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older aaplicant hoping to get into med school

17 years 5 months ago #11898 by Renee Arakawa
I am currently 33 (though 34 already later this year). Although i wanted to be a doctor since high school, I seem to find myself at 33, not with an MD, but with a MS and a spattering of jobs in clinical research/medical writing that are just not making me happy. I am finally trying to get my act together, but really worry about my age, the finances (still paying off undergrad!), and well.....any prospect of a family life given my already advancing age.

Im hoping someone can provide insight, encouragement, and advice for me along this 2 year road...so yes, I'll be 36 by the time I even start (assuming I get accepted!) Ive spoken with an advisor who tells me all the things I need to do in addition to working FT, and though I suspected as much, I feel a bit daunted and am even beginning to wonder if PA isnt the route I should take.

Please help if you can. I am currently residing in Madison, WI where I did my graduate work. But I am from California, and likely would like to get back there.


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17 years 5 months ago #11899 by spacecadet
Hi Renee,

I'm 32 now, and will be starting med school next year at 33 with two small children. It IS very daunting. However, if you feel you need to do it, then you should do it. Yes, it is hard. Yes, you will lose some time with your family. But, you need to be happy and fulfilled too.

Although it is frustrating to know that I will probably be 40 before I'm done with my education, I would rather be doing this now than waiting another 5-10 years and coming back to it again (which I would). Besides, I'll be 40 whether I go to med school or not!

If you believe that you will be happy and fulfilled being a PA, then that is definitely an option. However, if you really want to be a doc and then compromise with PA, you'll probably come back to MD again later. This is just my opinion, because of course I have never been a PA. Perhaps you could find a PA to shadow and see what you think about it?

Best of luck!


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17 years 5 months ago #11900 by **DONOTDELETE**
I am 44 and starting medical school this August and I have two kids in high school. Don't let anyone tell you you're too old. If you can get in, go for it, you've earned it, and you deserve the same opportunity as anyone else. And your age and life experience will give you a different perspective and an added dimension as a doctor. We need all kinds of people in medicine.

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17 years 5 months ago #11901 by determined2bmommd
Hi Renee:
Go girl! I am now 38 and IF I get in to UW-Madison in 2003, I will be 39.5 when I begin med school. I have 5 kids -- 4 of them at home aged 10, 6, 4, 3. It is tough trying to study but I am like you and find myself coming back to what I really want to do.

The advisor at UW-Madison Med School has been wonderful. I had considered PA school as an option but the prospects for getting into that vs MD school were overwhelming. Madison told me not to even apply to PA school until I had at least 2 yrs of direct patient care experience under my belt. When I told them there was no way I could get that without going back to school for nursing or something else they told me that was my problem. So I figured I might as well bite the bullet and try the MD route. The advisor has been very helpful and has explained that my life experiences and the route I have taken will carry more weight than direct patient experience.

If you have the passion and the desire, then go for it. If you took the pre-med courses, then don't go back to school. Take an MCAT review course and get the MCAT over with. I'm retaking the MCAT in August.

If you would like to talk sometime we could get together. I'm in Monroe. Hang in there and stay positive.

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17 years 5 months ago #11902 by **DONOTDELETE**
You are never to old! I will borrow a saying I have seen alot lately. You can be forty and be a physician or be forty and not be a physician. One place I have found alot of support is oldpremed.com. It is very nice to know there are more of us than you can ever imagine. I, too, am a 32 year old mother. I just started my application process for med school. You will be astonished at just how quickly the years go by while trying to attain "your dream". Remember, age is just a number. Good luck with your journey and may God Bless!

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17 years 5 months ago #11903 by DO2B
Hi Renee and other "nontraditional" students,

I'm 43 now (44 in Nov), and starting med school this August at MSUCOM, after being indecisive and putting this long-held dream of becoming a physician on hold for many years. Now after marriage, children (3 boys), a BS in physiology, divorce, single parenting, an MSW (masters in clinical social work), a WIDE variety of jobs, raising/surviving teenaged sons, and the loss of my sons' father to cancer, I am "finally" ready to move forward into this next leg of the journey and couldn't be happier! :D Yes, I wish I were a bit younger, but I do not have any regrets. We (you, I and the other older students) will have a deeper pool of resources and life experience from which to draw when meeting the challenges of becoming a physician and in seeking to counsel, help, heal patients. Your age and maturity are strengths. You should see them that way, and so should the medical schools. If the schools or advisors with whom you talk, tell you or imply otherwise,I would recommend finding others to talk with. Regarding the option of a PA program....I also considered that route (a couple of times)and found most recently that it would have taken almost as long to complete all the prereqs and the program as it would to complete medical school, which is really what I wanted to be doing anyway! But, as Pam said, it might be a good idea to shadow a PA to see if you would find it as fulfilling as bieng a physician. By the way, are you looking at both MD and DO options for med school? If not, I would recommend it (my dad's an MD and my brother is a DO, so "I come from" both perspectives). I'd be happy to help out in any way.

Good luck in your search and decision-making process!

(across the lake in MI)

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