“The best time to plant trees is 20 years ago, but the next best time is TODAY!”
Older students arrive with disparate inspiration, challenges, and merits than those of traditional medical students. There is no doubt that older residents bring a lot to the table; their experiences are invaluable, and grit and determination are intense.
“When you have gotten more life experiences than your younger colleagues, it helps you make connections with the patient schnap! When you are a young resident with just limited experiences in life, your vision is limited; it is hard to connect with patients. It is not impossible, but it is hard.” said Dr. Luis Espina (former mechanical engineer, who began his medical journey at the ripe age of 37, and residency in Family medicine in his early 40s) in his interview with Dr. Mikhail Varshavski
“No law in the US determines the upper limit in terms of the age of a person applying for residency.”
Are you an older applicant thinking about getting into medical school? Are you worried?
Don’t worry; we got you covered! Let’s kick off with the advantages you bring to the table-
- Counterpoising young colleagues: You bring value, add new insights, and have the scope to inspire younger program participants.
- You’ll have a diverse skill-set: You have seen the world, differing yourself from traditional medical students and residents. You have worked in various jobs, learned how to deal with multiple personalities, and absorbed a melange of skills, making interacting with patients and co-workers a breeze!
- Resilience to BURNOUT: Younger physicians are 200 times more predisposed to experience burnout than physicians of older ages – according to a study published by the AMA (American Medical Association). This competence to maintain composure and serenity despite the job pressures every day gets infused in your work ethic over time.
- Applying at your age conveys that you are eager to learn, are tenacious and hard-working, and have the determination of a dung beetle.
- Past a certain age, you have seen the world enough, and have your priorities straight, and are most likely dedicated to your work in health care within the premises.
On the other hand, here are some aspects that older applicants will have to keep in mind-
- DO THOROUGH GROUNDWORK! You have some diligent choices to make, like what medical specialties to apply. For instance, it is good advice to steer clear from departments like surgery, which give preferences to fresh, recent graduates.
- Don’t underestimate the vastness of important exams like MCAT and USMLE. It can be challenging to get back into textbooks, and there will be significant studying to do, but hey! Nothing is impossible. It isn’t worth it if it comes easy, right?
- The stakes will be higher and finance tighter. At an older age, you probably have a family to tend to. Your financial planning will have to be extremely thorough and regulated. Suppose you already have a medical degree and are into residency. In that case, you will be relatively relaxed as residency offers some salary.
- You will have to match up! You will have to work a little extra to match the quick learners that the traditional students are.
- Balancing your personal and professional life with a complete family gets tough, especially till you gain some steadiness. Empathy, Good communication, and respect will be requisite to maintaining a worthy relationship with those around you.
Postbaccalaureate programs are for students who are working toward a second bachelor’s degree.
In an article published in the New York Times, Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, who heads the A.A.M.C, says that – “post-bac programs fill a critical role in the medical field. In the absence of these programs, several people who would be great doctors would give up,”
In conclusion, medical school admission committees won’t decline you because of your age. Even if programs gauge you for your senility, it will not be an obstacle to your dream. It definitely won’t hold you back. In the end, there is only one thing medical schools are primarily looking at, applicants who will make great Physicians.
“It is never too late to officially wrap a stethoscope around your neck”
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