Over 40?

Is anybody out there over 40 besides me? I feel ancient compared to most of you out here. I know it’s a big move to go to medical school especially at my age but I really want to take the plunge.

Please don’t…there are a bunch of us over 40…I’m 44 right now, myself. I’ll be 45 when I apply and hopefully 46 when I matriculat.

This is something that I had done, so this is why I am advising you on this…don’t fixate in the number…

Is this process going to be easy, no it is not…but it is not going to be an easy process no matter how old you are.

Actually if I had to hazard a guess, probably 50% or more of us are over 40.

Best of luck!

Just off the top of my head, posters Presse, Mary Renard, swy55, Richard B, samenewme, and Linda Wilson all entered medical school after the age of 40.

But as a pep talk, remember that US medical schools cannot discriminate against you because of your older age. That’s a violation of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975:

http://www.ed.gov/policy/rights/guid/oc r/ageovervi…

I think too many potentially older premeds mistakenly extrapolate the Age Discrimination Act exemptions that the military and closely-related military-related government departments (like law enforcement and air traffic control) have as being in medical school admissions.

If you haven’t figured it out, I think ageism is wrong. For ageism to work, it has to make some huge assumptions about people’s potential and future like racism, sexism, antisemitism, et cetera, do. Maybe the following posts may help boost your self-confidence:



I’m a fabulous 42!!

I am 42 and I’m beginning medical school in 2 months.

  • TicDocDoh Said:
I am 42 and I'm beginning medical school in 2 months.

That's great, TicDocDoh! Be sure to keep us updated! Wishing you much success in your future!

Hello, and welcome to the forum.

I’ve just recently completed second year of medical school, a few days after my 54th birthday.



there are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics.

If you are looking at statistics then nobody should apply medical school where applicant to seats in over a 3:1 ratio. Age is inversely proportional to acceptance rates.

1)“the gambling perspective”

Is this a probability or a personal goal you are trying to achieve? If you apply your chances are low. If you don’t apply, your chances are ZERO. Which is the better probability?

2)“the business perspective”

You are considering 10 years plus and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, lost income, etc to become a doctor. Doing some postbacc work, taking MCAT, etcs, will take a few years part time and low ball cost 10K-20K. From an investment of time, money, & resources, it is less than 5% of your total expenditure. Lots to gain from a small investment that you dont have to commit to until you have a letter of acceptance in your hand.

3) “the zen perspective”

You are not in medical school now. If you apply, and you get rejected, you will still not be in medical school. You will be exactly where you are losing almost nothing in trying. The small amount of money and time in trying is nothing compared to the potential commitment of medical school and residency. So trying to get into medical school costs almost nothing.

4) “the age perspective”

If you spend 10 years in medical training you will be a doctor and you will be ten years older. If you do something else, you still be ten years older. Since applying or not applying has NO impact on getting older, which is gonna happen no matter what, it is a variable that should not be considered in this equation.

5)“the commitment perspective”

the commitment of going to medical school is purely hypothetical until you have an acceptance letter in your hand. You do not have to make a decision until the acceptance letter is received. The commitment in trying can be stopped at anytime during the process with little loss of time, money, etc. Therefore, trying post-bacc, MCAT, etc is of little risk and can be abandoned at anytime.

6) “the desire perspective”

The purpose of post-bacc, MCAT, etc, is not simply to show the medical schools that you are a good candidate. It is also to show yourself that you want truly to be a doctor. For example, if you take 2 or 3 years of course part time, study for the MCAT, do volunteering 6 hours a week, while working full time with a spouse and 2 kids and you complete all that with the desire to be a doctor still intact, it may be a good indicator of your desire to be a doctor. And wouldn’t it be better to realize in post-bacc or other parts of the process that you don’t want to be a doctor instead of say medical school where lots of cash and time is now on the line.

Summary (ie rant)

Either I am insane, irrational, or warped, but I simply can’t comprehend why one wouldn’t try applying to medical school. Compared to the 10-15 years of medical training, the cost, the resources, the lifestyle changes, etc, the application process, post-bacc, MCAT, are just a drop in the bucket. So little to lose in trying but gaining a new life in applying. And until the letter of acceptance it is all hypothetical.

try, what have you got to lose?

The “life is short” perspective: why not pursue what you love (or think you will love)? life is short – you might as well pursue what you love rather than living 10, 20, 30, 40+ years in dissatisfaction.

Someone needs to make gonnif’s post a permanent sticky on this site!

Mind if I steal that and add it my list? Where are u in NYC? I know we met at the conference but I just can’t put a face with a name and/or a screen name… send me a PM

why thank you but let me polish it and add to my “Zen and and Art of Premed Handbook”

I should add a “the jewish mother perspective” What the worst that that could happen? You get don’t get in?

I would be honored ! :smiley:

See PM… I am in the UWS

Thanks everybody for your feedback. It’s very encouraging and Gonnif, you are right. I have nothing to lose except some time and a little money. Regardless whether I get accepted or not, it will be a good experience and it will either confirm whether or not I want to be a doctor. I’m going to do it. I am going to ASU tomorrow to meet with admissions and I will begin my post-bacc work this fall.

another convert. Too bad I don’t work on commission!

AMAZING List!!! Absolutely Amazing. I second that it should be a sticky!!

I’ll have to come up with the “ten perspectives”


Nice list Gonnif! I agree it should be elevated to ‘sticky’.

If I could chime in and say that the process isn’t wasted if you don’t get into medical school. You learn some new things in your classes and even more about yourself, your friends and your family.

I’m 40 in a couple of weeks and just hit submit on the AMCAS application, which puts me at 41 when I matriculate.