Oldest medical student

This is a bit of a pet peeve. I know that some things that I will describe may be or seem the exception and not the rule. But I beg people to consider something important–that is wellness–biological age versus chronological age–which applies to patients as well as med students or pre-meds.

If a person has made a relatively long-term commitment to wellness–a sincere and consistent one–let me tell you they can practice and be highly productive way past 60’s. Same thing with folks that have certain surgeries–it all dependents on their overall wellness, biological age, and comorbidities. The reason there is this bias against those past 50’s and 60’s etc–at least in part–is b/c MOST people–especially AMERICANS–do NOT make a sincere and consistent commitment to wellness–especially early enough. Sure there are things that pop up for some folks–but even then, those that engage in good wellness practices still FAIR BETTER many times when they do hit those things that might crop up unexpectantly.

There are many people in Asian cultures and other cultures that are highly productive well past 60’s.

We have a limitation bias in this country and in the West b/c of the failure to get more research into various wellness practice and to have more folks make a commitment to sound, consistent wellness practices that can produce younger biological age.

It’s true that genetics may load the gun, but wellness and lifestyle pull the trigger more times than we are willing to admit. This nation in particular is NOT good with this–and our degree and rate of chronic illness bears this out–especially when we look at many Americans lifestyles–nutritionally and otherwise and see what happens when we bring them into other cultures.

Also, again I share that daily, proper exercise IS THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH–at least a good part of the time.

Please look at the whole person–and their overall lifestyle and other factors–NOT JUST chronological age. Age bias is even somewhat troublesome from a genetic perspective; for some folks show family histories of longevity with a fair amount of quality of life–but even then–many, many times, wellness, lifestyle, even the sound incorporation of CAM and nutrition practices are the “anti-pull-the-triger factors.”

Personally, I am generally against people retiring completely at any age. There are always ways to be productive for many folks–but that is another thing perpetuated in this country.

And I am not in these age-groups I speak of.

But every test I take (given, some of them are not yet broadly accepted in allopathic medicine) show that b/c of lifestyle changes and wellness practices, I am ten or more years biologically younger than my chronological age. Physicians have to ask my age or do the calculation in order to know it.

A mentor, an advanced practice nurse I know had healthy twins w/o complications at 53 years of age. And she keeps up with these energetic twins plus her teens just fine.

There are a good number of people that do benefit from consistent wellness practices.

And look at Demi Moore. People are catching on. There is a reason for the cougar rage that is currently going on.

But for me, I know that I could not do good health and productivity w/o following strong wellness practices and exercise and stress reduction exercises. And I have a serious autoimmune disorder for which I have not had ANY FLARES IN OVER FIVE YEARS by following these practices. They are NOT quackery. And that is why, though late to the party compared with others in CAM and other forms of medicine, people like Dr’s Oz and Roizen endorse them. They DO WORK when applied consistently–at least for many folks.

I never want to completely retire. I want to always have a productivity plan. Realistically I understand certain changes will come–or even say accidents, etc–but I can hold back many ill effects and limit them–save some major catastrophic scenarios, should I continue with sound wellness practices. And mobility and exercise is a huge part of that. Even many people with deficits can do certain beneficial exercises and engage in wellness practices on a daily basis.

Give the current wrangling over healthcare reform, I believe it will behoove people to know and engage more consistently in wellness practices.

And I am, obviously, still a believer in the many benefits of allopathic medicine.

Just a perspective that needs some serious, open-minded, and even a looking beyond evidence-based criteria in this country-- and the consideration of of European and other studies. Let’s face it. In this country, it does matter as to who is funding what and why. And I am pro-Capitalism, free-markets, and a free republic. But I think we need some balance in our approach to healthcare. Sure severe traumas will still be severe traumas requiring sound, current allopathic practices. But people can be productive WELL past 60’s and even 70’s.

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I know this is an old post, but I am 54 years old, and I am going to give it a try. I figure I owe it to myself. I allowed myself to be talked out of it by my mother when I was 7. I was pushed into the wrong major and the wrong University when I was 18. I have raised two special needs kids, have a husband with brain cancer, who may or may not live to see me get my MD.

I have been told by several doctors that I have the makings of a brilliant diagnostician, and I feel God wants me in the public health field. If God wants it, He and I will make it happen.

With what I have already been through in my life, I look forward to what school has in store for me, and the challenges ahead.

My great grandmother was active and healthy until the day she died of a stroke at the age of 94. My mother is 76, and still teaches! My grandmother lived to be 89, but she was a smoker, and her heart was in poor shape. I’ve got the genes. I’ve got the will to work as long as I am able.

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Last year the oldest newly matriculated osteopathic student was 56 years old. The oldest applicant was 72 years old

You seem to have missed the point of the age discrimination laws. The older student must meet the same or better standards of the 20yo. It is qualifications that should matter.

There are many things that an MD can do, aside from clinical practice – but none of them can be done the same without the MD. The researcher MD has great advantages in medicine, for example.

Check the admissions processes of the various schools, though, and you will see that they are skewed for younger people. In my class, returning students (ie, older) were allotted less than a quarter of the admissions. Graduates and returning students had to take the MCAT, while students admitted probationally as undergraduates did not. Returning students were assigned three interviews, while all other applicants had only one interview.

The AAMC has special programs to encourage potential medical students and ready them for applications. All are limited to young students.

The chances of acceptance are already stacked against older students, regardless of rhetoric from schools. The laws exist for good reason, and qualifications are all that should matter.I know people who died before graduating and I know people who died soon after. They were all young. My grandmother lived to 97, with a mind that kept going stronger than alot of young people. She did not fit the norm of the bell curve, as the medical applicants reside at the end of a bell curve of learning. If an older student has the qualifications, that should be all that matters. In the end, that is required to graduate and to board, regardless of age. In the end, many physicians practice short years as clinicians and many follow other paths requiring the MD for success and satisfaction.

I have signed this as MS3, but I also have a JD.

I agree you must take care of the gifts you are given. This will be reflected in your capacity, so again I say that qualifications should be the ONLY criteria, not age. Remember that when we speak of “most people” this is the big bell part of a bell curve. There will always be those on either side of the curve. Let’s not bias against those who are more fortunate and able to do more at a later age.

I have one friend who is a geologist, and used to be a psychiatrist. The other friend is a computer programmer and used to be a family practice doc.

As far as letting qualifications be the criteria, that is hard because there are so many qualified applicants out there.

As far as NP and PA, they are good alternatives, but have their limitations. For example, I was considering PA, but my PA friends convinced me to go MD/DO because they realized that the international work that I would like to do typically requires an MD. Indeed, some international medical non-profits won’t accept any sort of midlevel (e.g. Doctors Without Borders is the best example of this).

As far as age is concerned, I believe that it is an uphill battle for us older folks, but only we should make the decision whether or not we should go for it. I recently went to a premedical conference, and spoke to many admissions people; all of them said to forget about age and just apply – and see what happens.

Holy thread resurrection batman!

  • TicDocDoh Said:
Holy thread resurrection batman!

seems appropriate that an old thread is resurrected to discuss the oldest medical student. I mean 'tis the season of miracles. Wait that's the other holiday isn't it?

Well, it depends, Richard. I mean, isn’t Hanukkah celebrating the miracle of the lamp in the temple burning for 10 nights when there was only enough oil for 1? It lasted much longer than anyone thought possible…which seem very appropriate to this thread


The oil supposedly burned for 8 days, – until new oil could be readied. That’s why the Menorah has nine candle holders, the central shamash is to hold the candle used to light the other eight candles. Hanukkah always starts on 25 Kislev, which this year falls on Wednesday, December 21.

Thanks, datsa! Don’t know why I thought it was 10 days


Yeah for miracles.

In response to ms3stud:

Laws can’t protect people from bias. They may try, but there are absolute limitations–unless we totally become Orwellian, with thought police and the like. . .

People have to come to actually see the limitations and problems in their bias as a basis for reasoning. People look at stats and see the 80 year old surgical patient, and they blow off truly looking at them on the whole of what is really going on with them. Again, I have recovered 70 and 80 year old folks post-cardiac surgery that recovered much better and more quickly than 30 or 40 year olds with co-morbidities like DM, etc.

(BTW people had better start taking better care of themselves in terms of wellness, b/c retirement is going to be much further down the road from now on.)

So the doc or nurse looking at the demo. stats is necessary, but then it all has to be put together with the whole of the individual.

I do agree with the other poster as they shared that age bias is a reality. That has to do with people–and educated people mind you–like those on adcoms–that have limited their thought processes to certain biases.

Someone violates a law, well, you have to prove that they did so. Now there are a 1000 or more ways justify why a candidate was passed over for something other than his/her age. Talk about an uphill battle. . .proving age discrimination would be tough, especially in the medical school situation, given the serious competition for med school entrance that already exits.

I was originally talking about encouraging people, educated people in particular, in making a paradigm shift in their thinking. So, it would apply to medical school applicants as well as management of older patients. It’s about looking at the individual.

Fighting against ageism in our culture is a tough war. And as the economy tightens, it will continue to be more of a challenge. It shouldn’t be a matter of placing greater value on people based on their date of birth; but as the number of young college grads fighting for jobs while carrying big student loans grows, so too will the resentment and bias against those that are older as they compete with them for positions.

The genuine notion of valuing a person on her/his own individuality, regardless of the demographic factors, almost seems to smack against human nature; and sociological forces seems to continue to move against this kind of thinking.

What the physician or nurse or the adcom member may be overlooking is that the individual under evaluation for whatever cannot control her/his birthday anymore than any one of them can. They don’t stop and try to put themselves in the shoes of the one being evaluated. All the while, they too are getting older faster than they realize. So, they too will eventually (although sooner than they realize) be on the other side of things, being evaluated for something or other with age-bias used against them.

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I have not had time to read all the threads of this post but thought I might add my information. I just completed my first block exams of my first semester at Saba University School of Medicine and I also turned 63 on the day of my first blocks. As I understand it, Dr. Atomic Leow may have been the oldest medical school graduate at 66; if my health holds I will break that record as I expect the graduate at 67. My interest is pathology as I have spent my career as a microscopist. I recognize that I am much older than my other students but I have many years to give the profession, I have no plan to retire.


I was married to a medical student long time ago, he was at a very reputable MD school in Texas and amongst his classmates there was a 70 year old man. I do not recall many details about him or his previous life but I am sure he was as qualified as any other student. There was also a lady probably in her mid 40s who had 5 kids who was also in the med school class. I am 42 and applying - already raised a son and had a career in biotech.

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I hope that this finds you very well amidst the covid19 pandemic.

May I ask where you ended up?

I just finished my first “year” (2 semesters) at the Mills premed post baccalaureate program after trying to start since I was admitted in 2015, age 46. Finances got in the way and then I became a widow in 2018, age 48, after I’d started the Mills program in fall 2017. I had to bail 3 weeks in when my fiancé’s stage 4 prostate cancer paralyzed him from the waist down. I became his full time caregiver and then then probate and other life drama took my next year + yet I managed to climb back into the saddle.

So I’m most curious. I’d appreciate a reply.

Thanks in advance.

I really have no plans of retiring, whether I am able to pursue my life-long dream of medicine or not

So, with jokes and fun, the topic flowed from "what age threshold for students at a medical college, is it good that the student is interested in the details of the process and whether the feedback is needed" in "should old people learn to be professionals." If in the first case the student is wrong, then in the second the student has something to think about.

Or in both cases, you need to answer: “Small you still teach and criticize!” ??? Who cares how old he is? If a person wants to learn, let him do it. Moreover, he can use the professional essay writing company services and order there www.customwritings.com those tasks that he cannot do himself.