• Funniest Story on the Job Contest Starts Now!

    Contest starts now and ends September 27th. Winner will receive a special user banner and $10 Amazon Gift card!

    JOIN NOW
  • Site Updates Coming Next Week

    Site updates are coming next week on Monday and Friday. Click the button below to learn more!

    LEARN MORE

Graduated from undergrad years ago, should I retake prerequisites to get into MD school?

bugslife2012

New Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2013
3
1
176
  1. Pharmacist
Hey everyone! So, I graduated from undergrad back in 2007, and then graduated from pharmacy school (UCSF) in 2011. After years of working, now, I finally realized how much I should have become a doctor. I know is cliche to say, but I finally realized that helping patients is the greatest job one can have and being surrounded in that kind of environment by other people like it is exciting and truly inspiring everyday. Being a doctor would be a dream job, something that I really never dream of in my younger days. So below are my stats and I was wondering what my chances are of getting into a MD medical school within the next 2 years.

1. Undergrad GPA of 3.9 (science and overall gpa about the same, above 3.9), chemistry major
2. UCSF pharmacy school GPA of about 3.5
3. Haven't taken MCAT yet
4. Obviously clinical hospital and retail(outpatient) experience (but from a pharmacy perspective)
5. 2 years of research experience and published (last author, but still published) from undergrad. But haven't really done any hard lab research since 2007 from undergraduate years.
6. 4 to 5 years of leadership and community service experiences. Ranging from coordinators for health clinics, outreach diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol programs. Trips to Mexican orphanages every month, etc. But haven't really done any of this since I graduated from UCSF pharm school back in 2011. Being busy with taking care of wife, kids, parents, mortgages, student loans.


I guess I have a couple of questions regarding my ability to get into medical school. Do I have to retake my science prerequisites again? I completed all of the science prerequisites back in 2005 during my freshman and sophomore years of college. Are there a lot of programs that will accept my classes from more than a decade ago? Should I just retake all of my chem, physics, biology classes again at a community college? Any other options? Also, regarding letters of recommendations, can I get some of it from my current employer? Kind of difficult to track down and ask my professors/research advisors from more than 10 to 15 years ago to write me a letter of recommendation. My current plan is to self study for MCAT (while working and raising a family full time) and take it some time in October or November of this year and then apply for medical school during the summer/fall of 2021.

What do you guys think? any advices would be appreciated.

thanks in advance to all any one that replies!!!
 

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,496
2
7,297
126
  1. Pre-Medical
Hey everyone! So, I graduated from undergrad back in 2007, and then graduated from pharmacy school (UCSF) in 2011. After years of working, now, I finally realized how much I should have become a doctor. I know is cliche to say, but I finally realized that helping patients is the greatest job one can have and being surrounded in that kind of environment by other people like it is exciting and truly inspiring everyday. Being a doctor would be a dream job, something that I really never dream of in my younger days. So below are my stats and I was wondering what my chances are of getting into a MD medical school within the next 2 years.

1. Undergrad GPA of 3.9 (science and overall gpa about the same, above 3.9), chemistry major
2. UCSF pharmacy school GPA of about 3.5
3. Haven't taken MCAT yet
4. Obviously clinical hospital and retail(outpatient) experience (but from a pharmacy perspective)
5. 2 years of research experience and published (last author, but still published) from undergrad. But haven't really done any hard lab research since 2007 from undergraduate years.
6. 4 to 5 years of leadership and community service experiences. Ranging from coordinators for health clinics, outreach diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol programs. Trips to Mexican orphanages every month, etc. But haven't really done any of this since I graduated from UCSF pharm school back in 2011. Being busy with taking care of wife, kids, parents, mortgages, student loans.


I guess I have a couple of questions regarding my ability to get into medical school. Do I have to retake my science prerequisites again? I completed all of the science prerequisites back in 2005 during my freshman and sophomore years of college. Are there a lot of programs that will accept my classes from more than a decade ago? Should I just retake all of my chem, physics, biology classes again at a community college? Any other options? Also, regarding letters of recommendations, can I get some of it from my current employer? Kind of difficult to track down and ask my professors/research advisors from more than 10 to 15 years ago to write me a letter of recommendation. My current plan is to self study for MCAT (while working and raising a family full time) and take it some time in October or November of this year and then apply for medical school during the summer/fall of 2021.

What do you guys think? any advices would be appreciated.

thanks in advance to all any one that replies!!!
No, there are not a lot of programs that will accept classes from 15 years ago. Do a search on SDN and you will find a few discussions related to this.

The consensus seems to be 5 years, with some schools going as far as maybe 10, but I don't think any school will accept work from 2005 as evidence that you can handle the academic rigors of med school in 2022. Of course, when in doubt, call the schools you are interested in to find out for sure, but that is your general answer. Also, schools don't like prereqs from community colleges because they are deemed to be less rigorous, so, if you need to take them, you should probably plan on doing so on a non-degree basis at a 4 year college. Good luck!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

gonnif

Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
23,834
40,424
276
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
sample from schools on age of coursework

Columbia
Application Requirements
Please note:
All prerequisite courses must have been completed within 10 years of application. We prefer that prerequisite courses in biology be taken within five years of application.

WCMC (Cornell)

Selection Criteria & Requirements | Medical College
Validity of Courses
To fulfill an admissions requirement, courses must have been satisfactorily completed within 10 years of application. We recommend that one or more advanced science course(s) be completed within five years of application. All required premedical coursework should be completed by January 31 of the year for which admission is sought.

UNC
General Requirements | Office of Admissions
Typically, the prerequisite courses are taken during an undergraduate, post baccalaureate (after college), or graduate degree program. Your grades must be documented in letter-grade format on your transcript and not pass/fail. There is a five-year limit on prerequisite coursework. We begin calculating the elapsed time from the YEAR you graduated from the given program, not the year the course was taken.
Example for clarification

Program completion year (undergrad, post baccalaureate, or graduate)AMCAS cycle begins in May ofYear of matriculation into medical schoolCourse work valid
201520202021Yes
201520212022No

If you are not within the five (5) year limit then you are required to complete one of the choices below before applying to our medical school:
Demonstrate current mastery in the natural sciences by satisfactorily completing a graduate science program in the natural sciences prior to applying – OR –
Complete 30 credit hours of post baccalaureate coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, etc. to demonstrate mastery within the natural sciences.

Einstein
Course Requirements | M.D. Admissions | Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Course Work Older than Five Years
Applicants who have completed all of their pre-medical course requirements five years prior to the time of application must show evidence of participation in either academic or work experience in the biological sciences. Academic experience should include at least one course in a discipline such as cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, immunology or neuroscience. Work experience may include research in the biological or physical sciences or clinical investigation.

UC Davis
Admissions requirements | UC Davis School of Medicine
Prerequisite courses are recommended to be completed within 5 years and must be completed by spring of the year intending to enroll.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
About the Ads

Tenk

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2007
2,770
10,589
276
  1. Attending Physician
If you have a family and a good job, don’t do this. That’s my advice.

You’re looking at almost a decade or more of investment due to having to retake classes + MCAT + other bs (probably 2 years) + 4 years of school + 3 or more years of residency. That’s when you will have a job. You’ll be old, your family will wonder where you’ve been all this time and you will be far worse financially.

Not worth it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 6 users

GreenDuck12

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
2,107
2,270
226
  1. Medical Student
Do I have to retake my science prerequisites again? I completed all of the science prerequisites back in 2005 during my freshman and sophomore years of college.
You're going to need to spend some time researching schools that you are interested in applying to to find out to what degree you should retake old prerequisites or take new classes to show that you can still perform at a high level academically. The good news is that your GPA is already high so you're starting from a strong position having had a history of strong academic performance

Are there a lot of programs that will accept my classes from more than a decade ago? Should I just retake all of my chem, physics, biology classes again at a community college? Any other options
It's hard to say if there are a lot of programs that will accept your classes because it depends on many things. Your state of residence will have a significant impact on where you end up applying as you may have many in state options or very few. You could opt to retake all courses or see if programs will accept some older courses. At minimum, I would recommend several semesters of part time coursework to demonstrate your abilities - whether this is with prerequisites or upper level classes will depend on what you find. If you decide to retake all courses, you can plan on at least 5 semesters of part time work. If you attend full-time it will depend on the structure of the program that you attend but it may be possible to complete it in 12 months. You can look into postbac programs for career changers. Some are called formal programs because they move a small cohort of students through a set track very quickly (1 year) but have a high cost of attendance (look at Goucher, Bryn Mawr, and Scripps as examples). Other routes are informal or DIY postbac programs where you simply take classes either as a degree/certificate student or a la carte at a local university, college, or extension program.

Also, regarding letters of recommendations, can I get some of it from my current employer? Kind of difficult to track down and ask my professors/research advisors from more than 10 to 15 years ago to write me a letter of recommendation.
You can get LORs from your current employer but you will also need faculty LORs. For this reason, it will be beneficial for your to take some classes. At the start of your semester go to each professor and be upfront about your goals and ask what you can do to earn a LOR from them.

My current plan is to self study for MCAT (while working and raising a family full time) and take it some time in October or November of this year and then apply for medical school during the summer/fall of 2021
MCAT dates run from January - September. There tends to be a few dates in January, none in February, and testing resumes in earnest in March. How COVID impacts the typical timeline remains to be seen. I would not take the MCAT until you have finished taking / are towards the end of your postbac classes since you want to be in the best position to do well. In addition to taking the MCAT, retaking prerequisites or taking new upper level bio courses, you are going to need to get more experience in a medical setting: shadowing, volunteering, etc. While being a nontrad, you will get cut a little slack, it would be unwise to apply without clinical experience and shadowing - some schools require a minimum of 50 hours of shadowing. TBH, your timeline of applying during summer of 2021 is overly optimistic and rushed. Summer of 2022 would be more reasonable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
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.