The Old Grad — What kind of beast is that?
My personal opinion on applying with > 10 yrs of graduation:
1. There is no such a think as “old grad”. It just doesn’t sound right. I mean, if once you label yourself as an old grad it feels like everything falls apart just because you are an old grad. How old? Some of us are younger than 35 years of age. Is that old for a career in medicine. I don’t think so. Speaking of this the first step to success is to get rid of the feeling that you are “old”. When you start the residency you will see many of the “old grads” way older than you.
2. Applying to the programs: it’s a well known saying, “apply widely and wisely”. I agree with the first statement, and to some extend with the second (when you are an IMG you need to apply more widely than wisely). Things change from year to year. Also, the fact that certain program offered IV to >10 yrs grad doesn’t mean that they will do so next year, or probably they will, but the only way to know is if you apply to as many programs as possible. Of course you gotta fit some basic criteria. I know it’s expensive, but sometimes this is the only way to get something. It’s a bit like shooting in the dark, but if you shot something, that’s great. At the end nobody counts who got the bullseye from 1 shot or from 100. I ordered the MaR list, tried to eliminate some programs (not more than 10) and added 1 program suggested by a co-student. I prematched in IM, no single IV from FM programs. Again, that doesn’t mean that you as an individual case will not much in FM. You need to apply and than you will see.
3. For the colleagues with GC, the chances are way better and the year of graduation will not affect you that much.
4. With the new healthcare reform, there will be more opportunities, so keep up the positive attitude.
5. The problem with the year of graduation is not that the programs don’t want “old grads”. They don’t mind, as long as you can do the work. The problem is that there are plenty of new grads, in their mid to late 20s, with high USMLE scores, research, GC, and connections. However, if there is a will there is a way. I believe that everyone can match soon or later.