questions as well.

I don’t think either DO or MD is out of the question for you. Just do well in the pre-reqs and on the MCAT.

As for the EMT cert - if it’s something that truly interests you and you’re sure you can find some part-time work, then go for it. Its true that more and more pre-meds are doing the EMT cert as a way to add to their application, so it’s kind of lost it’s uniqueness, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with pursuing it. I would, however, make sure that you know what the EMT job market is prior to taking that path. In some locations it can be very difficult to land a paying EMT job, and the ones that exist can be very low paying (as in you would make more working fast food).

Hospital volunteering is good, any kind of volunteering is good, make sure you set up some shadowing. Be thinking about your personal statement - why medicine? why now? what can you bring to the table?

Welcome, and good luck!

  • In reply to:
C-3PO: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.

Han Solo: Never tell me the odds.

My question to you would be: if you were told your chances were poor, would you not bother with post-bacc, give your dream, and go to live a life always wondering if you could have?

If take post-bacc, get good grades, do well on the MCAT, volunteer in hospital, get good letters of recommendations, write great essays, have a top-notch interview, you might get in at nearly 3 to 1 odds.

If you don't bother preparing and applying, your chances are zero, nada, zilch, nothing.

Your FUD factor of fear, uncertainty and doubt, is creeping into your dream. Actively push it, get your ass in gear and go for it. And stop limiting yourself. Try to for DO and MD. What is the worst they can do, say no? If you don't ask (or apply) they cant say yes.

0 if you do not try.

My personal quote next to my pic in my 8th grade yearbook: “You have to try if you want to succeed.” Haha, no idea that would have such significance 20 (!) years later.


I agree with the other comments. I’d add that shadowing a D.O. is vital to applying to a D.O. school. Ideally, you should aim for establishing a relationship thru shadowing long enough for the doctor to get a sense of you and be able to write you a letter of recommendation. D.O. schools want to know if you really understand the practice of osteopathic medicine.

I’m not sure what post-bacc premed programs are available to you. The one I went to at UVA helped arrange shadowing experiences and/or volunteer experiences and also had a “health care issues” class that was helpful in making us able to make informed answers to interview questions about the US health care system.


As I quote on my Facebook page, “If you don’t ask, they can’t say yes.”