How Old is to old?

I am 41 (reading some of the of the post I might be the oldest person on this board0 and looking at “entering” the medical field. I was part of a medical unit in the reserves and to be honest, was one of the best times of my life. If I had known then what I know now!

I have a technical degree in computer science but few of the required sciences. I plan on returning to school to fulfill those classes and even finishing a four year degree. I now have about 90 hours of real college credit. My technical degree was from a “business school”.
I am looking at being a PA or going to an “offshore” Medical school. I like the PA ideal but my medical experience is old (15+ years ago) and limited to weekend training and 2 weeks during the summer.
The PA is appealing but it appears that it is competitive and I doubt that I would quailify. Are there any PA on this board who start so late in life?
The other option looks to be a FMS. I am trying to research, but people seem to be way to emotional in either side to get an honest opinion.
Who is the oldest person that anyone knows who is currently
working towards the same goal as I.

I do not think that you are the oldest on this board, Dr. Belle just turned the young age of 50 and is a PGY1 in a general surgery residency. Mary Renard was 40 something when she was accepted to GWU and is now a MS3 so you are not the oldest…

why are you looking offshore ? there are no doors closed to you in the US and you'll have much better chances at good residencies if you go to school in the States.

1. You're not the oldest.
2. If what you want is to become a doctor, you're defeating yourself before you start. Being a PA or going to non-US medical schools are both noble things in themselves for people who really want to do them, but it sounds like they are compromises and half-measures for you. You're in a good position: you can go to a four-year college and end up with a BA or BS and a great GPA. (Why not?) After that there is no particular reason you shouldn't be a competitive applicant for US medical schools. That said, if, at that point, you decide that foreign medical schools or a PA program (or nursing, or nurse practitioner programs) are a better match for you, then that'll be great: you'll still be in a good position to do those things. But start out with trying to get what you actually want–who knows, you just might surprise yourself and get it.
It may be that the most important thing you can do, even more important than learning the second law of thermodynamics in physics class, is to figure out why you've sold yourself short, both now and in the past. And then figure out how to stop.
good luck!
sf/dc joe

Hi there Philip, I'm 46 and started at the age of 44 with adult hs classes in algebra and geometry. In approximarely 2 yrs. I'll be taking the MCAT. Dude, just go for it! I just watched 48 hrs. with Dan Rather and he interviewed Dr. Denton Cooley who is still practicing at the age of 81! I work with a surgeon who does gastric bypasses and he's in his 70's. Only you can decide what path you'll take but don't let age deter you from medical school if and only if that is truly what you want to do. Good Luck to you. P.S., go with U.S. medical schools. Best Regards, Vita

I'm 44 and starting pre-med classes next month. Go for it. Once you make the dicission don't let anything stop you. I often wish I had done all of this when I was younger, but I didn't, I was not ready. Sometimes in life you are prepared for things. Medicine is a calling. You can't be a good doctor if your doing it for the money, or because other people think you should. It comes from the heart, and if it's what your made to do in this life, you will.

i heard this from someone once and its really helped me a lot.
for ppl who tell you that you are too old regardless of what age you are add ten years to whatever age you are to the saying below.
"Someday i will be 40(replace with your age+10) regardless if I’m a doctor or not."
IMO you might as well be 40 and a doctor :wink:

Thank you everyone for the boost. I have been to other boards and was not encourged. Nice to know that I am not the only person attempting this career change. Ya’ll have become my role models :)

I’m 47 and plan/hope to take the MCAT in 2 weeks. :)

And for all those who wonder if they are too old, let me add this. I am currently 51, applied for this year, was waitlisted, but not chosen. So I have reapplied for next year. So far have 16 supplementals and have great hopes of attaining admission for next fall.
I guess what I am saying is. Don't give up! You are only too old if you allow yourself to think you are.
Good luck to all of the non-traditional students, regardless of whether that's 25 or much, much older!

Quote (Linda Wilson @ Aug. 02 2002 4:31 pm)
I guess what I am saying is. Don't give up! You are only too old if you allow yourself to think you are.
Good luck to all of the non-traditional students, regardless of whether that's 25 or much, much older!

Hi Folks,
Let me second what Linda said above. I graduated from medical school at age 49. I turned 50 three weeks later and I am now in a General Surgery residency. If I can do this, anyone who has the dedication can do this. I worked hard in medical school and I am working even harder in this residency. You can do anything that you set you mind to doing. I live everyday from the perspective of what adventures are to be enjoyed. Enjoy the process and never give up on your dreams. I am looking forward to welcoming Linda into the class of 2007! :D

I will refrain from admonishing you for defeating yourself before the starter pistol has even fired…unfortunately, it is all too common in the non-trad pre-med sect to have done so. It is very sad that you will potentially receive grief from not only a few of the traditionals around, but even more so from folks your own age. Personally, I chaulk it up to their having a hard time understanding conviction of the depth that promotes you to put it all on the line for a dream. Do not condemn them for not having the support or drive to do this; nor should you allow their disbelief or pessimism reduce your own fire.
Age? We all must age chronologically…or spend eternity pushing up daisies. Having just watched the Shawshank Redemption, one particular theme comes to mind: you can spend the rest of your time dying or you can spend it living…it's your choice. I think that attitude can be aptly applied here as well. If you are willing to commit to the work and sacrifices necessary, then you can become a physician as well.
Please take the time to peruse our many threads. You can read for yourself the many success stories ongoing & in the making here. This is a place of inspiration and sobering reality if you will allow it to be.
I wish you the best of luck & success!!

I’m so excited that I found this site!
I am 38, a wife & mom of 4 with an A.S. degree in Computer Programming.
While researching the medical school admission process for my daughter, I realized that it was also attainable for me.
Coming from a background where self-confidence was hard to find, I never considered that I could reach for such a destination. College was never discussed when I was a teen.
I could hear the skepticism in my mother’s voice when I broached the subject of my going back to school to become a doctor.
The mother ‘thing’ aside, I didn’t really jump out to tell everyone my decision for fear of being laughed at because of my age.
I’m enrolled in a private college working on an accelerated B.S. in Organizational Management (IT) and will take my sciences alongside my daughter at the community college level (by the way, she’s 15, a sophomore in high school and dual-enrolled in CC!). :D
I’m so excited that I’m able to make my dream come true. It’s been such an unthinkable dream before I really researched it. If all goes well, I’ll be enrolling in the UF or USF Med School in the year 2005 at the very latest!
Thanks for all the posts! You folks give me high hope!

Hello bzmom4, I saw your post and I thought ‘good for you’. I just thought I’d tell you that Indiana University (I live in the midwest) just accepted a mother and her daughter into medical school starting this year. Just go for it, and I’ve been laughed at too by some of my co-workers who have called me ‘ridiculous’. I started with adult hs classes in algebra and geometry at the age of 44. I’ll be taking college calculus in January as well as the other standard pre-med fare. They’re not laughing so much now. You and your daughter can also reach this goal! Best of Luck, Vita (in Milwaukee)

Funny that you mentioned that, if I am not mistaken, the Mom of the pair you are referring to has been a member of OPM for a year plus! Now, I have not seen her post in a good while…in fact, not since a couple of months before we went web-based exclusively. But, I just wanted to boldly point out that Mom was & is an OldPreMed!!

Mom & Daughter?! That’s too cool!
At first, I was hesitant, thinking my daughter would consider me a copycat. However, she thinks it’s great that she’ll have a lab partner that will actually do the classwork! :laugh:
In 2000, we were both inducted into our school’s honor societies - SAME DAY! Mine was for Community College, hers for Middle School! :laugh:
Maybe the novelty of the mother/daughter thing will help with school admission…?! Couldn’t hurt!
Thanks again, folks! I’m pumped even more now!

Hi Old Man Dave, How I found out about the mother/daughter pair is that an anesthesiologist I work with, who is an alumni of IU med school, told me about them. I guess they were mentioned in the IU med school newsletter. How cool is that?! Best Regards, Vita

Whenever we have any discussions about whether or not one is too old to pursue medical school, I have to keep involved. Since I just found this little poem/statement, I wanted to share it. The author is unknown, but it really says it all.

Youth is not a time of life - it is a state of mind, it is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over love of ease.
Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair - these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.
Whether they are sixteen or seventy, there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and starlike things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite for what is to come next, and the joy and the game of life.
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair. When the wires are all down and all the innermost core of your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then you are grown old indeed.
But so long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from man and from the Infinite, so long you are young.
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Dude, I’m 43 so you not the oldest. There are people on here that probably didnt start until they were 50. Keep your head up, concentrate and knock the grades out.

Old??? Who you calling old?? With an alignment of the planets, hard work, and a little fairy dust, I will be 60 by the time I attain my dream.

I call this article “Never too Old” - …

A green and growing human becoming!! That’s me!!!

For inspiration, read the diaries…