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Akky008

Is There Hope At Age 30? Starting Over From Scratch

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I was always interested in law, and was thrilled when I was accepted at McMaster to study in the humanities. I attended school for four years, failed my last year, and dropped out. I was an awful student- unmotivated, and lazy. I regret my past, regarding my schooling, every day.

 

I moved to Alberta to pursue a career in the oilfield. I stayed in that position for about four years before I got a safe, comfortable, and rather dull position at a large factory. I eventually fell into a position with a huge amount of down time per day. (Anywhere between 5-6 hours in a 12 hour shift) In the past eight months I've read the entirety of the Kaplan MCAT books and several human anatomy texts at work. I am thinking of a huge career change into medicine. I enjoy my job just fine, but it requires no education and little skill and training. I feel like I'm wasting my potential.

 

I've done quite a bit of research on admissions and requirements. The lady I met at UofC admissions basically told me I don't have a chance. She said I have a "huge uphill battle ahead" at my age. I totally agree that I have a lot of catching up to do. I'm 30. I feel like I can contribute so much more to life and society than the limited job I do. My mom started her BSc Accounting degree when she was 37, working a full time job, and having two kids-my sister and myself. 

 

I have a plan to enroll in Athabasca and study for two years before applying. Even if I don't get in after two years, I could keep applying elsewhere and carry on my degree program. I honestly don't see why this admissions person was incredibly defeatist. Worst case scenario, I study for two years and don't get in anywhere, and give up. The most I'd "waste" is two years of education and some tuition money. I feel like I could really contribute to society and make a difference in our health care system. 

 

Anyone else start fresh at an older age? I've been skimming these forums for stories lately. Thanks for reading. 

 

 

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Don't want to be a downer or anything but make sure you want this 100% and focus everything you have into getting into medical school...many people grind out from day 1 of first year university, do everything right and then not even got an offer for interview (review the boards to see people with 3.9+, high MCATs etc)...and have to reapply more to get in..if you really want to do this then consider after your 2 years of upgrading (pretty sure you need more years than that?) 4-5 cycles to get in, so you will start medical school at 37, be done at 41 depending on the school. Thats 11 years from now, tens of thousands in debt and people don't ever factor in the emotional/stress of being rejected time after time which is huge to you and those who support you. I don't want to discourage you but just letting you know from the realistic standpoint, good luck 

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and to your point about why this admission is so "defeatist" is because there are literally hundreds (thousands?) of people across Canada who make it their mission to get into medical school from day 1...and so you have many many more qualified applicants for a much fewer number of seats. 

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GPA and MCAT aren't everything. 

Do you have experiences from your 20s that are likely to be substantial in the eyes of medical admissions? Do you frequently volunteer? If you can very easily stack your application, it should be easy to get an interview despite a moderately low GPA once you've upgraded. 

If you haven't made large commitments to volunteerism, leadership, and helping vulnerable communities you had better make the next couple years count. 

Good luck!

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Oh absolutely. I've read many posts of excellent students who get nothing but rejections. It sucks that there aren't enough spots in this country. I think I have to definitely try. If I give an honest 100% effort, at least I'll know that I did my best. 

 

My EC's are okay I think. Volunteering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Hospital work with patients, rafting, etc.

 

I'm not really sure why I made this post. I don't really require any advice per say. Just gotta give it my best. Thanks for the info!

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When was your failed year? If you are approaching 30 then depending on when you went to school the 10 year exclusion could really help you out a lot. There is a reasonable number of us "over 30s" in the class right now, many of whom went back to school for a couple of years in order to make a run at the medical school thing. If you have already started working on things and you have both the money and the employment situation to pursue full time studies at this point in your life then there is no reason not to try for this if it's what you want to do. If you get 2 years in and you change your mind I would argue you haven't "wasted" any time - if you can find an undergrad that you are interested in then pursuing it could also lead to an alternative career option that you may have never thought about before if you decide that medicine is not for you. 

 

I somewhat disagree with YesICan, particularly when it comes to U of C (I can't speak to any other schools). Too many students put WAY too much emphasis on their GPA and "doing everything right" from day one whereas the U of C application puts quite a lot of weight on life experience and lifelong learning. Of course you need a reasonably competitive GPA to even apply (and you already recognize this as something you will need to go back to school to obtain) but it is ultimately only 20% of your application. Yes, there are many competitive applicants for each seat and it is absolutely possible that you never get in or that it takes you 11 years to get in so you should be prepared for that potential outcome, but you should not write yourself off as being unable to become a competitive/successful applicant if you are ready to put the work in (and it sounds like you are not only willing, but that you've already put a fair bit of thought into planning and taken some action towards this decision). 

 

As for why admissions may have sounded defeatist? Well it's possible they were looking at your chances given your CURRENT grade situation or using past behaviour as a predictor of future behaviour (to be fair they don't know you at all so they have no idea what your academic ability aside from what you have scored in the past). I would also kind of agree with them that the plan you are looking at is quite an uphill battle (going to school full time while working is tough - I did it for many years) - but that's not to say it isn't a battle worth waging. 

 

For what it's worth, I had a similar conversation with admissions when I first looked at medical school many years ago. I let that conversation dissuade me from applying and went off to do something else, but in the end I came back to medicine and I was successful. You can PM me if you want to know what my application journey looked like, but as always my caveat is "your mileage may vary" and my experience will likely not reflect your experience. 

 

It seems like you already have a pretty good handle on what you need to do in the coming years to make a go of this. You will need some solid academic years and a reasonable MCAT, but don't forget about your ECs either. As you are working on your academics in the coming years you can continue to develop your ECs as well. Actually, there is a forum member who will likely have some helpful advice for you - RichardDegrasseSagan has had a very interesting application journey and has a thread on this forum about it which you might find helpful to read.

 

Good luck with your future plans! 

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PM'ed you :)

 

It's easy and daunting to think that it's gonna take 10 years from start to finish (more or less), but I see residency more as a job. Regardless, you are gonna be 10 years older in 10 years anyway, but how do you want to see yourself at the end of the 10 years? I don't know about your family/life situation - things can get complicated with children and life things in the mix, but people make it work. If this is what you want, go for it! 

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Don't hesitate. Go back to school right now. I'm just finishing a year of open studies at u of c to raise my gpa. It was really hard being older, and I imagine it will only get harder (I'm 31). I did a mix of courses of interest to me. Some sciences, some arts, and a language. I wrote the mcat after self study as well (I previously did a degree unrelated to the mcat), and did quite well. I applied this cycle, and am waiting to find out if I will get in, and I am prepared to reapply having raised my GPA, if I don't get in. I could possibly re write the mcat but I doubt I could raise it.

 

Either way, I started prepping to do everything I could to improve my application as soon as I decided it was what I wanted to do. I worked on explanding on things I've been doing since graduating, and exploring new avenues in existing interests to really work on the qualities that are scored. It's been both good for the application, and for my self.

 

Don't forget about the ten year exclusion rule, it might work to your advantage. See this as a long term plan, and work towards a long term goal.

 

Good luck

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If you want it, go for it. But be realistic that your chances are slim and have a backup plan if you don't get in, or even if you get in but for whatever reason cannot take 3-4 years out of your life to go to med school. Once one reaches a certain age, one cannot simply drop everything like a 22 year old student can. In my case I was accepted into McGill Medicine at age 45. Since I had my B.Sc. (Alberta 1992), my law degrees (McGill 1996), and 20 years of practice as a lawyer, I didn't exactly "start fresh"; but I had been out of school for 20 years.

 

My first cycle, all of Calgary, McMaster and McGill rejected me pre-interview. The next year I applied only to McGill, got an interview and was then accepted off the wait-list.

 

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I got my acceptance only 6 weeks before classes were to start. I simply was unable to settle my professional, business and financial obligations in such a short time, so I had to decline the offer. I asked for a 1 year deferral and they refused my request, and thus ended my medical career.

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I am 30 and a resident, and got into med school at 22 ( Im almost done a 5 year residency).

 

Take this for what its worth, but I would not recommend this.  Even if things go well and you get in right away youre looking at 10 years by the time youre a family doctor.  I just dont think its worth it.  Like Im 30 and almost done and I feel sometimes like its not worth the last 6 months.  You will spend a decade of your adult life chasing, possibly unsuccessfully, something that is extremely difficult and often not that pleasent.  During that time, you will have little control and largely told by others/fate where to go and what to do if you get in. 

 

Try to advance in your current career.  Maybe finish the last year of undergrad if you want something to work toward, as perhaps that could help with promotions.  I just think given what you told us that this is a bad idea.  I hope you remember this post and give it some serious consideration

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Personally I think the feeling of wanting to pursue medicine never really goes away. It is potentially a long journey however (I'm still on this journey so take this with a grain of salt), if you can find someway to enjoy the journey that would ultimately be ideal, as it is the journey not the destination whatever that means. It's hard to offer advice but I think you have to dig deep and follow your heart, you'll know what is the right thing for you to do.

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IMO, you need to think about it.

 

At the age of 30, with a competitive GPA, that's worth a try (starting med school at 30 is not a big deal, especially if you want to be a GP). But with your first try at 32, and probably getting in somewhere between 33-35, I would carefully think about the whole situation (stress, loans, having your life on hold...). If that's really what you want to do, and you can't see yourself doing something else, well do it.

 

Personally, I'm 27 and I'm trying to get into Dentistry, I'm competitive, and in my case, If I'm not accepted this year I'll probably try till I'm 29 or 30. I'm pretty confident that I would get in this year or next year, but if I'm wrong, I'll probably just end up in pharmacy. And I'm talking about doing Dentistry or Pharmacy (4-5 years and you're out of school). But it's an highly personal decision, you need to figure out what you want in life and if it's worth the trouble.

 

Sorry for my English.

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I'm in my late 30s in the middle of residency...and I feel my age often compared to my younger and more youthful colleagues who appear to bounce back easily from call and more challenging off-service rotation experiences.

 

I know if someone had told me not to bother, I wouldn't have listened to them and just listened to my heart. If this is your dream and passion, do it. But...do recognize that the longer you put it off, the harder it'll be on your body, you'll note your mind isn't as sharp as it used to be to get through masses of information, etc. etc. Nevertheless, it is your life, your time, your money, your decision!!

 

Good luck!

LL

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I'd say it's definitely possible, and I don't consider 30 to be very old (I'm quite a bit older).  I think the bigger issues have to do with living as a student, as opposed to working, along with the associated disadvantages vs advantages.  You'll have much less leisure time and disposable income at a time when many people are settling down, buying a home, starting families, etc...  On the other hand, you could be potentially be embarking upon a much more appealing career and have a broader chance to find a new path.  In your particular case, it's clear that your current situation doesn't suit you, but it's possible there might be other areas of advancement as well.  You mentioned having an initial desire for Law, and an MBA could be a way to broaden your horizons into management and beyond as well.  As other people have mentioned, in your case in particular, it won't be a particularly short path to getting into med school - it will essentially mean your 30s (at least) are dedicated to changing your career.  I don't feel ageing gives a significant cognitive decline, but I do think, there is probably more desire for work vs life balance.  

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Akky008 - I'm in my mid 30s and will be applying this upcoming cycle.  I think in the end it all depends on how badly you want it and how hard you're willing to work/achieve it.  Age means nothing, except for more experience.  In my opinion, experience is the best teacher! Furthermore, if you take care of your body your biological age will be considerably less than your chronological age.  There's a dude at my gym who became a personal trainer after retiring from his executive job. He's in his mid 70s has pretty bad emphysema and holds world records for his age group in a few olympic and powerlifting events! 

 

I gave up at least temporarily a very sweet lifestyle, making >100k and basically making my own schedule and choosing where I want to work and for how long.  When I tell people what I gave up to go back and upgrade my marks to apply for an MD they look at me like I'm nuts! I'll be in my mid 40's by the time I'm done, but I don't really care, as its what will bring me intellectual fulfillment. 

 

One of the biggest advantages of being older is life experience and the understanding/appreciation for what it takes to accomplish a given goal/task.  Given your unsuccessful academic career in the past, you have an appreciation and realization of what induced the failure, and assuming you do go back to school, I'm willing to bet that you will not repeat this mistake. In addition, I believe that its a lot easier to do well in a science curriculum than humanities.  Also, like some of the other posters have indicated you can take advantage of the 10 year exclusion rule. 

 

Just keep grinding, and whatever you do have fun doing it!

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I know I don't hold much weight since I am in my 20s, but it kills me to think that anyone would tell you that it wouldn't have a chance. 

 

Sure it may be difficult and take some real effort, but to me 'not a chance' would be if you were in your 70's and had no education whatsoever... but even then there would statistically be some chance of getting into medical school!

 

Based on what you've shared, I think it is worth a shot. 

 

Let's even play devil's advocate and say that you just don't get in after several attempts. There is nothing stopping you from finishing any degree of your choice and pursuing a career you feel worthwhile. There are even other careers related to health care that you could pursue. Your education will add value to you regardless of whether or not you get into medical school; every class counts. While you are studying and applying, you can also work on your back up plan.

 

There will always be people who'll shake their head at you. Even when I made the decision to take part time university classes to upgrade my diploma to a bachelor's degree, I was met with a lot of resistance. No one could understand why I was stressing myself out over pursuing a degree while working full time. People will act like it is the end of the world that I graduated college and committed myself to years of studying on my evenings and weekends. It certainly takes up time I would rather spend relaxing but even if I don't end up getting into medical school, I will have a bachelors degree to my name. 

 

It certainly seems worth going for it unless you plan on taking drastic measures that depend on you getting into medical school.

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I am really sorry to jump in on this one but I would personally not listen to goleafsgochris's advice.

His or her personal disappointment in having spent a decade in something he/she does not enjoy is a sad thing.

Maybe that person is not totally aware of the fact that in 99% of the jobs, you have a boss and are told what to do. 

 

The other thing I would like to add is that once you start residency, you will have a salary in the 50-60K$.

 

That is basically the starting salary of high income jobs for any university graduate.

 

 

His or her case might be personal and I am sure that person wanted to give you a reality check.

 

I am usually the most realistic / pessimistic person on the planet but sometimes you have to listen to the voice inside.

 

Here is the question that I would ask you :

 

What have you done that was so extraordinary in the last 10 years ?

 

The reason why I am asking this question is because, being a non-trad myself, I find it absolutely irrelevant to talk about age and that 'spending 10 years' issue.

 

The 10 years will pass by, no matter if you pursue your dream or not.

 

In 10 years, you will be 40 no matter if you get in or not.

 

I believe that no matter what happens, this process will make you better.

 

And what's the worse thing that can happen?

 

Well you can plan on being a nurse, a physio, a pharmacist, etc.

 

It wouldn't be your 1st choice but it's close to the field that you like and it is surely better than what you are currently doing.

 

Just follow your guts.

 

 

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On April 4, 2017 at 11:43 PM, Akky008 said:

I was always interested in law, and was thrilled when I was accepted at McMaster to study in the humanities. I attended school for four years, failed my last year, and dropped out. I was an awful student- unmotivated, and lazy. I regret my past, regarding my schooling, every day.

 

I moved to Alberta to pursue a career in the oilfield. I stayed in that position for about four years before I got a safe, comfortable, and rather dull position at a large factory. I eventually fell into a position with a huge amount of down time per day. (Anywhere between 5-6 hours in a 12 hour shift) In the past eight months I've read the entirety of the Kaplan MCAT books and several human anatomy texts at work. I am thinking of a huge career change into medicine. I enjoy my job just fine, but it requires no education and little skill and training. I feel like I'm wasting my potential.

 

I've done quite a bit of research on admissions and requirements. The lady I met at UofC admissions basically told me I don't have a chance. She said I have a "huge uphill battle ahead" at my age. I totally agree that I have a lot of catching up to do. I'm 30. I feel like I can contribute so much more to life and society than the limited job I do. My mom started her BSc Accounting degree when she was 37, working a full time job, and having two kids-my sister and myself. 

 

I have a plan to enroll in Athabasca and study for two years before applying. Even if I don't get in after two years, I could keep applying elsewhere and carry on my degree program. I honestly don't see why this admissions person was incredibly defeatist. Worst case scenario, I study for two years and don't get in anywhere, and give up. The most I'd "waste" is two years of education and some tuition money. I feel like I could really contribute to society and make a difference in our health care system. 

 

Anyone else start fresh at an older age? I've been skimming these forums for stories lately. Thanks for reading. 

 

 

I started my undergrad in my 30s, with four kids. Years ago I had completed a college degree with marks I am ashamed of. I had many, many people tell me not to return to school full-time, as I had a business and career. But my passion had always been medicine. I just needed the undergrad degree first. Which I did, and managed to do exceptionally well, while still running my business, raising the kids and overcoming a difficult health concern. My unwavering desire to go into medicine kept me motivated through many hardships. I've applied over the past three years, with many of the 'uphill battle' warnings from friends and family members, telling me I should give up. After three application cycles, I received three offers of admissions this year. And incredible dream come true. You can do this.

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Honestly, do a degree that would be a good back-up to medicine. That way, even if you don't get into medicine, you would still have a valuable degree, and it wouldn't be a waste of time and money. 

Example: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, physician assistant, engineering, etc.

That being said, although a lot of people are pessimistic because "tons of great candidates don't get in every year", the truth is, you are not the average candidate. You have probably more than 10 years of life experiences, probably a higher level of maturity and professionalism to offer and therefore cannot compare yourself to the rest of the bunch. A lot of pre-meds, despite looking good on paper, don't have the maturity required to survive medicine.

Additionally, try to shadow some physicians. I feel that if you go into medicine to make a difference in the healthcare system, you might be disappointed. There are much easier ways to make a difference in society/health care system that don't involve a lifetime of grindin' and stressin'.

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On 6/1/2017 at 0:21 AM, 1997 said:

Honestly, do a degree that would be a good back-up to medicine. That way, even if you don't get into medicine, you would still have a valuable degree, and it wouldn't be a waste of time and money. 

Example: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, physician assistant, engineering, etc.

That being said, although a lot of people are pessimistic because "tons of great candidates don't get in every year", the truth is, you are not the average candidate. You have probably more than 10 years of life experiences, probably a higher level of maturity and professionalism to offer and therefore cannot compare yourself to the rest of the bunch. A lot of pre-meds, despite looking good on paper, don't have the maturity required to survive medicine.

Additionally, try to shadow some physicians. I feel that if you go into medicine to make a difference in the healthcare system, you might be disappointed. There are much easier ways to make a difference in society/health care system that don't involve a lifetime of grindin' and stressin'.

I second this, and especially recommend nursing. It would give you good experience in the hospital, see if working in that environment is what you'd want, and a head start with medical terminology. Moreover, it'd be important for you to use the first year of your degree as an indicator of whether school is something you can survive. While there are success stories of people in their 30's getting into and completing their medical training, everyone is different; it's up to you to gauge, after a year of serious studying and little free time, whether this is something you can keep doing for another ~10 years.

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