mish

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I know there's alot of threads here that mention people starting med school in their 30s, 40s and 50s...but is there some point where you have to realise you are too old??

I am 30 and would like to do med but am constantly told by people (including doctors) that I am too old!

When I do the maths, I have 4 years of training and here in Oz, we have an intern year+residency year...then add on the specialist training...another 6...by the time I finish I will be 42!...(that's assuming I get into a training program straight away)....by the time I have my own practice I will be probably be around 50.

Sometimes when I think of all this, I get unfortunately a little convinced of the truth....especially when you don't have a family yet...you wonder whether you are giving family up for a career. I mean, it's all great realising your dream and all...but is it all worth it?

Usually I am quite confident and decisive but this question is just driving me nuts. Am I kidding myself?
 

RichL025

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Well Mish, I can't say for sure, not knowing what the differences are between medicine in Oz vs the US, but I had somewhat of the same question. In my case, though, everyone I talked to was extremely supportive about it.

I started Med school when I was 34. I'm in my 3rd year now, and am seriously considering General Surgery (let's see... 38 when I graduate, I'll be 44 when I finish my residency... yay!!!!)

Ignore people who tell you you're too old. The only impediments are in your head... literally. If you think you're too old, you are.

There's a blog floating around here somewhere of a "non-traditional" surgery resident. I think she's 52 ;)

Will the family life be easy for you? Of course not. But ask yourself this: if you don't do it, will you be lying on your death-bed, 50 or so years from now, and wonder what might have been?
 

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I agree that if you want to be a doctor, you should go for it. There are lots of people over 30 in med school, and some who are even over 40. I'll be 31 when I start, and just about everyone has been extremely encouraging, including my family. (Actually, they were wondering what took me so long to decide to go!) Good luck to you with your decision. :luck:
 

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mish said:
I know there's alot of threads here that mention people starting med school in their 30s, 40s and 50s...but is there some point where you have to realise you are too old??

I am 30 and would like to do med but am constantly told by people (including doctors) that I am too old!

When I do the maths, I have 4 years of training and here in Oz, we have an intern year+residency year...then add on the specialist training...another 6...by the time I finish I will be 42!...(that's assuming I get into a training program straight away)....by the time I have my own practice I will be probably be around 50.

Sometimes when I think of all this, I get unfortunately a little convinced of the truth....especially when you don't have a family yet...you wonder whether you are giving family up for a career. I mean, it's all great realising your dream and all...but is it all worth it?

Usually I am quite confident and decisive but this question is just driving me nuts. Am I kidding myself?
People ask me how old I will be when I finish med school. (provided I am accepted)
I tell them the same age I would be if I did not go.

Do what you want and do what you love. Life is too short for any other options.
 

ntmed

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mish said:
I am 30 and would like to do med but am constantly told by people (including doctors) that I am too old!
I started medical school at age 40, and am in my 4th year now. This is a decision only you can make. Don't let others make it for you.

You should never let age be the deciding factor for anything you do in life. If becoming a physician is what you really want, if you have the ability and the energy, if you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, and if you have the ability to make sure you existing obligations (spouse, children, mortgage, etc.) will be taken care of, then go for it.
 

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I asked this question of a faculty member at my current grad school who also serves on the med school adcom as a senior member. He looked at me and said, "You look pretty young from where I sit." I'm in my early thirties. He's been around for quite some time- I figure he should know. Good luck.
 

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Francis Crick didn't start graduate school until he was 35. I think he discovered something really important about DNA ;)

Rodney Dangerfield returned to standup comedy at the age of 40 after working as an aluminum siding salesman. All of his success came after reentering the field of work he felt was his calling.

Grandma Moses took up painting when she was 76. She completed 1600 paintings before she died at 101. She is considered one of the greatest modern American artists.

Soeur Emmanuelle was 64 when she moved to the slums of Cairo to help the poor. She stayed there for 21 years and now works the European lecture circuit gathering support for her charities.

Imagine if these people had listened to those who told them they were too old to start this or that...
 

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mish said:
I know there's alot of threads here that mention people starting med school in their 30s, 40s and 50s...but is there some point where you have to realise you are too old??

I am 30 and would like to do med but am constantly told by people (including doctors) that I am too old!

When I do the maths, I have 4 years of training and here in Oz, we have an intern year+residency year...then add on the specialist training...another 6...by the time I finish I will be 42!...(that's assuming I get into a training program straight away)....by the time I have my own practice I will be probably be around 50.

Sometimes when I think of all this, I get unfortunately a little convinced of the truth....especially when you don't have a family yet...you wonder whether you are giving family up for a career. I mean, it's all great realising your dream and all...but is it all worth it?

Usually I am quite confident and decisive but this question is just driving me nuts. Am I kidding myself?
Hi there,
Read some of the comment under the thead about "Shorter Residencies because of Age" found on this forum. You may find some additional perspectives there too. Also, check out the website Old Premeds (a sister site of SDN) where you can fnd plenty of perspective about being an older premedical/medical student.

njbmd :)
 

JChaney

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MMM...I thought I should post something here.....

No time for spelling...The age thing, which most have different veiws upon seems like it's really bothering most. I guess I shouldn't say grow up? Ok, not funny, but It bothered me and I am 25-second year pre-pharmacy. Didn't start late...just had responcabilities in today's world doing another thing and the place closed down. Yea I lost everything, and couldn't find a job. It matters because now my skills are closed down too! I never thought about going anywhere. Even though I don't make much now, I listen to people I work with who don't even think twice about responding in a fashion which even seems like they are listening when we ask anyway...Like I did to newcomers and like we all have done others...and it's not so bad, so don't ask those you know who will be pre-occupied with what ever is on their mind and give you a crazy answer. The next day be prepared.

It's just amplified when we don't get the treatment we are used to or done somwhere else. I think that the only thing that really concerns us is the status and money, which you know you'll spend either way, or know it will take time to get later somewhere else that you didn't want to be, so we have already made the commitment...and we are putting in the time from the start. I was making 50 g/y then, walking now. It will take me five years too, and medicine is medicine either way. Let me see...work in factory or hospitol taking orders from doctors? I know my answer. Just get past the others' compliments on starting (which seems late to them) and know the level you just overcame. Move to the next and think that people can understand how entire industries can be dropped off the earth, and we are the first to change. Who cares? Make your inconsistancies, and your image change and grow for the time being. It's why you made the choice in the beginning and why your still changing. It's hard, but I can walk three miles in 26 minutes. I improved from the last time...lol

Hey...some of the people I worked with has never operated a press, worked in a blue collar or even put two and two together about us coming in...they are used to the money and being that way. Ok? But I laugh when they are sweating doing the same thing because I am pumping out perscriptions, mixing medicines and handling three things at once in those "Graduate" terms. I make sure I write out everything on the piece of paper so they can sit there and not need to look through the computer. Maybe they can be meek enough to understand how happy we are to be apart of a "different" endeaver..needless to say starting late, or what ever it is in life we do...but they need to look at something on the computer first or say something harsh, and constantly think about money we don't have now. Who cares? It's not the career, time or money..your changing.

If you can pay your bills, stay married... continue on with your life, develop confidence, and dilligence in helping others and actually get paid well for that in the end and on the way. Your doing what you changed to do, you might have helped someone they could not because they were busy on the computer, and the pateint may even give you a ride home. Lol.. Not to mention they might have conections like family members in Pharmcy Board mettings, college deans and ect who called me the next day. There is more helping you than you. Build it yourself one day at a time then you remember why you started, and you go the distance. Oh yea, study like you belive, your doing well, and you will.
 

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You are not too old. I just turned 33, and I am pretty sure that I am going the med school route. I have to finish my undergrad bio degree - I have 4 semesters...and of course: GET IN to med school!

I figure that I will be 40 when I graduate med school, and 43 - 45 by the time I am done with residency. If we assume a retirement age of 65, that is 20 - 22 yrs of practice...not too bad.

You might frequently encounter something like: "well, you're gonna be 40 anyway - so you may as well be 40 and a doctor." That is very true. The only caveat I would offer is that you must consider the YEARS BETWEEN NOW AND THEN - the hardships, the trials, difficulties - be they school-wise, finance-wise, family-wise, etc.




mish said:
I know there's alot of threads here that mention people starting med school in their 30s, 40s and 50s...but is there some point where you have to realise you are too old??

I am 30 and would like to do med but am constantly told by people (including doctors) that I am too old!

When I do the maths, I have 4 years of training and here in Oz, we have an intern year+residency year...then add on the specialist training...another 6...by the time I finish I will be 42!...(that's assuming I get into a training program straight away)....by the time I have my own practice I will be probably be around 50.

Sometimes when I think of all this, I get unfortunately a little convinced of the truth....especially when you don't have a family yet...you wonder whether you are giving family up for a career. I mean, it's all great realising your dream and all...but is it all worth it?

Usually I am quite confident and decisive but this question is just driving me nuts. Am I kidding myself?
 

MRBPharmD

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HUH?????????

QUOTE=JChaney]MMM...I thought I should post something here.....

No time for spelling...The age thing, which most have different veiws upon seems like it's really bothering most. I guess I shouldn't say grow up? Ok, not funny, but It bothered me and I am 25-second year pre-pharmacy. Didn't start late...just had responcabilities in today's world doing another thing and the place closed down. Yea I lost everything, and couldn't find a job. It matters because now my skills are closed down too! I never thought about going anywhere. Even though I don't make much now, I listen to people I work with who don't even think twice about responding in a fashion which even seems like they are listening when we ask anyway...Like I did to newcomers and like we all have done others...and it's not so bad, so don't ask those you know who will be pre-occupied with what ever is on their mind and give you a crazy answer. The next day be prepared.

It's just amplified when we don't get the treatment we are used to or done somwhere else. I think that the only thing that really concerns us is the status and money, which you know you'll spend either way, or know it will take time to get later somewhere else that you didn't want to be, so we have already made the commitment...and we are putting in the time from the start. I was making 50 g/y then, walking now. It will take me five years too, and medicine is medicine either way. Let me see...work in factory or hospitol taking orders from doctors? I know my answer. Just get past the others' compliments on starting (which seems late to them) and know the level you just overcame. Move to the next and think that people can understand how entire industries can be dropped off the earth, and we are the first to change. Who cares? Make your inconsistancies, and your image change and grow for the time being. It's why you made the choice in the beginning and why your still changing. It's hard, but I can walk three miles in 26 minutes. I improved from the last time...lol

Hey...some of the people I worked with has never operated a press, worked in a blue collar or even put two and two together about us coming in...they are used to the money and being that way. Ok? But I laugh when they are sweating doing the same thing because I am pumping out perscriptions, mixing medicines and handling three things at once in those "Graduate" terms. I make sure I write out everything on the piece of paper so they can sit there and not need to look through the computer. Maybe they can be meek enough to understand how happy we are to be apart of a "different" endeaver..needless to say starting late, or what ever it is in life we do...but they need to look at something on the computer first or say something harsh, and constantly think about money we don't have now. Who cares? It's not the career, time or money..your changing.

If you can pay your bills, stay married... continue on with your life, develop confidence, and dilligence in helping others and actually get paid well for that in the end and on the way. Your doing what you changed to do, you might have helped someone they could not because they were busy on the computer, and the pateint may even give you a ride home. Lol.. Not to mention they might have conections like family members in Pharmcy Board mettings, college deans and ect who called me the next day. There is more helping you than you. Build it yourself one day at a time then you remember why you started, and you go the distance. Oh yea, study like you belive, your doing well, and you will.[/QUOTE]
 

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I'll be thirty when I start (hopefully), 34 when I start residency, 37 when I'm done with residency and perhaps 39-41 when I get done with further training.... Oh well. I took a little longer to figure it out than the "average" medical student, but what I know now after working in the medical field for 4 years is that I wouldn't, couldn't do anything else.

I know if I stay in this profession without that MD after my name, I would die inside. We're all here to do what we're all here to do. I'm here to be a doctor - that's the bottom line.
 

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Mish,

are you female or male? IF you're female, then yes, I would say you're too old..ASSUMING you want to have a family. If you dont want to have a family, then no, you should be fine, but remember this..Most doctors are retiring by the time they are 50...you'll just be starting out? Is that worth it to you? Honestly, medicine is just another job..all this talk about "Calling" is overrated, and you'll see that once you get in! If you have a good, decent paying job, then dont do it! If you're female, and want kids, DONT do it! If you're female and ever want to find a man, DONT do it. I say this as a female myself, who has had trouble finding a man who will not be so upset by my credentials, and it's getting rough, sister!

Hope it helps

mish said:
I know there's alot of threads here that mention people starting med school in their 30s, 40s and 50s...but is there some point where you have to realise you are too old??

I am 30 and would like to do med but am constantly told by people (including doctors) that I am too old!

When I do the maths, I have 4 years of training and here in Oz, we have an intern year+residency year...then add on the specialist training...another 6...by the time I finish I will be 42!...(that's assuming I get into a training program straight away)....by the time I have my own practice I will be probably be around 50.

Sometimes when I think of all this, I get unfortunately a little convinced of the truth....especially when you don't have a family yet...you wonder whether you are giving family up for a career. I mean, it's all great realising your dream and all...but is it all worth it?

Usually I am quite confident and decisive but this question is just driving me nuts. Am I kidding myself?
 

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Le_Donald said:
Most doctors are retiring by the time they are 50...you'll just be starting out?
I assure you that "most" doctors are not retiring by the time they are 50. In fact most doctors I have known keep working until they are pushed out by mandatory retirement or age-related health reasons. (I think that kind of workaholic attitude comes with the drive it takes to become a doctor in the first place.)
 

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Le_Donald said:
IF you're female, then yes, I would say you're too old..ASSUMING you want to have a family. If you dont want to have a family, then no, you should be fine, but remember this..Most doctors are retiring by the time they are 50...you'll just be starting out? Is that worth it to you? Honestly, medicine is just another job..all this talk about "Calling" is overrated, and you'll see that once you get in! If you have a good, decent paying job, then dont do it! If you're female, and want kids, DONT do it! If you're female and ever want to find a man, DONT do it. I say this as a female myself, who has had trouble finding a man who will not be so upset by my credentials, and it's getting rough, sister!

Hope it helps
That's one opinion, and Le Donald is certainly entitled to it. (Good luck Le Donald, and no hard feelings.) I'm 30, starting medical school in September, plan to have a family, and have found a fantastic man who finds my ambition appealing. And I'm not alone. Check out mommd.com for inspiration!
 

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I think its appalling for women to be taking up positions like this in the work sector, meanwhile there are so many Apple Pies left unbaked, and so many dishes unwashed in the household.
 

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C. Ronaldo said:
I think its appalling for women to be taking up positions like this in the work sector, meanwhile there are so many Apple Pies left unbaked, and so many dishes unwashed in the household.
Coincidentally, I make the world's best apple pie.

Dishes... not so good at em.

Aw man. Now I want pie.
 

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you shouldnt' let anyone TELL you that you are too old, you should decided for yourself. I started when i was 30 turning 31 and when i figure that i'll be 40 byt he time i am out working again i want to gag. I love med school, dont' get me wrong but having been in a tradional setting previously and the youngest everywehre i went- college, grad school and working, i feel a bit out of sync. my friends are having heir 2nd and 3rd babies and are working on building their careers and i am still in school. :confused: like i said, i love med school but i dont' think that I woudl wnat to do this any older. i want to get this show on the road and get out and practice medicine. and i knwo that you are only as old as you feel but being in school with peope 10 years my junior and having stress takes its told on me, well i just feel old. my body is going trhough changes i never imagined!
i tintk the thing is to figure out what you would do otherwise and whether you would want to give up being a physician for it.
 

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We have a 47 year old in our first year class. Old? What's that? something in your head. All we have is today and that is what we can work with and make the most of - and as for kidlets, people have them at all ages and in all kinds of ways. Stretch your imagination and step out of the 'the box,' no wait! there is no box. Everything is only what you make of it. Awesome ! ;)
 

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It is all in how you see it! Age has virtually nothing to do with it. As founder of OldPreMeds (www.OldPreMeds.org), I could drown you in anecdotal success stories - just ask NJBMD above. However, that would truly serve you no good, except to say that it can be done & is becoming far more common. What you need is something that only you can supply. The answers to the following questions:

1. Do I want this badly enough to make the requisite sacrifices?
...there are many & they are not easy...

2. Do I want this badly enough to do the work?
...it's a ton & it ain't easy...

3. If you have others (spouse, SO, children, parents you care for) you are accountable to, are they will to make the journey with you?
...you're foolish to think that if you are attached, they you can still go this alone...

If this is the correct path for you, it will prove to be one of the most challenging & rewarding undertakings of your life. You will be changed & it will have profound affect not only on you; but also on your future patients. BUT, if you attempt this journey & it is not the right path - it will make you miserable. No amount of money &/or prestige can make amends...

Drop by our website to talk with loads of people just like you. Our members range in experience from folks just like you (trying to decide) to dedicated pre-meds, med students & residents. We strive to educate one another from the wealth of our own experiences. Come be a part of it.
 

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You should get a realistic opinion from a program director in each specialty you are interested in. The program director can give you better advice because he or she is the one that will do the hiring.

Don't operate under the false pretense that "no age is too old" for medical school. The exceptional older students may do well in their careers. The average older student goes into family practice. The marginal older student may end up without a residency spot at all.

You will face age discrimination in certain specialties. It is better to know now that this may occur than to face the prospect of not having a career after medical school.
 

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MD'05 said:
You should get a realistic opinion from a program director in each specialty you are interested in. The program director can give you better advice because he or she is the one that will do the hiring.
I disagree that getting a single PD's opinion is a valid approach. This would potentially introduce far more bias than sampling the actual EXPERIENCES of a large body of people with similar characteristics who have succeeded. Now, were you to sample a significantly sized subset of PDs - maybe that'd give you better data. If you coupled both sampling distributions, that would be even better. However, being the ever pragmatic individual, how feasible is sampling a large subset of PDs? Probably not too easy; however, the large subset of people with similar characteristics who have succeeded is readily accessible thru various channels, including SDN, OldPreMeds, MomMD & others.


MD'05 said:
Don't operate under the false pretense that "no age is too old" for medical school. The exceptional older students may do well in their careers. The average older student goes into family practice. The marginal older student may end up without a residency spot at all.
Exactly how can you substantiate that no age is too old is a "false pretense". For that matter, where do you garner your stats that older med school graduates go predominantly into FP? For that matter, IM & FP represent what the overwhelming majority of ALL med school (MD & DO) graduates enter. Can you substantiate that older grads enter these specialties at a higher rate than do their younger colleagues?

Furthermore, so what if they do? FP, IM, Peds & all of the gen practice arenas are highly valued, legit professions. Are you implying that to enter a general practice discipline somehow implies that those physicians are somehow inferior?

Your claim that "The marginal older student may end up without a residency spot at all." is total BS! There is such a surplus of residency slots in this country that a 100% match of US MD & DO graduates would still leave in excess of 10,000 residency slots open per year. On the one hand, such age-based discrimination is illegal on a Federal level & would likely be death-knell to programs practicing such. On the other, it is ludicrous to think that a program would prefer to have empty slots in order to avoid matching a qualified, older graduate.
Where is the program penalized for the age of its residents? NO

Are they mandated to bill differently for older vs younger residents? NO

Do programs allocate workloads based upon age in context of reduced capacity for old fart? NO - in fact, in my personal, albeit anecdotal, experience, the older residents have no problems keeping up with younger ones & not uncommonly are able to be more efficient in the workplace due to previous professional experience. I will concede this advantage typically dissipates over the course of the internship as the younger interns acquire workplace skills.


MD'05 said:
You will face age discrimination in certain specialties. It is better to know now that this may occur than to face the prospect of not having a career after medical school.
Why are you implying that there is a bicameral response here? This is silly. If I do not gain a spot in specialty X somehow my professional opportunities will cease...give me a break! I am not so naive as to claim that there is no such thing as age-based discrimination; however, I will put forth that such phenomenon is the exception & not the rule. For every bit of conjecture you can throw up w/o evidence, I can post individual results of success contrary to your claim &/or present a logic-based argument that undermines your claim.

Certainly, if you were 65 when you graduated from medical school (and I do know of one individual who was about that age - UTSouthwestern, would have graduated approx 2001/2002), your options would likely be limited. However, to claim that the same limitations apply to persons graduating in their 40s is not valid.
 

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OldManDave said:
Exactly how can you substantiate that no age is too old is a "false pretense". For that matter, where do you garner your stats that older med school graduates go predominantly into FP? For that matter, IM & FP represent what the overwhelming majority of ALL med school (MD & DO) graduates enter. Can you substantiate that older grads enter these specialties at a higher rate than do their younger colleagues?
Currently my information is anecdotal, but I will see if I can dig up some hard data.

Furthermore, so what if they do? FP, IM, Peds & all of the gen practice arenas are highly valued, legit professions. Are you implying that to enter a general practice discipline somehow implies that those physicians are somehow inferior?
My point is that I don't want the average older medical student to be under the false impression that all specialties are wide open to them.

Your claim that "The marginal older student may end up without a residency spot at all." is total BS!
No, actually it is not.

There is such a surplus of residency slots in this country that a 100% match of US MD & DO graduates would still leave in excess of 10,000 residency slots open per year.
I don't know where you get your numbers, but I didn't see 10,000 open slots on the unfilled program list from this year's match.

On the one hand, such age-based discrimination is illegal on a Federal level & would likely be death-knell to programs practicing such. On the other, it is ludicrous to think that a program would prefer to have empty slots in order to avoid matching a qualified, older graduate.
The first statement is downright naive. Programs do discriminate on the basis of age. It would be impossible to prove in a court of law however. You contradict yourself in the second statement. I said "marginal", not "qualified" medical students would be left without a residency spot. Marginal (at least to me) does not equate to qualified.

Why are you implying that there is a bicameral response here?
You will have to elaborate.

If I do not gain a spot in specialty X somehow my professional opportunities will cease...give me a break!
I never said anything about a specific specialty. What I said was that if you are a marginal medical student, you will not work.

For every bit of conjecture you can throw up w/o evidence, I can post individual results of success contrary to your claim &/or present a logic-based argument that undermines your claim.
Please do.

However, to claim that the same limitations apply to persons graduating in their 40s is not valid.
I disagree. There is the rare 40 year-old that lands a good residency in a good location, but that person is usually above average to top 5% of applicants.

I didn't mean to offend you, but you are doing a disservice to older individuals to paint such a rosy picture of job prospects after medical school.
 

TripleDegree

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MD'05 said:
You should get a realistic opinion from a program director in each specialty you are interested in. The program director can give you better advice because he or she is the one that will do the hiring.

Don't operate under the false pretense that "no age is too old" for medical school. The exceptional older students may do well in their careers. The average older student goes into family practice. The marginal older student may end up without a residency spot at all.

You will face age discrimination in certain specialties. It is better to know now that this may occur than to face the prospect of not having a career after medical school.
Sorry - but indeed your post appears to be somewhat hypothetical without much of a fact base. Are these "facts" based on your own personal experience? I am waiting on hard data to back these up.
 

MD'05

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TripleDegree said:
Sorry - but indeed your post appears to be somewhat hypothetical without much of a fact base. Are these "facts" based on your own personal experience? I am waiting on hard data to back these up.
Partially from personal experience, partially from observation. I need time to get the hard data. Patience please.
 

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MD'05 said:
Partially from personal experience, partially from observation. I need time to get the hard data. Patience please.

So...as a medical student, you are hypothesizing about residency selection criteria? Hmmmmm...anyone else potential issues with this?
 

MD'05

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OldManDave said:
So...as a medical student, you are hypothesizing about residency selection criteria? Hmmmmm...anyone else potential issues with this?
Hypothesizing? Actually, no. Why is it that you cannot believe age discrimination occurs?

You said that you have hard examples. Please prove me wrong.
 

Law2Doc

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MD'05 said:
Partially from personal experience, partially from observation.
While I don't know which of you guys is right, I have no doubt that people who pick residencies have some bias toward picking med students who are "similar" to those who have succeeded in the past. However, I have to note that since there are very few older nontraditionals in each school, any observations you will have personally made will not be from a very scientifically significant sampling. I mean, if you are aware of one or two 30+ or 40+ years olds who didn't fare well from a particular program, that hardly means the whole pool of applicants that age didn't do as well as the average.
There are definitely a few department chairmen out there in competitive specialties who were themselves older nontraditionals, so I doubt the bias, if true, is everywhere (and in fact in those places it would possibly cut the other way).
Bottom line is that I'm not sure what your (MD'05) point is, posting such assertions without hard info "yet" -- to discourage people? Are you an older premed or for some reason just hostile to the idea? I mean, your posts are not written in a way that seems to be trying to be "helpful" -- more like stating "sorry, it cant be done. don't even try"... For this reason, I am skeptical of your motives/basis. But am anxious to read any of these forthcoming "facts" you plan to post.
 

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I think that wat md05 was trying to imply is that "certain" residencies "may" be not as friendly to someone much older than the average applicant. This I *have* heard from some residency directors...for example if you are in your fifties getting a neurosurgery spot may be quite difficult...at some point you DO have to think about certain limitations such as time in training and how effective you will be. Neurosurgery is 7 years in lenght after medical school so if you start at 50 in medical school then add 7 years that puts you at 62 when you can practice...is this impossible? NO but is it less likely sure. I do not think that anyone is trying to discourage but let's be realistic although illegal some residency directors do take age into account...
 

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efex101 said:
I think that wat md05 was trying to imply is that "certain" residencies "may" be not as friendly to someone much older than the average applicant. This I *have* heard from some residency directors...for example if you are in your fifties getting a neurosurgery spot may be quite difficult...at some point you DO have to think about certain limitations such as time in training and how effective you will be. Neurosurgery is 7 years in lenght after medical school so if you start at 50 in medical school then add 7 years that puts you at 62 when you can practice...is this impossible? NO but is it less likely sure. I do not think that anyone is trying to discourage but let's be realistic although illegal some residency directors do take age into account...
Very well said. I know of a specific case, by a particular program, but I am not at liberty to talk about it. The statements made were pretty blatant.

I'm waiting for the NRMP results to be published tomorrow. If the info is not there, I have another source.
 

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efex101 said:
I do not think that anyone is trying to discourage
That's exactly what that poster was trying to do, with his use of phrases like "face the prospect of not having a career after medical school" and "you are doing a disservice to older individuals to paint such a rosy picture of job prospects after medical school". I do agree with you that if you start at 50, a longer residency might be problematic, but that above poster was talking about older premeds starting considerably younger (the thread started with someone contemplating starting in their 30s), and he never specified neurosurgery -- he pretty much said ALL competitive residencies other than FP or IM (many of which have a fewer than seven year residency path).
 

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Law2Doc said:
That's exactly what that poster was trying to do, with his use of phrases like "face the prospect of not having a career after medical school" and "you are doing a disservice to older individuals to paint such a rosy picture of job prospects after medical school". I do agree with you that if you start at 50, a longer residency might be problematic, but that above poster was talking about older premeds starting considerably younger (the thread started with someone contemplating starting in their 30s), and he never specified neurosurgery -- he pretty much said ALL competitive residencies other than FP or IM (many of which have a fewer than seven year residency path).
Don't be upset. My point is you must do exceptionally well. What I mean by this is AOA and the highest board scores if you want a competitive residency. Even IM was extremely competitive this year. Everyone wants the fellowships.

The problem is that with the more lucrative jobs in the US drying up, more people are going into medicine. You are competing against traditional US grads (MD/DO), non-trad US grads, and a mix of IMGs, FMGs, and US Interns wanting to switch locations or specialties.

I'm not discouraging anyone, but it is getting ultra-competitive. Even FP in desirable locations is getting more competitive.

Take my advice or don't. It doesn't matter to me.
 

Law2Doc

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MD'05 said:
Don't be upset. My point is you must do exceptionally well. What I mean by this is AOA and the highest board scores if you want a competitive residency. Even IM was extremely competitive this year. Everyone wants the fellowships.

The problem is that with the more lucrative jobs in the US drying up, more people are going into medicine. You are competing against traditional US grads (MD/DO), non-trad US grads, and a mix of IMGs, FMGs, and US Interns wanting to switch locations or specialties.

I'm not discouraging anyone, but it is getting ultra-competitive. Even FP in desirable locations is getting more competitive.

Take my advice or don't. It doesn't matter to me.
Oh, I'm not upset - just questioning your motives and your basis of fact.
Your above comments -- the need to get high board scores and that there is lots of competition applies to everyone, traditional or not. (However from the above post I don't know why you think foreign med applicants are likely going to be competition pushing allopathic med students out of competitive specialty matches - whether they be traditional or not. I certainly doubt you can find statistics to support that, other than the unusual exception). But your prior posts seem to indicate bigger issues for (/with?) nontraditionals... Yet you don't seem to have any hard data to support this "yet" other than a desire for it to be so.
And as for ending with "it doesn't matter to me", I note that you have posted very strongly now several times on this thread, so I wonder if this is really so. :rolleyes:
 

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The original issue was not debating the existence of age-discrimination. It was focused upon your assertions that nontraditional applicants to residencies outside of primary care - FP was your statement - essentially will lead to failure unless you were an exceptional nontraditional candidate. Furthermore, you assert I am somehow doing harm to nontraditional premeds &/or med students by falsely bolstering their attempts to shoot for the stars. My friend, I am a nontraditional physician who is currently an anesthesiology resident (pretty competitive specialty) in a top-notch program - Dartmouth. In addition, I run an organization filled with nontraditional success stories...many of whom are in top med schools (Mayo, Hopkins, Harvard, Yale) and in competitive residencies (Gen Surg, EM, anesth). In fact, several members of my organization are also SDNers & have commented in this thread.

I am not in the least angry or irritated. However, I am quite fatigued of naysayers preaching urban legends as though they were the gospel claiming nontraditional applicants can't get into medical school or nontrad med school grads are relegated to only primary care or that being a DO precludes you from landing a slot in anything competitive (not your assertion, but falls into the same categrory). It is all so much hogwash...

You have challenged me to provide "proof". All I can provide are anecdotal stories of success or point to match results where older people are getting into places you claim to verge on impossible. But, those are just anecdotal tales. Of course, that is more than you are able to provide - which is merely conjecture from someone who is not even out of school yet.

My goal is not convince you of your erroneous ways...honestly, I do not care if you choose to ascribe to unsubstantiable myths...but I do care when you espouse these falsehoods in a forum where it may discourage someone who could have a legit shot at achieving these things. That is unfair to those people.
 

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OldManDave said:
The original issue was not debating the existence of age-discrimination. It was focused upon your assertions that nontraditional applicants to residencies outside of primary care - FP was your statement - essentially will lead to failure unless you were an exceptional nontraditional candidate. Furthermore, you assert I am somehow doing harm to nontraditional premeds &/or med students by falsely bolstering their attempts to shoot for the stars. My friend, I am a nontraditional physician who is currently an anesthesiology resident (pretty competitive specialty) in a top-notch program - Dartmouth. In addition, I run an organization filled with nontraditional success stories...many of whom are in top med schools (Mayo, Hopkins, Harvard, Yale) and in competitive residencies (Gen Surg, EM, anesth). In fact, several members of my organization are also SDNers & have commented in this thread.

I am not in the least angry or irritated. However, I am quite fatigued of naysayers preaching urban legends as though they were the gospel claiming nontraditional applicants can't get into medical school or nontrad med school grads are relegated to only primary care or that being a DO precludes you from landing a slot in anything competitive (not your assertion, but falls into the same categrory). It is all so much hogwash...

You have challenged me to provide "proof". All I can provide are anecdotal stories of success or point to match results where older people are getting into places you claim to verge on impossible. But, those are just anecdotal tales. Of course, that is more than you are able to provide - which is merely conjecture from someone who is not even out of school yet.

My goal is not convince you of your erroneous ways...honestly, I do not care if you choose to ascribe to unsubstantiable myths...but I do care when you espouse these falsehoods in a forum where it may discourage someone who could have a legit shot at achieving these things. That is unfair to those people.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank You! Most of us non-trads are plenty aware of the trials and tribulations that we will face during our journey as many of us are facing them right now. Despite the naysayers like MD05', MOST of us will choose and pursue our residency/specialty based on our passion, not on whatever happens to be leftover and MOST of us will get what we want.
 

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I truly would rather be a 40 year old student doing what I enjoy, than a 40 year old in a career I loathe.

Follow your heart....

Agape
 

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Interestingly, I'm 37 and applied this year (granted I applied late since I took the Aug MCAT, so I'm applying again). I was told by four schools that I was "too old." I was told by three schools that while I was in the "to interview" pile, they probably wouldn't get to me in time (and they didn't). I also only applied MD, and next time I think I'll apply to both MD and DO.

I get people asking me all the time about how I'll handle the age thing. My answer is always the same: I'll be 41 in four years whether I go to med school or not. I'd rather be pursuing something I love to do (I have significant background in the medical field so this isn't just lip service).
 

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Hi there,
As one of those older graduates in a specialty that traditionally tends to attract younger medical school graduates, I can say that my performace in medical school, USMLE scores and general level of energy were more important than my age on a piece of paper. If you take the attitude that something is going to be closed to you because of age alone, you are making a huge mistake.

I found no program director that discouraged me from ranking their program. I found no department chairman that encouraged me to look at another career because of my age and so far, my age hasn't affected my performance in my residency. I am no more tired than my younger colleagues even before the 80-hour work week was established. (I did internship pre-80-hour work week with outstanding evaluations on every rotation).

A "marginal" applicant of any age is going to have difficulty getting into most good residency programs even those that are traditionally considered non-competitive. Your age is not going to be a limitation but your attitude, performance in school and passion for what you want to do will affect how competitive you are for any specialty.

Pursue what you have a passion for and work in an area that you enjoy. Medicine is difficult enough without hating to get up in the morning to go to work. If you don't like your specialty, you are not going to do it very well. Also, don't get caught up in what you perceive to be "in demand" so that you think you will have a job. Highs and lows come and go in cycles. What is in demand now may not be in demand when you graduate or finish residency. Again, if you hate your specialty, you are not going to do well in residency and you are not going to find a job no matter how much in demand your specialty is.

njbmd :)
 

cpt2doc

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you know, i was just like you mish, trying to decide if it's too late to go to med school, and after reading others, i say go for it. do what you want because you'll look back 10 years from now and regret it. i'm 31, married w/ a 3 year old. my husband supports me and i know deep down, i want to be a doctor, regardless of what certain friends and family have said. you at least have to try and you're not too old!
 

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Hi

I am a 51-yr old premed who is in the process of applying to medical school. I have acceptances from UMass and Yale and am going crazy trying to decide between the two. UMass is $100K cheaper than Yale but I am not sure about the other factors. I like both general practice and several specialities. I am also interested in research and academic medicine but haven't decided if that is what I will pursue.

I know I will be 58-60 when I finish my residencies/fellowship. Will having a UMass medical degree prevent me from getting a job or a research position? Does having a Yale degree compensate for being such an old graduate?

Thanks
 

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njbmd said:
Hi there,
As one of those older graduates in a specialty that traditionally tends to attract younger medical school graduates, I can say that my performace in medical school, USMLE scores and general level of energy were more important than my age on a piece of paper. If you take the attitude that something is going to be closed to you because of age alone, you are making a huge mistake.

I found no program director that discouraged me from ranking their program. I found no department chairman that encouraged me to look at another career because of my age and so far, my age hasn't affected my performance in my residency. I am no more tired than my younger colleagues even before the 80-hour work week was established. (I did internship pre-80-hour work week with outstanding evaluations on every rotation).

A "marginal" applicant of any age is going to have difficulty getting into most good residency programs even those that are traditionally considered non-competitive. Your age is not going to be a limitation but your attitude, performance in school and passion for what you want to do will affect how competitive you are for any specialty.

Pursue what you have a passion for and work in an area that you enjoy. Medicine is difficult enough without hating to get up in the morning to go to work. If you don't like your specialty, you are not going to do it very well. Also, don't get caught up in what you perceive to be "in demand" so that you think you will have a job. Highs and lows come and go in cycles. What is in demand now may not be in demand when you graduate or finish residency. Again, if you hate your specialty, you are not going to do well in residency and you are not going to find a job no matter how much in demand your specialty is.

njbmd :)
I really appreciate this post from someone who has been there, done that. Thanks for the words of encouragement for us non-trads. I find myself wondering why people who are not part of the non-trad group are lurking around this forum ready to squash someone's dream. Thanks for your input njbmd.
 

maybedoconeday

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Please excuse the punctuation and grammar mistakes I'm sure I'll make. I am so glad I found this website and post in particular! I am going to be 38 years old in a week and thought I was too old and washed up for med school. It's amazing how just sitting down and surfing the Internet can shed so much light on the subject. Several people I've spoken to about my desire to become a doctor have shot me down in flames. They said things like, "You're too old. They hospitals and practices want doctors that are young enough to commit their entire lives to their career." Was that supposed to mean my life was over after say, 30? No. Thanks for giving me my confidence back. Maybe there’s still hope for me and my life experiences are worth something.
Robin in Canada
 

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I have wanted to become a Doctor since I could remember but never really thought I could do it. Poor kid/stupidity/insert excuse here. I started volunteering at Shock Trauma in Maryland recently and every time I walk in there I feel like I should be there. I am studying to become a paramedic and need the trauma experience. I decided I want to go to goto school to become an trauma doctor. I actually typed " Am I too old to become a doctor" into google and found your post. I have alot of new hope. The only problem is that I would have to work while trying to goto school. But, I wanted to say thank you none the less. Everyone here has made me feel like it is potentially possible :).

Danyelle