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Need advice

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by jennyO, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. jennyO

    jennyO Junior Member

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    I just wanted some advice. I am 29 and considering starting premed course work this summer. Due to my age, I was wondering if it is even worth it. By the time graduate from med school, I will be around 35-36. And how long will it take to repay all those loans? Also, do I have a chance at getting in? I already have a bachelors degree in psych and soc and I have take premed course work, but this was in the early 90s so I would have to redo the whole sequence. I know adcoms tend to question why the late start. But now I am questioning if this would be a wise decision. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
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  3. BeeGee

    BeeGee Member

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    Ask for the average age of students at the schools that you might apply to. This will give you an idea of whether that program wants students fresh out of undergrad or will be more likely to accept older applicants. Many mature applicants have done graduate work or help other jobs and decided to progress further, or change professions. The admcom will definitely want to know how you spent the last 8 years. I have two classmates of ages 31 and 40 that are married with children. They just really wanted to become physicians and must be receiving great support from their families. If you aren't married or with children, this will allow great flexibility when it comes time to decide where to apply. As far as loan repayment, the interest rates are the lowest that you will ever find. Lots of physicians pay off their loans fairly quickly. You can defer you payments as long as you are in training (med school, residency, MD-PhD, etc.) If you are interested in primary care specialties such as Family Med, Internal Med, or Pediatrics there are Repayment Programs that will actually pay off your loans for you. You agree to work in an medically underserved area for up to four years and the Health Service Corps will pay off your loans. I think this would be something for you to look into if you're really worried about repayments. Also, make sure that the credits from your previous coursework can't still be used b4 you waste money and time retaking courses. Talk to several reliable sources at MEDICAL SCHOOLS about requirements. I received alot of dumb advice from my advisor in college concerning admissions and almost missed several deadlines due to misinformation. Don't let this be you. So make a schedule of need to do's like: Gathering transcripts, Letter of Recs, Med school admissions info, MCAT info, talk to reliable sources at MEDICAL SCHOOLS, etc. and hit the ground running next year. Hope this helps and good luck. --BeeGee
     
  4. MD Dreams

    MD Dreams Senior Member

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    I believe there is a very simple answer to your question. You should definitely begin pre-med IF you KNOW that you want to be a physician with all your heart and you have a CLEAR understanding of the sacrifices that one needs to make to become a physician, and thereafter. If you can answer yes to the above, then you are in a perfect place to begin your medical career.

    I am 26 and I'm hoping to get into med school this year (3rd try). Assuming I start med school this year, I'll be 27 by then. In four years I'll have my MD at the age of 31. I know that I want to be a surgeon, so I have to go through at least a five year residency. I'll be 36. I'll probably want to specialize, therefore, I'll have to do a fellowship. I'll be around 38-40 years of age by the time I'm a full fledged praciticing surgeon. Now let's assume I had started right after college, 4 years ago. I would still be 36 years old before practicing. What I'm trying to say is the age issue is NOT an issue. Actually, many schools prefer older, hopefully wiser and maturer, applicants.

    In addition, if you already have an undergraduate degree all you have to do is to take the required pre-med courses. There is no degree called pre-med. It is just a bunch of requirement that one has to meet. If you go full time, you can have them out of the way in 2 years (this is what I would recommend). Plus, you will have a clean slate. Therefore, if you are committed and thus earn good grades, you can have a very high GPA. After that all you have to do is bust out the MCAT, apply and your on your way. You may not want to do a long residency like surgery, so you can be practicing by your late 30's.

    In summary, you are in a position of advantage because you have a clean slate to work with. You don't have to worry about your past grades messing up your GPA. If you really want to be a physician, then by all means do it. When it comes to the application process, the most important thing for you to do is to explain why you choose to pursue medicine vs. what you had studied earlier. If your answer is honest, there is no reason why they wouldn't consider you as a strong applicant.

    In terms of the loans, that is just one of the many sacrifices a person must make to become a physician. Yes, you will have a lot of loans, considerably less if you go to your state school, but you will also make a MINIMUM of 120,000 a year as a physician. So what if it takes a while to pay them back. You can still buy a BMW :)

    You seem to have many doubts, if I read your post correctly. This is the only thing that concerns me. To be successful in this road, you must be dedicated and sure of your decision before embarking on it. I believe this is the question you need to answer first and for most.

    I hope all of my rambling helped.

    Me!
     
  5. reesie0726

    reesie0726 Senior Member

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    Medical school is a hard, expensive path no matter what your age. However, if you want to do it, I say by all means go ahead. I have seen many non-traditional students at my interviews so don't think that your age will prevent you from getting in. If medicine is what you want, just go for it. You will be able to repay your loans as do almost all other doctors. So, just go for it. When applying, try to choose schools that are friendly to older students. Good luck.
     
  6. Mary Jane Watson

    Mary Jane Watson Senior Member

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    Hey JennyO!

    I'll echo what the above posters said. And, your undergraduate major has no bearing on your acceptance. I was a journalism major and I worked as a news photographer and editor until I decided to pursue a career change to medicine. Sometimes it takes a little longer to realize what you want to be when you grow up! I think my interesting stories in my work interested the adcoms - my interviewers said I was a "fascinating" applicant. Whatever it was - it worked. I will be a first year medical student in the fall at the age of 28. Good luck whatever you decide. Just know the reasons - and yourself - well. The way I figure it, I'd be 32 anyway. But, at least I'll be 32 with an MD and doing what I love. Go for it if it's what you really want! :D
     

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