Feeling a little shaky

A little about myself: 36 years old, graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in 2004 - 3.27 GPA. I work at the school I graduated from and spoke with the head of our health professions advisory committee today. I told him I’m interested in going back to school for the pre-med, post-bacc route. He told me several times that I am not at all the normal med school applicant(he used to be the dean of a med school adcom). He made it clear that although legally it can’t exist, there is definitely an age bias. He also told me that even if I get all A’s in the pre-med classes and a good MCAT score, I might not get into any med school. This has really made me reconsider taking pre-med classes. I thought that if I got mostly A’s in pre-med classes and a great MCAT along with a plentiful amount of medical volunteer experience that some school in Texas would take me. Any thoughts?

Probably a reason he is a “former” adcom member…

If I believed that age is a “no go”, I would not be here and now.

Ask others


Well its a load of BS, I’m currently 43 MSIII

I have to tell you I hate these ADCOM’s know it all’s, how in the heck can 1 former ADCOM memember know what all of schools will do? I have to admit there are some schools that are more oriented to older students.

Dont give in to this kinda crap!


Well, I have to agree with the sentiments of Richard and Bill. On this forum alone you will find many who are either in medical school, have just been accepted to medical school or have finished medical school (residency, etc.).

It is true that there are many more traditional aged students in medical school…but their success is no more guaranteed than anyone else. Maybe this advisor was just seeing if you had the commitment to go through this process because it will not be easy nor quick. There are people that despite their goals of wanting to become physicians will let the smallest doubt get in the way and then there are people that will push on no matter how hard it is.

While a competitive GPA and MCAT are high on the requirement list…tenacity and willing to work hard could also work in your favor. Of course, there are no guarantees that you or anyone at any age will get into medical school…but I can guarantee that if you let others sway and influence you that you can’t do it, you won’t get in.

Check out the Reapplicant forum on the Student Doctor Network…there are a number of people who may not have got in during their first or even second cycle, but have succeeded in getting into medical school this recent cycle.

If you want this, go for it!


The mean traditional age is around 24 to 25 now from what I have seen. so 36 is not old! Its older then the average sure but its not too old for sure, one person in my class is now over 60.

Maybe at HIS school there was an age bias… You can do this, but it certainly will take a lot of determination and hard work. I do think that in some ways the bar is set higher for older students because there is an expectation that we are mature and clear about our intended path. For example, if I learn that someone has left a good-paying job in one field in order to pursue their prerequisites, I assume that they are extremely motivated and I expect to see nothing but top-notch grades. I mean, that makes sense, right? And in interviewing candidates (which I did as a student at GWU), I wanted to hear maturity and “the voice of experience” in a non-trad that was different from what I expected to hear from a traditional student.

NOTE: I’m not implying that age = maturity. Far from it. I met plenty of traditional-aged candidates who had tremendous depth and wisdom.

I will also say this: in the ten years that I’ve been communicating with people about this topic, I’ve come across a few non-trad students who felt that their age alone somehow made them more qualified… that their Life Experience should be a plus that would allow an AdCom to overlook a minus such as grades or MCAT scores, that there was something desirable about one’s age, in and of itself. Well, there isn’t. Any person’s “case” for getting into a med school has to be individualized for his or her own situation. The GPA and MCAT are the “bar” you must achieve to be considered, but after that it’s much more personal. Age isn’t a detractor but it ain’t a plus, either.

So, to the OP: yes, you can do this. No, it won’t be easy. Yes, there should be schools in Texas that will consider you (although you’ll need to think about whether you’ll want to cast your net wider when the time comes). If you decide to take a class, it’s OK to think “I’m just going to give it a try,” but you also have to be thinking, “I am going to get an A in this class.” Kind of like Yoda says: “There is no try. Only do.”

Good luck! and welcome to OPM!


ten years ago at this time, a few weeks before my 42nd birthday, I was celebrating an “A” in Chem 201, 24 years after a “C” in that class led me to conclude that I wasn’t smart enough for pre-med after all

Guess what - I am 48 and just starting with my first pre-req class in 3 weeks. I am leaving at the top of my game in my field, making a very comfortable living. But I know in my heart that I am not doing my ultimate best work here on earth. I am capable of much more. If you have passion, then the rest will fall into place - grades, mcat score and most importantly sincerity about the reasons you are on this incredibly wonderful, courageous and nutty journey.

Where there is a passion, there is a way…

Good luck, and don’t listen to the nay-sayers - there will be more.

3rdtimer…We’re crazy right? LOL…NAW!!!

Thanks guys. I wish the pre-health folks at my school were as positive and supportive as you guys are. I guess I might have to kick a couple of doors down(metaphorically speaking of course).


One thing about this field–it’s kind of strange how people will try to discourage you every step of the way. Some premed advisors feel they shouldn’t pull any punches so that you won’t be set up for a nasty fall later on. If you speak to physicians, half of them will probably tell you you’re crazy. I would take their outlook as not invalid but not necessarily a reason to give up either. You just need to go into this with your eyes open.

If you really want this thing, you can get it, but it’s not a cake walk. After you get into medical school, a tremendous feat in itself, you have an even more challenging task, that of passing all your courses and graduating. Then there’s internship and residency… But one step at a time. Best of luck,