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need opinions

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by lucy, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. lucy

    lucy New Member
    7+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2002
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    I have several questions that I would like everyones opinion on.

    Is there an age limit that the schools use for applicants? Provided that the canidate is up to the task, would the 50-60 year old group still be considered, or even the 40 group? I realize that the schools have to state that they don't discriminate, but do they flat out reject applicants due to age? I realize that med school is a grueling process, but provided one is motivated and healthy, do they still discriminate?

    Next question re:independent study courses. If the course was taken in the classroom with lab, 10 years ago, would an independent study class taken for review be acceptable?

    To boost a less than stellar indergrad GPA, which is the best choice.
    (GPA-2.98) More post-bac undergrad science classes, or graduate level science classes and possible a Masters? Do graduate classes count more than undergrad classes to prove to ADCOM's that you are able to do advanced work? Several physicians have told me to take Biochem at the grad level.

    Any input is appreciated.
  2. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
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    Attending Physician

    There are a few med students in their 50s, many in their 40s, and a ton in their 30s. Schools tend not to overtly discriminate, but whether an individual interviewer might discriminate in his own head is anyone's guess. I have met adcom members who were older nontrads/career changers, so one would suspect that their bias might actually run the other direction. You are certainly expected to have better thought things through, and done your research when applying at an older age. Expect questions about finances, family support, and to have an awfully good reason why medicine, why now and why not back when.
    At any rate, if age is an issue, let the schools turn you down, don't do it to yourself.

    As for how to rehabilitate, my suggestion would be to take some undergrad postbac courses to get your cumulative undergrad GPA above 3.0 before you look into grad courses, so you can survive the threshold screening that some schools do based on undergrad GPA. No, grad courses actually don't per se count more than undergrad, although some programs, esp well known SMP programs seem to have a good track record in getting people into med school. I personally think either an upper level informal postbac or an SMP program, or a combo of the two, might get you to where you want to be to give yourself a shot.
  3. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2001
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    I can't really say, however I have seen a few med students in their early 40's and definitely those in their late 20's and mid-30's. This doesn't mean that they discriminate, but may mean that there aren't many people in the higher age groups that are willing to apply.

    The only way they may "discriminate" is by not showing enough evidence of wanting to committ to the profession. One must take into account that many clinicians ron average retire by 60-70 anyway. My PI (medical scientist) claims he'll retire in 5 years when he turns 70. Sure there are physicians who practice into their 90's but its not common.

    Things can drastically change in 1 year, let alone 4 years of med school and a mininum of 3 years for residency. Adcoms may wondering about that given that you'll be near or at the age when physicians retire. Who knows! As Law2Doc said, its all up to what the adcoms think. However I must say htat the 50-60 age group is definitely an extreme.

    What class is this? Is this one of the pre-med pre-reqs or some random class with a lab? If it is the former, it may be OK, but some schools may want you to retake classes that were from so long ago. Now there's also the issue of the MCAT too, so you might want to retake or audit some classes anyway to refresh for the test. Not sure what your major was so that'll also be something to factor in when preparing for the test.

    Depends, but as Law2Doc said you're safer with doing upper division undergrad classes. Graduate level courses are harder for different reasons since they emphasize the scientific method, while medical level courses are more about applying it to clinical situations with the ultimate goal of passing your board exams. Apples and oranges.

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