Already took pre-med classes 20 years ago

BklnD

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I’m a non-traditional 39 y/o planning to apply around 2 years from now. As a neuroscience major, I took all the premed courses besides Biochem and Physics II but about halfway through decided I didn't want to apply to medical schools. I went to a top 5 liberal arts college, but my 3.3 GPA (both sci and total) wasn’t exceptional. Pre-med classes ranged from one B- (G-Chem II) to a few B+. Upper division science classes were a little better, although I only got 2 solid A’s, and sadly only a B+ on my experimental thesis.

Two months from now I’m planning to make a big scary leap, quitting my somewhat lucrative non-science job to brush up on coursework. The plan so far is a DIY equivalent of a post-bacc to retake all pre-med classes. The pre-med advisor at my local college recommended starting with General Biology I and II, which I actually never took as an undergrad because all pre-meds started with Genetics and Cell/Molecular. Is this the best path? And if that’s the case, should I eventually take Cell/Molecular or another bio course for applications and MCAT? Biochem is already in my course plan.

Any other tips for an applicant who was a mediocre science major almost 20 years ago and hasn’t worked in a related field since (I’ve been an animator/graphic designer for 11 years)?

Many thanks!
 
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chaim123

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I’m a non-traditional 39 y/o planning to apply around 2 years from now. As a neuroscience major, I took all the premed courses besides Biochem and Physics II but about halfway through decided I didn't want to apply to medical schools. I went to a top 5 liberal arts college, but my 3.3 GPA (both sci and total) wasn’t exceptional. Pre-med classes ranged from one B- (G-Chem II) to a few B+. Upper division science classes were a little better, although I only got 2 solid A’s, and sadly only a B+ on my experimental thesis.

Two months from now I’m planning to make a big scary leap, quitting my somewhat lucrative non-science job to brush up on coursework. The plan so far is a DIY equivalent of a post-bacc to retake all pre-med classes. The pre-med advisor at my local college recommended starting with General Biology I and II, which I actually never took as an undergrad because all pre-meds started with Genetics and Cell/Molecular. Is this the best path? And if that’s the case, should I eventually take Cell/Molecular or another bio course for applications and MCAT? Biochem is already in my course plan.

Any other tips for an applicant who was a mediocre science major almost 20 years ago and hasn’t worked in a related field since (I’ve been an animator/graphic designer for 11 years)?

Many thanks!

I don't have a lot of experience in something like this, but I will say that I think taking courses right now should be as much about meeting pre-reqs as it is about ensuring that you have a good foundation for the MCAT and to succeed in medical school. If you you took courses 20 years ago and haven't worked in a related field since, I would say that taking the classic sequence (bio, chem, orgo, physics, biochem etc) would be a great way to refresh and show the committee your ability to handle science now.
 
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Phiona

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With your previous undergrad classes being done twenty years ago, I'd say you will basically have to start from scratch. I believe adcoms wil only consider prereqs done in the last ten-ish years, so twenty years is way to big of an interval for them to be able to judge your academic capabilities. This may also work in your favor, however, since your less-than-stellar grades might not work against you as badly as if it were more recent (don't take my word for that, though, I'm only speculating on that bit). It may be tedious (and more expensive), but I do think you should start from the beginning with intro bio courses and work your way through like a traditional pre-med student would. At this point you don't want anything to further delay your acceptance! Best of luck!!
 
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hamiltonnyc

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Agreed, some schools even expire pre-reqs within 5 years (check MSAR). For the ones that don't, when I called them they still want relatively recent classes to see if you can handle the coursework--this is a completely reasonable ask. Even if you scored a 520 on the MCAT, I imagine not having recent coursework would still give a lot of schools pause.
 

medaspire1

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I’m a non-traditional 39 y/o planning to apply around 2 years from now. As a neuroscience major, I took all the premed courses besides Biochem and Physics II but about halfway through decided I didn't want to apply to medical schools. I went to a top 5 liberal arts college, but my 3.3 GPA (both sci and total) wasn’t exceptional. Pre-med classes ranged from one B- (G-Chem II) to a few B+. Upper division science classes were a little better, although I only got 2 solid A’s, and sadly only a B+ on my experimental thesis.

Two months from now I’m planning to make a big scary leap, quitting my somewhat lucrative non-science job to brush up on coursework. The plan so far is a DIY equivalent of a post-bacc to retake all pre-med classes. The pre-med advisor at my local college recommended starting with General Biology I and II, which I actually never took as an undergrad because all pre-meds started with Genetics and Cell/Molecular. Is this the best path? And if that’s the case, should I eventually take Cell/Molecular or another bio course for applications and MCAT? Biochem is already in my course plan.

Any other tips for an applicant who was a mediocre science major almost 20 years ago and hasn’t worked in a related field since (I’ve been an animator/graphic designer for 11 years)?

Many thanks!
Am in similar situation , have started taking pre-reqs at local CC and have a long road ahead . PM me if you have more questions ( I dont know much and have learned a lot lurking on SDN)
 
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I’m a non-traditional 39 y/o planning to apply around 2 years from now. As a neuroscience major, I took all the premed courses besides Biochem and Physics II but about halfway through decided I didn't want to apply to medical schools. I went to a top 5 liberal arts college, but my 3.3 GPA (both sci and total) wasn’t exceptional. Pre-med classes ranged from one B- (G-Chem II) to a few B+. Upper division science classes were a little better, although I only got 2 solid A’s, and sadly only a B+ on my experimental thesis.

Two months from now I’m planning to make a big scary leap, quitting my somewhat lucrative non-science job to brush up on coursework. The plan so far is a DIY equivalent of a post-bacc to retake all pre-med classes. The pre-med advisor at my local college recommended starting with General Biology I and II, which I actually never took as an undergrad because all pre-meds started with Genetics and Cell/Molecular. Is this the best path? And if that’s the case, should I eventually take Cell/Molecular or another bio course for applications and MCAT? Biochem is already in my course plan.

Any other tips for an applicant who was a mediocre science major almost 20 years ago and hasn’t worked in a related field since (I’ve been an animator/graphic designer for 11 years)?

Many thanks!
Do a postbac program for career changers.
 

BklnD

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Jun 14, 2020
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Thanks for the tips, everyone!

I'm not one of the lucky few who can afford a formal post-bacc + no income, but it sounds like I'm on the right path with my DIY version. I'll just start with general bio then take molecular later on. I've really enjoyed reviewing some of the material over last couple of months, and the knowledge is sinking in more deeply than it did the first time.
 

samc

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Just from a pure knowledge standpoint, you should definitely definitely take bio and biochem over, like you seem to be doing. I am 42 and the whole world of bio changed from 1995, when I graduated HS, to 2009, when I started postbac courses. The Human Genome Project is just the beginning!
 

FutureInternist

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I’m a non-traditional 39 y/o planning to apply around 2 years from now. As a neuroscience major, I took all the premed courses besides Biochem and Physics II but about halfway through decided I didn't want to apply to medical schools. I went to a top 5 liberal arts college, but my 3.3 GPA (both sci and total) wasn’t exceptional. Pre-med classes ranged from one B- (G-Chem II) to a few B+. Upper division science classes were a little better, although I only got 2 solid A’s, and sadly only a B+ on my experimental thesis.

Two months from now I’m planning to make a big scary leap, quitting my somewhat lucrative non-science job to brush up on coursework. The plan so far is a DIY equivalent of a post-bacc to retake all pre-med classes. The pre-med advisor at my local college recommended starting with General Biology I and II, which I actually never took as an undergrad because all pre-meds started with Genetics and Cell/Molecular. Is this the best path? And if that’s the case, should I eventually take Cell/Molecular or another bio course for applications and MCAT? Biochem is already in my course plan.

Any other tips for an applicant who was a mediocre science major almost 20 years ago and hasn’t worked in a related field since (I’ve been an animator/graphic designer for 11 years)?

Many thanks!

There were like 6 known amino acids when you took your science classes :).

Totally agree with retaking everything.
Would add physiology to the mix for sure.

Not sure about the yield of Cell Bio beyond what you can get from a review course and question bank.
Bio I and II, Chem I and II, Physics I and II, Human physiology, Genetics, BioChem (but also falls under the “could probably learn
 
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