My Story

Hello everyone,
I am 45 years old, and over this past summer I decided to pursue a career in medicine. Funny because for the past 20 years I have assumed I was too old, and too stupid to do it. For the past three years I have realized that there aren’t many people any less stupid than me, so now I am working on ridding myself with the being too old complex. However, I think maybe 45 is too old. Sure, older premeds are getting into med school, but 45 is ancient.
I began college back in 1976 at a place called Fairleigh Dickinson University at Teaneck, NJ, aka, Fairleigh Rediculous, and took first two year subjects such as gen physics, gen bio, psyc, ect… Never tried hard, no reason to, and ended with a 3.27 gpa. I transfered up to Union College in Schenectady, NY and recieved a BS Electrical Engineering with a 2.7 gpa ouch! Like I said never tried too hard, no reason to. Went to work for five years. It was my first experience with corp land. It was the most miserable years of my life. I rarely got along with bosses. They were all dumb drunks, and not worthy of being my boss. I never did anything that even resembled electrical engineering at any of my jobs, even though it was the title of the job. After being fired for the third time I decided I was going to go back to school for grad studies. I felt that due to my low gpa, going back to Union for grad studies in EE would be the best senario. I recieved an MS Electrical Engineering in 1990 with a 3.25 GPA, but I did not stop there. I had always been curious about math and so I then went to Virginia Tech and received an MS Mathematics in 1993 with a 3.35 GPA. To make the period from 1993-present into a short story let me say that I have found it very difficult to find employment. For a few years during the mid to end of the 90’s I worked as a programmer for several Dot Coms down here in Ft. Lauderdale. But with the bubble burst, these employment opportunities went away. For the past year I have been teaching math at a local CC as an adjunct. Very low money proposition, and they don’t seem to be extending full time employment to me. That brings me to last summer when I decided that what the heck, I can do it, I am going for a med doc.
I began a post-bacc at Florida Atlantic University this past fall term and got straight A’s. I took Gen Chem 1 and Gen Chem 1 Lab, and Physics for Engineers 1 and Gen Physics 1 Lab. I feel confident that I can do pretty well in this post bacc program.
So I guess I would like your opinions on how you think I am doing, and what my chances are of getting into med doc school. One aditional point I would like to make is that as of yesterday I think I have decided that I might wish to pursue a specialty in Radiology. I heard that field is really competative to get into. Is this the case? What is really funny is that back when I was 17 I recieved a glossy pamphlet from a local CC and was really attracted to the radiology tech program and seriously considered it, but it was not a four year degree, and I was supposed to go to a university, not a CC. Do you think that was premonition?

I hope it isn’t too old. I am 46 and starting my pre-req. in Summer 04. I will start applying at around 48 and start, hopefully, med school at 49. From what I read here, people do get in, even at 50.
Good luck. It is a long hard process. You will need to stay focused and hang in there.

Have any polls been taken here to find out how many get in, how many don’t get in, is it gender biased for older premeds, ect. ?

As a 52-year old (53 on Christmas) first year medical student, let me tell you, “Don’t give up!” If you truly want to become a physician, and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary, it can be accomplished.
I felt very fortunate to find a school like WVSOM that truly appreciates age and life experience. Our average age is 29. And there are a great number of students in their upper 30s, 40s, and, yes, even 50s!
So, make your plan, don’t let others deter you from it, and be persistent and determined! You can do it!

Of the older students at your school, can you say that there are equally as many men, as there are women?

Hi there,
I graduated from medical school at age 49 and turned 50 three weeks later. The oldest student in my class started medical school at age 50 and graduated at age 53. John is now a family practice resident in his second year. I am now a General Surgery resident in my second year with five more to go in this program. There were two students who were older than me when I started medical school who are both males. One did not finish and elected to attend graduate school. The other is John whom I describe above. Of the six students who were over 40, I was the only one to choose surgery and I was the only female of the group.


Whew ok, sounds good. The reason I am asking about this is because I am in a post-bacc program now, just completed my first semester, and both my chem prof., who is on the pre-professional committee, and some other big time advisor for pre-professional students, told me that what I was doing was a long shot. And they didn’t just say it, they were a bit sarcastic about it. For example when I mentioned it to them each was like, “Now there is a long shot.” Or like, “Ding Ding, we have a winner. The most unrealistic goal of the century”. And what is weird is at their website they claim to place more pre-meds in med school than any other school in Florida. Oh yeah, and website says that the oldest pre-med they ever placed was 43 yo. My chem prof. made it a point to tell me that as well. So my feeling was geez, it must be my age as to why they are acting like this. But then I see at this website, and the SDN site how possible it is for non-trads to get in. And finally I noticed that almost all of the active posters at this site seemed to be women. So I began putting it together and came up with the theory that maybe it is women who have been setting the stage for older non-trads. But I guess you have witnessed somehthing different. BTW where did you go to med school? Am I going to need those same people, who claimed it was a long shot for me, to get me into med school? Should I run from this place? Funny thing is that when they made those comments, they had no idea who I was, I don’t think. For all they knew I was a 4.0 from Harvard.
Usually Umemployed Master of Electrical Engineering and Mathematics(1982-present)Avg GPA 3.3’ish
Post-Bacc FAU(Fall '03-present)GPA 4.0 for now

What school is WVSOM and where is it?

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
google search key word “wvsom” and it was the first result entry.
google is our friend

Yes, there are just as many older men as women, maybe more. One classmate, a few months younger than I, has decided that we are Ma and Pa Kettle, and have to keep the young’uns in line.
It’s a great school. Small classes. Both SBL and PBL. And it truly feels like a big family.
Wonderful professors that really care and are willing to work hard to help you succeed.
Great clinicians that let us spend as much time as possible working in the clinics with them, getting wonderful hands-on experience.
I just finished my first semester, and am still having the time of my life, loving every minute of this wonderful learning experience!! Can’t wait for Jan. 5 to get here so we can get going again!

Alot of it depends on the school you go to. I just graduated from UT Dallas and the pre-med advisor told me first meeting that he recommended a great girl, age 35, with great grades and previous experience through the military to a Caribbean school! I have had all sorts of people say, “Why not just be an advanced practice nurse?” I am 41, and though it isn’t looking like my application will be successful this year, I am not giving up. I will say this, if you can, TRY to get along with your pre-med advisor, because they will sabotage you if you don’t.
Just my 2 cents.

Hello. Welcome to OPM! Regardless of your age, if you are motivated and determined, you can go to medical school. Several posters here have completed or are currently enrolled in medical school in their 30s/40s/50s. It may be harder at a later age b/c you may have additional responsiblities that younger applicants may not have (spouse/family/mortgage) but you can do it if you’re motivated and willing to make sacrifices. Good luck!


As a 52-year old (53 on Christmas) first year medical student, let me tell you, “Don’t give up!” If you truly want to become a physician, and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary, it can be accomplished.
I am 46 now and will be 49 when I will be ready to start Med School. It is a dream I have had for years. I let fear (of MCAT, being refused, etc) get me off track . I have tried everything to get Med School off my mind. I have a MSN in Nurse Midwifery and an MPH in Public Health. I love practing as a Nurse Midwife, but it is not enough. If I had gone on to Med School instead of Midwifery, I would be done now.
NOw that I am 46, I want to do it, but worry about spending a year and a half doing my scinece prereqs and then not getting in. I have the grades (undergrad. 3.8 and grad 3.7)
How did you overcome the obstacles at our age and go for it.
And congratulations.
I felt very fortunate to find a school like WVSOM that truly appreciates age and life experience. Our average age is 29. And there are a great number of students in their upper 30s, 40s, and, yes, even 50s!
So, make your plan, don’t let others deter you from it, and be persistent and determined! You can do it!

First of all, I tried to remember that everyone has obstacles. And then, as to overcoming them, I just worked my hardest and did as well as I could. Obstacles, when overcome, can be a great addition to your application.
For example, those that know me know that my husband had a stroke right in the middle of my return to college for my undergrad degree. There were times I thought about giving up, but somehow, with a great deal of encouragement from my husband and other members of OPM, I stuck with it and got through it. Did my gpa suffer? You bet it did! I actually had a C and a B-; grades I hadn’t seen since returning to the college arena.
So, how did that help? I went right ahead and the next two semesters showed nothing but A’s. And, when interviewing, I addressed the issue, and showed how I had the determination not to give up even when life through a major crisis my direction.
I think one of the most important things you can do is to show determination, dedication, and desire. Combine those with life experience, and there ARE schools that appreciate what you have accomplished. I know WVSOM does!
Best of luck. If you have any questions, just email or personal message me. I’ll be glad to help all I can!