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Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 19:46:09 -0400

Hi Rich,

Thanks for creating such an infomative site. The website is quite
informative for the premed student. I'm a 1997 grad of the University of
Miami (B.A.-environmental science). I did not take all of the premed
requirements at the time because I had no plans of attending med school.
Due to a poor performance freshman year, I only ended up with a 3.1 GPA.
I've worked for the past three years in the environmental consulting
business for the U.S. EPA and private industry. Due in part to exposure to
the environmental health field, I decided to pursue a medical degree. While
working, I retook the Biology courses (C's freshman year at UM) at Tulane
University and got A's. I'm currently enrolled in my second semester of
Columbia University's post-bacc program. However, last fall, I got a C in
General Chemistry I, dropped Physics I lecture, and got an A in Physics I
lab. The exposure to large amounts of math after having been away from it
for so long proved very difficult. I'm looking at B's in Gen. Chemistry II
and Physics I this spring. Do you think I have any legitimate chance of
getting into a U.S. allopathic program with my performance so far? What
options should I consider? Thanks for any help you can provide.


Hi Paul,

You need some A's to have a legitimate chance of getting into a U.S.
allopathic program. You may want to polish up your math background before
taking physics again, either by taking a class, getting some help from a
tutor, or working through a study guide. The amount of math in Physics I and
II w/o calculus is actually very little, but w/o a good background in
algebra and trig physics seem a lot harder. When the time comes for Orgo,
I'd advice sitting in on a class before taking it. Only thing is you really
don't want the fact the you sat in on the class on your record. There are
various solutions to this problem, all of which I will leave up to you.
Finally, whenever possible, find out who is the "best" Orgo teacher and make
every effort to sign up for his/her course--and get the old tests!


Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 22:22:24 EDT

Hi Rich,
I am 31 years old and have just taken the MCAT. I have a B.A. degree in
Journalism, with a 3.0 GPA, but with no science course, except the core
requirement. I recently just finished all my medical school prerquisites
with all A's, while at the same time completed my Master's degree in
Exercise Science. I finished these all these courses with a 3.97 GPA. I
run my own personal training business dealing with many special population
clientele (Parkinson's, Vertigo, Addison's, etc.), while also working at a
community center that has many older members with a variety of functional
disabilities. I previously worked for a Physiatrist, administering all
sorts of treatments (cervical traction, ultrasound, etc.), and also
completed a summer internship with an Orthopaedic Surgeon. If i score a 30
or above on the MCAT, what do u think my chances are of getting in? In
addition, since there are many forms of the exam, with various testing
material, how do they normalize these scores to take into account the
differences in difficulty of testing material? Thanks in advance for your


If you score a 30 and interview well, your chances, based on the info you
have provided, is excellent--I'd be very surprised if you were not accepted.

Each form of the MCAT is normalized based only on the individuals that took
that form. No adjustments are made to compensate for differing difficulty
levels from one form to another.



Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 15:31:50 EDT

Hi - I am so sorry to bother you, but I have a question. I am currently a
pre-med student. I was curious what the standards were for applicants with
a felony on their legal record. The felony isn't a bad one - possession of
mushrooms - and it was a while ago when I was a stupid kid - 1995. I have
been trying to find out what the stipulations were before I got too involved
in my schooling. Even though, I am a junior, so I need to hurry up and find
out. Again, thank you for your time.

Hi ,

Possession of shrooms is no deal breaker if you handle it right. You could
get hammered about it by some interviewers (depending on their style). Be
straight forward and honest about the matter. Treat it as an unfortunate
mistake long in your past. Don't get baited into being overly defensive and
it shouldn't be a big deal.


Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 10:36:32 EDT

I'm currently a senior, chemistry major. My GPA is 2.75. I've just decided
that I want to be a doctor. I've taken most of the prereqisetes. Would a
Masters or a Post bacc program be better for me?
Thank you

Since you have all that chemistry under your belt a Masters program might
make more sense. Post bac programs are best for students who have not taken
any "premed" courses. I'm assuming you have taken physics as well. If you
have not taken any physics or biology, than a Post bac program might work,
if it was loaded with loads of "nasty" courses where you can prove you can
hold your own -- Post bac GPA > 3.5.



> Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 18:34:56 -0700
> Subject: accelerated programs
> I am currently in high school and interested in a medical career. I heard of
> a few programs that offer an accelerated premed and med school option. I was
> on a website that said go to, but that
> link does not work on my computer. It was said to have a list of all colleges
> that offer similar programs. As of now I am only searching on the internet,
> and would greatly appreciate it if you know of a similar website (with a list
> of schools that offer similar programs).

> Thank you very much,


Here's where you can start to look:

Variations of the above search will provide even more

The correct link, to which you referred below is


Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 14:29:30 -0400

Dear Rich,
I am in dire need of some advice. I have taken the MCAT 3 times now. My
first two times were horrendous, a 19 and a 18. I am 35 and I just graduated
from undergrad last year with a 3.8 (overall) in biology. I do not know how
I did on the past MCAT. My question is do I wait for my scores to apply or
do I go ahead and start the application process. A bunch of people have
suggested that I apply to schools outside the US since they do not weigh the
MCAT as much (is this true?) I feel like I am in a very long holding
pattern. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you very much Maureen

Hi Maureen,

The only reason for waiting for your scores, would be if you had some
compelling reason to expect that you would score significantly better on the
August MCAT then you anticipate you did on the April test. You probably
do want to consider D.O. schools and schools outside the US--they do not
require as high MCAT scores.

Good Luck,

> Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 02:40:31 EDT

> hi rich, I would like to know if a foreigner with a bachelors in biochemistry
> can apply for medical school in the u.s

Yes, but only a few. Check in MSAR*


*MSAR info is at

> Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 15:00:35 -0400

> Hi Rich! I was interested in taking my classes for the MCAT Exam with you,
> and I wanted to know what is required in order for me to take these classes?
> I have not been to College ever. I want to be a Clinical Pathologist. I went
> to ST. Thomas to speak with an advisor and ask what I should take as a major
> in order to become a Pathologist, I was thinking I had to major in Biology but
> she told me that I should just take some preparatory classes for the MCATS, to
> then go into Medical School. Is this the way to go? Please advise.......
> Thanks!

Hi Lilly,

While it is possible to take some shortcuts if you wish to go to a school
outside of the US, its usually not a good idea. Considering your goals,
obtaining a degree in biology sounds appropriate. You should complete, or be
close to completing, two years of chemistry, one year of physics and one
year of biology before taking an MCAT prep course.


> Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 23:53:34 -0400
> Hello Rich, This is Pablo again, I just have one last and quick
> question: How much time does it take for the MCAT to be received by the AMCAS?
> Say that I take the april mcat... Thanks for everything, Pablo

Hi Pablo,
In the past it has taken about50 days--the bottleneck, of course, is the writing sample


Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 17:59:32 EDT

I dont know if youd be able to answer my questions, but maybe you know
someone who may. I am a high school student and I am thinking about what
colleges to apply to. I know I want to become a doctor, but I hvae no idea
which schools have good premed programs... If you have any information on
this for example maybe which schools have better mcat scores, please contact

Thank you,

Hi Caroline,

You can find most, if not all, of the info you seek online. US News and
World Reports and Newsweek both have sites that rate schools, and there are
lots of other online resources available, including the sites of the schools
themselves. While only some of this material will be directly applicable to
a premed student, you still should be able to learn quite a lot.

I highly recommend as THE search engine to use for your
investigations. After you have a good idea of how various schools stack up
you may wish to seek the advice of a competent guidance counselor to help
you sort though your choices.


Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 16:04:03 -0400

Hi Rich,

I am interested in attending medical school and need some tips, advice, etc.
Currently, I am a second year law student and have become disillusioned
about the "Legal Profession." My first choice has always been the medical
field and I probably should have followed my gut on this one. Unfortunately
I didn't; I am regretting it now. What is the procedure to apply for med
school and would my credits be transferrable from law school? I consider
myself quite intelligent and a quick study for most anything. However,
medicine is my first love and I would love to pursue a career in medicine.
Any hints, advice, etc. you can give will be much appreciated.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Hi Lee-Ann,

Yes, your credits from law school can/should be transferred. You may also
need to take a post-bac program if you have not completed two years of chem,
one year of physics, and at least one year of biology. You may also
wish/need to take a year of calculus, depending on which med schools you
apply to. You will find hints and advice at More info
at, and detailed application instructions in MSAR*.

Good Luck,
Rich Hochstim
*MSAR info is at

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