Really old pre-med student

I am 52 years old nurse, my kids are in high school and I am looking to the future. I have never quite found my nitch because I always wanted to be a doctor but was discouraged by my dad. (Old fashioned). Am I crazy for considering this at my age? Do any schools admit someone in their mid to late 50s? I don’t plan on retiring until I am forced to and would like to work with disadvantaged people. Are there any programs to help pay the way if you commit to helping disadvantaged or lower income people? Sunni

Your question on age is pretty common on this board. Number one, age discrimination is illegal for medical school admission. Read the following two links: r/ageoverv……

Number two, poster Presse entered medical school at 52, poster Kate429 (and a CNM) is entering medical school at 53, poster Linda Wilson just finished medical school at 58. Bill Conway entered medical school well into his 50s:…

The following are some arguments to overcome ageism:………

To answer your latter question, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship is usually pointed out because in exchange for 2 to 4 years of service in an National Health Service Corps (NHSC) approved site in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need the government will pay the NHSC scholarshiped medical school student’s tuition, fees, other reasonable educational costs and a monthly living stipend of around $1500 - $2000.

I really appreciate your very helpful response. I looked at the links and am very encouraged. It seems that if I don’t at least try to achieve the dream I have always had to be a doctor, I will look back on my life in the end and be disappointed in myself that I didn’t pursue my dreams. I believe our dreams represent a form of love for life, ourselves, and are a gift from our creator. Thankyou again. Sunni

As ihopetobeado2 said, I’m starting med school at 53. I don’t think you are crazy to be thinking about it …of course I am not totally unbiased!

If this is a passion for you, then that passion will help you overcome obstacles. The first thing is to discard the notion that it is impossible - you have proof that this is not so!

My own kids are out of college - and they are tremendously supportive of me pursuing my dream

Welcome to OPM!


Kate, What are you doing to finance your education? Just wondering since we’re facing putting kids through college and need to still save for retirement Sunni

Well, I confess I am not saving for retirement, as I had three young children to support (4, 6, and 9) when my ex-husband left and spent MANY years getting out of debt from that …doesn’t make sense to save when your debt is at a higher percent.

At this point, I am (perhaps foolishly) planning on working till I drop, although will be doing 50% savings when I finally practice (in theory).

I applied for a NHSC scholarship, which I won’t hear about till October (3 months after starting school). That’s the way it’s timed, nothing you can do about it. Not a huge percentage of people get it. I had an NHSC scholarship for nurse-midwifery school (one of only 9 in the country that year), and fulfilled my service obligation, so figure I am a good applicant. I’m planning to do rural family medicine anyway, and not tied to locale, so hoping for good things there. Meanwhile (like everyone else) took out the federal loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, and grad plus) which cover “reasonable costs” of education, in case I do NOT get the NHSC scholarship. I guess my school is unreasonable, because I calculate hitting the maximum I can borrow in year 4 and being $40,000 short, unless I can improve on the school’s calculated budget for living expenses. I can, however, reduce my costs by applying for a “primary care scholarship” my second year, so that is plan B.

It’s scary to look at but most students end up borrowing large sums up to $250,000. I have classmates in my post-bacc program who are doing the Armed Forces Health Scholarship.

Best of luck to you!


Hello Kate, I applaud you on your success and your determination and especially hard work! If you wouldn’t mind sharing some information as to what was required for you to “update” your education to meet the requirements for entry into med school. I noticed that you earned a post-bacc pre-med degree from UVA? Was this the only option or could you have taken online prereqs or junior college or community college prereqs? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.