Greetings all,
I was turned on to this web site from a Usenet recommendation. Very nice implementation. Especially the privacy guards.
I am almost 45 years old and thinking very seriously about chucking it all and going back to school to become a physician, maybe with a PhD in biosciences.
I have been a software engineer for the last 23 years.
My pre-requisites are VERY stale so I would have to take all the biology, chemistry, physics and calculus all over again, hopefully with a 4.0/4.0 this time. Does anybody have any other suggestions as to what I need to take? Do medical schools also look at previous ancient grades? In other words, if I showed a 3.8-4.0 GPA this time through, does my 22 year old “D” in Chemistry 101 have any bearing?
I am just in the beginning stages of exploring this insane idea and do not have any of the books or any of the reference materials yet.
I tell myself that I must be crazy to try this, but it would be something that I would be doing not only because I have always wanted to be a physician but to also prove to myself that I can do it. Heh.
On the one hand, I figure that I am very much older than the large majority of the other people I would be interacting with in these programs and I might have problems keeping up, but on the other hand, I have had over 20 years of an engineering career to discipline my mind and that would be my advantage. I am also unencumbered by any family obligations, so my time would be totally my own.
I also have a lot of money saved up so financially, this would not be a problem, at least for the first few years.
Any insights or advice would be welcomed.
Stephen Biggs

Hi Stephen this is Judy, and welcome to OPM! You will find yourself among other engineers on this board, and no you are not the oldest. Check out Dr. Belle she just graduated from med school at the young age of 50 and is now a first year resident in general surgery. It seems that you will be re-taking the pre-reqs and that will be a great way for you to review for the MCAT, with your engineering background some of the classes will be a breeze for you. Check out all the old threads lots of info but if you have any specific questions fire away…

Hey Stephen, all I can say is that I earned a C in gen-chem in 1973, and an A when I repeated it in 1998… and got in. I did exactly what you're considering - completed my prereqs with a 4.0 at age 43. I did have a reasonably good original college career but did not have a challenging major or a lot of science courses.

Hi Stephen, Welcome to OPM! I started down this road at the age of 44! Best decision I ever made (well it's one of the best). That was 2 yrs. ago. I'm plugging away at pre-calc and chem right now. I sure wish I had your engineering brain. I have a BSN, if it's always been a dream for you to be a doc, now's the time! Best Regards, Vita (in Milwaukee)

First of all, welcome to OPM!
Is 44, almost 45 too old? NO! I am now 51 (except that at 50 I started having unbirthdays, so I’m really ony 49. Thought I’d try that for about 10 years, and give the young’uns a chance to catch up!). And this is my second round at applying; last year I was waitlisted, but never accepted. The good news is that I just received a letter of acceptance, so I can say that I will proudly be a member of the Class of 2007!
As for your grades. Don’t worry too much about the old grades. Like others have said, what is important is the work you will do. And even that doesn’t have to be perfect. I had one really bad semester with 2 B-s and 1 C (after my husband’s stroke), came back the next year with all A’s (except for a B+ in a political science course), and here I am accepted! According to the people at WVSOM, one of the things that impressed them was how I stuck with my plan throughout my husband’s recovery period, and how much I seemed to have learned about time management, stress management, etc.
So, again, welcome to our club. You will find so much good advice, support, and friendship here that you will be amazed. Use it to the fullest. Networking is one of the best ways to help you accoomplish your goal. Now, go forward and follow your dreams. As one of my coworkers said yesterday, you are not too old to add the prefix “Dr.” to your name! Good luck!

Hey Stephen,
Welcome!!! I’m glad you found us now that you have figured out what you might want to be when you grow up. An MD/PhD in bioinformatics and bioengineering sounds like a good fit for you on the surface. These are up and coming areas. It’s also a good way to get a free albeit extended ride through school especially since you mentioned that you have $$$ in savings. Docs that really know how to do research are in demand.
Regarding your grades, it seems like a moot point on whether the admissions folks will consider your old GPA or not. It’s water long passed under the bridge now. The only thing that you can affect is what happens from this time forward. You sound mildly concerned about kepping up but based on your statements I can’t imagine this being a problem. You seem to have all of the responsibillities and commitments of an 18 year old freshman but you have some money and 27 years more experience and intelligence. That seems to be an outstanding position to be in. People (including myself), are always saying “if I only knew then what I know now”. Well, you do. I get the feeling that in a 2-3 years time we’ll be reading posts about your experiences as a first year med student.
I geuss I didn’t really have any insights or advice but I don’t think that you are really in need of much. Glad to have read your post. I lool forward to reading more.