where i stand, what's next, advise?

hello all,

I hope all you are all well. I am a bit disheartened by my score for the MCAT but life goes on I got plenty in my hands. Before i bore you, pls pardon me if i don’t know this message/story has been repeated many times. I am here to seek advise. I just became aware of this site soon & i couldn’t be happier.

I feel even embarrassed to say what my score is but its below 20 (not far from there however). My GPA is ~3.30 both. I knew of DO schools but really was given negative connotations hence didn’t research further. My fault altogether. GPA via AMCAS last year was 3.0 & knew no way of getting anywhere close to even getting an interview. End of last year, early last year is when i discovered Post bac programs & SMP’s. None of them in the Midwest region (Minnesota specifically).

Long story short, I am really interested in DO schools as i have been an avid public health supporter & i think blending in w/the holistic approach of DO philosophy would be great.

I have given up on MD schools because i feel like i have wasted too much time, money & sacrificed my kids & family responsibilities. My poor husband would support my stubborn goal but i have to come up w/a plan otherwise i feel like i might just be chasing unattainable dream.

I am willing to send anyone to assist w/evaluating my GPA, MCAT stats to see where i can fit in. So my question is should i continue w/my AACOMAS application (I have given up on AMCAS & MD school) & see if i get in? or I am as well URM (I dont mean to offend anyone or frazzle some feathers by that last comment) but frankly at this point I am desperate. Help! Thanks.

I’m not sure if you’re trying to push through your app for this year, but it sounds like you need to hold off, regroup and spend the year working on improving your MCAT. Find out what exactly went wrong and try to address it with a second test - but ONLY when you’re ready for it. You want to show improvement.

I understand why you’d want to go to a DO school, but it sounds like you’re considering it a fallback plan instead of a purposeful path. Most schools want you to have DO shadowing experience and a letter of recommendation from a DO.

While your GPA isn’t super high, it should meet the automatic cut off for most schools (usually around a 3.0) so my (nonprofessional, just an old pre-med myself) advice is to tackle the MCAT, get some shadowing under your belt if you don’t have it already, perhaps take a refresher course if you feel like you can get a good grade and need it for the MCAT, and come back next June ready to excel in the application season.

TP I appreciate your response. Indeed, I’ll be working on shadowing the DO soon. I work as a clinic (HIV/AIDS) social worker now & is language specific. I think i have the clinical experience since i see patients (4+yrs). But you are right, some DO schools require specifically DO shadowing & I’ll embark on that. As for the desperation part, I am going on 34, 3 young kids (5 & younger) & i feel like I’ll not only have to improve the GPA (AMCAS)but definately work on the MCAT as well (the latter, i know for sure i have to retake for both DO or MD school)-hence the giving up comment. The other issue I struggling to wrap around my had is that i felt that (or at least what i have been told) is that by the time i complete med school (if ever i get in), i’ll be too old for residency & beyond, so the likelihood if getting admitted is slim age-wise let alone even if i had stellar credentials. N’ways its was a downer for a while, but i’ll try my best. I remember when i was A national Honor society back in HIgh school & started out in the Deen’s list in college (never on probation), just took a long road to college as i was a ‘greenhorn’ to the whole college experience (n’ways that’s for later time).

NB: the DO isn’t a fall back (at least i don’t think so), i have discovered the DO & think its a perfect fit for me, but i guess will get the experience while shadowing since i interact w/plenty of MD’s i haven’t come across DO yet.

Thanks again for your honest response. though i have had many negative advise, i can certainly say that this site is very encouraging. Maybe its Ramadan that’s clouding my judgement

I really don’t see getting into medical school (DO or MD) with a sub-20 MCAT and 3.3 GPA. I mean there are some people that do so based on the data but it is a looong shot (~7%).

Really I wouldn’t worry about the age in terms of application success so much as your raw numbers (and what they imply about success in school). If you can’t get the numbers up you’re going to have to take a long hard look at whether this path is for you. I’m sorry if this sounds negative but it is also very realistic.

Of course, I don’t know your background and experiences but just by the numbers it’s a hard road ahead.

I wasn’t sure what the URM comment meant.

Bear in mind a few things.

  1. DO schools generally ARE very receptive to older applicants and especially if you have some experience in a related field (which it sounds like you do).

  2. you are NOT too old for residency - schools are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of age. Residency programs might discriminate on the basis of laziness, so when you are in med school and rotating at an institution where you would like to do a residnecy, you have to hustle and show your interest and energy.

  3. Your GPA will likely be better in the AACOMAS application as the most recent retake of a course is the grade they count.

    I agree with the advice to take the next year to shadow a DO, and to do appropriate MCAT prep, and take the MCAT next spring, apply next May/June when it opens.


You have a lot of very real concerns, but honestly your age shouldn’t be one of them. You’re on the young side for this group, and plenty of people are in med school now.

I’m about your age, so I know where you’re coming from, but it sounds like you’ve gotten a lot of negative feedback. People on here talk about banishing FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). There will be a lot of people who want to “talk some sense into you,” but you should follow your passion.

Do it wisely, plan for it, put yourself in the best possible possible - but follow it.

  • Tallulah Philange Said:
You have a lot of very real concerns, but honestly your age shouldn't be one of them. You're on the young side for this group, and plenty of people are in med school now.

I'm about your age, so I know where you're coming from, but it sounds like you've gotten a lot of negative feedback. People on here talk about banishing FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). There will be a lot of people who want to "talk some sense into you," but you should follow your passion.

Do it wisely, plan for it, put yourself in the best possible possible - but follow it.

I agree, 100%!!! Love the idea of "banishing FUD" I'm working on that my self! Work hard, stay focused and motivated!!!

First thing, Relax and take a deep breath. You need a clear head. There are things that you can and there are things that you can’t change. Focus on the ones that you can change.

  1. Your MCAT if it is <20 is sub-par and this should be your first concern. Do not worry about shadowing anyone until you have this taken care of. Your goal right now should be to study and to master the material as much as you can and to do well on the MCAT. Without it, you can shadow anyone you want and it will not get you an interview.

    Make a plan for your MCAT. If you would like ideas, check the MCAT forum but you have a starting point with your current score.

Hello all,

I have a question regarding age and medical school. I am 44 and will apply June 2014 which makes me 46 at the time of matriculation. I currently have 14 years in the Marine Corps and am looking to complete my career as a military/civilian doc. So my question how old is too old ?

The following link should help you:


That was a fantastic read and highly encouraging.

Thank you for time, very helpful.


You might want to look at any age restrictions the military puts on hiring docs. I know there are limits for HPSP and I think USUHS, but not sure about hiring folks who already have their MD/DO. They do include stipulations for prior-military guys and high-demand specialities (I think). I’m definitely not saying you’re too old for med school, you just might be path limited on the mil side.

A mil medical recruiter might be able to give you more info. I called the regional AF guys and they helped me out a little bit. Ultimately, they told me they couldn’t work with me because i’m active duty. They referred me to the base education office (which I haven’t done yet), and I ended up finding some stuff on the AF intraweb. Not sure if the Corps has a similar thing.

Thank you all for the replies, very humbling to get such responses, far from the usual “move on” kind of stuff.

Well I’ll focus on the MCAT. All the best to me & all of those pursuing such as well.