Random Musings for Non-Trads . . .

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the great one
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2006
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So I used to consider myself a traditional applicant, but recently I realized I am really not. Little background on myself,

23 y/o M, working on BS in Emergency Medicine from Pitt
this is my third undergrad institution
sub-par academic career with ups and downs in GPA
taken a few science classes, not done great. Did better in retakes at CC
lots of leadership experience
non-science research that took me to Asia
some volunteering
2 yrs in EMS, Current Paramedic
Paramedic instructor and Preceptor
CPR instructor
Various ECs

I spent a lot of time trying to decide what I wanted to do. Got in relationships and couldn't deal with the aftermath. Was definitely not mature enough when I left for school. Now that I am SURE I want to be a doc (DO probably) I am trying to get my rear in gear. I will be 24 or so when I apply and 25 or 26 when I start. No big deal.

Anywho, I had some thoughts I'd like to share

1. Compared to 20 y/o applicants with a 3.8 gpa and 36 MCAT, how do you think you will act? These applicants are generally characterized as being ego driven and look down on all but other physicians (and even that isn't a guarantee).

2. Are you happy you are applying with life experience compared to when you were 20?

Have a good day!


Full Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2008
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First of all let me say good luck to you on your medical journey. We're a supportive bunch here in the non-trad forum so always feel free to post questions or ask for advice.

As far as your comments...

1) I don't really have a problem working with ego-driven 20-somethings. Nobody's perfect and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I've honestly been generally impressed with the traditional pre-meds I've met on med school interviews. I've seen a few tools, but for the most part I've liked the young pre-meds I've encountered. I actually look forward to being around all that youth and vitality.

2) I won't lie and say that I don't occasionally envy the accomplishments of my younger counterparts and wish I didn't have an earlier start on my medical career. But ultimately, that's in the past. I do think age and experience have their advantages but as our careers progress those advantages become less stark and you'll probably fast find yourself in the same boat as your younger colleagues struggling with the challenges of trying to be an outstanding clinician and still have a healthy family life.

But all this "keeping up with the joneses" stuff I find is beside the point. The point is that you know what you want to do and it's all about doing something in life that means something to you, that'll you enjoy, and be good at. Whether you find that at 20, 40, or 60 you should count your blessings.