If you were over 40 when you graduated from a US MD med school.....

Hello! How’s everyone doing?

If you graduated from a US MD school after reaching your 40’s, what specialty are you in?


I was 37 - so close, but not quite - and I am double-specialist: anesthesiology & critical care medicine.

Started med school at age 44

Graduated at age 48

Completed family medicine residency age 51

Not dead yet

  • Mary Renard Said:
Not dead yet

Monty Python FTW!!!

Started medical school at 38 and graduated at 42.

IM residency will be starting PGY2 in July.

Started med school at 42.

Earned MD at 47 and MPH at 48.

Combined internal medicine and psychiatry residency; will finish residency at 53, board eligible in both specialties.

Started med school at 52.

Graduating at 58 with residency in family practice to begin in June. Will complete residency at 61.

Greetings all, sorry I have been away… well not really; it is called the “KU MED I hospitalist service”. I would be remiss not to throw my two cents in… I dig this topic perhap the most of all… and could go on and on… sorry…

I recall a particular birthday of mine that stands above ALL others. As all of you know, I started over and “took it from the top” and by the numbers!

It just so happens, my first BREATHTAKING, thrilling and “chance of a lifetime” day JUST happened to fall on my 38th birthday, August 12, 2000! My first day as an undergraduate at the University of Kansas…

We were swept up… and never looked back! Finished with undergrad, and started medical school in 2004, at 42… and graduated medical school at the tender age of 46.



Thank you all, I find this post to be so inspiring because after all these years, at the age of 35, I’ve decided that I want to be a doctor. I’ve never wanted anything as bad as this. You all have assure me that I am making the right choice.

Before I found this site, I was beginning to think it might’ve been too late for me. Now I know, anything is possible. Once again, thanks.

Linda, where did you go to school?


Linda Wilson graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM), http://www.wvsom.edu .

Yep! WVSOM! And it was a long, hard road for me. But, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. I have always felt that if you want something badly enough to work hard for it, you can achieve your goal.

Good luck!

Thank you Linda,

Could you be more precise when you say it was a long hard road?


Read my diary. Consider my husband’s cva, multiple sclerosis and the death of my brother, wheelchair time, neck surgery, cancer surgery, step 1 issues.

Here’s the link:


I’m a first year med student at a top 20 US institution. Turned 36 last week, will be 39 when I finish the MD if all goes per plan. With most of the road still ahead of me before I’m practicing, I know it’s presumptuous of me to write so much in response to this, since there are actual practicing physicians here who’ve been kind enough to respond. But I’ve read lots of these discussions online prior to starting school and found them very helpful, and it’s only fair if I contribute now that I’m here.

Literally every day for 10 years I thought about med school. So far (not even 1/8th of the way to the degree) I’m really enjoying it. And you know what my only negative feeling about the whole deal is? That I waited so damn long. IF YOU’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT IT FOR A WHILE, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO CHANGE YOUR MIND. STOP READING FORUMS AND APPLY. NOW.

Main take-home: there’s something about becoming a doctor that gets under your skin. If you’re thinking about it enough to post (or search on Google and read this forum), chances are your itch isn’t going away anytime soon. If we’re honest with ourselves, the psychology of it goes something like this: once you’ve put medicine on a pedestal, it’s scary, because many of us regard the school we get into as the ultimate measure of our worth as a person. What if you don’t get in!?!? So in an odd way, it’s more comfortable not to apply, because then you never get the verification that you’re not smart enough to get into (fill in blank) School of Medicine. You know what another way not to get into (fill in blank) School of Medicine is? Not applying! The only difference is you spare yourself the discomfort of getting the rejection letter (it’s really not so bad; you’re a grown-up, have a beer and get over it). I bet it’s a much worse feeling to be ten years older and not know whether you could’ve been a doctor than to be ten years older and know you tried your damnedest but it wasn’t in the cards. And as a nontraditional applicant you’re much better equipped to deal with that possibility than the kiddies you’ll be competing with. I feel much worse for the 22 year old straight-from-undergrad I beat out who couldn’t

imagine any career besides medicine and who didn’t get in anywhere. You and I already have a life outside of med school, which also makes med school much less stressful IMHO. Yes, I’m a first year and far from practicing and it’s still possible I’ll fail out. So what? I was successful before med school and life wasn’t so bad then either.

Last bits of advice:

  • DO work out the timing of family events, and your financial plan, in advance. Don’t get caught up in the romance of “if you just try hard, ANYTHING is possible.” Med school is time-consuming and costs money. It WILL affect your relationships. And it’s damn annoying when yuppie friends still on the ascending limb of their earnings curve keep calling asking if you want to go on that diving trip to Belize or will you go in with them on a condo in Singapore, when that day you went back to the grocery store to correct what they charged you by $3; it’s do-able, but prepare to be completely out of sync financially and socially with both age-peers and class-mates and for them not to “get it” at all. Weigh that realistically and see if med school still comes out ahead.

  • DON’T believe in all the med school myths you hear from admissions counselors and other people who aren’t yet in med school and don’t know any more than you do. Look for real-life cases and statistics wherever you can find them. In particular, there’s a bit of mythology around taking the MCAT and not applying; or applying late, and not completing secondaries; or worst of all, getting accepted somewhere, and then not going. The mythology is that if you do this you’ve destroyed any chance of getting into med school because you don’t look serious as an applicant. I can’t imagine that it helps things, and if you’re serious about your application the first time around, there’s no reason to let this happen. But the reason I know it’s mythology is that I’ve done this, and here I still am in med school. I repeatedly applied abortively and received secondaries back from multiple schools that I never returned (over a space of probably 4 years), and in one case I actually was accepted somewhere and never responded. That said, it’s really flaky and unprofessional, and there’s no reason to let it happen. I also took the MCAT three times (2000, 2003, 2008), getting a 35, 36, and 37 respectively. What’s the only thing dumber than taking the MCAT and not doing well? Taking it and doing well and sitting on your scores so long they’re no longer good.

    Now stop surfing discussion groups like I was doing until last year and apply dammit. Don’t make my same mistake and waste another day! Apply now! (Imagine me rattling chains a la Scrooge’s deceased partner.) You’ll wonder why you took so long to decide.
  • xagaros Said:
And it's damn annoying when yuppie friends still on the ascending limb of their earnings curve keep calling asking if you want to go on that diving trip to Belize or will you go in with them on a condo in Singapore, when that day you went back to the grocery store to correct what they charged you by $3; it's do-able, but prepare to be completely out of sync financially and socially with both age-peers and class-mates and for them not to "get it" at all. Weigh that realistically and see if med school still comes out ahead.

Seriously this is starting to bite already, and I have not yet applied. But school is still expensive and there are other important expenses R/T children. If it weren't for pre-med costs and the whole med school deal, I'd be going on all those vacations that many of our friends and peers invite us to go on. I've actually had some friends get miffed at us, b/c we decided in light of school costs and the costs coming up, it wasn't a wise decision to go with them on certain trips.

So I hear ya. It does suck. With some hard work and prayers I might be able to make another upcoming trip work. But with school and other demands, I just can't do what they can do. Plus they still don't have kids at home that need them.

And by God, I haven’t read or heard of a lot of long, hard roads that were as challenging as Linda’s. Her story is so inspiring.

Out of curiosity, I wonder if Linda applied to allopathic programs or did she feel the need to bypass them d/t age–that is, did she find DO programs less age discriminatory (of course not overly, that would be illegal.:wink: ).

If you read this Linda, I didn’t mean not to ask your directly. I just see that you are very busy in your residency and such, so I thought you might not get back here to respond. OTOH, I figured those that have been here for a while that read this may know.

OK, so maybe I should post this as a separate thread.

Ji Lin,

  1. I agree totally. I certainly don’t feel that in comparison to Linda’s road that mine has been that challenging. I’m doing what I want to do and didn’t have to sacrifice much. Worst thing is that I had to leave a city I love. Which I will be back to in a few years; big deal.

  2. More importantly - friends are getting miffed that you aren’t going with them on vacations? Really? Not to be judgmental of those folks - fine, to be judgmental - you need a new definition of “friend”. Too bad for them. They’ll get over it, or not, and your life will be fine either way. The worst thing that happened to me was a “friend” told me that I shouldn’t go to med school now that I was married. False dichotomy: having a successful marriage vs. going to medical school. True dichotomy: being friends with someone, vs. insisting on false dichotomies that prevent that someone pursuing their goals. I don’t hear from that person any more, and my life is just fine.

    Only you know what’s important to you!

Just had my 40th birthday last week. I will finish residency in 16 months. At 29 decided to start post bac premed. I can’t believe it has been a couple of months past 10 years since I started this journey. Ten years of compromising my life and yet there are moments when I change someone’s life by really being me that I realize this was the right journey for me.

Ji Lin and all. Sorry it took so long to respond, but my last couple of rotations, combined with hospital call and study for COMLEX 3, has really kept me busy!

Yes I applied to a few allopathic programs. It was not a question of age and allopathic vs osteopathic that influenced me. I have known many nontraditional folks who have chosen allopathic. However, I had already decided I would love to learn and practice osteopathic medicine, including osteopathic manipulation, so those schools were my first choice. I actually withdrew several allopathic school applications when I was accepted at WVSOM. Their program fit me so well I can’t imagine making another choice!