OUM is filled with people who forged ahead with their dream to become a physician, regardless of age.

OUM Welcomes Non-traditional Students 

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the mean age of students entering medical school was 24 years of age in 2015. Their data also showed that matriculants over the age of 31 comprise less than 4 percent of new students. That’s certainly not the case at Oceania University of Medicine (OUM). The average age of OUM’s current students is 41 years old – the youngest is 22, the oldest is 63.

“It’s very interesting that for several years now, the average age of our incoming students has stayed relatively consistent,” says Joy Braun, OUM’s Registrar and Associate Director of Administration. And for most of OUM’s 15 years, that statistic has never gone below the late 30s, even going up to 43 years old.

Experience is an asset

OUM students – past and present – agree that age and the experience that goes along with it are assets in medical school. “Being 40-something means we bring certain things to the table that most 26-year-olds cannot,” says Terri Brewis, a respiratory manager in Florida, USA who is completing her clinical rotations. “Experience is valuable. We know how to find something in a chart and during the first days of rotations, we will not be touching patients for the first time.”

That maturity and experience is a positive, not only during clerkships, but also when it’s time to apply for residencies and internships.

“I don’t think there’s an age limit for learning. I think a mature age actually brings a lot to the study table,” says Tom Dalton, OUM Class of 2021. “Once we got to system-based modules, and during rotations,  I  looked back on my life experience and realize that I’ve had problems myself with some of these systems or known people who did. Younger students don’t have those experiences,” says Tom, who is applying for internships in Queensland and South Australia.

“Age didn’t hurt me”

The moral of this story: Anyone considering medical school should not let his or her age be a factor in making the decision.

“Age really didn’t hurt me, it perhaps worked to to my advantage,” says Orla Weinhold, MD, OUM Class of 2014, and now a psychiatrist in Arizona, USA.  “I’ve lived some life, have experience, and during residency, I wasn’t treated any differently. In fact, there were four other residents in my program and I was old enough to be their mother, but that didn’t matter. We were all learning.”

“I don’t think there’s an age limit for learning. I think a mature age actually brings a lot to the study table,” says Tom Dalton, OUM Class of 2021. “Once we got to system-based modules, and during rotations,  I  looked back on my life experience and realize that I’ve had problems myself with some of these systems or known people who did. Younger students don’t have those experiences,” says Tom, who is applying for internships in Queensland and South Australia.