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Is 36 too old to start med school?

ForceVoidForceVoid Registered User regular
Basically the thread title, I've got a BS in a biological field and was thinking about Pathology positions the other day. I do have 10+ years in the Pharma space but I know that I would need that paper to explore those options.

Posts

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    absolutely not, people start med school well into their 50s

    even a 10 year earning potential as an MD will make up for the late start for most people

    36 is quite normal

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  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    My wife got into med school in her 30s, she is on her 5th year residency as a Psychiatrist with one more year left for a youth and adolescent fellowship she is 41 now. Go for it!

    bowenFeralKetarCauldCambiataceresGnizmoAngelinaphysi_marc
  • KetarKetar My autocomplete is a tad agressive today.Registered User regular
    One big thing you'll want to check on is that you probably need to re-take all of the required undergraduate science classes, as medical schools typically won't accept them if it's been more than 5 years since you took them. Some schools might have some exceptions if you've been working in a related field. If you do need to re-take them, you're usually looking at 1-2 years to do so since most schools will require you to complete a gen chem sequence before you can start organic chem and that usually means best case of finishing o-chem over the summer after packing everything else in to fall and spring.

    ForceVoidsafart
  • WindburnWindburn Registered User regular
    Not only is it possible, but most medical schools see it as an asset. Second career applicants bring maturity and experience that traditional applicants often lack.

    In addition to what Katar mentioned, you will also need to take (and do well on) the MCAT. This is the single most important part of your application, so put in the requisite time to do well. With this in mind, I highly recommend a review course.

    Consider if you are willing to move to another state for med school and/or if you are willing to pay private school tuition. This may limit your options.

    MD vs DO: both are fine. There is still a slight bias against DO's in some parts of the country, but not enough to make a huge difference.

    US/Canadian vs Caribbean/other: strongly advise against even considering a non-US or Canadian school (unless you live in another country and want to practice there) I can go into the specifics if you would like, but being an "FMG" in the US will be a 1ton weight you will be dragging around your entire career. Even if you are well trained and competent, which is questionable from unaccredited medical degree factories.

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  • WindburnWindburn Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Also, what kind of pathology are you interested in? If it's forensic pathology, it's possible to do this without a medical degree.

    Windburn on
  • ForceVoidForceVoid Registered User regular
    I was entertaining that idea, yes, although research is good as well.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    ForceVoid wrote: »
    Basically the thread title, I've got a BS in a biological field and was thinking about Pathology positions the other day. I do have 10+ years in the Pharma space but I know that I would need that paper to explore those options.

    My sister went to medical school in her 40s. I've heard of people who went to medical school even later in life. 36 is by no means too old.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    What worries you about going to medical school?

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • Kilgore TroutKilgore Trout Registered User regular
    I did my Masters at a public service management program where half the students had recently finished undergradute degrees and the other half were mid-career professionals ranging from their 30s to 50s. It was deliberately designed this way because in a professional program it's beneficial to have people with career experience who can share those experience with newer students.

    I say if you want to go to med school, then go for it!

    ceresCambiata
  • MorblitzMorblitz Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    I finished my masters in Clinical Psychology last year. I say this because, while it's not like Medical School, it does require you to go to school full time, and complete several internships in different placements, whilst also completing an advanced research project. It was such a time-demanding program that we were told that it would be immensely difficult to have a job during the program so were discouraged from doing so.

    It's the hardest thing I've ever done. My colleague, who finished the year before me, undertook it at 43 after switching careers and starting over.

    I don't see age as a barrier and echo what other people have already said. Your lived experience might also make you a better physician.

    Morblitz on
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  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    You are not too old at all. Your age and experience is an asset. I am 33 now and if I had the maturity of my current age when I did undergrad, I could've seriously become a rocket scientist.

    Go for it and good luck!

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

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  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    I went back to grad school at 32, and honestly it is amazing how well it has worked out. This is not medical school, but the maturity I have now vs when I did undergrad is astounding. The times I have to do a group project with children straight out of undergrad are rage inducing. I cannot understand how people lack the drive to get some of this shit done. I say go for it.

    CauldBasarSmrtnik
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Gnizmo wrote: »
    I went back to grad school at 32, and honestly it is amazing how well it has worked out. This is not medical school, but the maturity I have now vs when I did undergrad is astounding. The times I have to do a group project with children straight out of undergrad are rage inducing. I cannot understand how people lack the drive to get some of this shit done. I say go for it.

    I was about to write the exact same thing as Gnizmo. I couldn't agree more. 1 more thing to think about is that even at 35 you're expected to work for 30 more years of your life. So taking a few of those to go back to school is still a pretty short trade off.

    Cauld on
    Basar
  • ChasinTheTraneChasinTheTrane Registered User regular
    I believe that you are never too old for a career change, unless you're like 70, but that wouldn't apply for careers that don't need formal training. Go for it!

  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    I know someone who went back at (I think) 35. He's just about to do a final year specializing and has loved it. Like others above mentioned, there's a maturity he felt he didn't have a decade earlier that has really made the process wonderful (I mean, horribly time consuming, painful, expensive, and difficult, but then you don't go to doctor school for nuthin').

    He says the only time he's ever felt out of place is when he's woken up the next day after going out with a bunch of twentysomething residents with a Texa$-sized hangover.

    ForceVoid
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Going back? Probably fine. I know it makes me a pessimist but if you had no undergrad I'd say it's a much tougher call.

  • Natas_XnoybisNatas_Xnoybis Registered User regular
    as others said absolutely not, my brother started med school in his mid 30s and graduated with a guy in his 50s. You.Will.Be.A.Better.Doctor.For.It. you come in with a whole host of experiences the 20 something kids who go straight from undergrad to med lack.

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    ForceVoid
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