I'm 35 and want to be a surgeon....

I’m a 35 year old Registered Respiratory Therapist. I have a BS degree. I didn’t do well in undergrad (chem, orgo, etc.) The courses on my transcript are approaching 10 years old. I’m older and more mature. I’m entering a state university or junior college (I’ve been accepted to both) later this year to retake ALL premed requirements. Is there any one out there in this position? Do you think I have a chance? I’m open to any advice.

This is a refreshing website. It motivates me to learn and do more. Thanks for all the posts and experiences.


I am 35 next week. I am not sure about the surgeon part though.

I have to take my pre-reqs as well (but already have a heavy science background). Many are older. So welcome and keep dreaming. It surely is possible.

Thank you so much. Good luck in the future. Keep up the good work.

I would think that if you are willing to prove yourself in the post bac classes and do really well on the MCAT, you have a good shot. The experience of respiratory therapy shows that you have first had experience in the realities of medicine good and bad. I am approaching 40 and work as a med tech in the lab. I am also considering the same path ( primary care - notsurgery), contemplating my chances for med school like you. I like to think my 8 years experience in the lab has taught me things I could have never experienced in the classroom alone.In the lab, I can sit comfortaably and look at all the patient’s data to come up with a dx. When I go up on the floors, different story. I have gone in rooms reeking of urine and have seen people in horrible situations. I would think that respiratory therapy would put you with some of the sickest inpatients. If you can experience this and not flinch, I think that says that you a serious about pursuing medicine. Not just fantasizing what medicine is. Combine this with top notch grades and I think you have a chance. Good luck.

Barberry, thanks so much for the input and encouragement. Good luck to you as well. Your medical experience will help you tremendously.

One of our early/founding members graduated med school at 50 (plus or minus year of two) and is a general surgeon. The only thing that limits your dream here is your own belief.

Check out my post Post#55914 . You will be happy to know that at 44 years old, I am now taking the plunge and starting Med School in July, 2010. No more thinking about it. . .I’m doing it! Best of luck to you as well on your journey!