I'm about as non-trad as they come!

For starters I’m 40 and just finishing my sophomore year. I was a paramedic for years before I realized that I wanted more. I started working in an ER to see if I was heading in the right direction. I have a family who is completely behind me but I am scared to death! It is so bazaar being the old guy on campus. I am at Univ of Tenn at Chattanooga and hopefully will take my MCAT next year.

There is really nothing special about being non-traditional. We just happen to be typically older students with work and family obligations and life experiences that are pursuing an advanced (medical school) education that, for various reasons, has been stereotyped by the medical school industry, medical profession, and society in general as being for the “young.” We are older than most premedical and medical students, so we demographically and physically stand out. But really that’s it. Some premeds like to wear the label “non-trad” as if it confers some special status to their traditional peers or to admissions committees. It does not. The ranks of “non-trads” keeps growing: someday there may be enough of us that nobody will care and the spectrum of those applying to medical school and those in medical school will be more evenly distributed across the age and background spectrum.

BTW, I’m 45 but I don’t feel weird about being the oldest in most of my classes. I see myself as being as student, and my twentysomethng colleagues at school treat me like one of their peers instead of one of their parents.

  • ThePhoenix Said:
For starters I'm 40


hi, there! Welcome! When I first got to this website I felt as non-traditional as can be, as well. I am 35 yo and worked 14 years as an OT before wanting more. I am from Brazil, educated there. I am now pursuing the required credits as a post-baccalaureate. I am glad to hear you will be taking the MCATs next year.

No matter your background, you will find people here in a similar situation and that helps a lot. Keep on keeping on!