28 year old thinking about changing careers to become a doctor... PLEASE HELP!

Nov 19, 2013
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
hello,

I finished with a BS in Economics and Mathematics from a state school about 5 years ago. I graduated with 3.08 GPA. I currently work as a Statistician at a fortune 500 company. I have been thinking about changing careers for some time now. Actually, I have always wanted to be a doctor but I couldn't because I moved to this country when I was 8 years old and I am finally a permanent resident (I can apply to medicals schools and student loans). I went through undergraduate working 2 jobs to pay tuition cause I couldn't apply for financial aid or student loans. I am thinking about applying to a post bach pre med program. I have been studying for the MCAT for 2 years now (I am fairly positive I can do well).

Honestly, what are my chances of getting into a Medical School? Should I even try? Which post bach pre med should I look into?(Tuition isn't an issue anymore)...PLEASE HELP!
 

jemill

5+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2013
37
2
Upstate New York
Status
Pre-Medical
You should look into a post-bacc, or even taking the pre-reqs and some upper-level ugrad science courses as a non-degree seeking student at a local university or state school. Your gpa is not too bad for do, but there is definite room for improvement. It will be difficult for others to tell you what your chances are without a science gpa and mcat score, but if you put in the effort to increase your gpa, get a good mcat score, and get some ec's in as well, I think you will have a good shot at getting in somewhere when the time comes! And what I've see many wonderful people on here say is just remember it's a marathon, not a sprint, so take the time to become the best applicant you are able to!
 

WaterCLurker

Aspiring Jedi Knight
Nov 6, 2013
28
14
Status
Pre-Medical
Check the postbaccalaureate programs under the interdisciplinary forums. Apparently, if you haven't taken any medical school prerequisites, you can gain acceptance to a post-bac program where you take all of them and if you do well, can gain a guaranteed acceptance to the host school. There's a sticky at the top that lists them, I think.
 
OP
K
Nov 19, 2013
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
thanks guys. I have took some bio and chem classes as gen ed. Would those count? and Do Medical school really care about my GPA from 5 years ago?
 

cabinbuilder

Urgent Care Physician
10+ Year Member
Nov 21, 2005
4,541
2,363
Texas
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Attending Physician
thanks guys. I have took some bio and chem classes as gen ed. Would those count? and Do Medical school really care about my GPA from 5 years ago?
Yes, they care. You will need to prove that you can handle a full science load. The first semester of medical school is the equivlent of 35 credits and it increases each semester after that. It's not like you can drop classes either if you get overwhelmed. It's all or nothing.
You can do your own post-bacc as a non-degree seeking student and take the pre-req's, take the MCAT and see where you fair. That's how I did it at 29 when I went back to school. I took all the pre-req's at the same time in one year (I had a biology degree so it was all review for me). Don't discount DO schools since they look at older applicants and use grade replacement for repeated classes instead of grade averaging.
 
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WaterCLurker

Aspiring Jedi Knight
Nov 6, 2013
28
14
Status
Pre-Medical
I... am not 100% sure but I am guessing yes, bio and chem count... :( I'm pretty sure this bars you from admission to those sorts of programs (but check!). And yes, med school does indeed care about your GPA, unfortunately. I'm going to let someone more knowledgeable about this chime in since I'm not too sure about other things you can do from here.
 

DrMidlife

has an opinion
10+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2006
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Your short to do list:
1. Get into a US healthcare facility as a volunteer worker, to see what the practice of medicine is. An ambition to be a doctor, certainly as an older student, has no credibility until patients have been smelled and cared for.
2. Find out what a DO is and why you should consider being one.
3. Assume you need to do at least one more full time year of undergrad study, including the prereqs, but not just the prereqs. Look at programs like Berkeley Extension or Harvard Extension. There are dozens more; see the postbac forum.
4. Assume your MCAT score is your fate, and that after you complete the med school prereqs that you need to dedicate months and money.
5. Assume you probably need to additional schooling to account for your 3.08, such as a special masters program hosted at a med school.
5. Give up on ever having a guarantee of getting into a US MD school of your choosing. You are on a GPA comeback, which does not follow a schedule and does not go where you think it should.

Best of luck to you.
 

darklabel

PGWhy
7+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2012
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How did you fare in those math and science classes? AMCAs (The med school application service for MD) divides your GPA into science (which includes math) and overall. If you did poorly in those math and science classes and the fluff classes are what kept your GPA above a 3.0, then I'd read about DO and look into retaking classes and utilizing grade replacement for quicker results (as well as taking the necessary pre-reqs).

If your heart is set on MD, then look into taking the pre-reqs and any upper level science classes to boost your science and cumulative GPA above 3.0, kill the MCAT (easier said than done) and apply for an SMP.

You may say "money is no option", but believe me, in GPA redemption it gets costly...
 
OP
K
Nov 19, 2013
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
How did you fare in those math and science classes? AMCAs (The med school application service for MD) divides your GPA into science (which includes math) and overall. If you did poorly in those math and science classes and the fluff classes are what kept your GPA above a 3.0, then I'd read about DO and look into retaking classes and utilizing grade replacement for quicker results (as well as taking the necessary pre-reqs).

If your heart is set on MD, then look into taking the pre-reqs and any upper level science classes to boost your science and cumulative GPA above 3.0, kill the MCAT (easier said than done) and apply for an SMP.

You may say "money is no option", but believe me, in GPA redemption it gets costly...
________________________________

I did fairly well in my Math and Econ classes. I had 3.7 Major GPA for Econ and 3.1 Math GPA. The following are my college grades to give you an idea. Does this help?...

Economics 101--------A
Macro Economics----A
Money & Banking----A
Econometrics---------A
Major Thesis----------A
Political Economics--A
Micro Economics-----B
Regulations------------B
Managerial Econo----B
-------------------------------
Calc 1------------------A
Calc 2------------------A
Calc 3------------------C
Diff equations---------A
Linear Eq--------------A
Adv Calc---------------A
Graph Theory---------A
Financial Math--------F
Probability-------------F retook A
Discrete math----------D retook A
Major Thesis----------A
Regression Analysis--A
probability 2-----------A

I was in an accident 2 weeks before exams, I couldn't finish paperwork to drop classes in time, couldn't take finals and had a bad semester. But retook those classes with A's.
-----------------------------------------
General Ed classes

English 1--------------A
English 2--------------B
Political science------C
Philosophy------------A
Communications-----A
Physics 1--------------B
Physics 2-------------F
Plant Biology---------A
Human Biology------A
Gen Chem------------B
Organic Chem 1------B
Anthro----------------D
Humanities----------C

The physics was part of the semester I could finish. Never retook the class. I have took all these classes working 2 jobs, about 60 hours a week.

I would ideally like to take the entire "premed" course work. I am really interested in doing post bach premed in New York city, Chicago, San fran or LA. Like I said I have been studying MCAT for some time and I have been doing well on the AAMC e-MCAT practice tests. The lowest score I have gotten is a 34.

I am putting my grades up cause I would like an honest answer. I would like to leave my job to pursue a post bach premed program full time.

Please let me know.......
 
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NuttyEngDude

Red-Flagville
7+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2010
2,308
585
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Pre-Medical
You may say "money is no option", but believe me, in GPA redemption it gets costly...
Yes it does. Tuition is not the only factor, living expenses are a big component too.

Retake the F and C's and your GPA repairs rather quickly for DO, You'd have to take sheer volume to fix it for MD but it's doable, doesnt seem that bad compared to others around here. Doing well on the MCAT will help you a lot.
 
OP
K
Nov 19, 2013
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Yes it does. Tuition is not the only factor, living expenses are a big component too.

Retake the F and C's and your GPA repairs rather quickly for DO, You'd have to take sheer volume to fix it for MD but it's doable, doesnt seem that bad compared to others around here. Doing well on the MCAT will help you a lot.
Would I have to retake these classes? I was hoping to attend a post bach pre med program (Columbia university, or northwestern University) and If i finish the program with around 3.7, with a decent MCAT score like 32-34, would that not be enough to get into a MD program?
 
Jun 30, 2013
634
254
West Lafayette, Indiana
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Would I have to retake these classes? I was hoping to attend a post bach pre med program (Columbia university, or northwestern University) and If i finish the program with around 3.7, with a decent MCAT score like 32-34, would that not be enough to get into a MD program?
I see your problem and kinda relate to it. I am 41 years old. The other difference between you and I is that I am a nurse and also have a bachelor in Biology. My GPA is better than yours, but it is 10 years old. I took my MCAT this year with 2 months to prepare. Being out of school for 10 years, it was hard form me. Any how, I didn't do spectacular as far as my MCAT is concerned, but it was good enough. I have applied to 18 school, and turned in 2 secondaries. So far, I have one rejection and one interview invite. I'd say, take all the classes required by med schools. Start some volunteer work now. Do some shadowing here and there. Bring your GPA up and take the MCAT with the best you can. Make yourself a better all round candidate. GPA and MCAT is critical of course, but you need to make sure the other part of you as applicant are as appealing. At 28, you still have time, go for it dude and good luck.
 

NuttyEngDude

Red-Flagville
7+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2010
2,308
585
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Pre-Medical
Would I have to retake these classes? I was hoping to attend a post bach pre med program (Columbia university, or northwestern University) and If i finish the program with around 3.7, with a decent MCAT score like 32-34, would that not be enough to get into a MD program?
Hmm... Yeah, if time and money were not an obstacle I would probably do this. It's a tough road and you are making a gamble you will turn it all around and excel. You will be giving up your stable(?) job and income for just a chance. If you come up short, what do you do then? Corporate America does not take kindly to gaps.

I dont know your money situation but the safer (monetary) bet is to take a do-it-yourself post-bacc while working (if possible) and just ace the MCAT while taking some classes to up your GPA. If my previous career were not so demanding and the office situation allowed it I would have gone this route, but I also wanted a psychological change. A year's worth of solid 4.0 will pull you to a 3.2 or 3.3 (a VERY rough estimate) that plus a solid MCAT score will get you in somewhere (imo and assuming your EC's are typical cookie cutter, plus your previous career). If you have more ambitious goals then I suppose the official post-bacc program might be better. In this case, you are going for the MD and I would forget retaking the classes and just do what the program tells you (but they will have you retake some anyways).
 
OP
K
Nov 19, 2013
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I see your problem and kinda relate to it. I am 41 years old. The other difference between you and I is that I am a nurse and also have a bachelor in Biology. My GPA is better than yours, but it is 10 years old. I took my MCAT this year with 2 months to prepare. Being out of school for 10 years, it was hard form me. Any how, I didn't do spectacular as far as my MCAT is concerned, but it was good enough. I have applied to 18 school, and turned in 2 secondaries. So far, I have one rejection and one interview invite. I'd say, take all the classes required by med schools. Start some volunteer work now. Do some shadowing here and there. Bring your GPA up and take the MCAT with the best you can. Make yourself a better all round candidate. GPA and MCAT is critical of course, but you need to make sure the other part of you as applicant are as appealing. At 28, you still have time, go for it dude and good luck.

did you get invited to a MD program for the interview? it is baffling to think that school care about your GPA from 10 years ago... I am a different person and in a different life situation compared to 10 years ago. Good luck dude! I really hope you get in....
 
Jun 30, 2013
634
254
West Lafayette, Indiana
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
did you get invited to a MD program for the interview? it is baffling to think that school care about your GPA from 10 years ago... I am a different person and in a different life situation compared to 10 years ago. Good luck dude! I really hope you get in....
I applied very late, so I decided to apply to only DO Schools, but still I am thrilled that I have an interview coming up. I still have 13 more schools to hear from, hopefully one or two more interviews and I will be happy. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with one, but more will be great. My point is make yourself appealing as a candidate, you will never know until you try. You can do it, go for it.
 
OP
K
Nov 19, 2013
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hmm... Yeah, if time and money were not an obstacle I would probably do this. It's a tough road and you are making a gamble you will turn it all around and excel. You will be giving up your stable(?) job and income for just a chance. If you come up short, what do you do then? Corporate America does not take kindly to gaps.

I dont know your money situation but the safer (monetary) bet is to take a do-it-yourself post-bacc while working (if possible) and just ace the MCAT while taking some classes to up your GPA. If my previous career were not so demanding and the office situation allowed it I would have gone this route, but I also wanted a psychological change. A year's worth of solid 4.0 will pull you to a 3.2 or 3.3 (a VERY rough estimate) that plus a solid MCAT score will get you in somewhere (imo and assuming your EC's are typical cookie cutter, plus your previous career). If you have more ambitious goals then I suppose the official post-bacc program might be better. In this case, you are going for the MD and I would forget retaking the classes and just do what the program tells you (but they will have you retake some anyways).
I am definitely not going to be working while doing post bacc. I would like to dedicate all my time to the program. I have a pretty stable job, I work as a statistician for a pharmaceutical company. I just rather not have to retake some of those math, and the other gen ed classes. I think I am going to apply to Columbia University Post bach and couple others and see how it turns out....
 
OP
K
Nov 19, 2013
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I applied very late, so I decided to apply to only DO Schools, but still I am thrilled that I have an interview coming up. I still have 13 more schools to hear from, hopefully one or two more interviews and I will be happy. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with one, but more will be great. My point is make yourself appealing as a candidate, you will never know until you try. You can do it, go for it.
thanks man. Keep us posted about the rest of the applications :)
 

NuttyEngDude

Red-Flagville
7+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2010
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Pre-Medical
I am definitely not going to be working while doing post bacc. I would like to dedicate all my time to the program. I have a pretty stable job, I work as a statistician for a pharmaceutical company. I just rather not have to retake some of those math, and the other gen ed classes. I think I am going to apply to Columbia University Post bach and couple others and see how it turns out....
I will write more later as I have class but in a do-it-yourself post-bacc you are basically picking what you are taking. So if you dont want to take something you dont. But as IndianaRN says, you DO have to figure out what will make you the most appealing candidate. The nice thing about some of these official programs is they do a lot of this for you. I'm making an asusmption (I went DIY).


edit: back from class. I say go for it too if it's what you want. it sounds like cost is not at issue at all for you so have at it :D
 
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Jun 30, 2013
634
254
West Lafayette, Indiana
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
thanks man. Keep us posted about the rest of the applications :)
Hey guys, keeping you posted. I got a second interview invite today after I posted. Just to let you know my MCAT was barely enough to be able to apply. Its a prove that GPA and MCAT is not the only thing. Also I did have a couple of "Fs" in my classes, however I did address all of that in my primary and secondary applications.
 

mulberry

7+ Year Member
Apr 19, 2009
324
136
Status
Medical Student
Honestly, you don't need to apply to a post-bacc program. You say you've changed and you said you scored a 32 on your practice MCATs which means you, at the very least, grasp the ideas of biology, chemistry and physics. You should take courses at a local college or state school and bang out all the required courses, maybe 3 per semester + doing volunteer work + anything else that can make your CV look stronger. I was in your position recently - although I am younger than you, I was working in a completely different field, took post-bacc classes at a local college and now I'm in my first year. If you are OK with DO school, FIRST focus on getting As on your pre-med requirements before re-doing your previously failed, non-science courses. I had Fs on my transcript that I did not redo. They care more about your science coursework.
 
Nov 20, 2013
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
you can gain acceptance to a post-bac program where you take all of them and if you do well, can gain a guaranteed acceptance to the host school. There's a sticky at the top that lists them, I think.