About Me

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Update Aug 2016: This was my little blog describing my experiences as a mature / non-traditional medical student. I  graduated so probably won’t continue to actively update this blog but I do try to answer any questions. Thanks for visiting.


Hello! I’m a 1st 2nd 3rd 4th final year, 40+ year old medical student.

I’m the ‘mature’ one looking out-of-place in lectures, roaming the hospital appearing more knowledgeable than I actually am. I should have the advantage of ancient wisdom – but instead I’m just ancient.

A good job working with superb people was given up and time will reveal whether I made the right decision. I’m sure there are as yet unseen sacrifices. One certainty is that doing nothing results in the same. If I hadn’t applied to medical school, I’d be wondering: “What if?” Delay only reduced my chances of getting in and diminished the years left to practice. So with a passion to chase, a leap of faith and no safety net, I jumped…

There were countless hoops to wriggle through and applying to medical school alone would need a blog in itself. So far, it has all been worth it and it has been a fulfilling experience. From initial uncertainty, getting accepted, passing the first two three four years of medical school, seeing, learning and doing some incredible things I’d never ordinarily have been able to do, meeting world-class doctors, surgeons and some extraordinary patients and best of all making some amazing friends and classmates.

But I’m still at base camp of a mammoth mountain. Looking up I think I can see a summit when the clouds momentarily part, but only if I squint – or put on my bi-focals.

Yours
Med-School Latecomer – back of the class, 20 years late

32 thoughts on “About Me

    1. Big thanks StrivingforLife! What you are doing in your “About” page sounds great, so good luck to you too. Seems like you’re making many lifestyle/habit changes, aswell as studying and holding down a full time job. It must be challenging managing your time, but you sound really determined so I’m sure you’ll succeed. All the best!

  1. I am well frankly relieve, a postive statement,attitude and person.I will press on with my dream, now feeling like a young 37.

  2. You are definitely an inspiration. I have so many people, who do care a lot about me, telling me it is too late to keep trying to get into medicine and time to do something else. I’m in my mid thirties. I have thought about other professions that I would be happy with and I always come back to medicine.

  3. Your blog is great! It’s very funny but also very honest. I have also decided to take the plunge after convincing myself for years that it wasn’t meant to be…. If all goes well and I get an offer to Med school to start in 2015 I will be 34 years old. I find stories like yours inspiring and will keep trying till I make it! Thanks for sharing your ‘wisdom’ 🙂

    1. Hi Lola and Med school latecomer, I am 33, a graduate, have 2 kids and a job and i just got an offer to study medicine! So excited! Have enjoyed reading this blog :). Lola, did you get in?

      1. Thanks Ren81! Belated congratulations! Hope it lives up to your expectations. If my experience was anything to go by, you must have had a whirlwind of a time getting the offer. Well done!

  4. loving your blog.. just stumbled upon it while searching for info re: medicine as a business/medicine as a profession.. (ethics.. compulsory project GROAN!) I’m 35 and in second year.. really relate to what you’re going thru! keep it up!

    1. Hi PK! Thanks for visiting and commenting. Really glad you are relating to all this. It’s an amazing experience and you’d probably agree that it’s appreciated even more having done other things beforehand. Good luck with your studies, we also had a compulsory ethics assignment but second year passes by really quick!

  5. Thank you so much for this post. So glad to read all of these comments. I am 35 applying to Med school. Amazing how people just shrug you and discourage you from pursuing your dreams. Only one person can keep you from accomplishing your dreams and that is you! Go for it!!

  6. Dear Young Pup,

    Give em hell! You’re doing fabulous.
    I am older than you and also an MD student.
    We may be “late” to MD School but we are definitely ahead by being on this awesome journey.

    The Road Less Traveled to MD

  7. Hello! I stumbled upon your blog when Googling things like “how old is too old for medical school” haha. I’ll be 31 in April, and I was getting worried that I had missed my chance to go into medicine. I’ve found your blog super encouraging to me on my journey. Thanks for sharing!

    I had a question that I don’t believe you’ve addressed on your blog (apologies if you have). Did you put any thought into studying medicine elsewhere in the EU, in an effort to get in sooner? For example, with my current background, there are various medicine courses I could attend in fall 2014 that would be taught in English in various eastern Europe countries. If I want to study medicine in the UK, it would be fall 2016 at the absolute soonest (might even have to wait until 2017). Part of me thinks, I’ve waited this long, I can wait a few more years to get in where I would prefer to go. Another part of me thinks, I’ve waited this long, I’m not about to wait any longer! 🙂

    Thoughts?

    1. Hi Rhea. Thanks for stopping by. It’s great that you are encouraged to continue on your journey.
      I didn’t consider studying in the EU but if I hadn’t been offered any places in UK Medical schools then perhaps things would have been different although I’m unsure about the costs or the logistics. I’ve met a doctor who studied in Prague and is now working in UK so if you want to work in the UK healthcare system I’m sure it can be done. There are some GMC guidelines here: http://goo.gl/2HVuvl
      Studying medicine itself has been an amazing experience, so doing it in another country with a different culture must be double amazing! If you are considering EU medical schools for 2014, could you also consider medical schools in US? Wishing you the best of luck. I hope you let us know how you get on.

  8. I love your attitude and approach. Great bio! Had me smiling and laughing. As a traditional student, I commend you for having the guts to jump!

    And the mammoth mountain metaphor: perfect.

    Best of luck!

  9. Until very recently, I was certain that I had no desire to practice medicine in the US, so I wasn’t really thinking of doing medical school in the US. Even though I’m at least open to the possibility now, I don’t have the prerequisite courses at the moment. Truthfully, I probably wouldn’t meet the entry requirements until fall 2016, and I’m not sure that I want to wait that long.

    I’m not worried at all about being able to practice in the UK. Basically, if you study medicine in an EU country, at a medical school that is recognised by that country’s equivalent to the GMC, then the GMC ‘has’ to accept your qualifications. At this point I am 99% sure that I will study medicine starting this fall in the EU. The ‘simple’ reason is that I would need to be resident in the UK for 3 years before starting my studies in order to not pay overseas fees. I simply cannot justify spending 30,000 pounds a year for 5 years to study medicine (or anything, for that matter). I finally know what I want to do, and I guess I don’t want to wait another 3 years to get started. I guess you can call me impatient! 🙂

    1. Hi Rhea, thanks for stopping by again. It’s good that you know what you want to do and have an objective to focus on. Impatience is OK in that it helps to get things done but time does seem to fly by quickly, so in the end it doesn’t feel as though the waiting was as long as originally thought, especially if you have a plan. It sounds like you do have a plan so I wish you all the best of luck. Let us know how you get on, would love to know.

  10. I absolutely love your attitude! I’m a 22-year-old undergrad student and (hopefully) in the end stages of applying to med school; here I was thinking I’d be behind the curve if I don’t get in this application cycle. You’ve proven me wrong and then some! Keep blogging and being awesome!

  11. Hi GettingToTheMD! Thanks for the comment! I would say you’re not behind the curve at all. I’ve heard arguments for starting medical school after an undergraduate degree and that is has many advantages – for example knowing yourself and having done a degree already, you know how you study best. I heard also that some maturity helps in being able to talk to patients about sensitive subjects too. My younger classmates were a bit like that at the beginning but I’d say they’ve all caught up and we’re all more or less in the same boat now. Everyone has their own speed of doing things so keep going and keep being awesome yourself!

    1. Awesome blog yourself! I’ve linked to your site too and will be visiting to get more useful tips. Good luck with F1 land and please give us med students some teaching time! 🙂

  12. Hi There,

    I am really inspired by your blog – I have been considering medicine as a mature student myself for a while now, but I am not at all sure about the process and have a few concerns. To that end, I was wondering if you might be able to take some time out to have a chat with me about your experience and some questions that I have? If so, I would really be grateful.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Sarah, thank you for your kind words 🙂 There are several routes into medical school and applying can be quite a lengthy process. There is so much information on the internet to help. You can check forums such as: http://www.newmediamedicine.com/forum/forum.php and http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/ I found a lot of my questions were answered there and you can ask the medical school applicant community there too! Also it is really worth finding out as much as you can about the schools you are interested in and definitely paying them a visit too. If you have more questions, you can find me on here or on tofumedic google mail. Happy to answer any questions 🙂

  13. Hi MSL! Your blog is great and really inspirational for medics. I’m a student myself, currently working for the Student British Medical Journal and we’re running some articles about applying to medicine. I would love to get the chance to hear from you directly about being a mature medical applicant because we want to encourage people from a wide range of backgrounds to apply. Would it be OK for me to get in contact with you please? Many thanks 🙂

  14. Thank you so much for your Blog . very ENCOURAGING .
    Just making applications to med school at 37!!!!

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