Esq2MD

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Are there med schools that are known or perceived to be especially willing -- or reluctant -- to accept uber non-traditional (i.e., second career, nearing 40) students?

Not interested in overseas, btw.
 

mspeedwagon

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Your age won't matter for domestic schools as they can't discriminate against age. But, I beg of you to not become of those posters that says... "I can't believe that US schools are discriminating against me because of my age, but by the way I got a 20 on my MCAT."


Are there med schools that are known or perceived to be especially willing -- or reluctant -- to accept uber non-traditional (i.e., second career, nearing 40) students?

Not interested in overseas, btw.
 

Old Grunt

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Are there med schools that are known or perceived to be especially willing -- or reluctant -- to accept uber non-traditional (i.e., second career, nearing 40) students?

Not interested in overseas, btw.
This question gets floated a lot and the general consensus seems to be "no".

However, it would probably be a prudent move to get he MSAR and look at average ages.

Are you another lawyer that wants to go into medicine?
 

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Are there med schools that are known or perceived to be especially willing -- or reluctant -- to accept uber non-traditional (i.e., second career, nearing 40) students?

Not interested in overseas, btw.
Back in 1997, I was 45 years old and applied to 6 schools. Two were private, three were my state schools and one was out of state. I got into all six with no waitlists. Was age a factor? I doubt it.

BTW: Medicine was my third career behind TV news production and research scientist/professor.

If you have the goods and the energy, age likely isn't a factor.
 

illegallysmooth

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Are there med schools that are known or perceived to be especially willing -- or reluctant -- to accept uber non-traditional (i.e., second career, nearing 40) students?

Not interested in overseas, btw.
LECOM is definitely accepting of non-trads.
 

Nasrudin

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Are there med schools that are known or perceived to be especially willing -- or reluctant -- to accept uber non-traditional (i.e., second career, nearing 40) students?

Not interested in overseas, btw.
I think this has been hashed out with enough qualified people--some of whom are posting here--that age is not the center of gravity for your application. Nor is it the pivot point of evaluation such that you should consider it a factor when selecting schools.

You want to apply early. You want to apply to a mix of schools that you could see your self living for 4 years. That fit your finances. And that you feel you might be a good fit for.

Certainly by means are all of us nontrads going to be attractive or unattractive to the same group of committee members nor type of school.

Some of us are researchers. Some of us have leadership skills. Some of us speak a multitude of languages and have vast intercultural skills. Some of us are pure public servants with dues paid. Some of us just got by on luck and BS.

There's no way to account for age as an isolated variable in any predictable sense.

Good luck.
 

Esq2MD

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I am one of those lawyers, Old Grunt ... there should be more of us!

I'm really not concerned about not getting in because of my age, or about "discrimination". I was thinking more about school "cultures", and the goal of my inquiry was simply efficiency: one of the various facets of the best bang for the application buck factor (especially with all the schools that give automatic secondaries, or automatic secondaries based on numbers, which means an extra 75-100 bucks or so a pop; you gotta choose smart).

p.s., don't worry mspeedwagon. I promise I won't whine about anything on this forum, and in any event the MCAT score is just fine.
 

Esq2MD

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And nasrudin, yes, agreed on all points, and all of those factors are the main factors I have already accounted for in my initial selections for 2011. Just wanted to get input on this one issue I had an open question about.
 

Nasrudin

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And nasrudin, yes, agreed on all points, and all of those factors are the main factors I have already accounted for in my initial selections for 2011. Just wanted to get input on this one issue I had an open question about.

Sure Ok. I mean I hear you. you could spend 5 G's if you didn't make instinctual cuts.

I'm just saying my cuts followed a sort of...do I think this community may have some use for me or my experiences. Does my personality fit the culture of the place in some vague guessy kind of way. Maybe some schools are more open to nontrads in that sense.

I'll bite then in this realm of occult mysticalia.

Apply to Case Western, EVMS, Cincinnati, Toledo, Tulane, UCSF--if you're from Cali.

The thing is this. If your JD with a good gpa with a well pedigreed application then me and you ain't in the same applicant pool even though we share some attributes. If that's you then you should apply to more academic type places. Columbia, TUFTS, these types of places.

You get what I'm saying about age being the non-determinant factor?
 

Esq2MD

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I read ya'. Sounds like there's probably not any "definitely do" or "definitely don't" schools. So unless someone tells me otherwise, I'll just keep it at the factors already in my calculus.

I personally find it very hard to gauge the "does this community have any use for me and my experiences factor?" (don't they all? or the flip side, who does?) or the "would I fit in?" (I generally feel fine wherever I am). So aside from geography (I'm not that picky), cost (it's all a lot of money, even Cali in state now!), so-called "rank" (whatev'), it's darn hard to narrow things. I'm thinking dart board.
 

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Sorry, I read a few posts on here that were about people feeling that they were discriminated against because of their age. If you are ok with osteopathic schools, many of them have quite a few career changers and older students (I personally will likely go this route if a UC doesn't pan out). I would like to go to school where the average student is closer to my age at the time I matriculate (28).


I am one of those lawyers, Old Grunt ... there should be more of us!

I'm really not concerned about not getting in because of my age, or about "discrimination". I was thinking more about school "cultures", and the goal of my inquiry was simply efficiency: one of the various facets of the best bang for the application buck factor (especially with all the schools that give automatic secondaries, or automatic secondaries based on numbers, which means an extra 75-100 bucks or so a pop; you gotta choose smart).

p.s., don't worry mspeedwagon. I promise I won't whine about anything on this forum, and in any event the MCAT score is just fine.
 

QofQuimica

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Are there med schools that are known or perceived to be especially willing -- or reluctant -- to accept uber non-traditional (i.e., second career, nearing 40) students?
Your best bet is almost always your state schools, especially if you live in a state that protects its med school seats for state residents. As others have already suggested, there is no school that discriminates against older applicants. There *are* some schools where nontrads tend to congregate, but that is a matter of personal preference as much as anything.
 

Old Grunt

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I am one of those lawyers, Old Grunt ... there should be more of us!

I'm really not concerned about not getting in because of my age, or about "discrimination". I was thinking more about school "cultures", and the goal of my inquiry was simply efficiency: one of the various facets of the best bang for the application buck factor (especially with all the schools that give automatic secondaries, or automatic secondaries based on numbers, which means an extra 75-100 bucks or so a pop; you gotta choose smart).

p.s., don't worry mspeedwagon. I promise I won't whine about anything on this forum, and in any event the MCAT score is just fine.
There are actually quite a few threads on this forum from other lawyers who want to switch over. My wife is in the last leg of obtaining her JD so it always piques my interest when you all pop up.

I agree with Q who said to keep your state school in mind. State of residency is very important during the application cycle as most states protect their seats for applicants they deem as highly likely to practice within the state. Since they are funded by state tax dollars, they have a duty to produce physicians for the state. However, some states are more protective than others. I know LSU won't even look at an out of state application (barring a few circumstances). Coupled with in-state tuition, that would be a lock for me.

I am in a unique position in that at my school I am significantly older than virtually every student. I've never really deemed it to be a problem. I wouldn't worry as much about the culture towards students based on age. I'd just try and find a school that was a good fit for me.

That's just my opinion on the matter.
 

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there is no school that discriminates against older applicants. QUOTE]


I had to laugh at this. Of course, no school "officially" discriminates. But I can say, after having interviewed at several programs, that there are schools who make it clear that they are not interested in the older applicant. And too, it may just be the individual interviewer you get on a particular day who has that particular bias. But I was told on a couple of occasions, and in very definite terms, that I was wasting an interview slot that would be better given to a younger applicant.
Yes, no one officially discriminates, but as has been mentioned in other threads, if you think discrimination doesn't happen at all, you are being incredibly naive.
Luckily, there are schools that are very willing to court the older applicant.
 

PAGuyana

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Dude, half the folks here are talking through their ****.

There ARE non-traditional friendly schools. I know this because the dean of my school acknowledged that they look for and actively recruit second career older students. Indeed, my class if full of non-traditional students. The names are out there, I can name a couple, but will only do so if you PM me.

Btw, I'm in an american MD school if that matters to you.
 

Old Grunt

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But I was told on a couple of occasions, and in very definite terms, that I was wasting an interview slot that would be better given to a younger applicant.
You were told that by a school official?

Then why did they even bother to "waste" an interview slot on you and waste your time and money?
 

Old Grunt

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Dude, half the folks here are talking through their ****.

There ARE non-traditional friendly schools. I know this because the dean of my school acknowledged that they look for and actively recruit second career older students. Indeed, my class if full of non-traditional students. The names are out there, I can name a couple, but will only do so if you PM me.

Btw, I'm in an american MD school if that matters to you.
Why not name them here? If your dean is telling students this, then I doubt it's a government secret.
 

QofQuimica

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I had to laugh at this. Of course, no school "officially" discriminates. But I can say, after having interviewed at several programs, that there are schools who make it clear that they are not interested in the older applicant. And too, it may just be the individual interviewer you get on a particular day who has that particular bias. But I was told on a couple of occasions, and in very definite terms, that I was wasting an interview slot that would be better given to a younger applicant.
Yes, no one officially discriminates, but as has been mentioned in other threads, if you think discrimination doesn't happen at all, you are being incredibly naive.
Luckily, there are schools that are very willing to court the older applicant.
While some schools are more active than others in trying to "court the older applicant," med schools cannot have a policy of discrimination against older applicants. To have such a policy would be illegal. I'll grant you that individual interviewers and adcoms can and do have biases, but biases exist against many groups, not just nontrads. There are also adcoms who are biased in favor of otherwise qualified nontrads, including myself.

Considering how many different subjective factors come into play during med school admissions, no one can ever say with certainty how much influence, if any, their age had on the adcom's decision. In addition, you cannot infer what a school's interest level in nontrads is based upon the questions or comments you get from an interviewer. Some interviewers may be trying to test your reaction, or they may be inexperienced and don't realize that they are not allowed to discuss the applicant's age. Finally, there is the issue of comparing apples to apples. On average, nontrads tend to have significantly weaker stats compared to trads, and that is going to affect their competitiveness at schools that place a lot of emphasis on stats. It's not surprising that such schools tend to have younger classes compared to schools that place less emphasis on stats.

If we're going to go based on anecdotes, I was accepted to several "younger" schools that don't actively recruit nontrads, some of which offered me full-tuition scholarships. I also got recruiting calls from the dean of the med school and the president of the affiliated university at one school. :shrug:

PAGuyana said:
There ARE non-traditional friendly schools. I know this because the dean of my school acknowledged that they look for and actively recruit second career older students. Indeed, my class if full of non-traditional students. The names are out there, I can name a couple, but will only do so if you PM me.
Again, the fact that some schools are less active in recruiting nontrads does not mean they are biased against nontrads and will not accept qualified nontrads into their class.
 
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Dude, half the folks here are talking through their ****.
.
This question gets asked pretty regularly, and the consensus of those of us who have been through this path already is that ALL US med schools will be interested in an older applicant with solid stats and good experiences. Period. No need to focus on nontrad "friendly". All are friendly if you have the numbers and can make their class more age and experience and degree diverse. There will be someone over 30 at virtually every med school. All US med schools boast someone with prior advanced degrees.

Does that make a school that happens to have more people over 30 a better med school for nontrads? Probably not. I have often suggested that the handful of med schools that somewhat advertise to the nontrad community and try to develop the "nontrad friendly reputation" are actually bad ones to focus your apps on because they are not going to fill up a substantial chunk of their class with nontrads (to do so defeats the diversity benefits of having a few), so you are really in far more heated competition with other nontrads on top of having to have the stats to get in. Meaning someplace that doesn't have many nontrads applying but is receptive to them is going to be a quicker admission than one with loads of nontrads applying year after year. So you are better off, from a competitive point of view, IMHO applying to those places that don't put the nontrad in the brochure.

Med school is a very independent journey. You don't need to be surrounded with folks your age. The younger folks in the class will interact with you even if you are older if you make yourself available. You still get the class emails to the post-exam parties, should you be so inclined. I wouldn't worry about nontrad friendly. As Q suggested, state schools are "resident" friendly, so that is always everyone's best bet, whether they have many nontrads or few.
 

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I hate squashing nuts here with some of those here, but take a look at the University of Penn. stats. Every year, almost w/o fail, the average age of their class is 23 with range of 21-28. Now how non-traditional friendly do you think they are???? I'm talking for non-traditionals in their late 30s or 40s.

http://www.med.upenn.edu/admiss/2006_class.html


Look, you can't discriminate based on age, I'm not arguing, but almost any medical school can choose a class pool and justify their decision on whatever basis w/o letting on to an alternative agenda. And the fact is there are medical school where older students/non-traditionals have a better shot--law or no law. Just like their is no age discrimination in the work force, fat discrimination, ugly discrimination, race discrimination, etc.
 

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I hate squashing nuts here with some of those here, but take a look at the University of Penn. stats. Every year, almost w/o fail, the average age of their class is 23 with range of 21-28. Now how non-traditional friendly do you think they are???? I'm talking for non-traditionals in their late 30s or 40s.

http://www.med.upenn.edu/admiss/2006_class.html


Look, you can't discriminate based on age, I'm not arguing, but almost any medical school can choose a class pool and justify their decision on whatever basis w/o letting on to an alternative agenda. And the fact is there are medical school where older students/non-traditionals have a better shot--law or no law. Just like their is no age discrimination in the work force, fat discrimination, ugly discrimination, race discrimination, etc.
Well, of that Penn class, if you google it, 62% are technically "nontrad" as they didn't come straight from college. So by some standards, Penn may be one of the more nontrad places out there. I doubt Penn takes a stand that 28 is ok, but 30 is too old. More likely the age is a function of who applied who actually had the stats. You have to bear in mind that a lot of the older nontrads have the experience, but not the numbers. It's sometimes hard to dust off those textbooks and score a 40 on the MCAT the way someone who finished organic chemistry just a week ago might. So you perhaps get a better sense of whether a program is nontrad friendly or not if you focus on the non-top 10 programs who actually consider folks without the 4.0/40 as a starting point. Because that's where the added experience actually gets looked at. To say Penn discriminates by age, you have to show that they were getting folks over 30 with competitive stats, and nobody can know if that's true. You can't assume here. Now if the place has a class average of 3.0/30 and nobody over 30 got in, I'd say that's troubling.
 

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Yes, of course Law2Doc, no one over 30 with competitive stats applies to Penn but yet they can be found at other schools...yes, of course.

And let's qualify the discussion here, the OP's question was about the type of non-traditional applicants pushing 40 switching careers, not a 28 y/o who took a couple of years off to travel the world...

And btw, this is not all a number's game. I'm sure work experience and life experience matters, but apparently to some schools more than others.
 
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DrMidlife

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One school, one class, oldest student 28. Yawn. Can we get a decent scandal going here with N>1, or knock off the persecution complex?

Y'all are going to get nowhere in trying to demonstrate a systemic anti-age bias with woefully inadequate data.
 

Old Grunt

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Yes, of course Law2Doc, no one over 30 with competitive stats applies to Penn but yet they can be found at other schools...yes, of course.

And let's qualify the discussion here, the OP's question was about the type of non-traditional applicants pushing 40 switching careers, not a 28 y/o who took a couple of years off to travel the world...

And btw, this is not all a number's game. I'm sure work experience and life experience matters, but apparently to some schools more than others.
I think the point everyone is trying to make to you is that no single school is going to adopt an "official" policy of being "non-traditional" friendly, which I took the OP's post to be.

Even your anecdote was "hush-hush".

All other entities are too subjective to measure.
 

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Dr. Midlife, well perhaps if more schools were more forthcoming with their age ranges rather getting away with publishing their average age, I'd have more to offer. But in any case, weren't you the one pointing out the other day that there is age discrimination in residencies? I didn't think it just began at that level....

And that's not just UPenn's one class, that's their school for that matter. If you read my post, year after year, that's their class composition.

No persecution complex here, trying to help those in my shoes make a more informed decision.
 
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Nasrudin

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Yes, of course Law2Doc, no one over 30 with competitive stats applies to Penn but yet they can be found at other schools...yes, of course.

And let's qualify the discussion here, the OP's question was about the type of non-traditional applicants pushing 40 switching careers, not a 28 y/o who took a couple of years off to travel the world...

And btw, this is not all a number's game. I'm sure work experience and life experience matters, but apparently to some schools more than others.
Now you're hitting--what Law2Doc was referring to--the synergistic theme between you're points and his(her's?).

Many of us have F'd up our academic records with various and sometimes prurient indiscretions. Pausing for memories. I believe data is available to prove this in the MSAR. But I'm not the anal type so. So I'll just leave it at I heard...

So that you could asking to simultaneous questions inadvertently. Which schools are more accepting of lower number?--The corollary of which is...Which schools are more interested in non-numerical application aspects? And. Which schools like older applicants?

Age. As DrMidlife adroitly points out is the lost in the subjective morass of it all. Numbers are their for all to see.

Although it is perhaps quite insightful of law2doc to point out to you that whenever a widely used data stream is the common wisdom the action is likely elsewhere. We're trying to stand out of a crowded convention hall. What's your schtick?

I applied to some schools just cause I knew they might just wonder why I did. This is also why I stopped mid-stream from indicating where to apply to the OP. Cause it occurred to me that their application is most likely completely different than min.

Take a second to look over a the Pre-Allo forum for a thread by Doc School--apparently a dean of admissions or something at a California med school. I found it enlightening even after my cycle is over.

But it confirmed or me the utility of thinking about fit when deciding where to apply. Take me an the OP. Despite a similitude in age. Our application strategies might be radically different just using the "fit concept." and therefore our school list would be totally different.

Age is just not the thing to use for deciding these things. And I'm re-iterating the most knowledgeable among us.
 

QofQuimica

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Yes, of course Law2Doc, no one over 30 with competitive stats applies to Penn but yet they can be found at other schools...yes, of course.
Besides what L2D already pointed out, keep in mind that the reported range is only for the *matriculants,* not the acceptees. In other words, a 35-year-old who was accepted to Penn but chose to matriculate elsewhere would not show up on that page. And again, we need to compare apples to apples. How many 35+ year-old nontrads will have a stats power combination of a 3.8+ GPA and a 35+ MCAT? Even the majority of trads can only wish they had stats like that.
 

DrMidlife

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weren't you the one pointing out the other day that there is age discrimination in residencies? I didn't think it just began at that level....
I pointed out that there is discrimination, period. Fat discrimination, ugly discrimination, boring discrimination, alma mater discrimination. Whenever there's one or more human beings between you and what you want, the decision is necessarily subjective.

For every over-30 candidate who isn't accepted for the partial reason that he/she seems old, there are at least 1000 candidates who aren't accepted for the partial reason that they seem young.
 

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There are students of all ages at all med schools across the country. There are no schools that are "non-trad phobic".

Now, having said that, I've been flat out told I didn't get an interview because I was "outside the normal age range for our med school applicants." But I also happen to know that it has students my age. And no, I won't name names. It's a fine institution. They just didn't like me and couldn't (wouldn't?) say why.

Apply broadly. Put your best foot forward and give it your best shot. Don't *not* apply to schools because you *think* they don't want a non-trad. They all want the best applicants they can get that fit their school. Make them want you. If you're the best applicant, you'll get acceptances. And grow a thick skin. Rejection hurts.
 
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Arguing for age discrimination using UPenn is kind of pointless. Top-flight medical schools are pretty demanding of all their applicants. The type of people they would accept are normally already heavily invested in some other high-status career.

Doesn't mean they don't accept 30s/40s people, but you just got to be stellar. Like the youngens they accept.
 

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Doesn't mean they don't accept 30s/40s people, but you just got to be stellar. Like the youngens they accept.
I agree.

I think the real underlying concept here is that certain medschools put more value on stellar academic numbers. Schools that put more value on intangible qualities like personality/maturity/life experience and a commitment to primary care are often described as being non-trad "friendly".

Most medschool applicants seem to polarize into being stronger on academic qualities vs. stronger on non-academic traits. Figure out which way you lean, and find the schools that fit this trend. Of course, if you're a superstar and you're excellent at everything, then the world is your oyster. :p
 

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when they break the law trying to cover the "real truth" of a basic nature. Im a fan of, "just say if you don't like me. I can take it. Come on! Get some cohones and pony up. It can't be THAT hard to tell me you just don't think I'll fit in to your joint..." lets do lunch and I'll be serving crow in a few years....

There are students of all ages at all med schools across the country. There are no schools that are "non-trad phobic".

Now, having said that, I've been flat out told I didn't get an interview because I was "outside the normal age range for our med school applicants." But I also happen to know that it has students my age. And no, I won't name names. It's a fine institution. They just didn't like me and couldn't (wouldn't?) say why.

Apply broadly. Put your best foot forward and give it your best shot. Don't *not* apply to schools because you *think* they don't want a non-trad. They all want the best applicants they can get that fit their school. Make them want you. If you're the best applicant, you'll get acceptances. And grow a thick skin. Rejection hurts.
 

mooshika

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in my case, I knew that as long as I get in the door and get a face to face, the ball rolls further into my court - cause I'm late 40's on paper, but in person I'm not at all. So just getting in the door is important so you can meet up, if you interview well.

Also, I knew it would be as, if not more, important than "traditional" applicants that I have competitive scores, and I am a very non-scores kinda person, like please don't tell me your scores... please, it is meaningless to me. Never ever kept track of my volunteer hours, yuk, but ended up doing a lot of math for the AMCAS.

But there are groups of people called ADCOMs and they care a lot about scores, so I did my best to make some very good ones, I tried my very Mr. Rogers best, so they could have those pretty scores and invite me for an interview. In the end, I don't think they care as much about my age as they might have. But who knows who cares about what? All you know is what bothers you, and if your age bothers you, it will come across and work against you. If it doesn't, it won't. That's just how I roll. lol.

I hope it works for you.
 

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That's funny about the "fitting in" factor - the last time I felt like I didn't fit in was, maybe, when I was... 14? I will take some flack for this, but the whole process seems vaguely adolescent to me...

m.

I read ya'. Sounds like there's probably not any "definitely do" or "definitely don't" schools. So unless someone tells me otherwise, I'll just keep it at the factors already in my calculus.

I personally find it very hard to gauge the "does this community have any use for me and my experiences factor?" (don't they all? or the flip side, who does?) or the "would I fit in?" (I generally feel fine wherever I am). So aside from geography (I'm not that picky), cost (it's all a lot of money, even Cali in state now!), so-called "rank" (whatev'), it's darn hard to narrow things. I'm thinking dart board.
 

Dianyla

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That's funny about the "fitting in" factor - the last time I felt like I didn't fit in was, maybe, when I was... 14? I will take some flack for this, but the whole process seems vaguely adolescent to me...
Fitting an environment or a relationship is still extremely important in the adult world, and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a pubescent cliqueishness. Would you marry someone you didn't feel you had a good fit with? Have you ever been on a date with someone that had all the right traits "on paper" so to speak but you just didn't like them?

Whether or not an ADCOM likes you is an entirely subjective and arbitrary process. If they don't, chances are you wouldn't fit at that school anyway. I wouldn't want to spend four years of my life up close and personal with someone I wasn't compatible with. :scared:
 

futureboy

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Now, having said that, I've been flat out told I didn't get an interview because I was "outside the normal age range for our med school applicants." But I also happen to know that it has students my age. And no, I won't name names. It's a fine institution. They just didn't like me and couldn't (wouldn't?) say why.
The school was stupid to risk an age discrimination claim by basically telling you that you were too old. They would have been better off just saying you weren't a good fit...
 

ShyRem

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Agreed. But I chalk it up to someone having a bad day. It obviously wasn't the right place for me. I'm just saying be prepared for some stupid remarks and don't take it personally.

It's not you. It's them.
 

NTF

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I think the discussion in this thread just reinforces the maxim, apply BROADLY.

You never know entirely what happens behind closed doors both goodly and badly.

Case in point. My school is pretty trad-centric (avg age ~23-24) but they saw fit to accept my decrepit arse, mediocre GPA and all. And there must have been crack in the punch bowl cuz they also gave me a partial merit scholarship. Go figure.
 

mooshika

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My point is that I have not felt that I "don't fit in" since I was 14, but there are definitely places I would not have a preference for. I can fit in anywhere if it someplace I want to be. If I want to be somewhere, I don't concern myself with fitting in. Its just not an issue. Completely opposite from a 14 year-old perspective.

Whether or not you like me is none of my business. And I fully understand that there are preferences for both us and the schools. The "adult world" is just institutionalized adolescent cliquishness with better jewelry.

m.

Fitting an environment or a relationship is still extremely important in the adult world, and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a pubescent cliqueishness. Would you marry someone you didn't feel you had a good fit with? Have you ever been on a date with someone that had all the right traits "on paper" so to speak but you just didn't like them?

Whether or not an ADCOM likes you is an entirely subjective and arbitrary process. If they don't, chances are you wouldn't fit at that school anyway. I wouldn't want to spend four years of my life up close and personal with someone I wasn't compatible with. :scared: