Advice for an older applicant (Post Bacc or SMP/Master's, etc.)

tmjbama5

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2010
66
0
  1. Pre-Medical
    Before my question, here is a brief synopsis of my current situation..

    I graduated in 2009 with a 3.88 GPA (around a 3.7 science GPA). I applied to med school and got on the wait list before being rejected. I have since been traveling and working in other fields, but I am back in the US, and I want to give medical school another try. Let me preface this by saying that I know I have a big uphill battle given my age of 33.

    I've noticed that my prerequisites and MCAT scores have expired according to everything that I have read. So, along with studying for the MCAT again, and getting involved with appropriate extracurricular activities, it's clear that I need to either retake all of my prereqs from undergraduate, or at least do a Post Bacc/SMP (or Master's).

    • I truly hope that I do not need to retake all of my prereqs, so my first question is, is that mandatory? I know every med school is different, but I'm just asking for a more general consensus here.
    • If it is not necessary to retake all of them, what would be the better option between a Post Bacc/SMP (or Master's) for someone in my position?

    I do not need to improve my GPA from college, which I've read is a big reason to do a Post Bacc. However, I do need some recent scores in high level premed courses to show an admissions committee I believe.

    Also, I am open to international med schools even though I know that it is important to find one that is US accredited and has good US residency matching potential. I am open to DO, but I prefer the MD route if at all possible.

    I would truly appreciate any knowledgeable advice. Thanks in advance!
     

    lumya

    Indoor Cat
    2+ Year Member
    Silver Member
    Aug 7, 2018
    709
    1,423
    1. Medical Student
      Each school has its own requirements for prereqs and most accept up to 5 or 10 years. You might be able to find some schools where your courses are accepted but they will be really rare, and do you really want to limit yourself based on this? You can take your classes at a local college/university and it’ll help demonstrate you’re able to do well academically. Also keep in mind that you’ll need usually two science letters of recommendations and a non-science letter, so taking classes will also help you with that.

      Do not attend a non-US medical school if you want to practice in the US. About 99% of US students (MD and DO) match into a residency while only 40% of international students do. You shouldn’t entertain this idea until you have at least two unsuccessful cycles. Take your MCAT and based off of that make your school list.
       
      • Like
      Reactions: 1 user
      About the Ads

      GreenDuck12

      Full Member
      7+ Year Member
      Mar 30, 2014
      2,135
      2,295
      1. Medical Student
        Get a copy of the MSAR to investigate the status of your prerequisites at the schools you would like to apply to. There are some that have requirements but many do not. However, given that you graduated 10+ years ago, you should plan on taking a few classes to show that you are still capable of handling the academic rigors of medical school. A masters program will not help your chances at an admission so a postbac program would be fine. While working 2 classes per semester for two semesters would be sufficient. As you mentioned, your GPA is great so you don't need a postbac program for *record enhancement* but rather for *career changers* since you have been out of undergrad for a while. As the poster above mentioned - community colleges, 4 year universities, and extension schools would be fine. On MSAR you can also see which schools do not accept classes at CCs. I don't anticipate your age being a problem, especially at public programs. However, some schools like Hopkins, Harvard, Stanford etc report very young median ages of matriculants. There are some older students who matriculate at these institutions but not many.
         
        • Like
        Reactions: 1 user

        tmjbama5

        Full Member
        10+ Year Member
        Jan 29, 2010
        66
        0
        1. Pre-Medical
          Thank you for that advice. It's great! I hope that I can "relearn" what I need to for the MCAT rather independently, get involved with the extracurriculars, and take those 4 or so upper level classes. It would be much cheaper that way than to pay for a Master's or a full Post Bacc program! I guess the tricky bit is choosing the "best looking" classes to an adcom. I'm guessing that any high level bio or biochem classes that are relevant for med school would look fine.

          By the way, I'd never get into Hopkins, Harvard, Stanford, etc. anyway so no worries on that front, haha.
           

          GreenDuck12

          Full Member
          7+ Year Member
          Mar 30, 2014
          2,135
          2,295
          1. Medical Student
            Definitely take biochemistry if you haven’t taken it. If you have you can look into cell bio, micro bio, genetics, proteomics, anatomy and physiology, etc. make sure you start doing the other things to round out your application like clinical and non clinical volunteering, shadowing, etc. I had a blast while doing my postbac even though it was at night while working full time. It takes time but you get there in the end.
             

            Goro

            Full Member
            10+ Year Member
            Verified Expert
            Silver Member
            Gold Member
            Jun 11, 2010
            67,224
            2
            103,406
            Somewhere west of St. Louis
            1. Non-Student
              I suggest a post-bac program. You'll get guidance and they should offer MCAT prep as well.

              Read this as well:
              Med School Rx: Getting In, Getting Through, and Getting On with Doctoring Original Edition by Walter Hartwig
              ISBN-13: 978-1607140627
              ISBN-10: 1607140624

              Do NOT even think about any overseas medical school, unless you like the idea of being an Uber driver and six figs in debt.
               

              tmjbama5

              Full Member
              10+ Year Member
              Jan 29, 2010
              66
              0
              1. Pre-Medical
                Goro, thank you for you advice! I really appreciate it. A question though...if money is a pretty big issue for me, do you think I could do a well thought out DIY Post Bacc that is equally as effective? The MCAT prep would be great, but I was thinking of getting the Exam Cracker books as they served me very well in the past. Obviously not having as much guidance or easier access to extracurriculars would be a bummer too, but hopefully I could sort myself out with some added effort and research.

                I definitely don't like the idea of doing Uber and being in such debt, haha. I was just saying that I'm open minded, especially considering my situation as a non-traditional applicant.
                 
                About the Ads
                This thread is more than 1 year old.

                Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

                1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
                2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
                5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
                6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                7. This thread is locked.