How old is too old?

Greetings friends!

I have been in the medical field and nursing for over 20 years, was published in the late 70’s, kid’s off to college and now I feel I have to at least give this a shot! I know there is " no true age limit", but how old is too old and if I wanted to do family practice, how long is the residency?

Hello Colette56,

No such thing as too old! But, many people believe there is such a thing so if you truly want to be a doctor and gain acceptence into Med-Shool you will want to present yourself in such a manner that negates any belief that your age would be a factor. Perception is afterall, reality.

Hi Collette56 and welcome. If your pre-req grades and MCAT scores are competitive, most schools will give you consideration well into your 40s and even early 50s. Expressing an interest in primary care will give you and edge. Family medicine residency as it stands now is 3 years. Some programs offer a 4-yr track with concurrent MPH. There are also several 1-2 year fellowships after residency if you want to subspecialize. I went through med school and FM residency in my 40s – rigorous but not overwhelming.

your comments were encouraging. I find statistics,at least at the colleges I have been looking at, to limit acceptance to 30’s. Do you know of anyone in their late 40’s getting into medical school? Did they allow what their MCAT was? My score was dismal and I would be willing to retake if I thought it would make a difference. My GPA is 3.9. (all pre-reqs retaken within the last 2 years) thanks for information.

check out the diaries section, there are some diaries of people in their 40s that got into med school. good luck with everything!

I started at 45 - grades overall were only fair by med school standards - MCAT went well - 31 -

I think I got very lucky …

The oldest matriculated osteopathic student in 2009 was 56 years old. A longtime member of OPM, graduated medical school at approximately 55. approximately 6% of all medical school matriculants are over 30 and between 1% and 2% are over 40. While that sounds small for the over 20,000 MD and DO matriculants last year, that is roughly 300 people. Perhaps even more encouraging, the ratio of applicants to matriculants remains about constant across age groups, about 2.7 to 1. If I recall it was a tad worse for those over 30, but like 2.9 to 1 That to me is the strongest indicator that older students are considered on merits, and very little to do with age.

Right - what gonnif said! That person was my encouragement to go for it. At 53, I got accepted at 3 schools (D.O.) and wait-listed at an MD school and probably would have been accepted at one other but I withdrew my applications there because my first choice school was one of the three acceptances. That was with a 32 MCAT (I forget the letter but it was pretty far along in the alphabet :). I try not to focus on what my age will be when I finish family practice residency…my mom is in her late 70’s, walks 2 miles a day, and runs me into the ground (I’m working on the walking myself!). My grandmom lived to 99 and was active, living by herself, and mentally alert till 90…so I’m counting on genetics for longevity here!

I do think at my age it’s important to try to do this without incurring a 20-year debt. I’m too old for the military, but trying other options.