Is it too late to go to medical school?

– The only ‘limitations’ in life are the ones OTHERS set for you…never give up your dreams!
….and do not allow others to project their insecurities onto you! –


If you really want to go to medical school, nothing will stand in your way,
but just for fun, I would like to share four things I have heard that seemed
to make sense to me:

Older premed: If I go to medical school, it will take me ten years before I am finished. I will be 50!
Philosopher: How old will you be in ten years if you don’t go to medical school?
Older premed: I don’t want to take too long to prepare for medical school, because it will just extend the time it will take until I can be a doctor and start my residency.
Philosopher: If you knew that you were going to be a doctor ten years from now (have finished med school, and have started a residency), what difference would it make if you were to spend two days or two years to prepare for med school?

Older premed: I am strongly influenced by others who say it is too late…
Philosopher: In one hundred years, almost every living being on this earth will be
dead. How important will their opinion be to you then?

Older premed: Yeah, I hear what you are saying, but this person never stops telling me that I can’t do it.
Philosopher: Never argue with someone who is wrong.

For the naysayers:
The box below contains all of the thoughts and
concerns I have regarding your comments about me not likely to be able to go to medical school, or to become a medical doctor.(Please refer to this, and the photo below whenever you may be pondering what I would say in response to your comments)

15 thoughts on “Is it too late to go to medical school?

  1. Thanks for sharing this again. I perused your site for a time yesterday and came back today looking for a sign and behold, this had been reposted–though I'm not sure what being posted on April Fool's Day means. 🙂 Would you be open to fielding some questions about Oceania's program off-line? I've been looking into their program and like many aspects but I do worry about whether I'd struggle to get a residency placement. At this point, my plan is family medicine or emergency medicine.I'm 44 and have been an NP for 4 years. I find myself unsatisfied with my knowledge base. . . which is prompting me to consider med school.


  2. Hello. Thank you for your question. (and a big thanks to you as a representative of NPs for your wonderful work…I had great experiences visiting my NP while I was working for Kaiser Permanente ER in San Francisco)I was only recently accepted into the program at Oceania University of Medicine, but I would be happy to answer any questions you may have informally about the admissions process, and what I have found out regarding residency placement as a result of my participation in their online sessions with former and present students, and administrators. In addition, some of the participants (NPs, PAs, students) were kind enough to answer questions after the sessions via email, which I found to be very encouraging.(I had started the application process at some Caribbean schools, but OUM's system fit my life plan best.)However, to really find out about the details of the program, and residency placement (probably their most commonly asked question in the online sessions), I would suggest that you write to Angelo Mojtabaee (, the admissions counselor who was kind enough to answer so many of my questions during my admissions process.In addition to what they explain in the FAQ section of the M.D. program, it seems that placement depends on a number of factors, such as how well you do on the USMLE Step 1, and where you are hoping to go. If you are flexible about where you will go, I imagine this would significantly increase your options. (Students take the in-house designed USMLE Step 1 test before the real thing, and they aim not only to have you pass, but to do well…so their 100% pass rate is not surprising)It also seems that connections made during your clinical clerkships can lead to more options. Still, the more competitive residencies will always be harder to get, no matter where you graduate from.Feel free to ask any other questions through this blog or my email, simonrdownes@gmail.comOUM FAQ:


  3. Hello, Are you in the program? If so, how are you liking the program, I am seriously considering this program. Thanks, NT


  4. Hello NT,I was recently accepted into the program, and will start soon. I spent a year researching Oceania University of Medicine…talking to students, recent graduates and attending their online sessions. The program seems to fit my needs perfectly. One thing I learned is that while the program is flexible and unique…it is certainly not a 'back door to medicine'…the USMLE and residency requirements are the great equalizers…either you have the knowledge, or you don't. OUM seems to be hitting the mark in this area. They say they do not accept any student they are not confident has what it takes…I recommend you to contact admissions counselor, Angelo Mojtabaee ( They will answer all of your questions, but I think to really know what it is all about, you should attend one or two of their online sessions where you get to meet present and former students, and the professors. There are about 30 to 40 participants per session, and you can listen anonymously, or ask questions…it is quite fun actually.Good luck!


  5. I have recently signed up for faculty session, so I would see what happens? I am a Nurse. Becoming a physician is my life long dream. Only thing, I have so many obstacles in my way,so this program fits me right.I have talked to Angelo already,but I was trying to get in touch with current students and residents so I can get some insights. What did graduates and current students say about the program if you do not mind sharing with me. I really appreciate your time and thank you very much for replying so quick. Thanks, NT


  6. Hi…no I do not mind answering questions (to the best of my limited knowledge…)I am glad you signed up for the online session, you will get a very clear impression of the program.>> What did graduates and current students say about the program?They are all people who were able to overcome the obstacles that you and I, family, money, etc. Some spoke of very supportive families, others of taking breaks, and then coming back…(to earn money, or deal with life issues).My impression was that as the program is quite small, the school is able to provide a great deal of support for students. When I was accepted, I joined the OUM Facebook community. There are many students (younger full-time students in Samoa, and other working professional part-timers scattered around the world…all are friendly).It is a very personal journey…for me, even if I could not get in anywhere, I would study just for the knowledge…Enjoy the session!


  7. Yes, it seems that is true. However, always the final responsibility is with the student. We are responsible for the knowledge. They recommend about 50 hours of study per week for part time students (but more is better).


  8. When are you starting the program? I am sure you must be so exicted. I will be applying for January 2014. This is my lifelong dream and i can not wait. Thanks,NT


  9. Hello NT,That is great that you are applying! It had been a long-time dream of mine also…one I was not willing to give up. I am hoping to start in either July (August) or January. I think about it every day. For me, the process of learning is just as exciting as the idea of getting the degree (maybe even more).


  10. Hi, NT.(your questions motivated me to create a FAQ section at the top of my page…hope it is not too much!)>>What do you do now?1. I am a clinical psychologist, and lecturer at three universities in Japan.2. I run a organization dedicated to providing assessment, evaluation and intervention for children within the autism spectrum and those with learning disabilities.- I used to run a children's day care/kindergarten/after-school elementary program (2003-2010)- Post-doc training, University of Tsukuba, Institute for Disbaility Sciences (2002-2005)3. I teach academic medical conference English to MDs in Tokyo. (Many doctors in Japan can read articles, but need practice discussing medical cases in English. E.g., I am presently assisting an E.R. doc prepare an article for submission to Annals of Emergency Medicine.)4. I teach medical English at pharmaceutical / medical companies in Tokyo (for drug trials, etc).How will you finance your medical education at OUM?I am working part-time in order to pay my way through…so that I will not have a huge debt when I am ready to graduate.


  11. Hello, thank you for your question. (I had not looked at IUHS before, but their new programs look very good.) Before applying to Oceania University of Medicine, I had looked at (and visited) traditional and non-traditional programs in the US, Asia and the Caribbean. 1. Oceania University of Medicine seemed to be very flexible regarding class scheduling, with very strong support from academic advisors. 2. I was attracted to the idea of having some of my clinical rotations in Samoa. The stories told by the present and former students in the online sessions really interested me. And stateside, Baltimore sounded good, too.3. I was able to have some very positive contact with present students at various levels of the program, and former students (residents/just graduated). 4. They are working very hard to maintain high standards for their accreditation.(The best info can be learned from the admissions counselors-no pressure Q&A, anytime…)


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