Nontraditional Medical Student
Getting into Medical School: A Guide for Older Nontraditional Students



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Courage is daring to take that first step, or different path. It is the decision to place your dreams above your fears. – Source Unknown

By Mike Grasso

The purpose of this web site is to discuss how to get into medical school as an older, nontraditional student. I became interested in this subject when I went through the application process myself at age 37. During that time, I read several books on this subject. However, I found little information that addressed in detail the unique challenges of applying to medical school later in life.

As with all ambitious tasks, it is best to take things one step at a time. Because of this, I organized this web site along major decision points. You first may need to understand your true motivations and abilities. Second, you should devise a logical plan of action to determine if it is feasible to make it through medical school. After this, you can start laying the requisite groundwork in academics and clinical experience. The next step is the Medical College Admissions Test. Finally, if your grades and test scores are competitive, you’re ready to apply to medical school. And if you don’t get in the first time around, I talk about how to improve your standing and get a second chance.

Not everyone is able to pursue lifelong dreams. Make the most of the opportunities you have while being faithful to existing commitments, especially your family. Someone I talked to recently summed it up like this. “I am going to be 45 regardless, so I can either be 45 and be a doctor, or I can be 45 and be something else.”

Feel free to send email (
if you have questions, comments, or stories of encouragement. Work hard to achieve your dream and enjoy the journey.

Best of luck!