support from Europe

Hi everyone

I am 25 years old man and I come from Europe. English is not my first language, so I may make some mistakes.

First of all I admire all those people, who despite difficulties decided to apply to med school.

As I said I am 25 years old and for over one and a half year I`ve been thinking about changing my life and going to med school, though I have a degree in law.

I was wondering if out there is anybody who is thinking about going to med school at age over 25.

I have found this forum fortunately.

My sitution is on one hand very similar to stories that are posted on this forum, because I would be a non-trad too. But on another hand my situation is diffrent, beacuse I live in EU country, where, for example, public schools (including med schools) can not charge any tuition (Constitution of my country says that public school are free of charge), but the number of places available is very low.

What I have noticed too is that anybody of you, I mean anybody who would like to apply to med school in USA, can take the neccessary courses (pre-req) at anytime she/he wants, pass MCAT or whatever you need to pass, and have the chance to apply to med school. What is more important people are more open to new situtions and new people who think or do things the way they want. Europe is different, especcialy my country.

I still have not taken the first step to the journey called “med school”, but I am constantly thinking about it. If I would like to study at med school in my country I would have to pass a test called A-level, which I can take ONLY ONE IN A YEAR. Failure would mean that I would have to wait another year to take the A-level.

Correct me if I am wrong but MCAT can be taken 25 times a year.

I am not afraid of learnig Bio, Chem, Phisics and Math at all. I learned a lot at university.

I could take this test only in my high school and my teachers would ask me about the reasons of taking this test once again, especcialy that I was such “a good student”. This would not be a normal situation for my high school that is concerned about the results of the A-level. They would fear that I fail and it would not look good in their statistic.

My parents do not know anthing about my plans. They think that when I have a job I should stick to my path I chose 5 years ago and not to change anything.

I suppose my story may sound silly or funny to you, especcialy when I read about wounded souldiers who overcame far more bigger obstacles than mine or working mother with 6 children, who is a med school student.

I have a job that is conected with my degree, which is another reason I have not made up my mind yet. But this job will not last forever.

I know that if I could turn back time and decide once again, I would have made another decision.

Any comment would be highly appreciated.

James - Welcome! Many of us here are FAR over 25 but able to start medical school. I know that European universities often expect students to be younger.

Although the MCAT is offered at many dates a year, practically, you are NOT able to take it 25 times (nor should you!). It is computerized and students would expect to get a different version if they take it more than once. Medical schools generally do not like to see multiple attempts at the MCAT, although if a student has some reason that they scored very low the first time (sick with the flu, death in the family, etc) and retakes it, getting a good score, they can generally overcome the negative impression of taking it twice.

For you, studying VERY hard to prep for the A level exam and then taking that would seem to be your best bet. You might also do some research on older medical students. To start with, the past president of the board of the American Medical Association started med school at a later age than you, I think in her 30’s.

If you were thinking about coming to America to apply to med school, that would be a very long road. You’d have to have 90 undergraduate credits taken in this country, then take MCAT’s, then apply to medical school and be able to demonstrate how you will pay for it, as I don’t think you would be eligible for the loans which most of us take out to afford medical school.


  • Kate429 Said:

If you were thinking about coming to America to apply to med school, that would be a very long road. You'd have to have 90 undergraduate credits taken in this country, then take MCAT's, then apply to medical school and be able to demonstrate how you will pay for it, as I don't think you would be eligible for the loans which most of us take out to afford medical school.


That is not a blanket rule. I have seen it vary to no foreign degrees/credits accepted to 30 credits needed at an american university. What is even more confusing I have seen both 90 credit rule and 30 credit rule on the same page for one medical school. So doing a US post-bacc will give you the 30 credits. Additionally some schools will not consider anyone unless they are a citizen or permanent residence (not a student visa). I do not know the implications of paying, or rather borrowing money for medical school in the US for a foreign national.

Thanks a lot for your comments.

My goal it to start medical school in my home country, in EU. Going to USA and studing medicine is not an option. I was wondering if you, US nationals, were ever considering coming to Europe to study medicine? Tuition for foreign students at medical university is not so high comparing with tuition charged by US universities. It is about 12000 Euro a year. It takes 6 years to get a degree (MD). Degree achived at EU med school would be accepted in USA, for I have heard about American student studing medicine in my country.

I know that nobody would take MCAT 25 times a year, but the thought that if you fail you could retake MCAT in the same year can be very helpfull.

If the same rules would be implemented in my country I would know that I have still the chance to take A level exam again in the same year.

I am sure that I would not be the only one who is over 25 years old and is studing medicine, but I would be in a minority. It is hardly possible to ask some other people who are non-trads about their experience, for there could be few of them at local medical university in my home city. A friend of mine decided to quit studing at IT department few years ago and started to study medicine. But I am not sure if I could find him right now. I assume he would not be helpfull. He would just said - you have to study hard for A lavel. I know that allready.

The hardest part is just not the nights I would have to devote for studing, the hardest part is in my mind. I have to be sure that my decision is rational, especcialy when my friends have just graduated from college and they think about getting maried and putting down roots and not about devoting another 6 years for getting another degree.

Nobody knows what brings the future. Neither do I, so I can not be 100% sure that my decione will ever pay off, but I have to convince myself, that it will.

I will have to read treads posted on this forum, so that I could convince myself that I about to make a good decision.

thanks for your comments once again