I am 56 old female. What is my chance to get into a medical school?

Finally, my 3rd child is leaving for a college. I want to go to medical school. I need to retake all of the basic science courses required since I took those courses 36 years ago.

Could you advise me how to start??

Do I have a chance to get in?

Do you think its helpful to get a Certificate of Nursing Assistant and volunteer at the hospital while I am retaking premed courses?

When you make it to interviews, you are definitely going to be asked the question, “By the time you graduate med school, you will be close to retirement age. Why should we invest in your education when we can invest in someone who will practice for 40-50 years?” I think you need to prepare a good answer for that question.

Being female won’t hurt you because the times have changed, females are accepted to med school at the same rate as males.

Volunteering as a CNA is a great idea.

Dear MyTurn,

Well, I think it is definitely doable. I’m 53, starting medical school in August. My 3rd child had graduated college just before I began my one year post-bacc premed program. For myself, doing the prerequisites in the quickest fashion was important as I was looking at being 60+ when out of residency. For that, a formal post-bacc program is good. Some are 1 year, some are 2. I picked a 1 year one (including the summer). Was valuable because of saving time and also for the excellent premed advising, shadowing opportunities, etc I got. Was expensive. Its a thought.

I actually was NOT asked the question regarding my age and why they should invest in me, although one of my interviews hinted around it and I basically answered it. I AM intending on working to my capacity, and I work with many doctors who continue to practice into their 80’s. For myself, I was already in health care and that experience will cause me to be more equipped for leadership in community health efforts as a primary care physician (at least, that’s how I hope they saw it!)

I also think the CNA route is a good idea. Paid work would be fine as well, although if you have an opportunity to do MORE as a volunteer because of being a CNA that would be very good.

It IS important to consider what impact your health might have on you in medical school/residency if that isn’t great already (mine wasn’t). I’m doing everything I can to maximize my health with diet and exercise and GEEZ the MAINTENANCE!! getting recommended yearly screenings, exams, etc Think that’s good to think on.

Doing the prereqs will be a good way to try out your current level of energy and ability to cope with very rigorous study schedule.

Best of luck. Someone on here started at 60, I can’t remember who (and got in, graduated, etc.)



Good for you Kate! Congratulations! You can do it. I’m not at your age; but I will be one day. I’m bored with the age questions–truly–regardl ess of where they come from. 40’s and 50’s are dangerously wild ages for women any more. Look at all the cougards out here.


Good for you, Kate. I like the answer to the “why now?” question. BTW, I know a surgeon who still performs procedures and he is going on 80. I call him “DAD”. I don’t think age is as much of a question as health.