My teacher said I should take the MCAT. What???

Nursing Students Pre-Nursing


My Medical Microbiology teacher (who is an MD and teaches a couple college courses as a hobby) pulled me aside after class and asked if I had ever considered taking the MCAT. It has NEVER been on my radar! Mind blown that someone (and no less a doctor) would think that I could even have a chance at going to medical school. I do really well in school but I'm almost 40 and just started going back to school last year. I've been accepted to a great nursing school and it starts in the he's thrown a whole wrench in my brain....not sure what to think. Should I just take it as a great compliment or should I consider this option? Please help me out!


Take it as a compliment. You have the opportunity to attend, like you said, a great nursing school. Maybe take the MCAT and see how well you do, but don't let one person's opinion change your life direction.

Then again, that is just my opinion... ultimately, what do you like doing more, and do you want to invest the time and money into several years of medical school?

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

To a person whose only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Also, this may (or may not) have been a not-too-subtle "You're too smart to be a nurse". In which case- UGH!

Take it as a compliment unless you could get serious about going in that direction on your own. I had something similar happen to me in another line of work, but I had already considered and dismissed the idea of progressing up the ladder. Nice to think that somebody respects abilities.

I had a similar situation with a couple of professors and it, too, has me wondering if med school is a viable option. There's been a part of me that has always wanted to go to med school, but never have I entertained the idea as I didn't think I was smart enough and now being close to your age - I thought it was too late. Well, I took a look at some well-respected med programs in the area, and for the first time I am realizing that this might be doable for me. I plan to continue to begin the nursing program this fall as well - I'll get my degree so I can work while I finish up some prerequisites for medical school (if I continue to go that route). I already have a Bachelor's degree from many moons ago. Sorry no advice to offer - just letting you know I am in the same boat and had the same thing happen within the past couple of weeks too!

Specializes in Adult Primary Care.

If you are really interested in med school go ahead and take the MCAT, you have nothing to lose. BUT - continue on your nursing path at the same time in case things don't work out, then you will not lose ground on the nursing path.

As a future classmate of yours, who is 34, I say first and foremost, take it as a complement! After that, it all depends on what your end game is. I have no doubt that any of us who got into our program are smart enough for med school... But you had the highest score of any of us on here, and it was darn near perfect. All that being said, how much debt do you want? How long do you wish to go to school? What is your financial outlook at retirement currently? How would that affect your financial goals? Will you be okay beginning your career, for real, at age ~48 with potentially $166,000 of med school debt (according to google)? Medical school will be the most expensive and time consuming option. Other faster and cost effective options would be a CRNA, NP, PA, etc... I'm only 34 and my... we'll call him "complication ;-)" is 39. He would have made an excellent Orthopedic Surgeon. He just got out of his 2nd career in the Navy (after being a financial advisor for a top global firm) and we discussed that pathway... but the numbers at his age just didn't play out. He went into orthopedic sales instead and is enjoying his new career. I know docs, friends from college who are JUST NOW finishing up their residencies, etc. My friends who went PA are overall much happier with their career path. (ps, questions are what I would ask myself, please don't feel like you need to answer them on a public forum :)

Specializes in Mental Health.

Taking the MCAT is such a small fraction of what med school actually entails. I think anyone dedicated enough could get INTO med school but that isn't really the issue - it's actually going through med school. LoL

My A&P professor for the past year suggested I do the same. Im also an older student and carrying a 4.0 GPA.

I looked into the pre-reqs and would need an additional five classes. 1 more inorganic chem, 1 semester of organic chem, 2 full semesters of physics and 1 of biochemistry. Which would delay me for at least another full year, as I couldnt take Physics 1 and 2 in the same semester. That was a deal killer for me.

I am pursuing a DNP with a follow on residency/clinical fellowship so I will be sticking with that track.

Studying for the MCAT is no easy task; it will take time and practice to study for it, both of which you could use to focus on something else before starting your program (vacation, time with friends, family, work, etc.). I've had friends that have taken MCAT prep courses, bought supplementary materials, and hired tutors just to give them a slight edge, and all of which cost money. Taking the MCAT also costs $300+. To some, this might not be much but it's also not cheap. klp2006 pretty much summed it all up and I agree with those statements. Also consider that the responsibilities of both physician and nurse are completely different, different roles, and different interactions with patients. Lastly, the fact that you've already been accepted into a nursing program should be enough to assist in your decision of taking the MCAT. Best of luck in your decision-making. Cheers!

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