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How old is TOO OLD to attend medical school? r/o

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by futurederm, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. futurederm

    futurederm Junior Member
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    many people I talk to think 29 is too old. I'm not 29 but I'm curious because I know a lot of people who are older and are trying to apply. What are the pros and cons of being older and applying? THANKS ;)
     
  2. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    What is "r/o"?

    29 is not old at all by the way, at least in my opinion. Well, it might be kind of old to still be living with your parents, but definitely not to go to medical school.
     
  3. futurederm

    futurederm Junior Member
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    LOL sorry...I got used to forum lingos. "r/o" means "read on" ;)
     
  4. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    I will have just turned 32 when I matriculate, and I know that I am sorta pushing the envelope in terms of age. One of the big considerations that older applicants need to consider is the fact that if you go into $200K worth of debt, by the time you come out of residency, you only have so many years left to work before you may want to retire - just one big thing to consider.
     
  5. humuhumu

    humuhumu nukunuku apua'a
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    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=240341

    Check out the above thread from the non-trad forum. I think you're too old if you feel too old. Age has more to do with your health and attitude than your date of birth. But Flop is right: we non-trads have to plan our finances a little more carefully.
     
  6. skypilot

    skypilot 2K Member
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    If you're under 35 age is not even on the radar screen as an issue.
     
  7. lattimer13

    lattimer13 good boy!
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    i'd say about 40 is the max to start school, because then by the time you finish residency you'll be pushing 50 w/ some debt...however, i do know of someone who was 50 when starting med school.
     
  8. pagemmapants

    pagemmapants Unknown Member
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    It depends on the situation I'd say. . . I wouldn't want to do it much later than age 25 if I didn't already have an established family. As it is, I won't be having kids until at least 30, probably closer to 35 - and since I'm a girl, this IS an issue.
    If I already had kids and was financially stable (or if I were a guy)? Probably anything up to about 45, if I just wanted to do FP.
     
  9. jebus

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  10. newdude

    newdude Senior Member
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    WOW, thanks for posting it.

    WOW
     
  11. gdbaby

    gdbaby Prettier than before
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    I'll be 34 when I matriculate. And with a hair coloring, some plastic surgery and more intense triathlon training at least I won't LOOK to old for med school! :laugh:
     
  12. Sebastian.

    Sebastian. Member
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  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    It depends on health and stamina (not to mention family situation and support) more than age. I suspect more of the youngest med school matriculants drop out than the eldest. But you will not be the oldest one in your class at 29 at most schools.
     
  14. ForbiddenComma

    ForbiddenComma Tanned for Bowling
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    A lot of schools like to matriculate older (35+) students to help "diversify" the class. My school does that. One of our sharpest med students is a floor nurse who's pushing 40.

    I'm under 30 but older than the 22-23 y/o norm. I have to say that once in a while I feel the regret for choosing this career path "later" than normal. But none of the teachers care, nor do the actual MDs on my pre-3rd-year rotations. And I certainly have less regret than if I didn't do this at all ;) Go for it, try not to think too much about how long the process is, and enjoy the journey.
     
  15. Shredder

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    25, maybe 28 but thats pushing it
     
  16. ms1finally

    ms1finally Senior Member
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    You are too old to go to medical school when you can't remember enough to retain the information or don't have the stamina for clinical years and residency.
     
  17. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member
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    :I guess I'd say somewhere in your early 30s. From a practical standpoint, it would be bad to have too many spots in medical school taken by people who wouldn't have that many years before retirement, but with many physicians working till 70, I think 35 and under should work fine... However, I think it's up to the person and the adcoms :laugh:
     
  18. Um, call me stupid.. but aren't you supposed to read forum posts anyway? I mean, if we didn't read on, what would be the point?? ;)

    As far as the age question.. I don't know. I'd say mid to late fourties, tops. I think that med schools feel the same way, although we pay tuition, it costs them a chunk of change and resources to educate and train a doctor. They would want someone who would be able to serve their community at least 20 years or so, right?
     
  19. ASDIC

    ASDIC The 9th Flotilla
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    Theres a 2nd year med student who is 41 years old and has 4 kids...he actually switched from another career to become a doctor. It would kind of suck if your kid is a premed too applying with you :D
     
  20. Pretty POHA

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    I'll be 27 or 28 by the time I get into med school-- assuming I get in pretty soon after I get my degree... Not only did I wait until I was 23 to go to college, but I started out as a Psych major, and will have at least a year and a half added on to complete my pre-reqs. It's all about drive, though. I may have been able to go with out sleep better as a 19-21 year old, but now I don't have to party nearly as much to enjoy myself. It's a great trade-off.
     
  21. Gavanshir

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    There is a 64 year old Hawiian applying to medschool in the Caribbean!
     
  22. jebus

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    Those wacky Hawaiians! You never know what they're going to do next!
     
  23. humuhumu

    humuhumu nukunuku apua'a
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    I like this answer.
     
  24. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    How old is too old?

    Dead. Dead is too old.
     
  25. jbone

    jbone Herro!
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    I'll be 30 when I start and I'm not nervous about being too old at all. I feel I bring more experience to the table than other trad. students. :D
     
  26. CerealBox

    CerealBox Senior Member
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    I think how young is TOO YOUNG is more of an issue.
     
  27. Kifwalu

    Kifwalu -El Geezer

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    I'll be 30 when I get in (notice how confident I am ;) ) I hope it makes no difference...

    Actually what's a bigger deal is what the status of your life outside school is.

    I can tell you that school + trying to support a family sucks.

    I'd be cruising if I could get just one more day a week off. As it is, I'm winging it way more than I want.
     
  28. Ifellinapothole

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    Average physician works 30 years. So, if you are done with everything by the time you are 40 that means you will work till you are 70. That seems ok to me.
     
  29. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    It seems like a waste of resources to train a med student who is 50 years old. It costs a lot to make a physician (the amount of tuition you pay is just a small fraction of the overall cost). A person who starts at 50 will be 54 at graduation, then 57-59 when finishing residency, then about 60 when done with fellowship. And then you are close to retirement age. Plus, wouldn't it kind of suck to be an intern under someone young enough to be your child?
     
  30. OSUdoc08

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    My school had an average age of 25, with a range of 20-42 my 1st year.

    In my opinion, anything in the 20's would be considered on the young end of things.
     
  31. tank you

    tank you 2K Member
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    i dont think 20's is considered young, its normal i would think.
    maybe late teens is young...
     
  32. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    A lot of young people drop out of med school or never practice long. A significant number will not practice the decade or two that the 50 year old will. That is also a waste. The older matriculant will have a far better sense with what he wants to do for the rest of his life, since he's further down the road, so far fewer older applicants drop out of med school, I suspect. At least the 50 year old already worked someplace and paid taxes into the system, so some of the "resource" cost will have been borne by himself. Bottom line is that adcoms do what they can to pick the best group of people to train as doctors, and so if the 50 year old made the cut, notwithstanding various biases about what is too old, then he had something better going on than the youngsters who got passed over, and will likely accomplish more in his short years than many. As for sucking to work under younger people - that is something becoming increasingly common in corporate america, so why not medicine. I suspect it is going to be more of an issue for the senior resident, who will perhaps have trouble bossing around someone his dad's age, especially if he has been brought up to respect elders. But that is his problem, not the 50 year olds.
     
  33. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
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    You have very good points. I think you are right.
     
  34. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    I think that is an exaggeration. About 97% of people who enter medical school graduate, and most of those are in their 20s. I'm not sure about the average length of practice though.
     
  35. OSUdoc08

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    Yeah right. Where do you come up with this?
     
  36. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I didn't mean a large percentage of any med school class. But if you look at the couple hundred people (1-3%) who leave med school out of their own volition, I suspect they will mostly be the younger set. But I'm guessing this.
     
  37. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    So basically, your above post is a bunch of speculation that you pulled out of your butt, and it could in fact be the older students that drop out.
     
  38. futurederm

    futurederm Junior Member
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    WOW!!!! that's :thumbup:
     
  39. the brown note

    the brown note wading through sh!t
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    The MS-2's at U Wisconsin-Madison told us that there's a woman in her early 50's in their class. :) She sounded really cool--she had had a previous sucessful career, but found her way to medicine. The other (younger) med students were very supportive and admired her! :love:
     
  40. silas2642

    silas2642 silas2642
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    Guy who just started med school with my friend this year was 55. I guess if you qualify for social security, you may want to consider another career.
     
  41. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    wow, i can't believe anyone thinks starting at 29 would be too old. i'll be 30 when i start, and no, that's not too old. assuming i retire at 65 and start my post-residency work at 40, that'll give me 25 years of working, which is a pretty [email protected] long career in any one field. i've got to admit, though, that it's sort of amusing to read 21-year-olds post about their definitions of too old.
     
  42. OSUdoc08

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    Funny. Everyone that has dropped out of my school since I've been there have been the non-traditional older student.

    The young ones are the ones that seem to make the best grades.
     
  43. jebus

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    Wow, that's classic. It's just what I expected to hear from an old fart.
    No, no, no. I'm just teasing you. I'm only 25, but I remember what I was like when I was 21. And I did think 30 was old. My brother's your age and he's switching careers, too (to law, ironically). But chances are you'll be working well past 65. As life expectancies grow and the population ages, the workforce is going to really change. You'll have plenty of time to practice medicine.
    But, to be fair, you are like 20% older than me and 50% older than some of the kids.
     
  44. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic
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    There is a 38-year-old MS-I in my class.
     
  45. OSUdoc08

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    We had a 41- and a 42-year old when I was an MS-I.
     
  46. I completely agree.. While I very much admire those who can make a commitment and show dedication to the medical field at a young age, I wonder if it is easy to connect with these physicans on a more personal level. No doubt that they are brilliant, but being that young means that they probably missed out on some pretty significant life experiences.

    But, no matter what their age, I still commend them for making it! It is a very difficult path that they chose! :thumbup:
     
  47. futurederm

    futurederm Junior Member
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    my boss was one of those young ones. she started medical school @ 18 :rolleyes: ...yeah i'm jealous but there's a huge trade off. her life pretty much sucks. she missed out on so many things. she barely has any friends, her love life is non-exsistant, and she is beyond miserable albeit she is a sucessful dermatologist/mohs surgeon.
     
  48. LadyWolverine

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    I will be 27 when I begin medical school. The "average" matriculant is 23 or 24, I believe.

    Although I do sometimes regret not entering medical school earlier, and there is one legitimate age-related concern (namely, at what point in my training/career I will decide to have children), I honestly wouldn't trade my life experiences to have those years back. I have had the opportunity to enter the workforce, live on my own with no parental/institutional support, and grow in ways that I never experienced as an undergraduate college student. After 3 years of research, voluteering, teaching, working with many different populations, and traveling, I went back to graduate school to get my MS, and I found that I connected much better with my classmates (of MANY ages, from 20 to 50+) and, especially, the faculty. I was able to communicate with my professors in a much more meaningful way then when I was an UG going to office hours. I found that they treated me more as a peer than when I was an UG.

    I believe that my being somewhat older is absolutely an asset. This was confirmed by the Dean of Admissions who interviewed me at one of the schools that I was accepted to. I have found that I have been able to relate to other adults much more easily and effectively than when I was 21 and fresh out of college. To be honest, I look at those college "kids" now (as my friends and I affectionately call them), and wonder if I was like them, 5 or 6 years ago. I feel like I am at an entirely different phase of my life, and I am much more focused now. But perhaps that is simply my own personal journey, and does not apply to everyone else.

    My point is that age need not be an issue, and should not be a discouraging factor for non-traditional applicants. I, personally, would rather teach a group of people who had had the time to experience real life and get a lot "out of their system"...I think that these students are better prepared to focus and communicate effectively. I don't know if age has any correlation with test scores or grades, but I would be interested to see if there is any correlation with the "quality" of physician that the student makes (how to measure this, however, is an entirely different debate) :D

    Old Farts, unite!!!
     
  49. Quazimodo

    Quazimodo QuasiMedStudent
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    I'll be 28, but we upper 20'ers are not old farts. We're still in our prime.

    I think those who are in their upper 30's/40's have serious concerns when considering medical school - but it's not impossible. But like any non-trad, explaining motivations and considering personal circumstances on an individual case-by-case basis needing careful review on merits of success.

    But we non-trads tend to be more level headed, confident, and directed toward successful careers.
     
  50. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Virtually everyone I've met who has dropped out of med school (and there have been quite a few over the years) has been of the right out of college mold. Grades are a totally separate issue (which is why I specified leaving out of ones own volition in my prior post) -- some of the people I've met who left were getting solid grades but lacked interest.
     

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