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older student wishes to attend medical school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bill clark, Apr 27, 2000.

  1. bill clark

    bill clark Junior Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    los angeles, CA
    Hi everyone,

    I'm an older gentleman (38 actually) who wants to attend medical school one day soon. I was a pre-med during my first two years of college and completed many of the requisite courses, but changed my major in mid stream and have been working as a librarian for several years now.

    I realize that most med schools will require me to have taken the core science curriculum within the last few years. I will begin this summer on that path. Can anyone offer advice as to whether I should finish the science courses at a community college or university? With regard to courses what might be a logical progression toward fufilling the requirements. So far it looks as though I'll have to start with basic chem and bio again and work my way up. Will med school take my previous academic achievements (3.6 in the sciences) into consideration.

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  3. Sheon

    Sheon Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 2, 1999
    Brooklyn, NY
    I seriously doubt anyone would question your grades even if they are from a long time ago. The MCAT is another story. That must be less than 3 years old at most schools.
  4. Carbon Klein

    Carbon Klein Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Are you sure you have to retake your premed courses? Sheon's right. I had to retake my 93 MCATs in 99 to apply this year, but my premed course were from 90-91 and no one batted an eye at them.
  5. bill clark

    bill clark Junior Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    los angeles, CA
    Thinks all. I really appreciate your input and advice. My concern at this point is that the courses I took as a pre-med are over 15 years old, and I believe most schools put a cap of ten years on courses they'll accept. It was suggested to me (by a medical student) that I go ahead and repeat all of my pre-med courses, just as a precautionary measure and to prepare myself for the MCAT and for the rigours of first-year med school courses. Thanks again for your response to my question!!!

    MODEERF NIATPAC Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2000
    I agree!!! You should probably retake the science courses. 15 years ago....Hmmm....didn't they think the world was flat back then?

    It is impressive that you are trying to do this at your age. I certainly wouldn't do it!!! I mean, by the time you finish residency, you would be close to 50!!! Do you have any kids that would be affected by this decision?

    Good luck with your endeavors, and may the banner of FREEDOM fly proudly on your castle!!!
  7. "I believe most schools put a cap of ten years on courses they'll accept"

    I just went through this years application cycle. My general biology first semester was from 1988 and my general chem first semester was from 1989, so I was right on the 10 year mark. Nobody said anything.
  8. Collyn Moore

    Collyn Moore New Member

    Apr 28, 2000
    Good luck, Bill!! And thank you for starting this subject since I am in the same boat only I am older than you!! I attended one year of med school then left after the birth of my daughter (the junior in college). My son graduates high school on May 27th and I am looking to return to the only thing that really interests me. The only change is now I am more interested in Family Medicine because I have much more practical experience in that area. My kids are behind me (literally, my son will be pre med) [​IMG] and my husband says I can stop wasting my brain for a paycheck. All I need is guidance as to which schools are most sympathetic to returning or mature students. As to age upon completion - you are going to get older, God willing, no matter what, the point is to make your life count for something!!

  9. SP

    SP Junior Member

    Apr 28, 2000
    All of your posts are most encouraging. I'm 34 and want to finish up my pre-med with hopes to apply for a spot in 2003, but keep thinking "I'll be 37". Good luck to all!
  10. dolly

    dolly Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    I pre interviewed at a major university and was told that you could attend a major university science course and not be prepared for the mcat. And that one of the local community colleges had a great science department and was respected for it. Check the community and univ schools out. Consider all your science courses as prep for your mcat. Also, my last science course was in 1979...yep, you guessed it, I'm starting from the beginning again. In fact my gen chem final is this monday. Because the chem classes required for med school outweigh (time wise) the bio and phy requirements, I started with chem. I don't think the order really matters. Proof that you know the material does. I know that my university will give you an equivalency exam for you to pass out if you feel you know the material and don't wish to invest the time. I personally thought that retaking the courses would be best for me. Good luck.
  11. Vergil

    Vergil Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 1999
    Houston, TX USA
    Go for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I graduated with a bachelor's in PSYCH in 1987: I'm thirty four and I am retaking my 10+ year old pre-med courses under the auspices of the TEXAS Academic fresh start program.

    Under this provision, the state schools of Texas will not consider any grades earned 10+ years before the intended date of matriculation into med school.

    I will be applying next year for the class of 2006.Since I kicked my prerequisites within the last 5 years, I will be walking in with a 3.9. -and I got to keep my bachelor's degree!!!. It was worth the effort for me.
    You might want to look into it.

    Good luck to you all and keep in touch. I would really like to see how you all are doing.
  12. riverweb

    riverweb Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    NY, NY USA
    Yes, Bill, the adcoms will take into consideration your previous work. When you fill out the AMCAS application, you will list all post-secondary classwork you have done and your grade in each class. Then, AMCAS calculates both your cumulative GPA and your science GPA. *All* of your grades are included in these calculations.

    Good luck. BTW, I'm 44 and starting med school this Fall. It can be done!!!
  13. cle42

    cle42 New Member

    May 3, 2000

    It's nice to know there are many "older"
    students out there!! (Like myself)
    By the way, where did you get accepted??

  14. bill clark

    bill clark Junior Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    los angeles, CA
    I really wish to thank everyone for such inspiring replies! It really is very encouraging to hear of so many people making their dreams. I wish everyone the best of luck in their medical studies, and lets keep encouraging each other!!!!!
  15. EmB

    EmB Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 7, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey there, I may be late on this topic (I'm new to the site), but wanted to add to it -- it's my speciality, since I also went back and did pre-med coursework sometime after finishing undergrad. A few thoughts: I was living down the street from Harvard extension school, and their program is awesome -- you can take a whole certificate program there, or just take courses to fill in the gaps that you need (that's what I did). It's no more expensive than UMass, which was my other choice, and the courses are great MCAT prep and look good on a transcript. I don't know where you live, but I would suggest looking at the best programs you can take, rather than just the local community college. I think it's also really important to think about how to "sell yourself" in your essay. Being older can be a huge asset, but you do need to convince them that medicine is not some crazy whim for you -- rather that your extra yrs. of thinking about it have really paid off. My experience was that some schools really liked that, and others didn't go for it at all -- consquently I have been accepted at some very prestigious places, and also rejected at an equal number of places, some less prestigious. Finally, I liked the post-bac thing because it let me work full time (I taught high school, about 60 hrs per week), and take classes at night. I just took one a semester,so I really focused on a particular subject. It definitely helped my grades, and I'd recommend retaking courses for that reason as well. Best of luck to you. I'm really excited to hear about so many cool older people who are pursuing this. Hope to meet some of you in the fall!!

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