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Inquisitive

How old is too old to apply for medicine?

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I will turn 25 later this year. I just graduated from nursing school and will be working as a full-time registered nurse next month in an oncology unit. 

Based on talking to others and seeking advice, it’s clear that I need a second undergraduate degree. If I do decide to go back to school in September and finish two years of full courses, I would be 27 or 28. Essentially I’ll be closer to 30 when I start applying for medicine.

This means that I would be 40 after  completing residency. This makes me nervous. I have a few family members who are practicing physicians and discouraged me from applying. I’m not sure how to feel about it. 

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I started at 31...I’ll finish residency at 40. 

If it permits you to do what you want with your life, it’s entirely worth it. 

We had matriculants in my class older than 40....who went into ER for residency...as long as you’ve got the energy for it then follow your heart. 

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17 hours ago, Inquisitive said:

I will turn 25 later this year. I just graduated from nursing school and will be working as a full-time registered nurse next month in an oncology unit. 

Based on talking to others and seeking advice, it’s clear that I need a second undergraduate degree. If I do decide to go back to school in September and finish two years of full courses, I would be 27 or 28. Essentially I’ll be closer to 30 when I start applying for medicine.

This means that I would be 40 after  completing residency. This makes me nervous. I have a few family members who are practicing physicians and discouraged me from applying. I’m not sure how to feel about it. 

I guess the important thing to think about is what are you after and how will you get there. Do you have the funds to support this endeavour and will this affect your life. If you did do a second undergrad and med school thats 6 years at minimum of tuition with no income, at a time when all your friends are making money, settling down, getting married and buying a house it can be a challenge. Just some food for thought. With that being said if you are happy to do family medicine or family + emerg you could very well become staff before 40. 

 

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I'm 25 and I am already starting to feel old for medicine, so I understand your concern. Just to add on top of what everyone else is saying, what has helped me persevere despite aging, is understanding that I am going to be aging either way. Whether you go to med school or not you are going to be 30 or 40 years old. The question you can ask yourself is: would you rather be a doctor or [insert other profession here] at 40? I know the answer is 100% doctor for me. If I'm going to be 40 years old one day, I might as well do what I have dreamed of doing all my life.

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We all get older. Now you have a choice to shape your future: to be a 40 year old with your dream accomplished or a 40 year old with regrets he did not try. If you want it - go fot it. As mentioned above, you need to sort out financial aspect to pay tuition for second undergrad. This might be hard but doable. Best of luck! 

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I think I know how you feel. I'm 24 years old, and I've had a lot of moments where I feel the same as you (I'll be 25 when I finish my undergrad), but the way I see it, when I'm 60 or 70 years old and looking to retire, I'm going to feel pretty silly about not trying to do something I really wanted because I thought I was too old in my mid-twenties. By the way, I'm doing a nursing undergrad, I still have one year to go, and my oldest classmate in my year (that I know of) is in her mid 40s and has a couple of kids. And you know what? I'd say that she's a better student and care provider than the majority of my classmates, based on what I've seen in clinical placements, labs, and in our class discussions. Don't start thinking that when you hit a certain age it becomes impossible for your life to progress any more; that sort of thinking quickly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's true that you might not be able to get promoted to a certain level in a lot of organizations, due to seniority and the experience needed for certain positions, but if someone is so preoccupied with things like titles, rank/seniority, and money, that it's got them rethinking their career path if they can't have them, medicine isn't the right choice to begin with.

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Honestly, (I'll be the youngest in my class), I am excited to go through medical school with people much older than me. I think I can learn a lot from their life experiences. If being a doctor is what you want, then work hard and put in that application! 

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I had to do a second undergrad degree before thinking about medicine and began my second degree at 29; accepted to medical school at 35. There was another student in my class who was older than me (either 38 or 40... I don't recall at this point). 

The average age of people accepted to medicine seems to be increasing. If it's something you really want to pursue, go for it! There were many people 30+ in my class. Best of luck!

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