I just joked with my husband that perhaps CNN is listening to our conversations these days. How exciting to have an article on non-traditional medical students appear now…
Good article, but the comments are priceless.
Who knew the general population of CNN readers were that ignorant or crazy? (I am sure fox and msnbc have their share too)
Yes, the comments are priceless, that is for sure. Actually, I use CNN comments as entertainment:-)
I don’t understand what is so bad with having 20 years or so after you finish med school for working…
Just haters I guess. Here’s the skinny if medicine didn’t need us non-trads or we brought nothing of value to the field, they wouldn’t take us.
Also what most of these people don’t see is that many traditional students are going into the more “lucarative” fields.
- skocica Said:
I don't understand what is so bad with having 20 years or so after you finish med school for working...
I just posted the following response on CNN
To the editors/Ms. Madison Park,
The National Society of Nontraditional Premedical and Medical Students has just completed its 11th Annual OldPreMeds and OldMeds National Conference in Las Vegas. This organization, founded as an email list of 6 people has now over 8,000 registered members and has over 20,000 unique visitors a month to its website, www.OldPreMeds.org. The keynote speaker at this year's conference was Dr. Rebecca Patchin, immediate past chair of the American Medical Association Board of Trustees, who did enter medical school until the age of 35. Last year our keynote was Dr. Karen J. Nichols, Dean of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and President of the American Osteopathic Association and who spent nearly a decade as a lab technician prior to attending medical school.
The depth, breadth, and numbers of nontraditional students who wish to become physicians seem sudden and surprising yet have been growing quietly over the past two decades. This can be shown by the tremendous expansion of post-baccalaureate premedical programs, now numbering over 130 programs. Our organization's analysis of data from both the AAMC (MD) and AACOM (DO) finds approximately 200 students a year who matriculate to medical school over age 35. Virtually every medical school in the country has 10% the their students over 30 years old. Some of our members who have taken the long journey of medical school and residency training include director of a medical ICU, chief of neurology at an air force base, and many in private practice.
Many medical schools are now actively recruiting nontraditional students not simply to create a diverse class composition but help alleviate the shrinking pool of applicants to allopathic programs. While the number of first-year seats for medical school has increased rapidly over the past five years with opening of several new programs and expansion in many others, the number applicants has not kept pace. For example, this year there were 2.2 applicants per seat for the MD schools. Historically, osteopathic schools have lagged behind allopathic schools, yet this year there were 2.74 applicants per seat in DO programs. This worrisome trend seems to indicate the good, qualified students are self-selecting away from the long training to become a medical doctor just as the shortage of physicians in primary care grows. Nontraditional students will be needed even more so as this trend continues
R. Solomon Levy, Executive Director
National Society of Nontraditional Premedical and Medical Students
Rich, I can’t find your response. Wanted to read the comments to it.
I just read the article. I find the immaturity of many of the commentators saddening; they misunderstand our motivations and desires. Too much talk about financing and how much money we will supposedly make. If I end up doing the sort of medicine that I want (international rural health), I probably won’t make any money at all.
@gonnif - That does seem to be quite a bit down from 5 ish years ago, when I first started applying.
Now I understand the one commenters post about how as the pool shrinks non-trads are the only ones left to take.
Blah, I try to love the haters, but sometimes they annoy me.
@gonnif, I don’t see your comment either. Perhaps they took it down?
Hehehe, comments on any online article always crack me up. They can be entertaining to read but they’re worse than reality TV shows.