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 is 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 40.5 years old – the youngest is 21, the oldest is 60.
“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, third-year student and respiratory manager in Florida, USA. “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.
“Our CVs and resumes already stand out because we’re older and have clinical experience, as well as life experience. We’re often a bit older and wiser,” says Jennifer Allen, M.D., OUM Class of 2012, a practicing family practitioner in Missouri, USA.
“Age hasn’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 hasn’t hurt me, it has perhaps been to my advantage,” says Orla Weinhold, MD, OUM Class of 2014. “I’ve lived some life, have experience, and during residency, I haven’t been treated any differently. In fact, there are four other residents in my program and I’m old enough to be their mother, but that doesn’t matter. We’re all learning.”