What are the more non-trad friendly med schools?

Are there MD and DO schools that are more friendly to "non
trads(older) students?


I think that all DO schools are open to non trads. As for others, you could check sources such as the MSAR and look at the average age of the entering class, look out for the school that have 23 as the average age!

Actually, I think it is progressively less of an issue about non-trad vs trad applicant…far more critical is how use your ‘history’ to your advantage & present yourself in the most positive light. A common pitfall for non-trad applicants is to appear apologetic for their non-trad status. Other common mistakes: making excuses for perceived inadequacies or academic underperformance or trying to bury, hide or ignore old, crappy grades. You should take ownership & responsibility for your previous transgressions and demonstrate that you have learned from them and now possess the skills, maturity and professionalism to succeed in medical school. By doing this, couple with recent strong performances, you can actually turn old boo-boos into events that highlight your strengths…making you much more appealing as a candidate.

I will re-post this thread, with the replies over to the web site. If you’re not a member of the web site, please drop by to: www.studentdoctor.net/opm and join us.

Take a look at where older students are getting interviews and acceptances. For example:

I was accepted at Mayo
Interviewed at Jefferson and MCP-Hahnneman (declined however)
Waitlisted at U of Washington
Rejected at Dartmouth and U of Vermont

Take a look at that Acceptance Thread and those schools are probably friendly to older students…

One suggestion was to look at the class’s average age - that can be misleading, so don’t pay attention to it! I believe my class’s average age is 23 or maybe even less. But our ages ranged from 20 to 44 at admissions (we’re all a year and a half older now). The average is low, despite MANY students who are not fresh out of college, because GWU has a 7-year program and there were about 20 students (out of 160) who were even one year younger than the “traditional” medical student. So don’t pay attention to averages. You might want to ask about age ranges, which is not generally reported in the MSAR, unfortunately.

You don’t say how old you are, but my advice is not to even think about this issue. Even those of us who are over 40 have gotten interviews and acceptances at a variety of MD and DO schools. What’s far more important is to have a good and interesting application. Look at it this way: If you are over 30 years old, you WILL stand out when they notice the year you were born, or graduated from high school, or got your first degree. So when they’ve noticed that date, they’ll be looking with a lot of interest at the rest of the package. Make sure you’ve got some other things in that package that are also eye-popping in a positive way.

This is a great topic…Does anyone know anything about the University of Minnesota? I know it’s a stretch…but I thought I’d ask!


As a matter of fact, when OPM was a very young list with only a few dozen of us on it, we had a guy spend all summer on the U of MN waitlist. He got in just a few days before classes started and we have only heard from him a few times since! Presumably he is 3/4 of the way through third year now.

Listen, I can’t say it enough, and Dave said it too: don’t spend ANY amount of time wondering about particular schools and whether they’re receptive to OPMs. Don’t fall into the trap of “will [this school] like me? will they want to talk to me?” You instead want to say, ‘I am applying to [whatever school] because they’re a good fit. I am going to make it hard for them to ignore me or turn me down.’ Getting into medical school is, among other things, an exercise in good salesmanship. While there are some stories on this board of good luck or good timing, don’t count on those things. Instead sell your product (YOU and your application) - make it one that demands acknowledgement and attention. That means good MCATs, good recent grades (you can’t do anything about the old ones), good clinical experience, good recommendations, and a knock-out personal statement that will catch their eye.

My brother-in-law inadvertently cemented my determination to get into medical school when he said to me (very condescendingly), “I understand that it is extremely difficult for a person to get into med school at your age.” (I was 42 at the time.) I hadn’t thought about it nearly as much as I have now, but I automatically replied: “I intend to present an EXCELLENT application that they cannot ignore.” Guess I did, huh.

And don’t forget that YOU may be the one who’s destined to enlighten an admissions officer at a school that’s been skeptical about non-traditionals. Apply to whatever school appeals to you and suits your requirements, whether those be geographic, academic, personal, whatever. Do NOT think “Do they like OPMs?” before sending in your application. Use “the power of positive thinking,” and send in that application with confidence, "Of COURSE I would be great for this school!"

Just call me “Zig Ziglar…”

I couldn’t agree more with OMD and Mary about not choosing schools based on notions about what schools are “friendly” or not. However, once you get in to a number of the schools to which you’ve applied (right? right!) it might be reasonable to look at which schools, among those you are choosing, have more older students. I think that a number of schools that have a dearth of older students are partly that way because they get turned down by the best older students, not the other way around.

Not to be cynical, but many admissions committees, perhaps even especially at high-ranked schools, seem to like to have a smattering of older students for the sake of diversity. In fact, I have heard several younger medical students on campus tours bragging about their older student colleagues with unusual career backgrounds as a way of demonstrating that their school has “interesting” people going to it, and that their schools’ student bodies are not just composed of a bunch of boring clones (a perennial fear–and no wonder–of medical students).

In short, you’re the flavor of the month; do well and then think about what schools you’ll choose, not which ones will choose you.