Would appreciate any guidance


I am writing to ask for some thoughts or guidance about my particular situation.

I am currently 39 years old. I graduated from Brigham Young University in 1997 with a BA in English and then from Arizona State University in 2004 with a BS in Biology. I completed all of my pre-med classes while completing this degree. GPA at ASU = 3.59 overall, 3.75 in pre-med classes. In May 2009, I completed a MHS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Overall GPA = 3.4.

After graduating from ASU, I worked full-time as a contractor for the Army; my job title was Research Assistant. My duties included regulatory affairs for a clinical trials group testing experimental breast cancer vaccines. While at Hopkins, I worked part- to full-time doing strictly regulatory affairs at the local, Army, and federal levels, commuting to Washington DC from Baltimore the majority of the time. This (working, commuting) accounted for my somewhat crummy GPA at Hopkins.

I applied to medical school in 2004 but was not accepted anywhere. Late in 2004, I was diagnosed with a chronic condition that is now completely under control.

My volunteer experience includes healthcare-related internships while at ASU and working with immigrant refugee children here in Baltimore. My letters of recommendation would be strong.

I want to give med school one more shot. It has been a life-long goal and I feel I need to try again. Given the above, Does anyone have some thoughts on the relative possibility of my being accepted? Thanks in advance for your time.

Your academic performance seems pretty sound. What happened when you applied in 2004? How did you do on your MCAT?

i had a much lower gpa than you, but i got accepted to an allopathic US medical school. just do well on the mcat and make sure you write a good cohesive personal statement that ties all your experiences together. i think you have a great shot as long as you stay focused on your goals!

Thank you for your response. MCAT score in 2003 was 27. Med school applications in 2004 resulted in being waitlisted at Penn State, but that was it - I received rejections from all other schools.

At this point, my concern is whether or not my pre-med classes are now outdated. I understand that many schools want the prerequisites to be completed within 5 years of application to med school. I’m now beyond the 5-year time point. I would like to know if this (passing the 5-year time point) is in itself enough to disqualify me from applying to med school, or, if a strong MCAT would somehow mitigate this issue.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Which schools are you referring to?

Read this:


In addition, poster twistqueen (the poster just above you) had prerequisites older than 10 years old. Twistqueen’s prerequisites were acceptable to Cornell (despite the supposed 10 year time limit of prerequisites) and twistqueen was recently accepted by UCLA/Drew. Duke also posts on their website a 7 year time limit. In speaking with both schools, both schools said that the reason for the time window is to ensure applicants have recent biomedical coursework when applying. Contrary to many people’s thinking of these time limits, this does not mean to repeat, remedial premedical coursework (unless you have to because you don’t remember anything or have awful grades). Each school wants recent coursework that “strengthens, reinforces, and expands” each particular premedical prerequisite area. Those who have taken their premedical prerequisites awhile back are in the same boat as those who have fulfilled premedical prerequisites with AP exams. The advice is still the same for both groups: take advanced-level coursework in each area and do well (junior-level inorganic chemistry, second year organic chemistry, second year engineering physics, etc.)

bjc5366, your MCAT was somewhat low for allopathic medical schools. You also didn’t mention anything about a physician recommendation or physician shadowing. Have you considered Georgetown SMP? It seems to me that you might be best served getting the advice of our oldpremeds advisor Judy Colwell, http://www.judycolwell.com .

No specific schools in mind, but I seem to remember something about a 5-year limit back when I first applied in 2004.

Thanks for your thoughts.