I am a 33 year old who has always dreamed about pursuing a lifelong career the medical profession. I majored in chemistry, and for various reasons ended up working in pharmaceuticals the family computer business over the past 10 years after college graduation. I have found my current computer career unfullfilling, and would like to pursue my dream of becoming a medical doctor as I had originally intended. I know that the chances of obtaining that goal are not 100%, so I intend to also take prereqs towards nursing school.
I have volunteered at the local hospital in Orlando FL for the past 8 months, and have just recently started volunteering in the ER. I have really enjoyed working with the nurses in neurology and having some patient contact (though limited to helping them out as a volunteer), watching them and the doctors work.
I know that medicine is a life-long career, and I am ready to commit towards going back to school, preparing for the MCAT, and applying to med schools. It’s all very intimidating as a 33 year old, 10 years out of college, but the desire is still tehre I know I have the aptitude,the drive, and energy to do it. I just hope that my age and my previous career path won’t hurt my chances at pursuing my dream.
I have lots of questions, like what kinds of courses I should take to prepare for the MCAT. I took the MCAT 10 years ago, and received an average to slightly below-average score, but I could have done a lot better if I had been prepared and had had courses such as anatomy. My GPA was around 3.5 and strong with lots of science, but for personal reasons my last semester of college wasn’t stellar. I’m not sure if something like that can be “repaired” by excelling at post-graduate courses or not.
I am applying to UCF Orlando to take courses such as anatomy and others to prepare for nursing school and to also help me brush up on subjects to do better on the MCAT.
Thanks for providing a great forum!
As you look around this website you will see that OPMs have gone to med school at all ages and with a wide variety of experiences, so don’t let any of that hold you back.
It’s interesting that you are also considering nursing. I considered myself to be pre-med for a few years but over the past 6-12 months I determined that nursing is actually what I am looking for. It fits better in terms of what I want out of my career. However, many of those pre-reqs do cross over (no getting out of orgo for me!).
I would make sure that you are really interested in nursing as an alternate plan. It is a different field from medicine, though they of course work together with the other healthcare fields to care for patients. Nursing is NOT health care for people who can’t get into med school. You will find that many nursing schools are becoming increasingly competitive: applicant pools have increased greatly over the past few years and there is a shortage of instructors, so they are getting picky in who they select for their programs, especially if you are looking at accelerated 2nd degree BSN or direct-entry MSN programs. I’m not trying to be defensive here, just trying to explain that these are two different careers and you want to make sure you are shooting for the one that will really meet your desires.
That being said… in terms of courses, you may want to check out med schools that you are potentially interested in to see whether they limit the age of prerequisite coursework. At 10+ years old you may find that you need to retake some of the courses. To help with your MCAT, I’m sure the nursing prereqs (A&P, microbio) certainly can’t hurt, but the other people here can advise as to what else you may find helpful.
Best of luck in your pursuit!
Thanks for the reply! My real goal is to goto medical school, but I have had many suggestions that due to my age that I consider Nurse Practitioner or PA. I do understand that nurses and doctors have different roles, but I would love to hear how people would contrast the two careers.
I am interested in being in charge of the care of patients, to get into the challenge of figuring out what to do to cure or help people through their illness or injury. I believe that going to medical school and becoming a full doctor would be the way to achieve that goal.
If your goal is to become a doctor, then work towards attaining that goal. Don’t let anyone discourage you because of your ripe old age of 33. Oh, by the way. . . . . did I mention that I am 54 and about to complete my second year of medical school.
I guess what I’m saying is that 33 is not old! There are many schools that appreciate the life experience nontrads bring along with our determination and willingness to work hard.
So. . . welcome to OldPreMeds. Stay focused on becoming what you want to be and don’t let others discourage you. From the time I went back to undergrad, I had some naysayers, but the majority of people, including most of my professors, did nothing less than be completely supportive and encouraging.