Advice - Is applying for Medicine aged 30+ pointless?

(11 Posts)
SofiaF1508 Tue 03-Mar-20 21:08:04

I had wanted to study medicine ever since I was a child. I applied for Medicine back when I was 17 (I’m now 29). At the time, I had the required grades (4 A Levels - AAAB), relevant work experience, extracurricular activities etc. I got no interviews and was unsuccessful. I tried again, aged 20 (whilst working and volunteering), yet got no interviews and was unsuccessful again.

I accepted a Biomedical Sciences course, with the hope to transfer onto Medicine during of after, but ended up having to leave the course due to illness which then became a long term illness (which meant I wouldn’t be able to complete the course within the required five years). In the time since I had time off due to the illness and had a part time position within a university and had my first child (who is now two and a half) and I’m now a full time SAHM.

I had always hoped and planned to return to education (or start on my way to that as my A Levels were now obtained too long okay to use in any applications) when my daughter starts nursery at three. I cannot shake this long term dream and any other course or career path that I look into just doesn’t feel me with the same level of excitement.

Am I being unrealistic? Does anyone know of anyone who has applied to and studied Medicine this late? If so, how did they go about it? Im struggling to find any information (other than the generic university email replies) or anybody else that has been in this situation to ask or offer mentorship.

OP’s posts: |
Kateplaysrugbyinmydreams Tue 03-Mar-20 21:11:48

What's your health situation? It's a brutal course and even worse as a career. If you are still liable to relapse I would think twice.
Have you looked at occupational therapy? That might suit better.

GCAcademic Tue 03-Mar-20 21:11:51

Hi OP - you are probably best to ask MNHQ to move your thread to the Higher Education board. This one is for people who work in universities to discuss work issues, and I’m not sure that there are many medics on here.

okiedokieme Tue 03-Mar-20 21:13:44

There's lots more mature students these days do age isn't a particular factor but medicine is a very demanding degree and career, not easy with a child unless you have very good support (especially from year 3) and if you have underlying health issues then that's a consideration too as to whether you are suitable. Unlike most degrees there's still a cap on medicine places because they are subsidised by the state so medical schools (and the nhs) want to ensure those who who get places are capable of graduating. Might be worth talking to a couple of medical schools about being a mature student, a parent especially to see how compatible it is

zelbazinnamon Tue 03-Mar-20 21:24:57

My DH did a graduate medicine course, there were several people over 30. I think the oldest was in their 40s actually.

SofiaF1508 Tue 03-Mar-20 21:27:17

Thank you for your replies! I was successfully managing my health issues for a while and then the issues (neuropathic pain) just haven’t been a problem since my toddler has been born at all (so much so that I was able to be discharged from all services and secondary care). At the moment, I am incredibly lucky to have a great support system (my family) and my daughter’s father currently covers our expenses (and has said he would honour this if I were to return to education). It definitely is a huge decision and, like one poster suggestion, I really need to find more information about the reality and feasibility of Medicine as a mature student and a parent. I just don’t seem to be able to find any good portals of information or contactable individuals.

Thanks for the heads up, @GCAcademic , and sorry for posting in the wrong place. I’m still very new to this, how would I go about contacting MNHQ RE: moving the thread?

OP’s posts: |
GCAcademic Tue 03-Mar-20 21:53:45

You can hit the “report” link on your original post. There’s usually quite a few threads on Higher Education on medicine courses, so hopefully you’ll get more traffic.


bigkidsdidit Tue 03-Mar-20 21:54:17

This isn’t the wrong place necessarily - you just might not get masses of replies.

Medicine is a very, very tough course with no summers off and long days. And you can be sent anywhere in the later years / your training. I am a biomedical scientist and I wouldn’t do medicine. It’s too hard for me and I couldn’t balance it with my family life the way I do now. I don’t want to not see my children for three days.

However, if you do really want it and have your eyes open, you are certainly not too old. 10 years qualifying means you’ll still have 25 years working!

SofiaF1508 Tue 03-Mar-20 22:05:16

Thank you again for all of your replies!

@bigkidsdidit Do you find your current position interesting and do you think a biomedical sciences degree would be more manageable as a parent?

@zelbazinnamon Your husband is the first, real life, example of a mature student studying medicine I’ve come across. Did your husband have a family at the time? Did he struggle to apply and study alongside family life?

OP’s posts: |
zelbazinnamon Tue 03-Mar-20 22:21:03

The majority of his peers on his course were like him, in their mid 20s ish. But as I said before there were some older students, including a few with kids. We had our first child during the first year of medical school, second during FY1 and third during ST1. The hardest time for us was foundation years & specialist training. Medical school was quite easy to manage compared to that.

bigkidsdidit Wed 04-Mar-20 17:25:32

Yes, I love my job, and biomedical sciences would be completely manageable with kids

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