Newbie with Questions


My name is Jon. I am considering applying to medical school as a nontraditional student and thus I am also considering my relative level of sanity. I’ve been looking to evaluate my situation and options and through researching online I came across this forum. I would greatly appreciate peoples’ perspective and suggestions. Sorry, this is probably going to be a long post.


I am currently completing a Masters in Sociology and will be entering a PhD program this Fall. I did a double major in undergrad Sociology/Asian studies and minored in International Development. I speak several Southeast Asian languages and have focused my academic and professional pursuits to develop a specialization with that region of the world. My background in Sociology has leaned towards research dealing with social change and international development with a focus on community level development particularly for individuals whose community has been destroyed such as refugees, disaster survivors, and trafficking victims. I really enjoy Sociology and have had the opportunity to work with refugees that were being resettled in the US as well as travel to Southeast Asia quite extensively while working on a variety of development projects and research, but I have had an itch that was hard to locate and I think I’ve finally nailed it down that I wish I had more direct interaction with people and a greater ability to impact their lives. I really enjoyed the time I spent working with refugees and would like to do that more often and with more to offer than my cultural knowledge and linguistic ability.

My Crazy Plan:

I have a good amount of the coursework that will be required for my PhD completed already through the Masters degree I am finishing this summer. My idea is that while working on my dissertation and remaining coursework, I would complete the necessary coursework to prepare for the MCAT, take the MCAT, and apply to medical schools such that if accepted I would jump directly from completing my PhD to medical school. I am currently 29, I believe if everything went according to plan and I was accepted I would enter medical school at around age 33.

Curious to hear people’s response and suggestions. Does this sound nuts? Am I too old? Open to any and all suggestions really as I feel in great need of feedback while considering this potential path.


Hello, and welcome to the forum! I am new here as well and it is nice to see other people enthusiasm. It sounds like you have wide and varied interests which is wonderful, but I think it would benefit you to focus on one program before working your way towards another (especially at the doctorate level, and one such as medicine with a huge amount of pre-requisites). Not meaning to discourage you at all, but I think that you would be best putting this decision off until a year or two into your PhD program.

That being said, your experiences and education will definitely be of value to medical schools in that it expands the diversity of their student body. Welcome to the forum and best of luck to you!

Well, I am older, and I have an advanced degree. I think it is possible, what you propose. It depends on what else you are doing while working on a dissertation, and etc. Preparing for the MCAT takes focus, and so does completing a dissertation.

Good luck.


I found your post to be very interesting, mainly because it reminds me of myself about…4 months ago. I too just recently received a Master of Arts in Sociology Fall 2011, and just finished 1 year of doctoral studies this past spring. That said, I have started working towards my pre-med prerequisite courses this summer so that I can apply to med school in 2014—admission fall 2015.

The only piece of advice I would like to give you is, if you really think medicine is something you would like to study and if you think that being a physician would make you happy in life go for it. I will not be quite as old as you when entering medical school, if I get accepted, as I will be turning 30 during my first semester of medical school but I think it suits me better than the path I was headed down…and I really enjoyed Sociology.

Not sure if this helped, just thought I’d let you know that there are people in similar situations on here.

Only one comment…NEVER too old!!!