Being 50+ and applying to Med.School


I am 50 plus years old and I have a deep desire to apply to medical school. Although I majored in Biology and acquired a Masters in Biology over 20 years ago, I have done so to pursue clinical research and biotechnology. However, I recently completed a Masters in Health technology and the new medical initiatives and reform of medical care through the ACA has really sparked my interest to serve as a physician , making Health care accessible to all. Is it practical for one over 50 to apply to medical school? How favorable does the admission committees look at older medical applicants?

You’ll need to prepare a solid app (GPA, LORS, MCATS, ect) to med school just like the younger students, age has nothing to do with that. However, your job experiences, graduate degree won’t necessary give you an advantage or make up for weaknesses in your application, so be sure to present the best application you can. One common mistake many older applicants seem to make is neglecting to get the clinical shadowing/volunteering in medical fields, experiences many med schools seem to indirectly require.

That said, I’m preparing for the need to apply to one of the big 4 Caribbean schools if I can’t get past the age discrimination in the US medical admissions process after 2 cycles. Sure, there have been some folks who were admitted to US schools over age 50 both MD and DO. But I’m not depending on that working out for me because there are NO guarantees in this process. And I’m ok with that, I’ve had a circuitous path to success my entire life! BTW, I’m also a PhD student in Health Informatics, earning a certification in HIT.

So to answer the question, is it practical? I guess it depends on what your definition of practical is. Over 99.99999% of the people you’ll ask this question knowing your age will tell you it’s not without knowing a d@mn thing about you. So you have to make the conscious decision to do extremely well academically and surround yourself with people who want to see you achieve your goals. That will NOT be easy, but these people ARE out there.

Good luck!

I answered this on Session 61 on the OldPreMeds Podcast! It will come out 2/15/2017! Subscribe so you don’t miss it.