The Dead Horse (Why Non-Trads Make As Good (Or Better) Candiates)

I know why age should not be a factor in admissions decisions have been ‘talked to death’…

but maybe for some of us who are a bit more ‘new’ to this, is there some excellent collection of all these reasons?

I run into people all the time that this sort of information would be helpful to share.

Whether it is a newly admitted student who is just having his first “What? I am not alone in this?” experience, or as points to remember when I run into a surgeon who says “No offense, but why would the admissions committee waste their time on you?”

I think it would be helpful to have some resource handy to pull out and reference.

Any ideas?

And if not, should we make one?

I think this is a great idea, and one that is long overdue. I also think it should be embedded within a much larger OPM FAQ page. I notice the same types of questions are asked over & over again. I know gonnif mentioned that OPM could use a FAQ page - I think it’s an idea worth revisiting.

Agreed-- The thing is, when I first registered back in October, I thought all my questions were original, and I really appreciated people taking the time to help me.

Now that I’m checking in all the time, I see them over and over…more people like me, all needing the same information. It would be wonderful for those new visitors to have the information at their fingertips without having to wait for new responses. Sure, you can search on old posts, but new visitors won’t have that knowledge right away–so a quick “Hey! Here are the answers to all those Level 101 questions!” flag would be an incredible resource. Since so much fantastic material has already been written, maybe it could even be a page of “common categories,” and each category just links to all the old posts on the topic…

I’m sure there are lots of ways to do it, but I think it’s a fantastic idea!

A few categories I would consider:

  1. The one that Yerivf poses above (along with a general “here’s why this isn’t as crazy as everyone thinks” section)

  2. The community college/online/4 year college issue

  3. Insight on how to survive the pre-med school journey with the added variable of children, spouse, or full time job,

  4. Advice on financial issues through school

  5. Ideas on getting that valuable volunteering and shadowing time, especially while trying to hold down a full time job

    Again, I’m sure there are more–but it would be an incredible addition to an already great site. You could put it in big bold letters, “New Here? Read these first!!!”

Great idea. I totally agree.

I assume you means some sort of “sticky” reference, that covers all sorts of issues that us oldsters face?

Just my two cents on what to tell people: I often don’t. I let people know on a need-to-know/able-to-supp ort-my-decision basis. This includes leaving a large amount of family, some friends, and definitely acquaintances in the dark. This will change over time, as I get into school, etc. But for now, when people ask what my next move is, I just say “something health-care related” and leave it at that. (I’m a breastfeeding counselor, so if pressed I can start babbling about that if someone presses the issue.) I don’t feel like I can waste my time rationalizing my decision to people I’m fairly sure will find a way to argue against it.

People have surprised me. I’ve yet to run into a negative reaction (beyond “are you crazy? I could never deal with college kids and homework on a regular basis again”) when I tell people my plans. The closest I’ve come to a negative is my mom constantly asking me if I’m not sure I want to do something medical that is going to take less time (like PA or RN), but pointing it out to her at least got her to stop. Friends, especially, are supportive, though upset that I will be moving in 4 1/2 years to attend med school.

The only rationalization I would be willing to offer people is “It’s what I need to be doing now” or “in 13 years I’ll be 50 no matter what-I’m choosing to be a 50 year old doctor instead of a 50 year old IT expert”. Hell, a good 10-15% of people I tell (which is a lot, I meet and spend a hour or so with about a dozen new people a week and probably half of them hear of my plans) will point out the 50 yr old thing before I can say it.

Beyond that, unless someone is offering to contribute in some way to your education, they don’t need rationalizations.

@momwifedoc - I was right there with you. It took me a while to tell my mom, and then even more to tell other family members.

Now, since I’m a second year, I don’t have to keep it so hush hush.

But I do help run a Non-traditional student organization, and do outreach to other pre-meds and med students online. So having a resource at the ready for others would help me not blank out and say “Uh… yeah… we… umm… ah… yeah… we got more like um… maturity and um… stuff.”

And thanks guys! I found some compilations on Student Doctor, organized by Q that seem to be a good starting point. Now, I need to go take my Endocrine Patho-phys exam…

And thank you for gathering this practical info.

I guess I’m still in the tadpole phase of my experience, and very sensitive to doubters in my life, hence my previous comments. It’s not just the run-of-the-mill age stuff, but I grew up with a mom who is generally kind, but thought it best to crush any big dreams so “we didn’t get disappointed” when they didn’t come to pass. So I’m guarding this dream like a crazy squirrel guarding a prized acorn.

I totally see where you’re going with this, though, and it’s a great idea to provide nesting material for the other squirrels’ prized acorns!

@momwifedoc & Nightgod I really relate to where you both come from. I don’t know why some people stand so ready to crush other people’s dreams. It’s kind of a double-edge sword: you need to talk to people and put yourself out there to some extent b/c someone might have some information that could help you & others along the way. However, you take a risk of running into a bunch of naysayers in the process of meeting someone who perhaps has some insight.

@Yeriv, I would like to say that I can’t believe a dr. would say something so thoughtless & insensitive, but the way our world is today, almost nothing is unimaginable. I talked to a couple drs. who both told me “you know medical school takes a lot of time and energy, why not go to PA school or RN”? How insulting to any adult’s or even some children’s intelligence. Anyway, I suppose those naysayers serve to make one stronger on their magnificent journey to whatever path chosen.

It’s been the same way with me. The only strange looks, or somewhat negative comments I’ve gotten (or I took them that way at least) were from doctors. Now some have thought it was great, but a few have not been so positive.

Anyone else has thought it was very cool, given me some sort of positive feedback.

Maybe not completely PC, but to those that feel negatively about it… F**K them! It’s my life, not theirs.