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Do I have a chance at becoming a medical doctor after 13 years of a statistics degree?

I have always wanted to be a medical doctor, factors beyond me made me pursue a BSc. in Statistics and i graduated over 13 years ago. Although, I have lost a lot of years, I now want to pursue that dream of becoming a medical doctor.
Do I have a chance?
I am trying to apply for a pre med program @ the moment. Which program would be best to enrol in?
Is there a way I could complete a pre med program in less than 4 years? How?
Can my previous degree help the process in any way?
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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Amina! Yes you do have that chance! When my brother was in medical school he said he had classmate that was in his late 50s; it was always his dream job be a physician but raising a family and other work got in the way. I would recommend to maybe check out what is required for medical school in Canada. I know the MCAT especially CARS section is pretty heavily judged for admissions. I would maybe get in contact with an adviser, see if your degree holds up such as maybe some courses you took and then try to take the ones that are required. If you go deep into only the prerequisites maybe you can complete in about 2 -3 years. There are also some colleges that offer career change programs where you enroll and take the prerequisites for medical school, along with preparing for the MCAT and extracurriculars as well that are offered through the program like shadowing, research, volunteering. These can take about 2 years to complete so it would definitely save you time. I would maybe do a google research in your area, this is knowledge that I'm offering but I don't live in Canada so I'm not sure if everything I am giving advice on can transfer over. Do a quick search on these programs and maybe also seek out a college adviser someone who is familiar with the premed route. Just a little note most of time these programs don't offer financial aid so it would be out of pocket and can be expensive. If you do well in the program there are linkages to the schools. However maybe you can also take the prerequisites from your old college you went to or maybe a community college and enroll as a student. These are of course options I'm not 100% sure how Canadian medical schools may view this; I know that most medical schools can be okay with this option if you begin at cc and then switch to a 4 year university to complete a bachelor's. It really matters about doing well in the classes and the MCAT exam. Once again though definitely do some research online and speak with a premed/college adviser. You will be a nontraditional student when applying so not having the exact same criteria as a college student is fine!
I hope this helps!
Best of luck!

Thank you so much for your advice. I would reach out to an advisor like you advised. Amina K.

You're welcome! Don't give up! Yasemin G.

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P’s Answer

I have trained with people who chose medicine as a second career. In fact, nontraditional students often do far better in school. You may not need to get a second degree but may simply need to do a series of classes to meet the prerequisites. My dear friend did this after years as a music teacher to go to Vet school. And she’s a wonderful and happy Vet.

Test scores and grades will be important. You also have the ability to write a unique personal statement based on your life experiences.

Finding a premed advisor is key. But also consider emailing the admissions department of your local medical school. Explain that you’re a non traditional student with a bachelors degree and you were wondering if there was a chance you could speak with one of the physicians on the admissions committee. They may be willing to help you figure out what you specifically need. If the physicians can’t speak with you the admissions admin may be able to help you navigate whether you need a full new degree or just prerequisites.

You can also consider a six year med program. 2 years college then directly to medical school. I normally don’t recommend them but you’d be perfect for it. (I normally don’t recommend because college should be a time to explore other things besides your career choice.)

By the way, a degree in stats will be impressive to the faculty at any medical school.

Best of luck to you!!

Thank you so much for your advice. Do medical schools offer this 6 year med program or its a special kind of program? Amina K.

Yes these are separate programs. Google 6 year med program and they should come up. There aren’t a lot of them but they may fit your compressed timeline. And since you’ve had this whole life outside of college you don’t really need the extra time to explore. With regards to emailing the admissions groups, let them know you’re reaching out precisely because you aren’t in school now and so are trying to figure out what specific courses you need, or if you need to go back to school and get a whole new degree. If you do a 6 year med program, this isn’t necessary. Your first two years are nothing but the science prerequisites. P N

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Kathleen’s Answer

In the US there are post baccalaureate programs for individuals who have an undergraduate degree but do not have the medical school prerequisite courses. These programs (which are highly competitive) are "feeder schools" to medical schools. In other words if you get in, successfully complete the course work, take the MCATs and do well, you might be able to enroll in medical school the following fall. These are intense programs, but consider them preparation for medical school.
I had a prior career (in fact about 25% of my medical school class had a prior career.). These tend to bring diversity to medicine!