What to plan for?

Hello All, this is really my first post on here and I have enjoyed reading all the info. I have a few questions, if some of you “seasoned” folk could help answer, I would be very thankful.

First, my name is Jackie, I am a 39yr old mother of 2 (14yr girl, 11 yr boy) and just celebrated my 17th anniversary with my husband.

I left home at the age of 16, quit school and got my GED, I started college at 17 taking pre med classes, moved to Texas at 18 with the intention of going to UT and fulfilling my dreams of one day becoming a “world renowned surgeon” lol, (I did carry a 3.8 while in school so long ago)

well I met my husband at 22, while of course working full time and school, I did get pregnant at 25, so that put school on hold, My husband decided to open his own business, and shortly grew the company so fast he needed help, so I started helping him, next thing you know, I have a second child and 2 stores and we are working 6 days a week.

Time sure does fly, because before you know it, I have my own 2 stores, became a cheer coach for my daughters squad, became a team mom for my sons football team, and my husband now works for me! lol…

needless to say, you all know the story of life, it zooms by and you dont realize you havnt stopped to smell the roses and when you do…you realized you are not doing what you love and you want to pursue your dreams.

so there you have it. I have always told my daughter “when your 30 and a DR, you can have kids,etc… lol) she said to me one day, Mom, I dont want to be a Dr, but why dont YOU finish what you started” and it hit me. Why NOT!! so here I am, pre med, scared and excited and every emotion that goes with it!..

Here are my questions, I have read that some schools do not require a BA, if you are “exceptional mature, have outstanding grades on the pre-reqs and score high enough on the MCAT” has anyone ever gotten into med school with those qualifications?

2. I also read that if you take your major sciences at a community college, it is frowned upon by med schools? Does anyone know this to be true?.

I do not plan on getting any student loans for my undergrad classes, so I am looking at where I can save some $$ for med school.

Also, I plan on going (god willing) to a med school in TX so I dont have to up root my family. Thank you for reading my post, it turned out a little longer than planned,

I knew of a guy who only took his prereqs, passed the MCAT with a perfect score, and was admitted to med school. He was 4.0/45 and he was an incredibly brilliant physician. So I guess it’s possible but not sure how likely.

If you take your prereqs at a CC then you limit your choice of schools. However since you are limiting yourself to Texas you would be best served contacting the schools there and see what they have to say. Ideal is to take courses at a university however a high GPA at a CC with a high MCAT opens a lot of doors. TX is one of the least expensive places to attend med school and I’m sure if you start at a CC and transfer to a four year school you won’t have any trouble.

Congratulations on jumping onboard the crazy train. Avoid the F.U.D. car, and stay on the train until you get to your destination. The train ride gets exponentially longer if you jump on and off the train…

I can help a little with the questions, as I am new to this process, as well.

The question about the sciences at a community college was answered for me by looking at the FAQs for several medical schools. One of them had the following statement:

“On occasion, applicants who graduated from college and had not initially chosen medicine as a career during their undergraduate years will take a small number of their prerequisites at the local community college. However, part of the overall assessment of each candidate includes the “strength of the science background” taken. If some of the science prerequisites are taken at the community college, these should be coupled with outstanding MCAT scores.”

I also looked into a PA program, where their requirements stated that courses such as biology had to have a certain number of credits that would be considered ‘upper level’ biology. The information from that site said that community colleges do not offer upper level courses. Upper level courses would be considered a 300 or 3000 level course, depending on how your university labels them. Strangely, this does not seem to be the case for the med school applicant course requirements…just the PA school.

Calling some schools that you are really targeting might better answer this for you, specifically. I often leave messages with my question and get return calls the same day.

As far as the degree, here was the answer to that:

“An undergraduate degree is not required for acceptance or matriculation. However, most applicants will have completed or be completing a bachelor’s or a higher degree before they matriculate. If a student does not have a baccalaureate degree, one will be awarded to the student at the time of graduation from medical school.”

I wish I could help with more. Best to you on your journey!


first of welcome.

I would highly recommend that you contact the schools. Being a TX resident is a big plus. Like you I am 38 and will be going to UT Southwestern next fall!

My only reserve is attempting to enter without a Bachelor. That in my opinion will be a major headache. That’s why I’d highly recommend that you contact the shool. NOW is the best time because the application season is barely starting and schools are not in the midst of applicant selection yet.

Good luck.

Thanks so much everyone, I was really leaning towards obtaining my BA anyway, that in itself will be an accomplishment and open many doors in the medical field if I don’t get into med school.

Now, what do you think about taking as many courses as I can before transferring to a university, or should I transfer as soon as I can?

Also, I have not worked in the medical field in about 15 years, I was at one time a certified MA while I was going to school earlier, I do realize I need to shadow some physicians,…how critical would the volunteering be? also do you think I should try and get a low level job in the medical field to get my feet wet again? And could that count as clinical exp?

Thanks again!

Scoring a clinical job could not only wet your feet, but also provide you with the experience you also inquired about. Not to mention that the right job may give you access to doctors for shadowing. Three birds with one stone right there.

To answer your specific question: I had a full time clinical job which required me to see patients along side and in the absence of the doctor. Because I have this experience, I am 1) not going to volunteer anywhere for the sake of my med school app and 2) I will use the same job experience for my bio capstone class, which requires either volunteering, internship, or research.

Definitely go for a full degree. Go by what the medical schools themselves say on their admissions pages. All that I have read say that, although they do not require a degree, the vast majority of students who matriculate do have one. More than likely - overwhelmingly more than likely - you would put yourself at a severe disadvantage by not having a degree.

Go straight for university! Many Us are increasingly offering more online and evening classes. Also, I have had many professors who teach at both the local university and community college. Unless cost is an issue, then go straight for university.