Sep 16, 2017
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I'm 36 years old and starting my freshman year at a 4 year university. My plan is to major in biology and transfer to medical school, if accepted of course. Am I too old? I understand that question gets asked a lot as well as the time it will take to finish school and residency. I am not married so a family life won't be tying me down. I plan on getting through the 4 yr university as fast as possible. My area of interest in medicine is gerneral/family medicine. Also I am interested in the DO route. Any and all advice, criticism etc is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
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Forever Geebs

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Jan 15, 2017
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Jerry World
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Not too old.

Finish the pre-req's first and then you'll get the appropriate advice.
Agreed.

Do your best to ace pre-reqs, and as you advance, check out volunteering and shadowing opportunities. Do not stretch yourself too thin by overloading on EC’s and ignoring academics.

Best of luck to you!
 

Canterbury

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Feb 28, 2017
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I am 33 and am just starting my bachelor's degree. I'm not speaking with any authority, but I don't think you are too old! I am also tempted to get the degree as fast as I can, but honestly, I know how fast the years go by. I'll be happy as long as I can keep a high GPA while maintaining my other priorities.
 

Blanky

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Be resilient because the road is tough. Not as much the coursework as life likes to throw stressors at us all. Also keep an open mind as you finish your gen ed classes and work on the pre-reqs as biology may or may not fit "you" and any major is more than acceptable.
 
Aug 22, 2017
3
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Things to weigh: Do you have a family? Is your spouse or significant other supportive? If not, do you want it even at the cost of the end of the relationship? What's your current career, do you enjoy it, hate it, or just feel unfulfilled? Do you have savings? Have you shadowed to confirm interest? Do you enjoy studying about science? Can you stand 3 years of very low status, expensive uncertainty to transition? Can you continue working while completing a postbac? Are you good working with the lower bound of the general public?

My experience has been positive, but the road is longer and tougher than you think.

"Are you good working with the lower bound of the general public?"

What exactly does this sentence mean and what are you implying? Not sure that you necessarily work with the "lower bound" of the general public as a physician...you work with patients. You work with people. Not subhuman sickies. You seem to be implying that all patients you encounter in the medical field are of a lesser quality of people in other environments and it just isn't sitting right with me, which is why I am asking for clarification.
 

BusinessAndMedicine

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Apr 17, 2016
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"Are you good working with the lower bound of the general public?"

What exactly does this sentence mean and what are you implying? Not sure that you necessarily work with the "lower bound" of the general public as a physician...you work with patients. You work with people. Not subhuman sickies. You seem to be implying that all patients you encounter in the medical field are of a lesser quality of people in other environments and it just isn't sitting right with me, which is why I am asking for clarification.
As a non-trad you will also have to grow a thicker skin.
 
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DBC03

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Not too old!

Question that you might want to do some research on - are the 7-year medical programs (the ones that make it 7 years to bachelors + MD) available for older applicants? What about Icahn's program? That would be an awesome way to shave just a year off. Do you have any credits transferring in or is this your first time at a full time university? That makes a bit of a difference in the time it will take you. Also, don't make the mistake tons of us made at 18 and screw up your grades going in. Assume that you will have to teach yourself everything, get to know your professors really well, and do really well in classes. Good luck!!
 
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allantois

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Jan 27, 2013
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Not too old!

Question that you might want to do some research on - are the 7-year medical programs (the ones that make it 7 years to bachelors + MD) available for older applicants? What about Icahn's program? That would be an awesome way to shave just a year off. Do you have any credits transferring in or is this your first time at a full time university? That makes a bit of a difference in the time it will take you. Also, don't make the mistake tons of us made at 18 and screw up your grades going in. Assume that you will have to teach yourself everything, get to know your professors really well, and do really well in classes. Good luck!!
Those programs are for high school graduates. Even if one were to get in, you'd literally be with ppl who just graduated high school
 
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DBC03

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Those programs are for high school graduates. Even if one were to get in, you'd literally be with ppl who just graduated high school
Yes - true - but you'll be with the same age group once you hit med school regardless (talked with someone who is at school with some kids who aren't of age to drink). I'd totally do it if it was (a) possible and (b) would cut out one year of school.

I'm still not sure about the Icahn program (you apply during college), but I do know it's super competitive. So probably not an option.
 
Jul 25, 2017
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Two years ago I started @ 40 and have aced every class. Realize that you will face some age discrimination from programs, so make sure your grades and MCAT reflect that you can compete academically with your peers.
You'll face some age discrimination in medicine, but a lot less than in most fields.
 

esob

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You'll face some age discrimination in medicine, but a lot less than in most fields.
I don't think medicine in general age discriminates, but I do think the admissions process to schools and/or residency does; some more heavily than others. You probably won't face the same age discrimination going into family medicine residencies as you would applying to plastics or neurosurgery. And applying for PhD/MD programs if you are > 40 is like hoping to win the lottery...twice....while being struck by lightning....and simultaneously eaten by a shark :eek:
 
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jazzmetal

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I don't think medicine in general age discriminates, but I do think the admissions process to schools and/or residency does
I'd have to agree. I went to a big premed conference a few years ago and had more than one admissions advisor tell me flat out that I was too old. Ironically, this happened at an Old PreMeds conference too - not from an admissions advisor, but from an alumni representing the school. Oddly enough, that's where my first rejection of this cycle came from. Hmmm... :eyebrow:
 
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DBC03

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I'd have to agree. I went to a big premed conference a few years ago and had more than one admissions advisor tell me flat out that I was too old. Ironically, this happened at an Old PreMeds conference too - not from an admissions advisor, but from an alumni representing the school. Oddly enough, that's where my first rejection of this cycle came from. Hmmm... :eyebrow:
Spill the beans so none of us make the mistake of applying there.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3
4
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm 36 years old and starting my freshman year at a 4 year university. My plan is to major in biology and transfer to medical school, if accepted of course. Am I too old? I understand that question gets asked a lot as well as the time it will take to finish school and residency. I am not married so a family life won't be tying me down. I plan on getting through the 4 yr university as fast as possible. My area of interest in medicine is gerneral/family medicine. Also I am interested in the DO route. Any and all advice, criticism etc is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Glad to see im not the only one. Im 34 taking my prerequisites. I attended a school with a post bacc/pre-med program but it was way too expensive. So now im just trying to take my sciences on my own but again money is a struggle.
You/we are not too old. I like to think that people like you and I have a world perspective that our future classmates may not have which will put us at an advantage. Best of luck to you!
 

holdthemayo

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May 13, 2014
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I'd have to agree. I went to a big premed conference a few years ago and had more than one admissions advisor tell me flat out that I was too old. Ironically, this happened at an Old PreMeds conference too - not from an admissions advisor, but from an alumni representing the school. Oddly enough, that's where my first rejection of this cycle came from. Hmmm... :eyebrow:
Who were they expecting to meet at an Old PreMeds conference if not, you know, old premeds. Makes you wonder why they were even there.


@ OP: You are not too old. This is a long process. It is important to remember what the ultimate goal is, but you will get overwhelmed if you worry about all of it now. Focus on whatever the next step is, which for now is getting A's this semester. Revisit the "grand scheme" a few times a year to figure out your next small step and readjust as necessary. Good luck.
 
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Cura_te_ipsum

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Sep 4, 2017
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Realize that you will face some age discrimination from programs, so make sure your grades and MCAT reflect that you can compete academically with your peers.
absolutely true.

However, other programs and admins will see your age as a plus so target those and you'll be on top of the hill.
As for the others, tell them to put in writing. They won't but you will have communicated your point all too well b/c it is illegal.
Cross them off of your list. They're not worthy of your skillsets.
 
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DSM_302.0

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Jan 4, 2013
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not too old! most important thing, now that i'm on the other side of it (applying to medical school right now) and wish i could do undergrad over again: keep those grades up! better to go slower and more cautiously and keep a higher gpa than to get it done with. unfortunately GPA and MCAT are so important in determining who will get invited to interview for a spot in med school. good luck! we're rooting for you.
 
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Aug 28, 2017
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It's definitely a hard choice to make. But you have to be proud of yourself, as it is your own mature decision. You definitely won't be alone, I've read a report that
suggested studying at college/university when you're older as you are more motivated.
 

hall1ms1b

2+ Year Member
May 6, 2016
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15
I'd have to agree. I went to a big premed conference a few years ago and had more than one admissions advisor tell me flat out that I was too old. Ironically, this happened at an Old PreMeds conference too - not from an admissions advisor, but from an alumni representing the school. Oddly enough, that's where my first rejection of this cycle came from. Hmmm... :eyebrow:
How old are you
 

shayveritas

2+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2017
2
4
Status
Pre-Medical
Another >40 old pre-med here. It's scary to be taking this on, but I've tried to convince myself I'm too old. Turns out I just don't care. Can't imagine doing anything else, and the prereqs are fun. MDinmythirties is right. Keep your grades in the stratosphere to balance the age bias we're sure to face.
 
Sep 28, 2017
6
4
The 'Burgh
Status
Pre-Medical
You're charging a social justice windmill.

A fair amount - certainly not all as you assert - of what a doctor sees on a daily basis is something that seems to be a pretty obvious and direct result of patient voluntary behavior, e.g. I eat 7500 calories per day and do not exercise why am I so overweight, I take all kinds of recreational drugs and now seem to be having memory problems and mood swings, I am easily triggered and so cannot hold a job or relationship please help.

If OP can't see himself handling this type of patient with grace and professionalism, he should find something else to do, because this is some of a typical doctor's day.
I work inpatient with homeless IV drug users. Based on my personal experience, "grace" and "professionalism" aren't requirements to be a doctor at all. It's a quality that medical professionals should possess, but many have had it either beaten out of them or never had it to begin with. Does a doctor with grace and professionalism call people "the lower bound of the general public"? Just saying.

In the immortal words of Doctor Cox: "I became a doctor for the same four reasons anybody does: chicks, money, power, and chicks."
 

Jedi_Knight

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Sep 14, 2015
31
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I don't think medicine in general age discriminates, but I do think the admissions process to schools and/or residency does; some more heavily than others. You probably won't face the same age discrimination going into family medicine residencies as you would applying to plastics or neurosurgery. And applying for PhD/MD programs if you are > 40 is like hoping to win the lottery...twice....while being struck by lightning....and simultaneously eaten by a shark :eek:
??? Im 39 and a sophmore in Biology program. I met with the admissions advisor and she encouraged me to pursue med school...why do you say that over 40 is impossible (im 39)?
 

shayveritas

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Sep 17, 2017
2
4
Status
Pre-Medical
I think esob was referencing specifically MD/PhD programs being impossible. And that is probably true. That path to a successful career is much longer than choosing to become a physician. Surgery as well. As the numbers speak, if I chose surgery, I'd be 56 before completing a residency. Combined with the uber competitiveness encountered, imo it wouldn't be worth the haul. I'm cool with that, if also a little sad. A case of "should have made my mind up sooner" regrets.
 

BC_89

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I'm 36 years old and starting my freshman year at a 4 year university. My plan is to major in biology and transfer to medical school, if accepted of course. Am I too old? I understand that question gets asked a lot as well as the time it will take to finish school and residency. I am not married so a family life won't be tying me down. I plan on getting through the 4 yr university as fast as possible. My area of interest in medicine is gerneral/family medicine. Also I am interested in the DO route. Any and all advice, criticism etc is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Age is a number and nothing more. Once my obligation is up with the Army (and 7+ years since I been in full-time college status), I plan on going back for a bio degree with an emphasis in teaching. With the proper time and preparation of the MCAT I see myself being admitted to med school somewhere around 37-38 years of age (thus mid 40's after schooling / residency).

I do have a few things going for me, GI Bill coverage plus wife is a social worker and holds a medical assistant certification. Two kids which will also be in school while I'am studying (challenge them who can get higher grades lol). Plus up to the point of starting med school: no debt, goal of ~25 - 35k in savings (maintain it assuming life doesn't hit us to harshly but this is what we fluctuate with), and already have a humbling investment portfolio that will just have to compound what little they can while in student status.

Despite all that, and after working with a lot of healthcare professionals within the DOD department and hospitals, I would still go for it. Chase after the passion and live within means I promise when the day comes you won't be happier...be a doc in your 40's or don't...which would you rather be?
 
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esob

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??? Im 39 and a sophmore in Biology program. I met with the admissions advisor and she encouraged me to pursue med school...why do you say that over 40 is impossible (im 39)?
As shayveritas noted, I was referring to the combined M.D./Ph.D programs (aka physician scientists).
 
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