premed at 41??

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    Hi everyone! Great website! :wave:

    Anyone else beginning the “premed stage” at age 41? 😀

    I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Unfortunately, I lack the necessary science background in order to apply to med school at this time. So I’m starting from square one. I’m planning to take some courses via distance education, and then enroll in spring/summer session at the local university for the remainder of the science courses.

    I have a question…how many years of study + residency are required before one can begin private practice? From what I’ve read, it’s 4 years for the MD degree + 2 yrs for residency in family medicine before one can set up private practice. Is this info correct?

    I’d also like to know the experiences of other women who are either thinking about med school/or beginning premed at age 40+.

    Oh, by the way, I’m in Canada and will be applying to Canadian med schools. Does anyone know if there is a difference between med school/residency in USA/Canada? ie, is one more demanding than the other,etc?


    Hi bzy1 and welcome!

    You are not alone in beginning your journey a bit later than usual. 😉 I’m a nontraditional student myself, and there are many others on our forums.

    I believe there may be a Canadian thread on one of the forums as well, try the forum search button of you don’t see it.

    I can’t answer for the Canadian schools, but med school in the States is 4 years and family practice residency is about 3 years.

    Good Luck!

    PS- may be a great resource for you, as well.


    Hi Theresa 🙂 Thanks for the information. I finally had time to read more of the posts on this site. Now I don’t feel so alone in my choice to embark upon this “med journey” later in life 🙂

    Here is a website that features testimonials of “non-traditionals” either considering med school/or in med school.,%20it%20can%20be%20done

    One person on the site shares his experience of entering med school at age 49. Another person shares the challenges she faced (as a child) while her mother attended med school. This lady (the daughter) is now in her 30’s and considering the path her mother has taken…med school.

    I’ve found the postings on this site VERY helpful. Lots of information and resources here…thanks!


    Mary B-B ToBeDocMary B-B ToBeDoc

    Hi…yes, it’s possible!

    I started at square one in sciences, just like you are. (Previous background was in arts & humanites; publishing and teaching).

    At 43, I just got accepted to med school! My husband and I have two sons as well…

    I stretched out my premeds so my children would be a little older when med school starts…they are almost 13 and just turned 10 (and going into 7th and 5th grade, respectively).

    So…if I can do it, you can do it! The schools in Canada are excellent too…and the Canadian education, in general, is more demanding than ours in the U.S. so the med schools might be more demanding as well.

    Do you have a good premed advisor? Where can you take your premeds? Good luck! It’s an exciting process. 🙂



    Just wanted to post a hello to everybody from a new member.
    I’m a nurse practitioner (2y) and RN (10y) and am working on my premed coursework. I have been working in a high tech/specialty acute care area, and am still unsure about what area of medicine to choose. I’m currently leaning towards internal medicine vs family practice.
    (BTW, I too have a B.A. in Psychology)
    Having been in healthcare for 12 years I find it has been tough (very demanding of your time, demanding physically, socially etc.) but also incredibly rewarding. It also helps to have real clear boundaries and negotiating skills!
    Sooo, I am applying next year at the grand old age of 39
    Good luck to everybody in fulfilling their dreams!
    Please write, esp if interested in discussing career transitioning and women in medicine.

    Irene AdlerIrene Adler


    I am the lady who posted on Mike Grasso’s website about having a mother who entered medical school at the age of 42. I’m pleased to say that I am finishing my prerequisites for medical school this year, taking the MCAT in April, and applying in June (fingers crossed).

    It’s a pleasure to meet you. 🙂


    I must give you women credit for considering this path late in life. Having done things the ‘traditional’ way (although that is becoming less common as time goes on!), I am not sure I would have the energy to do it again at my age. (I’m 40). Some of that may come from the years in practice, and the precarious position of medicine these days, but some of it is just plain old age. I find myself more tired these days after a rough night on call, and all I have to do is answer phone calls! It is harder to get home at the end of the day and cater to the needs of my home and family. However, as I get older and more cynical, I also see many people in medicine who probably don’t belong there, so anyone whose heart is in it should be encouraged, no matter what their age!


    I’m new to this forum. I normally read “old pre med’s”. I’ve enjoyed the boards here also.
    I thought I would add my 2 cents worth. I’m 43 and started out pre Physician Assistant, but am seriously considering changing to pre med. I’d love to hear more input from others on this thread. I would have approximately 2 or 2.5 years left of pre med or if I decide to stick with PA only 3.5 more years of school and possibly a residency. My only concern–after deciding on a major, is do I put all my “eggs” in one basket and hope that I get into med school? What do you do if you just don’t make it. I’ll be 46 when I apply, and a resident at 50. That still gives me plenty of time to practice.


    Check out this inspirational article about a 57-year-old grandmother who went to med school in the Caribbean:
    Also, you might find this previous thread helpful:;f=12;t=000093


    I just turned 40 yesterday. Hopefully I will mail out my applications to post-bacc premed programs in NY & PA this Monday…. I was starting NP Immersion pre-reqs and decided that I am not too old to go for the “homerun”. I am loving the Microbiology class I took as an NP pre-req and it inspired me to go to med school instead. I have a 4 year old and am planning to move back to NY where most of my family and friends are… I figure we’ll need a little support. Anyway, you are all not alone.


    Hi bzy1:

    Just wanted to say welcome. I turned 41 January and am at the beginning stage of completing post-bac. requirements.

    It can be done if you want it badly enough. I know longer concentrate on my age…I concentrate on the steps along the journey. 🙂


    Hi everyone. Its so nice to meet other older students!

    I’m 35 and finishing up my requirements this year. If all goes as planned, I’ll be 37 when I start medical school.

    Its funny, of all the things I’m worried about, age is the least. In many ways I feel much younger now then I did in college. I’m just a healthier, more mature, more centered person. Although I sometimes wish I had started earlier, I know that I would not have been able to do it back then.

    My real concern is with my children. I have been home with them for the past five years and its been wonderful, a real priveledge. My youngest will be six when I start med school. I really feel that I have a “calling” do do this but what a hard hard decision!

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