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Will my age be used against me?

therealodder

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Feb 15, 2019
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Hey everyone. Had a random concern today and wanted to know what your guys know/think.

Do medical schools see older age as a negative? If I get in this cycle, I will be 36 when I start med school and I will be in my early 40s before starting a medical career. Personally, I am okay with this. I have been in retail pharmacy for almost 10 years now and I am ready to get out, so I am okay with restarting my career at a later age. But I'm wondering if med schools will see me as a "waste of time" vs a 22 year old who will have a career in their 30s? My other demographic information is pretty run-of-the-mill (male, white, texas resident) so my only concern is my age.

Thanks for any insight you can provide!
 
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deleted480308

Hey everyone. Had a random concern today and wanted to know what your guys know/think.

Do medical schools see older age as a negative? If I get in this cycle, I will be 36 when I start med school and I will be in my early 40s before starting a medical career. Personally, I am okay with this. I have been a retail pharmacist for almost 10 years now and I am ready to get out, so I am okay with restarting my career at a later age. But I'm wondering if med schools will see me as a "waste of time" vs a 22 year old who will have a career in their 30s? My other demographic information is pretty run-of-the-mill (male, white, texas resident) so my only concern is my age.

Thanks for any insight you can provide!
Shut up oldie mcolderson!

You’ll be fine
 
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GreenDuck12

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Plenty of folks start medical school in their 30s and 40s. Honestly, it’s nice having older folks in organizations - it provides balance, perspective, and guidance for younger folks who may be struggling for the first time. That being said, is it possible you may encounter some bias during your education and training? Absolutely. Will it keep you from being a doctor? Nope, and you certainly won’t be viewed as a waste of time. Just know that medical admissions is competitive and you need to put together a well rounded package by the time you apply.
 

jhmmd

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therealodder said:
Hey everyone. Had a random concern today and wanted to know what your guys know/think.

Do medical schools see older age as a negative? If I get in this cycle, I will be 36 when I start med school and I will be in my early 40s before starting a medical career. Personally, I am okay with this. I have been a retail pharmacist for almost 10 years now and I am ready to get out, so I am okay with restarting my career at a later age. But I'm wondering if med schools will see me as a "waste of time" vs a 22 year old who will have a career in their 30s? My other demographic information is pretty run-of-the-mill (male, white, texas resident) so my only concern is my age.

Thanks for any insight you can provide!
Short answer: Plenty of people these days start med school in their 40s; you just have to balance family and savings for retirement.

I am from Texas too! What part of Texas?
 

jhmmd

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therealodder said:
Without identifying myself too much, I'm from a big city in the south-ish! Ready to get out of texas though hahaha
I haven't been to the state since I was 10 years old but the last time I was there, we visited Corpus Christi, Austin, Galveston, etc. Lotta mosquitos in Galveston from what I remember :laugh:. Got an offer to go to college at the University of San Antonio (cross-country scholarship) but passed it up for another college out west.

I wish you the best of luck with your medical career!
 
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GreenDuck12

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Follow-up question: Do you think it will matter that I haven't taken an in-person class in quite a few years? I took and did great on the MCAT (522), so I'm hoping that will be enough to show my academic potential.

You should check with individual schools. Some require prereqs to be completed within the last 5-10 years. Other schools require/ recommend recent coursework for those who have been out of school. A subscription to MSAR would be a wise investment.
 
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gonnif

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-August 2019, NPR had a story about a former auto mechanic who graduated medical school at age 47 (yes, forty-seven)
-The former Chair of the Board of Trustees for the AMA, Rebecca Patchin MD, was a nurse for 10 years and did not start medical school until 35 years of age
-The former president of the AOA and current Dean of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Karen Nichols, DO, was a lab tech and didnt start medical school until she was about 30.
-The first female African American Dean of any US MD or DO school , Barbara Lee-Ross, was a teacher and single mother when she was accepted to the founding class of the Michigan DO school at age 30, She is also Diana Ross's sister
-I have worked with hundreds of students in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s, who successfully apply and complete medical school
 
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Hey everyone. Had a random concern today and wanted to know what your guys know/think.

Do medical schools see older age as a negative? If I get in this cycle, I will be 36 when I start med school and I will be in my early 40s before starting a medical career. Personally, I am okay with this. I have been a retail pharmacist for almost 10 years now and I am ready to get out, so I am okay with restarting my career at a later age. But I'm wondering if med schools will see me as a "waste of time" vs a 22 year old who will have a career in their 30s? My other demographic information is pretty run-of-the-mill (male, white, texas resident) so my only concern is my age.

Thanks for any insight you can provide!

Some of my all-time best students have been in the 30s and 40s. I graduated a stellar one at age 50, and she is now an attending in California.
 
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FrkyBgStok

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I generally agree with everyone saying that your age won't be used against you. I started med school at 28 and wasn't even the close to the oldest. And many of the older ones were excellent students. Plus you have a wealth of real life experience that is very valuable.

One real thing though is that some medical schools won't appreciate that. It is just how it is. DO schools seem to really look at the nontraditionals with value. Some of the MD schools don't. This only means that they aren't going to appreciate the fact that you worked 40 hours a week and raised 2 kids. They will see that your volunteering number is less than stud college student over there who had no other responsibilities, and that may be held against you.

But two things. Those colleges are few, and why would you want to go to a med school that isn't going to appreciate your experience when you will probably be accepted to places that will. So apply broadly and don't sweat it.
 
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