This is my first post, so apologies if this question has been addressed before, but I couldn’t find anything in the recent posts.
I am applying now to medical schools for 2010 admission. I am 39 with a very non-traditional background (law and finance). Notwithstanding my stats (3.75 GPA/3.55 science GPA/36Q MCAT), I feel that many programs will not seriously consider my application as I will be 40 when I begin medical school (assuming I can hopefully get in somewhere).
Is there a resource which lists which medical schools are more inclined to accept 40+ old students (and alternatively which schools would be a waste of resources to apply to)? I would prefer an MD program, but I need to be realistic about my situation and explore all options. I also prefer the Northeast, but again need to have an open mind.
Thanks in advance for any help/direction.
There’s no such list. Apply to the schools that appeal to you, make your best case, and maybe you can be the oldest person in your class! Honestly, your numbers are great; if the rest of your application is equally strong (and the diversity of your past experience is also a big strength), then you WILL get a serious look from every school to which you apply.
With your numbers, you can be a little selective about schools to which you apply - meaning, you don’t have to paper the country in applications. Only apply to the places you can really see yourself at - if your main criterion is location, you’ve certainly got lots to choose from in the Northeast. If it were me, I’d apply broadly across the Northeast, then choose a few other schools in other parts of the country that appeal to me. Good luck!
I disagree that there aren’t schools that appear to prefer older applicants. Just as I wouldn’t apply to certain schools as a Black applicant because they have accepted few to no Blacks in recent years (University of Utah comes to mind), I think the same thing applies to age.
A few schools which are know to accept older applicants include GWU and Case Western. There is used to be a list somewhere in a book authored by a nontrad applicant. I’ll try to see if I can remember and post it.
Congrats on those amazing stats! If the rest of your package is equally solid and you apply broadly, I’m sure you’ll get in somewhere.
Sidenote to Dr.Renard- I obviously don’t know why Georgetown didn’t accept you, but I’ve always believed it was due to your age.
With the schools that don’t accept X-type of applicant (black, gay, old, Jewish, you-name-it…etc), how many of those type of applicants applied to those schools? And of the ones who did apply, what were their stats? Was it a blank-blank applicant with poor stats casting a “wide-net” by applying to places they would not normally have ever considered? A very liberal abortion activist applying to Georgetown comes to mind; on my interview day there, an applicant was just appalled that his education would be compromised because he would not be exposed to abortions.
I think people should look at those statistics with a grain of salt.
- tec Said:
I agree with Mary that your stats will take you far–as long as the rest of your app. is just as stellar. If you want the Northeast, then definitely go for it. However, I have been intending to let those OPMers that will be applying soon, that my school–the University of Nebraska Medical Center–is very open to older applicants. Currently, I am the oldest student they have ever taken, however, it is not by much. I met another student who graduated last year at the age of 52. I will be 55 when I graduate in 2010. It seems like each class has several students that are over the age of 30, with no upper limit. Another reason for you and others to consider Nebraska is the fact that they offer in-state tuition to out-of-state students. Their policy is to give as many out of state students in-state tuition as they can; with most getting it before/during their M1 year. I do not know anyone from out of state that pays out-of-state tuition after their 1st year. Hopefully, in the downturn of the economy, they will continue this policy–it is worth considering and asking about. There is also quite a bit of scholarship money available for the top students. My education at UNMC has been top-of-the-line, and I am so glad that I decided to attend this school.
Best of luck to you! It will be a whirlwind of a year with interviewing, waiting to get letters of acceptance, and then deciding where to go!
Path-- EVERY med school, as well as EVERY Fortune 500 Company, etc, has legacy issues. Those slots will never belong to any of us and are not the issue here. This isn’t an argument about the rich white kid keeping the rest of us down (I was a very poor, very inner-city kid, who happens to be white, and had to do it on my own as I didn’t have the URM card to play).
To the original poster, just like Mary said, your stats will open doors for secondaries for you (your MCAT and GPA alone will do some of that). It will be the remainder of your application and your interview that convinces programs to accept you. In many ways, it is the interview where OPMs shine because we have more to talk about with the interviewer. That is not to say that applicants directly from undergrad can’t present strong applications with unique experiences. Ultimately, medical schools want strong classes, regardless of the age of the applicants. I applied only to 6 schools in the Baltimore-DC area, accepted to 5 (I likely did not interview at the sixth one because of an error I made on my secondary, before they were online; the same mistakes hurt everyone, regardless of age). I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Mary, Tara, Lu, Path,
Thanks for your responses and encouraging words. I do hope that I can generate meaningful interest from schools.
That said, I feel that there is a group of schools - let’s say the top 20 based on US News ranking (maybe broader than that) - that I simply should not apply to because they will not consider older students when they have so many younger competitive candidates to choose from. I am not trying to sound defeatist - I just want to be most effective with the list of schools I choose to apply to (and the secondaries I complete). Please tell me if you think I am being too narrow in my perspective.
Lu - I did notice that UNMC accepts appx 90% of its class from Nebraska residents - were you a resident when you applied? I would suspect that schools that admit primarily from their own state will be more likely to admit older students as the overall applicant pool is smaller. I unfortunately probably do not qualify as a resident of any state as I have been working abroad on assignment for the past few years.
- tec Said:
Poor you, you couldn't "play" the race card a statement which I feel is indicative of the indigation you feel/felt because of it. Well guess what? You get to play the "white" card for the rest of your life, now which do you feel over a lifetime, is going to be the greater advantage?And BTW, Shenika didn't keep you out of Hopkins Molly did, simply because there aren't enough Shenika's applying in the first place.
To the OP, if you are URM with those stats, I'm certain given a strong application in all the other important areas, you'll likely get at least one Ivy acceptance, despite your age should you apply.
Speaking of Ivies, I think I heard that Columbia is open to super nontrads too.
These might be of some help:
No, path, me (as well as many others) are tired of you hijacking posts so that you can make being a URM part of the agenda. If you really want to be a URM physician making a difference, then go into a real clinical specialty, instead of pathology. I never heard a PCP taking care of the underserved patient say that they needed a pro-bono pathologist. What I did hear them say was that they needed physicians to provide procedures to their underserved patients for basic preventive care (i.e. colonoscopies). So put your money where your mouth is and step up.
The answer to your question of whether or not I was a resident of Nebraska is both YES and NO. I had been living in Wyoming for over 10 years when I applied to Nebraska, so I applied as an out-of-state student. It was only when I tried to apply for in-state tuition, I was told that I would be given in-state tuition based on the fact that I had graduated from a Nebraska high school (30+ years earlier). So, I was not considered in-state during the application/interview process. It was only the financial aid department/business department that gave me that status.
I have classmates from all over the country. They were chosen over several Nebraska applicants. There may be only 10% from out-of-state, but they do not hold that against applicants as some states do.
Nebraska is worth considering. They just opened up the new medical education building that is outstanding! The 2nd research tower just had their grand opening last week, so the school is foraging ahead in their commitment to research. We are also one of the 12 transplant centers in the country, which gives students exposure to that aspect of medicine, if interested. To me, they offer lots of hidden gems.
- tec Said:
This has got to be the dumbest sh*t I've EVER read on OPM. Go into a clinical field so I can be a PCP? So now all negroes who obvioulsy rode the AA train to med school, have to go running to the 'hood to be a PCP's? Wow, that's pretty racist, assuming URM's can only be medically served in the 'hood where I assume you think we all live?
FYI, I do breast cancer outreach in the 'hood and have been for many years, so if that's not good enough for your "chip on the shoulder about URM admissions" that's YOUR problem.
Do yourself a favor the next time you step to me with foolishness, DON"T. Because it's clear you don't know jack about my background or my motivation for a medical career. In other words, dont ASSume you know who you're dealing with, ok hun?
This is the first and last warning. Keep it on topic or take it offline!! This thread is NOT about URM’s, it’s about 40+ yr old applicants. If anyone would like to discuss URM’s, please do so in your own topic.
And just to clarify… THIS IS TO EVERYONE!!!
Thank you for your cooperation.
the one you apply to.
In regards to your working abroad, I have recently learned that if you are considered to be “domiciled” in your home state you should still qualify for residency purposes for school, so you may want to check into that. A quick call to the schools financial aid office is all it should take. I am not sure if it works the same for the medical school but that is what I was informed for my UG.
- RAdamson Said:
Each state will have its own set of rules to be considered "in-state". Furthermore, the small collection of private schools who place a priority on certain geographies or give a tuition break to what they consider 'in-state' set their own criteria.
Rhonda and David,
Thanks for your perspective on residency. My immediate concern is the AMCAS form which requires you to specify state of residence - I assume this data is used by the schools in their initial screening process. I think I will indicate which state I feel I can make the best case for residency, though I agree that each school will have their own standard - however, I am likely only to face that when the question of tuition arises.
Mo, you kinda have to be a resident of somewhere, don’t you? Are you registered to vote anywhere? Do you pay state taxes anywhere? Do you have a driver’s license from a state in the U.S.?
If you truly don’t know how you’ll establish residency, I would strongly urge you to look at the MSAR (Medical Schools Admissions Requirements) publication from the AAMC and check state schools for their residency percentages. If you do not have some claim to residency in a state where the state school accepts >90% in-state, then your application money is probably better spent elsewhere.
hope this helps
You are correct - I am just a confusing situation - my license and voter registration is from IL; my bank account and last place of residence prior to moving abroad is NY; and I filed taxes this past year as a resident of NJ (due to my wife being present there for work) and as a nonresident in both NY and IL. I do think that in order to determine residency status, the question is where one has established a domicile, which in my case is arguably not in any US state for the past 12 months.
I think that for purposes of the AMCAS application there is some discretion left to the applicant to chose the most appropriate state for residency, which I presume the schools use as their guide in determining whether you are considered OOS or not (correct me if I am wrong). Once someone is admitted, then the finance office will likely look more closely at someone’s residency status, to determine whether they are indeed eligible for in-state tuition.