“old” students/docs out there?

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    I didn’t think I was old, but am 31 and starting pre-reqs this year. Guess it’s old in the college world. Any “old” student out there? Any advice? What was your biggest struggle? what should “old” student do differently than traditional students?

    Also, any “old” docs out there that started late like me? what was that like? Any advice?

    I’m so freaked out…how the :censored: am I going to pay for it all, get all A’s and not lose my house and my sanity? :confused: :yikes:


    I will be 33 in July and was just accepted to MSU CHM. Non-traditional students really stick out during the application process and this can be a good thing! Where are you in your education? I have three kids that were all in diapers during my undergrad years :tired: , but managed to make it through. I became the queen of multi-tasking (flashcards in my purse to whip out while in line at the grocery store). I moved in with my parents (husband left) so that I didn’t have to worry about house payments, etc. I told myself, “you can have a house now, with a job you hate, or you can bite the bullet, move in with Mom and Dad, and have a house with your dream career, later”. Don’t give up!


    Any “old” student out there?
    Try 38 yrs old, finishing up my sophomore year. Will start at the university this summer taking prereqs & finishing Bachelors. I’m still a young ‘un!
    Any advice?
    Quit considering yourself old! You’re a young ‘un! I know quite a few folks applying to med school that are in their 40’s.
    What was your biggest struggle?
    Haven’t found it… yet. I love going back to school at this age!!!
    what should “old” student do differently than traditional students?
    You’ll find that you’re already doing it… taking your classes more serious than your younger classmates, have more ‘life experience’ under your belt to impress the med schools and more.
    I’m so freaked out…how am I going to pay for it all, get all A’s and not lose my house and my sanity?
    Become good buddies with your school’s financial aid office. They can help!

    I love to give advice but ultimately you have to determine if you’re up for the challenge. Some folks may find the challenge stimulating and others may find it too overwhelming.
    Guess the question is: How bad do you want it?


    Lillian, I just sent you a private message. I also agree with what the other women responded to you. Here’s just a few more thoughts. I too was freaked out. But now that I’m in BIO 2 I’m totally siked, and somewhat regretting that I didn’t get into Chem (class was closed.) My advice is to get your feet wet, take a class or two, take a deep breath and see how it goes. When I started planning and thinking about “will I get the grades for Med School”, and “how will I get married and have babies” and “is this the right or wrong decision” and “am I too old” and all these negative reponses, etc., etc., I realized I was putting the cart before the horse. Now I am taking baby steps by taking a class or two, and if this is my calling than with the blink of an eye I’ll be in MedSchool. If after taking some classes and volunteering/shadowing, I love it, then I’m on the right track. Otherwise, I have some contingency plans, which I sent in the private msg to you. Just a little food for thought. Take care, Jeanine

    Irene AdlerIrene Adler


    My mother entered medical school at the age of 42. You are still just a spring chicken. 😀

    I’m 30, and finishing up my prerequisites now. Most days I wake up thinking I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting in–my ‘competition’ has degrees in biochemistry, or hospital jobs, or research experience.

    Who am I? with a humble theatre degree, a masters in teaching, 3 years teaching science to 13 year olds, a couple of years of community college prerequisites and no hospital experience except working in my mom’s office from time to time? My gpa is 3.5, and my science gpa is 3.3. What chance do I have?

    The competition is scary–but we older folk tend to stick out. We don’t fit the mold. We are more mature, more sure of what we want in life, and more able to deal with stress and adversity due to our ‘life experience’. We have a better idea of what we are getting into.

    And no one can tell me to stop applying to medical school. It would just be nice to get in on the first try.

    I guess the bottom line is three things I believe: 1. how old would you be if you didn’t try? 2: People go to medical school because they need to be a doctor so badly the alternative is too horrible to contemplate 3: Hang in there–you are not alone.

    there is an “older premeds” website around somewhere that also has a forum you might like. and a guy named mike grasso has a website for older premeds–google them and have a look


    Jeanine, I loved your reply. Once I stopped trying to plan for every possibility and took slightly smaller steps (with the overreaching goal of med school), I found I was experiencing less furstration and anxiety about the outcomes.

    That site Irene referred to is http://www.oldpremeds.com



    “People go to medical school because they need to be a doctor so badly the alternative is too horrible to contemplate 3: Hang in there–you are not alone.”

    Well, I am 42 now and about to apply in June. I started my pre-reqs at 38+ and have been working in various research/healthcare jobs full and part-time since then. I left a job in Banking 2 years ago to go full steam ahead on this doctor thing because I just couldn’t take it any longer. I guess I figured I was so unhappy in the job/life I had that it couldn’t get any worse spiritually
    and tho the money and job thing has been fearsome and dicey sometimes, I just gritted my teeth and held on tight. Eventually something came through.

    In retrospect, it’s like Irene’s quote: I just couldn’t even contemplate a life doing something else. I might not get in but at least I will try.

    Also, I remember a time when women were actively discouraged from pursuing medicine (20 years ago is not that long ago) and it’s incredible to me to see how far we have all come. Hooray for us!!

    Go for it sister! (Oh, and did I mention I am trying to get pregnant? So, how’s that for a late bloomer – Medical school and first child at 42!)

    Life is like silly putty, if we’re willing to push and fight and also be flexible. :goodvibes:


    Thanks everyone for replying to my boohoo’s. Dana, I’m sorry abouy your husband leaving and CONGRATS on getting into MSU. I live in Farmingto Hills, and idealy, I’d like to get into WSU or U of M, but heard that they are non-trad unfriendly. So, I’ll see what happens in 4-5 yrs. Good luck everyone!


    No worries ’bout the husband leaving. Turns out it was a good thing, even though it didn’t seem so at the time. I too have heard about the attitude at Wayne State and U of M. MSU is very interested in non-traditionals and I highly recommend you check ’em out.

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