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Medical School or too late...

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by lcr62, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. lcr62

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    Hi SDN,

    To tell you guys a little bit about myself: I am a 25 year old strategy consultant for pharmaceutical companies in a major metropolitan area. I graduated from a top 20 school (Ivy League) with a degree in Biological Sciences and a GPA of ~3.5. Throughout most of college, I always had medical school in the back of my mind, but wasn't quite sure whether I wanted to commit to medical school, so while I have all the curricular requirements, I never took the MCAT. I then decided to obtain a Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the same school and graduated with a GPA of ~3.6. In terms of extracurriculars, I participated in a D1 sport (which took up much of my time there) and have a lot of physician shadowing experience and some volunteering. So that was college...

    After graduating with a Masters, I was able to land a job in strategy consulting. After having been with the firm for close to two years, and while the benefits (salary, perks, etc.) are nice, I am realizing that this may not be what I want to do for the rest of my life. I think the main reason for wanting to leave my sense that there is a lack of purpose, and the fact that all the firm focuses on (even though they don't want to admit it) is generating more sales. I am feeling drawn back to medicine and have been encouraged by friends and family that I would make a good physician and that this would be suitable career. I understand that you need to be committed in order to pursue medicine and again and again I have felt myself drawn back to it.

    I am just trying to get a better sense of how achievable a transition into medicine would be. Is it too late? Will I not be able to make a strong enough case at this point? Should I pursue a post-bacc program to strengthen my background and get letters of recommendation (at this point, I am out of touch with the professors at my school)? If yes, which ones are the best ones to apply to? Or should I just quit, take 3 months to study for the MCAT and apply in June?

    I welcome any thoughts, perspectives and honest opinions :) Maybe there are a few of you who have been in similar situations.
     
    #1 lcr62, Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  2. Talkbirthytome

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    You are still very young. VERY! Even if you weren't, there are plenty of older people (>35 y/o) who choose medicine as a second+ career.

    Since you will need science faculty recommendation letters in order to apply broadly and you may need to show that you can still handle hard science courses, you might want to take a few courses now and then apply in June (or 2020). You have winter quarter and spring quarter to take classes or at least one semester to do so if you local school is on a semester timeline.

    Classes to take that would interest schools and be good prep for medical school: immunology, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, biostatistics etc. A post-bacc would be a waste time and money. You majored in science and it was not that long ago. It does not sound like you have a lot of "C" grades, if any. If you do, retake those courses if they are science courses.

    Additionally, get back into the community and volunteer with an organization that jives with you. It does not have to be healthcare related. Your D1 participation is a plus, especially with a good overall undergraduate GPA. Some schools actually really like non-traditional students because of life experience and maturity.

    Here is a good thread to pull some useful information from: Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention
     
    Jfranks likes this.
  3. Goro

    Faculty 7+ Year Member

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    Some of my all time best students have been in their 30s and 40s. One stellar one graduated at 50 and is now in practice.
     
    Talkbirthytome likes this.
  4. ChiDr

    ChiDr Accepted to class of 2023!!!
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    Advice from an older applicant (>30). I did mech/bio engineering, healthcare startups, management consulting, and other roles until I realized I wanted to go back and pursue medicine. I was uncertain about med school back in my twenties for many reasons. It was a different time and I was a different person then. However, the more experience I had in healthcare, the more I wanted to pursue medical school. I felt the calling.

    One thing I would recommend, get as much exposure as you can in direct patient care. Find a volunteer/paid position at a clinic or something related to direct patient care. You are in a major metropolitan area, should be easy. It is one thing to shadow doctors, it is another to work in that setting.

    Make sure this is a step you wish to take, not because your family and friends tell you that you would make a good doctor. Respectfully, that is such a crap comment that doesn't do anything for you except confuse you at this point. There are many facets to being a good doctor. It's not one size fits all. Understand what you are committing to (medical school, residency, etc).

    If you decide to commit, don't let others tell you that you are too old for it. Commit and look forward.

    There are many older applicants and there are many older med students. See comments above from Goro. Do a search on this site, you will be amazed. Don't let age scare you, it is a marathon. Good luck.
     
    inquirewithin and Talkbirthytome like this.
  5. theITcrowd

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    Not too late, not by a long shot. I don't even think 35+ is really that late if you have a plan.
     
    Talkbirthytome likes this.
  6. BC_89

    Moderator Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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  7. inquirewithin

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    I’m going through the interview cycle right now and can tell you I’ve gotten positive feedback from both schools I interviewed at in my state. Both MD and DO programs saw my work and life experience as a strength. Granted, I’ve only been accepted to the DO school so far, but both programs echoed the sentiment that the older students are usually some of the better students, both academically and professionally. I worked in oil and gas for over a decade and shared your sentiment about longevity in that field and always had the thought of going into medicine in the back of my head.

    I’ll be upper 30’s when I start medical school and often wondered if it was too late for me as well. Once I went back to school and worked through the prerequisites and took the MCAT I was pretty confident I could succeed. I did a DIY post bacc and was able to secure my LOR from professors in my science classes and pre-med committee. I think as long as you go into the interview process prepared and show you made a thoughtful decision to leave your career to go into medicine, you’ll experience the same thing. As a side note, I went ahead and got my EMT certification before I left my previous industry and started working in the hospital as a means to get some first-hand experience to make sure this was what I wanted. It’s been a couple year process for me to get to this point, but I think it helped me make sure this was where I ultimately wanted to be for the future.






    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    #7 inquirewithin, Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    theITcrowd and Talkbirthytome like this.
  8. Blanky

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    I took my first college course at 25 (Fire/EMT) and now starting med school at 30.
     
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  9. stayathomemom

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    Me: cries in elderly
     
  10. twospadz

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    I'm a 2nd year resident 28 yo male. I'll be honest. You have a really nice set up. Very cushy life and possibly even cushy if you work your way up at your current job. If I
    was in your position, I would stay. Medicine is not all what it's cracked up to be. Just here to give perspective that some doctors feel this process and job is not all candy and roses.
     
    atomi likes this.
  11. curbsideconsult

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    If 25 is too late to consider medical school, I should check myself into a retirement home now.

    If your sGPA is good and you've still been volunteering, then you might as well take the MCAT and apply the 2019-2020 cycle. If you don't have any recent volunteer experience, you should start piling on the hours now (as mentioned above) while working and hold off a year.

    Keep in mind that medicine is all about the green too. Yes, you serve patients. Yes, you do meaningful work, blah, blah, blah, but if you're going to be an employed physician (like most doctors are), the hospital bigwigs will also want you to bring in as much money as possible just like your current job.
     
  12. justalittlestar

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    :rofl:
     
  13. RNtoMD87

    RNtoMD87 Probationary Status

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    Damn. 25 is so ANCIENT
     
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  14. atomi

    atomi Member
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    As long as you can start Med school by 30 you’re fine. 25 is the ideal time to start IMO. Late 20s is starting to push it. It’s a decade long training process and the future of medicine honestly isn’t great.
     
  15. stayathomemom

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    Um. Are people getting healthier and needing doctors less and less? Could you explain what you mean?
     
  16. atomi

    atomi Member
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    There is a real possibility that you’ll come out in 10 years making less than you would if you had stayed in your current career: Not counting the $300k of debt to attend school accruing 7% interest the day you graduate and the decade of lost earnings. And your boss will have even less education or common sense than your current one and you’ll have even more paperwork and nonsensical rules to follow.

    Another day older and deeper in debt...

    Even the “best” field in medicine, dermatology, is rapidly self-destructing. A race to the bottom all the way around. There might be another good decade left in medicine before the bottom completely falls out, maybe. More and more admin jobs existing taking larger pieces of the fixed pie that the doctors used to rightfully claim. The exponential growth of Med schools, and especially DO schools should be a harbinger of doom for anybody paying even a little bit of attention.
     
  17. stayathomemom

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    Wow, that's quite doom and gloom.
    Being as how I make $0 for all the hard work I put into my current career I think I'll still come out ahead.
     
  18. TPAD23

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    I'm 30 and I'm starting postbac in January. You are gold. Leaving a solid career where I make good money.

    You will be 35 anyways, so why not pursue what you want in life?
     
  19. atomi

    atomi Member
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    I am replying to this on a phone that is far more powerful than the desktop I submitted my Med school apps on. Smartphones did not exist when I started this journey and Facebook was this little known site college kids used to get each other’s AIM screennames and try and hook up. And I still have another 2 years before I can become board certified and officially done.

    Think long and hard about that.
     
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  20. workaholic181

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    The average age of my class is around 25. You're not old at all. I have classmates who are in their 30s. It has zero bearing on how they interact with others or are treated. We're all in it together.

    I'd advise looking into the few SMPs that have conditional acceptances if you meet their criteria. In addition you could start MCAT prep and thinking about taking that. Good luck!
     

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