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What makes a non-traditional student? I'd like to post here but don't know if I'm, uh, non-traditional. Is it just not doing pre-med in university?
 

theseeker4

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What makes a non-traditional student? I'd like to post here but don't know if I'm, uh, non-traditional. Is it just not doing pre-med in university?
Welcome to the forum. Generally a non-traditional student is anyone who did not do the traditional route of going straight into med school (plus or minus a gap year or two) from college. Many of us have previous careers, some for just a few years, some for a few decades. Many of us have spouses and/or children. Some come here before they have any college degree at all, and are returning to school after being in the military, or working in a trade that didn't require a bachelors degree.

Some purists would say someone who hasn't been out of college for at least x years isn't really non-traditional, but whatever your background, feel free to post in here, often the advice here is better and less neurotic than what is typical of pre-allo (and don't be offended if someone insists on posting "well you aren't really non-traditional because..." since like I said, some people are "purists").
 

Beandog

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Welcome to the forum. Generally a non-traditional student is anyone who did not do the traditional route of going straight into med school.


(and don't be offended if someone insists on posting "well you aren't really non-traditional because..." since like I said, some people are "purists").

Yup. The definition is fuzzy, as it's a big area for those who didn't go to school at 18 or 19 and major in Bio or something to begin medical school at 22 or 24. Some of us are more non-trad than others, some more typical, and the nontrad group as a whole has been growing in medical school applications and admissions.
 

MedWonk

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I feel like this question should be a sticky, and I'm surprised it hasn't been made one yet.
 

Funke

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I think of a non-trad pure bred :rolleyes: as someone who has worked in another career for a few years to return and do a pre-med track. Myself, I was going for seminary and decided my last semester of college to pursue medical school. So I graduated with a BA in Humanities, and am now married, working full time, and taking part time premedical classes. While I didn't have a gap year or any years of working in between the two, I still consider myself a non-trad because I have a family, a bachelor's, and have a full time job while going back to school. If I get in my first go around, I'll be 25 when entering into med school.
 
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vc7777

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We have discussed this ad nauseam in several threads over many years. There is no one defining feature of a nontrad - as there are members here who are exceptions to every single one anyone has ever proposed.

In short, if you don't feel like a "normal" premed/med student/resident/physician etc. Then you can call yourself "nontrad" as far as most people on here can reach consensus. Heck, it's better than calling yourself "abnormal" :)
 

Chip N Sawbones

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If your new major is "Retakes," you might be a nontrad.
If the attending surgeon you're shadowing is younger than you, you might be a nontrad.
If you find yourself nodding your head while listening to your professor's "When I was in college" stories, you might be a nontrad.
If ordering transcripts from every college you've been to maxed out a credit card, you might be a nontrad.
If you went out for a celebratory round of drinks the day your GPA rose above a 3.0, you might be a nontrad.
If you think chemistry is harder now because there are a lot more elements on the periodic table than the first time you took the class, you might be a nontrad.

Anyone got more ways to tell if you're a nontrad?
 

milski

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Haha, what?

Are you…hrm…multitasking at the moment…?
No, I'm not working on my ECs. :p

It was (an obscure) reference to a comment form a Supreme Court Judge, "I don't know what porn is, but I'll know it when I see it." The point being, sometimes it's easier to tell whether someone is a non-trad then to come up with a definition what a non-trad is.
 

vc7777

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No, I'm not working on my ECs. :p

It was (an obscure) reference to a comment form a Supreme Court Judge, "I don't know what porn is, but I'll know it when I see it." The point being, sometimes it's easier to tell whether someone is a non-trad then to come up with a definition what a non-trad is.
Not obscure... I just think he was "playing dumb" for comic effect

Sent from my Galaxy Note 3
 

WaterPog

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Chip's Jeff Foxworthy tribute post made me laugh so hard I just had to take a shot at it.
If your son is going to get his HS diploma the same year you're getting your BS....you might be a non-trad.
If you are having a problem trying to figure out how to condense the 20 years that have happened since high school enough to make it fit the AMCAS format...you may be a non-trad.
If you have to explain to the person at university orientation that you're the one registering, not your daughter...you might be a non-trad.
 

darklabel

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Average age of matriculants is increasing. 22-23 was the norm, but now that it is going up, it starts getting hazy as a lot of people are applying later and medical schools seem to enjoy a slightly older applicant pool.

In the strictest sense, a traditional student is 4 years college then 4 years of medical school after. Every person has their own definition of what a non-trad is though. But honestly, 2 or so years out of college and then matriculating doesn't really make you much of a nontrad these days.