What is expected of older applicants (that is NOT expected in younger applicants)?

Gauss44

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What do ADCOMs expect from applicants that are in their 30's, 40's, etc. that they don't expect from younger applicants?

Please specify if you are talking about some specific category of applicants or all applicants (ex. MD, DO, Ivy/top schools, state schools, only in Texas, etc.). I am in Boston for the record and plan to apply MD, but am interested in a broad range of information since I tutor other pre-meds as well.
 

dushash

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They are going to ask questions about your biography, and it is expected that you have something to tell, some life stories or your path to medicine so far. In my case it was 2 job experiences, a family, changing professions etc. IMHO older applicants just have to fill in the "age" gap with some useful and preferably related to medicine or at least leading to medicine things/experiences etc. Nothing extraordinary is expected compared to younger applicants, as it's still heavily biased towards GPA/MCAT. Of course a bit more maturity is expected too, but that's obvious. So IMHO older applicant has to have a good life story of how he/she ended up to apply to medicine after all, what difficulties he overcome, what experience he may bring to a campus ans so on. It's all common sense if you ask me, I'm not even sure what/why exactly you are asking since it's all common sense (please don't take any offense, it's just my opinion). This all is broadly speaking. Just my 2c
 

tnedoots

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Jan 19, 2015
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I only applied MD back in 2013.
This was my take on it:

Two questions I got most: (and by most, I mean 2 or 3 times each)
Why medicine now?
Do you find it difficult to get along with classmates that are so much younger than you?

My opinion about what I thought they wanted:

You should be able to relate your life experience to any of the typical interview questions: adversity overcome? conflict with classmate, etc.

I found that some interviewers were curious about my age, and others seemed to just have their way of doing an interview regardless of age.

Overall, I don't think it factored in much in terms of interviews. I'm sure behind the scenes, when reviewing my app, they were looking to see that I had done stuff with my life. Use your personal statement to describe your journey, make it interesting. I am sure that the reviewers like to see the PS with a decade+ of life experience in it interspersed with the hundreds of traditional ones they read.

For the record, I was born when Carter was president.
 
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Ad2b

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For the record, I was born when Carter was president.
Youngsters these days ;) I remember him beating Ford, Ford becoming president when Nixon resigned (watched that on TV), and yes, I remember the Apollo launches (and the disasters). And I love my student peers :) then energize me, I bring down their angst (I hope)... symbiotic as an older non-trad
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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What do ADCOMs expect from applicants that are in their 30's, 40's, etc. that they don't expect from younger applicants?
A convincing and well-thought out answer to the question, "why medicine now?" Otherwise, no difference whatsoever.
 

CyrilFiggis

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They expect you to have the ability, maturity, work ethic and tenacity to succeed as a medical student and physician. They'll want to know your story, but don't be defensive or on edge about your past choices. Just talk about why your journey led you hear.

And as the adage goes, "a little knowledge can do a lot of damage." Don't give application advice to other pre-meds if you yourself have not gone through the process and been accepted yourself. All you do is pass hearsay information on to other people and that benefits no one.
 

Ad2b

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Don't give application advice to other pre-meds if you yourself have not gone through the process and been accepted yourself. All you do is pass hearsay information on to other people and that benefits no one.
I would take advice that with a large grain of salt.

Most of the advice I've gotten has been stellar and it's been from premeds because MS+ don't have the time to come back here, nor in many cases, feel obligated to do so.

That said, there are also the common trolls that dispense crappy advice but that is generally easy to figure out and ignore.
 

CyrilFiggis

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@Ad2b you haven't been accepted yet either, so i understand how you feel that my comment is meant to discredit you, but it isn't.

You can put as large a grain of salt as you want on it, but I've been through this process twice and have actual perspective on questions OPs students may ask that he can only answer based off regurgitated advice. There are just certain things where experiential data reigns supreme.
 
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073116

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It's same story in many threads here, people giving advice they know little about :nono:
 
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I've gotten the question of medicine requires a lot of stamina, family sacrifice, etc, so how would you handle that? It was framed within the being a non-trad discussion.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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I've gotten the question of medicine requires a lot of stamina, family sacrifice, etc, so how would you handle that? It was framed within the being a non-trad discussion.
You're a smart and thoughtful guy, and I know you've considered this issue and discussed it with your family extensively. What's the elevator pitch for what you and your wife/kids came up with for how you're going to handle the stress of med school on your family?

In my case, it was easy. I split up with my ex long before med school was even a possibility. And even when asked the illegal question about when I planned to have kids, I could simply answer, "Never. Next question?"
 
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Apr 25, 2014
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You're a smart and thoughtful guy, and I know you've considered this issue and discussed it with your family extensively. What's the elevator pitch for what you and your wife/kids came up with for how you're going to handle the stress of med school on your family?

In my case, it was easy. I split up with my ex long before med school was even a possibility. And even when asked the illegal question about when I planned to have kids, I could simply answer, "Never. Next question?"
My line

My son is grown and happily living his own life and my wife and I coped with living apart during her internship and residency so we know well how to deal with these types of obstacles. With her firm support for my going back to med school and to best manage our finances she will work and not be moving with me and expects me to devote a majority of my time to my studies so when together on occasional weekends and holidays were able to devote that brief time to each other.

It worked and we're making it work, but it does suck.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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My line

My son is grown and happily living his own life and my wife and I coped with living apart during her internship and residency so we know well how to deal with these types of obstacles. With her firm support for my going back to med school and to best manage our finances she will work and not be moving with me and expects me to devote a majority of my time to my studies so when together on occasional weekends and holidays were able to devote that brief time to each other.

It worked and we're making it work, but it does suck.
Sounds good to me. What's the interviewer going to say to you, "no, you've never gone through this before. You don't know what you're talking about?" :laugh:
 
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