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London38
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So, here's the thing... I have decided to study medicine, at the grand age of 38 (which in my eyes, is still pretty young). Am I crazy?

Now before anyone chimes in about it taking XYZ to qualify to as doctor, it costs this and the time to study will take that, here is my reasoning;

My intention to go back to school stems from a deep regret of not being overly fulfilled in life. The fact I studied the wrong degree somewhat 15 years ago only exacerbates this feeling. The 'what if' keeps banging on a metaphorical door in my brain. I often ask myself, 'in ten years’ time, would I look back and ask myself why I didn't pursue this now, would I look back and wish I had done the things I wanted to do'. In short, yes. Wouldn't you?

In the last two years, I have lost five family members through a variety of causes, some natural, and some so utterly brutal you'd wonder how I wake up in the morning. Life is for living, no regrets and yes, at 38, I full intend to throw myself into this full-throttle and ensure the next 40 years count.

So now, I will undertake the Access to Medicine diploma in college before progressing to medical school. I'm male, married to a wonderful man, a mortgage, a dog (no children, yet) with a career in a traditional marketing/sales role. I'm not rich, but I'm not poor. It will be a big stretch but what it will give me is the ability to recalibrate what is important in life, to do a rewarding yet challenging job that makes a huge difference. But ultimately to help and give something back, albeit in a small way.

Why am I posting this? Well, how many of us are out there, what are your experiences as a mature medical student, and did you study the diploma?

Did you struggle with the diploma?
How did you find being the 'mature' student?
The entry exams to med school seem a little terrifying (UKAT, for example) - what is your experience with this?

Any experiences and reactions are valid here. Now, you go...
Last edited by London38; 8 months ago
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ecolier
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Disclaimer: I am younger than you and I am already a senior junior doctor, so have absolutely no experience in what you said, personally. But I do teach medical students and there are plenty of mature students.

(Original post by London38)
So, here's the thing... I have decided to study medicine, at the grand age of 38 (which in my eyes, is still pretty young). Am I crazy?
No you are not. There are plenty of "older" medical students. The rate limiting factor isn't medical school, it's being a junior doctor.

Did you struggle with the diploma?
Can't answer this question.

How did you find being the 'mature' student?
Shouldn't be a problem. Most mature students perform better than undergraduate students anyway - they simply have a different mindset and treasure the opportunities more, with better time management etc.

The entry exams to med school seem a little terrifying (UKAT, for example) - what is your experience with this?
Not easy. Remember it depends on what courses you will be applying to, whether there are any additional requirements (e.g. BMAT - now that's a hard exam). Are there any med schools you have in mind?
Last edited by ecolier; 8 months ago
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London38
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(Original post by ecolier)
Disclaimer: I am younger than you and I am already a senior junior doctor, so have absolutely no experience in what you said, personally. But I do teach medical students and there are plenty of mature students.

No you are not. There are plenty of "older" medical students. The rate limiting factor isn't medical school, it's being a junior doctor.

Can't answer this question.

Shouldn't be a problem. Most mature students perform better than undergraduate students anyway - they simply have a different mindset and treasure the opportunities more, with better time management etc.

Not easy. Remember it depends on what courses you will be applying to, whether there are any additional requirements (e.g. BMAT - now that's a hard exam). Are there any med schools you have in mind?
Thank you for your input, I appreciate it.

I do love a challenge, even one that is going to take the best part of six years!

Med schools I'm considering; Kings, St George's and Brighton (this one would be ideal as we're moving out of London soon).
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(Original post by London38)
...Med schools I'm considering; Kings, St George's and Brighton (this one would be ideal as we're moving out of London soon).
Ok well the first thing you need to check is whether these med schools accept this Access to Medicine diploma that you're doing; then you also need to prepare for the additional requirements (BSMS uses BMAT, for example).

Have you done any work experience?
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London38
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(Original post by ecolier)
Ok well the first thing you need to check is whether these med schools accept this Access to Medicine diploma that you're doing; then you also need to prepare for the additional requirements (BSMS uses BMAT, for example).

Have you done any work experience?
All of these schools do accept this route in as I've done my research during my consideration period, but only from three places in the country. All of which I'm applying to attend (with the idea of getting in to at least one).

Kings and St George's also need UCAT which I started to prepare for (may be a little premature there but there are some great textbooks out there to help).

Work experience and shadowing, this is next on my list. Any advice here?
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Democracy
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(Original post by London38)
So, here's the thing... I have decided to study medicine, at the grand age of 38 (which in my eyes, is still pretty young). Am I crazy?

Now before anyone chimes in about it taking XYZ to qualify to as doctor, it costs this and the time to study will take that, here is my reasoning;

My intention to go back to school stems from a deep regret of not being overly fulfilled in life. The fact I studied the wrong degree somewhat 15 years ago only exacerbates this feeling. The 'what if' keeps banging on a metaphorical door in my brain. I often ask myself, 'in ten years’ time, would I look back and ask myself why I didn't pursue this now, would I look back and wish I had done the things I wanted to do'. In short, yes. Wouldn't you?

In the last two years, I have lost five family members through a variety of causes, some natural, and some so utterly brutal you'd wonder how I wake up in the morning. Life is for living, no regrets and yes, at 38, I full intend to throw myself into this full-throttle and ensure the next 40 years count.

So now, I will undertake the Access to Medicine diploma in college before progressing to medical school. I'm male, married to a wonderful man, a mortgage, a dog (no children, yet) with a career in a traditional marketing/sales role. I'm not rich, but I'm not poor. It will be a big stretch but what it will give me is the ability to recalibrate what is important in life, to do a rewarding yet challenging job that makes a huge difference. But ultimately to help and give something back, albeit in a small way.

Why am I posting this? Well, how many of us are out there, what are your experiences as a mature medical student, and did you study the diploma?

Did you struggle with the diploma?
How did you find being the 'mature' student?
The entry exams to med school seem a little terrifying (UKAT, for example) - what is your experience with this?

Any experiences and reactions are valid here. Now, you go...
What was your degree in? What did you get? You may well be able to apply for graduate entry medicine directly instead of having to do an Access diploma.

You are not too old and it is certainly better to give it a go than have regrets for the rest of your life. Good luck
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ecolier
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(Original post by London38)
...Kings and St George's also need UCAT which I started to prepare for (may be a little premature there but there are some great textbooks out there to help).
When are you thinking about applying? How long is this Access to Medicine diploma?

I have been told that you can over-prepare for UCAT, by starting it too early in advance.

If it's 2021 entry you are thinking of, then preparing it from later this year would seem ideal - because med application takes a long time! For 2021 starters (i.e. courses beginning late 2021), you will need to have applied to UCAS by 15th October 2020, taking the UCAT in the Summer of 2020 and applied to UCAT from May 2020 onwards. For BMAT it's another schedule completely.

Work experience and shadowing, this is next on my list. Any advice here?
No, but if you're in London it should be easier (close proximity of many teaching hospitals!). Remember work experience can take a while to arrange, so start early!
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username2915686
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3-4 weeks preparation is enough for UCAT
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(Original post by London38)
All of these schools do accept this route in as I've done my research during my consideration period, but only from three places in the country. All of which I'm applying to attend (with the idea of getting in to at least one).

Kings and St George's also need UCAT which I started to prepare for (may be a little premature there but there are some great textbooks out there to help).

Work experience and shadowing, this is next on my list. Any advice here?
I'm a couple of years younger than you and found it really difficult to find work exp in London. The most productive route was hospital volunteering roles, but be aware that the application process can take a very long time (mine took 7 months between sending the form in and starting), so.if you are planning to apply in October you need to get on this asap.

I would echo the previous poster's comment that if you already have a degree, why not apply for graduate entry? There is more funding available and you wouldn't need to do an access course.
Last edited by jzdzm; 8 months ago
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London38
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All great responses, thank you for taking the time to reply.

In terms of the graduate entry - I'm sorry to say that I received a 2:2 (BA, hons) within the arts. So this option wouldn't be open to me. That was a long time ago and my attitude towards study has changed dramatically, so doing the access course isn't something I'm afraid of. Quite the opposite, actually.
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by London38)
So, here's the thing... I have decided to study medicine, at the grand age of 38 (which in my eyes, is still pretty young). Am I crazy?

Now before anyone chimes in about it taking XYZ to qualify to as doctor, it costs this and the time to study will take that, here is my reasoning;

My intention to go back to school stems from a deep regret of not being overly fulfilled in life. The fact I studied the wrong degree somewhat 15 years ago only exacerbates this feeling. The 'what if' keeps banging on a metaphorical door in my brain. I often ask myself, 'in ten years’ time, would I look back and ask myself why I didn't pursue this now, would I look back and wish I had done the things I wanted to do'. In short, yes. Wouldn't you?

In the last two years, I have lost five family members through a variety of causes, some natural, and some so utterly brutal you'd wonder how I wake up in the morning. Life is for living, no regrets and yes, at 38, I full intend to throw myself into this full-throttle and ensure the next 40 years count.

So now, I will undertake the Access to Medicine diploma in college before progressing to medical school. I'm male, married to a wonderful man, a mortgage, a dog (no children, yet) with a career in a traditional marketing/sales role. I'm not rich, but I'm not poor. It will be a big stretch but what it will give me is the ability to recalibrate what is important in life, to do a rewarding yet challenging job that makes a huge difference. But ultimately to help and give something back, albeit in a small way.

Why am I posting this? Well, how many of us are out there, what are your experiences as a mature medical student, and did you study the diploma?

Did you struggle with the diploma?
How did you find being the 'mature' student?
The entry exams to med school seem a little terrifying (UKAT, for example) - what is your experience with this?

Any experiences and reactions are valid here. Now, you go...
Wish you well in your quest. It is a few years back, but I worked with a guy who was also in his 30s when he started training. He was also an ex heroin addict so it was amazing to think what he achieved and where he came from. Damn fine doc to boot.
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(Original post by London38)
All great responses, thank you for taking the time to reply.

In terms of the graduate entry - I'm sorry to say that I received a 2:2 (BA, hons) within the arts. So this option wouldn't be open to me. That was a long time ago and my attitude towards study has changed dramatically, so doing the access course isn't something I'm afraid of. Quite the opposite, actually.
You could apply to Nottingham grad entry, but would need to do well in the gamsat to compensate for the 2.2, but you're right that others won't consider you.

A good gamsat score would also enable you to apply to Plymouth's standard entry course, but this wouldn't have the funding advantages of grad entry.

The gamsat is a beast of an exam, so if you are able.to afford it, maybe the access course is better.
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London38
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(Original post by jzdzm)
You could apply to Nottingham grad entry, but would need to do well in the gamsat to compensate for the 2.2, but you're right that others won't consider you.

A good gamsat score would also enable you to apply to Plymouth's standard entry course, but this wouldn't have the funding advantages of grad entry.

The gamsat is a beast of an exam, so if you are able.to afford it, maybe the access course is better.
Though it's an extra nine months prior to joining a med school, I feel this course is my best route. I would also want to complete my studies at home rather than moving to a completely different city (I don't think my husband or dog would thank me for that, yet alone the cost of running two places to live).

I'm now in the process of tapping my medical chums for ideas or possibilities on shadowing, hopefully something will come of this soon. It's all systems go and I'm looking forward to getting started.
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Marathi
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With a 2.2 you can do a Masters to open up Swansea and Warwick as options for GEM (which is what I did). I'm 31 and there's quite a few people on my course older than myself, so whilst uncommon still totally doable.
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(Original post by London38)
So, here's the thing... I have decided to study medicine, at the grand age of 38 (which in my eyes, is still pretty young). Am I crazy?

Now before anyone chimes in about it taking XYZ to qualify to as doctor, it costs this and the time to study will take that, here is my reasoning;

My intention to go back to school stems from a deep regret of not being overly fulfilled in life. The fact I studied the wrong degree somewhat 15 years ago only exacerbates this feeling. The 'what if' keeps banging on a metaphorical door in my brain. I often ask myself, 'in ten years’ time, would I look back and ask myself why I didn't pursue this now, would I look back and wish I had done the things I wanted to do'. In short, yes. Wouldn't you?

In the last two years, I have lost five family members through a variety of causes, some natural, and some so utterly brutal you'd wonder how I wake up in the morning. Life is for living, no regrets and yes, at 38, I full intend to throw myself into this full-throttle and ensure the next 40 years count.

So now, I will undertake the Access to Medicine diploma in college before progressing to medical school. I'm male, married to a wonderful man, a mortgage, a dog (no children, yet) with a career in a traditional marketing/sales role. I'm not rich, but I'm not poor. It will be a big stretch but what it will give me is the ability to recalibrate what is important in life, to do a rewarding yet challenging job that makes a huge difference. But ultimately to help and give something back, albeit in a small way.

Why am I posting this? Well, how many of us are out there, what are your experiences as a mature medical student, and did you study the diploma?

Did you struggle with the diploma?
How did you find being the 'mature' student?
The entry exams to med school seem a little terrifying (UKAT, for example) - what is your experience with this?

Any experiences and reactions are valid here. Now, you go...
Hi! So I have just received an offer for GEM medicine at 26 and was nervous that I was too old to be doing it... HOWEVER, after speaking to many people and reading what you have written, if it is your passion you should definitely go for it. Put everything into it, it's a tough process to go through so if you don't lose motivation through the application process it's a good indicator that you do want it!! (if that makes sense!). There were moments when revising for the UCAT whilst also in my final year PhD I could have quite easily just packed it in but my dream was on the line! As for the BMAT, controversially I didn't find it too bad, the section 1 is much like the UCAT so crosses over, section 2 is science that, granted, I didn't do well on really as I didn't revise much and the essay I didn't do any practise and was fine. I think maturity comes across in that exam and also, if you apply to places like Oxford they are more interested in you as a person, why you want medicine, your commitment etc. opposed to how well you can jump through the hoop of an entrance exam!

I hope this helps a little!! Good luck!
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(Original post by London38)
So, here's the thing... I have decided to study medicine, at the grand age of 38 (which in my eyes, is still pretty young). Am I crazy?

Now before anyone chimes in about it taking XYZ to qualify to as doctor, it costs this and the time to study will take that, here is my reasoning;

My intention to go back to school stems from a deep regret of not being overly fulfilled in life. The fact I studied the wrong degree somewhat 15 years ago only exacerbates this feeling. The 'what if' keeps banging on a metaphorical door in my brain. I often ask myself, 'in ten years’ time, would I look back and ask myself why I didn't pursue this now, would I look back and wish I had done the things I wanted to do'. In short, yes. Wouldn't you?

In the last two years, I have lost five family members through a variety of causes, some natural, and some so utterly brutal you'd wonder how I wake up in the morning. Life is for living, no regrets and yes, at 38, I full intend to throw myself into this full-throttle and ensure the next 40 years count.

So now, I will undertake the Access to Medicine diploma in college before progressing to medical school. I'm male, married to a wonderful man, a mortgage, a dog (no children, yet) with a career in a traditional marketing/sales role. I'm not rich, but I'm not poor. It will be a big stretch but what it will give me is the ability to recalibrate what is important in life, to do a rewarding yet challenging job that makes a huge difference. But ultimately to help and give something back, albeit in a small way.

Why am I posting this? Well, how many of us are out there, what are your experiences as a mature medical student, and did you study the diploma?

Did you struggle with the diploma?
How did you find being the 'mature' student?
The entry exams to med school seem a little terrifying (UKAT, for example) - what is your experience with this?

Any experiences and reactions are valid here. Now, you go...
Yayyy finallyyyy..!! Guess what, im 37 and have been searching every single thread to find someone similar to my age with same motivation. Now i can breath that im not alone who is going to be a mature student in late 30s.
Trust me its such a relief loll.

I've applied in CANDi and lambeth, waiting to hear from them. Just wondering what would be the interview like if i get invited for one. 😳

Ucat is not so easy. Do i have to take tution classes for that or any usefull links if anyone can share plz. Xx
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ecolier
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(Original post by fizabb)
...
Ucat is not so easy. Do i have to take tution classes for that or any usefull links if anyone can share plz. Xx
Have you read through the TSR UCAT discussion threads?

Start here https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6282054 and the links to previous years' threads are at the top of the first page.
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London38
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(Original post by fizabb)
Yayyy finallyyyy..!! Guess what, im 37 and have been searching every single thread to find someone similar to my age with same motivation. Now i can breath that im not alone who is going to be a mature student in late 30s.
Trust me its such a relief loll.

I've applied in CANDi and lambeth, waiting to hear from them. Just wondering what would be the interview like if i get invited for one. 😳

Ucat is not so easy. Do i have to take tution classes for that or any usefull links if anyone can share plz. Xx
Oh hi there. Ill send you a message.

:-)
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London38
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(Original post by Marathi)
With a 2.2 you can do a Masters to open up Swansea and Warwick as options for GEM (which is what I did). I'm 31 and there's quite a few people on my course older than myself, so whilst uncommon still totally doable.
Thank you for that information but I will be staying close to London / Brighton. At my age, I don't want to move away from home. Thank you though but the Access to Medicine course is something I would want to undertake.
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ecolier
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(Original post by London38)
...At my age, I don't want to move away from home...
Well, you'd have to as a junior doctor (and you'd be in your mid 40s too).
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