Nearly 40 and wanting to go to Med school - specific advice?

Are there any schools that prefer mature students?

I got my undergrad and grad degrees in science, and my university (in Canada) did not like giving out great grades. I maybe have a 3.5 GPA? When I took the MCAT a lifetime ago I did great, but I know things have changed (how the MCAT is taken).

I’m also very frightened of this not being the right choice. Of getting depressed being around all the silly 20 somethings.

Please help!


The “silly 20 somethings” that are true pre-meds are far from silly. They are astute young people with an amazing ability to interact with everyone. My classes are filled with that age group - mostly, they are well behaved and the few that are not, get told by the ones who are to be quiet

Not too old. If you want to go to US med school, find AMCAS website and begin researching what/how your grades will be reviewed.

If you are thinking Canadian… I don’t know where to point you. Thankfully, there a gobs of people on this forum to help!!

Good luck to you!

You’re likely to hear this from anyone: Give yourself enough time from when you decide. For you, you’re probably looking at from 2012 to 2014 start. The 2011 applicants are studying for the MCAT right now and have everything else already more or less ironed out.

(1) Call a few schools and ask their admissions departments if your prerequisites are valid – time and non-US might be a factor. Find this out early. This will impact your timeline significantly.

(2) get into a formal or informal post baccalaureate premedical program. You need to show to an admissions committee that you will do well in med school courses and you’ve been out for a long time so they are likely to need the recent performance along with your GPA. There is a ton of opinion on how best to go about this – informal, 4-year school, community college, formal program non-degree post bacc or even degree-granting MBS, etc… There are as many ways to do this as there are people on this forum it seems! Still, do whatever you can do in this area to MAXIMIZE your GPA success and keep you focused and give you support - for these reasons I tend to believe that a formal program is the best if it can be accommodated by your life.

(3) get some patient contact – volunteering. Get in and show that you want to be with and see patients. This is critical, both for the committee and for you (you might hate it so find out early).

(4) be absolutely sure you can answer the question, “why do I want to be a doctor?” (maybe this is #1.

(5) during the study time above, prepare for and kill the MCAT.

(6) map out a rough budget plan. Break it down into pre-med, medical school, and residency – and estimate your financial needs and available sources of income or financial aid in each. Sketch it out on paper so you can see it all and see all the debt you plan to accumulate. These are three distinct phases of training and your options for funding each are unique and different in each phase.

After you iron out the foundation of getting into school then turn you attention to which schools, talking to Admissions Directors, etc…

I doubt there are any schools that would say anything about age or “maturity” even if asked.

Good luck!