Interview with Nontraditional Premed Expert Richard Levy

Session 115

Interview with Nontraditional Premed Expert Richard Levy

This week I’m bringing back Richard Levy. He is the Executive Director of the National Society for Nontraditional Premedical and Medical Students, better known as OldPremeds.

Rich is the go-to guy for nontraditional students, which I know comprise a large majority of you listening right now. In this episode, Rich talks about what’s going in the nontraditional premed world and health care in general. He shares his advice to those who might want to pursue the medical path as a nontraditional student, how to start, and where to find advisors.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

Nontraditional as the “New” Traditional Medical Student

[Related episode: Interview with OldPreMeds Publisher Richard Levy.]

Change in the Makeup of Matriculating Medical Students

  • The average age of first-year medical students is approaching 24 years old.
  • 5% of medical school applicants/matriculants are 30 years old or older.

Factors for the Change in Medical Student Demographics

  • There has been an expansion in the number of medical students.
    • Since 2005, nearly 20 new MD schools or MD programs opening up
    • DO expansion (number of schools and seats alike)
  • Close to 25,000 people a year are matriculating into medical school.

A big driving force in this expansion has been the American Medical Association’s push for new GME spots and spots in medical school. We have a looming physician shortage estimated at 130,000 physicians in 15-20 years.

We have a looming physician shortage estimated at 130,000 physicians in 15-20 years.Click To Tweet

Hurdles in Addressing the Physician Shortage

  • The pinch point in the production of new physicians is actually a shortage of residency slots right now.
  • The situation may be ending up like law schools where law student can’t find a job.
  • 2 years ago, 528 U.S.-based MD graduates were not able to find a residency slot at all.
The pinch point in the production of new physicians is actually a shortage of residency slots right now.Click To Tweet

What to Do If You’re Discouraged from Medical School as an Older Premed

  • Take a breath.
  • It’s a long and difficult process.
  • The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

[Related episode: Interview with a 56-year-old Medical Student.]

Older Premed Students Trying to Find Advising

Being Professional as a Nontraditional Student

  • Cases of students being denied their medical diploma
  • Civilian hospitals weeding out applicants who have issues
  • Seeing it as a lifestyle

On Life Getting in the Way for Nontraditional Students

Most traditional premed students don’t deal with as many big events outside of school, but older students deal more with marriages, mortgages, kids, etc.

[Related episode: How to Provide for Your Family as a Premed.]

The Money Issue with Medical School

  • Medical school costs a lot of money.
  • Going to medical school means you will have no income for those four years. You won’t be able to add to retirement savings or make mortgage payments for those years.
  • Even in residency (minimum of 3 years), you will receive below-minimum-wage income—no retirement savings then, either.
Going to medical school means you will have no income for those four years. Then you'll have a low income in residency.Click To Tweet

[Related episode: How to Pay Back Your Medical School Loans.]

Nontraditional Students Taking Formal Postbacs

  • They think it’s going to improve their chances.
  • They’re paranoid due to the competitive nature of medical school admissions.
  • Applying to medical school comes off as mythically impossible due to posts on the internet.
  • Which is more competitive to get into, MD schools or DO schools?
'You're not alone. Take a breath and let's help you get started with one step at a time to see if this fits for you.' - Richard LevyClick To Tweet

Some Pieces of Advice for Premed Students

  • Figure out where to start.
  • Get on the phone with an admissions committee and ask them what they think of your individual situation.

[Related episode: Should I Meet with Admissions Committees Before I Apply?]

Links and Other Resources

Listen to Other Episodes

paperbackfront_245x245

DOWNLOAD FREE - Crush the MCAT with our MCAT Secrets eBook