Is 40 Too Old?

So…when can we register?? Any info re hotel, etc yet?

I attended the LV conference but a family emergency while I was there prevented me from being involved in the majority of the presentations and was a major bummer. This year am coming solo (brought family with me, thinking they could have fun while I was in conference - instead they managed to end up in the hospital after getting involved in a major auto event ): total bummer but all healed well and three weeks after the conference finally made my way home from Vegas lol)

SO…REALLY looking forward to take 2 of the Oldpremeds Annual Conference and if you need any help please let me know!!! It was great to be able to network and meet the representatives from the different schools, esp. the osteopathic schools as they seem to be more open (maybe just my perception??) to older pre-medical students.

Thank you for all of your hard work and time put in to offer such a valuable service to all of us. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate the pick up when I am feeling stuck and in doubt that I can really make this happen.

On another side note: I turned 40 this year. I was told by a family member that 40 is definitely too old to try to start the process of getting in to medical school. Even for oldpremeds. True or False?

<3 Cheers!

Dr Pipedream

I’d say not. Started at 51, got in at 53. However it’s true that my year include a lot of experience that worked in my favor.

  1. I was a nurse.

  2. Not just any nurse, but an ICU/cardiac surgery nurse for 13 years - and a cardiac surgery preceptor.

  3. Then became a nurse-midwife - with a pretty stellar master’s degree GPA.

  4. Lots of public health experience - National Health Service Corps site, started outreach prenatal in a county health department, worked 5 years in a free health clinic providing prenatal care to uninsured women not eligible for Medicaid, and started my own 501-C-3 to provide education and care to families to improve health outcomes.

  5. Did a post-bacc- did very well in that

  6. Back when I did my bachelor’s degree originally (when dinosaur’s ruled the earth My GPA wasn’t bad…

    My age and my experiences gave me a fairly compelling narrative. A 50 year old stockbroker might have a bit more of a reach. However, there was a 46 year old banker in my post-bacc class who went with his church on a mission trip and decided he wanted to do something with his life that he felt was more worthwhile, and he made a successful application to med school. He could demonstrate leadership experience and skill (from his past employment), and passion, and did well academically in his prereqs and on the MCAT.

    The question is, what experiences have those 40 years brought you that have motivated you to be a doctor or have developed qualities desirable in a physician? Being older can mean having a richer story to tell.


I agree with Kate. I just finished my first semester of med school at KCUMB and I am 45. I started thinking and planning when I was 41 and started my DIY post-bacc when I was 42. While I had an undergrad in Pharmacology and Physiology, it was from 20+ years previous and truthfully I did horribly in my first 2.5 years of undergrad so my overall GPA was in the toilet. After that, I went off on a tangent and got my MBA and worked in Marketing at a telecommunications company for 15 years.

So, I do NOT agree that 40 is too old at all.

Good luck and feel free to share any anxieties, doubts and questions. The folks on this forum are great at helping you figure out a plan.


Lynda - by the way, congrats on getting thru the first semester of medical school! I know what a huge adjustment it is and what a great accomplishment it is! To be encouraging, I think one’s skills AT succeeding increase to match the challenges.


Dear Dr.Pipedream:

I started med school at age 47! I finished med school at age 51! Your relatives are REALLY talking about your med school LOANS–they will be truly a fair amount of $$. And, while med school can be managed with young, pre-adolescent, or adolescent children, residency really takes you away from them. So if you have such (children, that is), and they would still be young WHEN you start residency, 'twould be good to have a very strong, supportive wife!

Go for it! If the dream won’t die, there’s a reason! Your future patients are calling you, in this quantum universe.

  • drmaerdepip Said:
I was told by a family member that 40 is definitely too old to try to start the process of getting in to medical school. Even for oldpremeds. True or False?


have to move this thread into proper forum but for the moment i just wanted to note that between aamc & aacom it there averages between 12 & 20 first year medical students 50 years and older each cohort. additionally i did some brief data analysis of aamc 2008 or 2009 matriculations which showed approximately 185 articulated first year students over 38 and older (oldest 5% of applicants ) lastly i believe the oldest accepted DO student in 2011 was 60 .

ps im editing this on a smartphone without my reading while waiting in dentist for wisdom teeth. Excuse typos

Good luck with the wisdom teeth extractions…my husband has some funny photos of me post wisdom tooth removal with chipmunk cheeks. Bags of frozen peas are effective, conformable icebags…