× Thinking of a Becoming a Doctor

over 40 and applying to medical school

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9 years 10 months ago #71785 by row03
hi, I am new to the site and wanted to hear from some other women. I am currently 40 a single parent of one in Physical Therapy school (my B Plan) and want to pursue going to medical school (my A Plan) to enter 2011. DPT school is tough...but I love gross and what i am learning. I am very discouraged regarding the nature of the PT's work and the pay. But are there any of you over 40 and in medical school or did you go to school in your 40's??? I need more than a follow your dream kinda thing...I'm on that, but realistically how is it? I never applied to med school because of my husband being unsupportive and now we are divorcing.

Thanks!
EC

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9 years 9 months ago #72156 by oldmedstud
I am 40 (mom of 2 boys) and in the middle of the application cycle to enter in 2010 (Class of 2014!) . I always wanted to be a physician and my life got side-tracked. Now, I am back on my way to doing exactly what I want to do.
I have received lots of discouragement from some and plenty of encouragement from others.....so my only advice is just to surround yourself with people of the second variety. I obviously believe it is possible to go back at 40+.
I will echo the sentiment that others have expressed here, though......you may find that osteopathic schools are more open to the older applicant.
I have applied to 7 allopathic and 7 osteopathic schools. I have interviewed at both allo- and osteo- schools, have more interviews coming up, and so far have been accepted at 1 osteopathic school. I know that allopathic schools have the odd older student, but my interviews at allopathic schools thus far have ranged from discouraging to fairly unpleasant..........Well, forget unpleasant, one was a downright nasty experience, whereby I was told in no uncertain terms that I was too old and had no business wasting their time.
My interviews at osteo schools have all been very positive. It seems some even look at having older students as a good thing..........more life experience, more maturity, etc....
Just my experience, which is certainly not comprehensive, so take it for what it's worth.
The only real concern I have is the debt load of med school, as I won't have as many years to work and pay it all off as someone in their 20s. But I have been planning and crunching numbers and have decided it'll be totally worth it to do what I feel I am meant to do.
I don't know if that is any help at all. But here is at least one person going to med school at 40. Actually, I'll be 41 by the time class starts.....probably kind of like a 'den mother' to the class of 2014. LOL


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9 years 9 months ago #72162 by kpzr/9145
Yes I would be concerned about the debt burden!

I am a physician, mother to two boys as well (ages 8 and 11 now) and I have also been a Den mother to their Cub Scout Dens for over five years!
Anyway, I went through medical school and residency before I had them.
I have worked part time ever since they were born and am happy with the balance I have. However, I know it would have been very, very hard (and most likely I would not be where I am today) if my boys were young during my training years.

Please listen to those who are cautioning you against your chosen path.
Maybe yours are older now so perhaps it will be easier for you.
I saw what my co-residents with young children went through, and believe me, I am very grateful that my life worked out differently!

Good luck!

kpzr

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9 years 9 months ago #72163 by Doc201X
I'm in my 40's, in a very solid plan "B", but planning to apply to med school in the next 2 years or so. Due primarily to my age, I'm going to be applying to DO schools as well, having had some of the same experiences regarding my age as a previous poster.

At this point, I've already covered the academic presitge factor to my own personal satisfaction, now it's all about doing what's necessary to one day become a Physician. :)

My Scientist/Physician Journey
www.Doc201X.blogspot.com

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9 years 9 months ago #72169 by oldmedstud

kpzr/9145 wrote: Yes I would be concerned about the debt burden!

Please listen to those who are cautioning you against your chosen path.
Maybe yours are older now so perhaps it will be easier for you.
I saw what my co-residents with young children went through, and believe me, I am very grateful that my life worked out differently!

Good luck!



This is the advice I get from many......and believe me, I understand that it is heartfelt and well-meant, I do.

But people who offer this advice are offering advice in general.....they have no idea of my particular issues and circumstances. Of course, why would they?

Over and over again it is the issues of money and children.

So, here is where I come from.......

I have crunched the numbers, with an acountant, no less, and how it works out is this...
Even if I borrow at the max level (Which I don't intend to do) and even accounting for compounded interest........ I only have to make about $72,000.00 a year until retirement to be (myself and my husband) significantly better off financially than I/we am/are now. $72,000.00 a year until retirement is more than achievable, even in the lowest paid of general practitioners, so that becomes a non-issue for me.

Then there is the issue of children. My children are just about to enter school, so yes, they are young. My children have both been in daycare full-time since they were three months old. They leave the house at 7:30 AM and they return to the house at 6:45 PM. By that time, we can have dinner together and it is time for their stories and bed. This is far from ideal, I know, but it is our reality and always has been. They are happy kids though, bright and well-adjusted, and we have a happy family.

More reality.....if I do not pursue school, and continue on my current, or some alternate path, there will never be a time before they leave home when this schedule will be significantly altered. I will never be able to work anything other than full-time and they will be in before- and after-care, when they are not in school, until they are old enough to stay home alone.

I understand that control of your time, med school and residency, is not yours. I understand that there will be many weeks, during residency, when I never see daylight.
But I have to say, I have a friend in residency at UVA, and although she has those sunless weeks.........she also has lots of weeks where she hits the wards at 6 AM and leaves the hospital by 4. Hence, she is, on average, not spending any less time than I am with her kids.....a good chunk of the year, it seems, she is spending a tiny bit more.

All of the advice I receive is intelligent and well-intended, for sure. But I am not asking for an easy path. I fully expect my path to be hell-on-wheels, at times. However, given the specifics of my life, I still think it is the best decision for me and for my family. I don't believe I will regret it. Obviously, if I did believe this.....I would not continue on this path.
Only you, as an individual, (or with a spouse, if you have one) can make this decision. Do take the time to consider, and reconsider, and consider some more....all of the "ifs" and "buts" and "please don'ts". Then make the best decision you can.

And I'll let you know, in a couple of years, if I was right or wrong with my decision....
The following user(s) said Thank You: Morgana_Irish

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9 years 9 months ago #72174 by Doc201X

oldmedstud wrote: But people who offer this advice are offering advice in general.....they have no idea of my particular issues and circumstances. Of course, why would they? Over and over again it is the issues of money and children.

What I've come to realize is that the best advice I get is from people who are leaving a very demanding career for medical school. I've found that people whose first real job was as a Resident don't have enough general life experience to draw upon as far as advice about work/life balance is concerned. Sure they can tell me all about how demanding med school/residency is, but they have no idea that there are PLENTY of other VERY demanding professional careers on the same level as medicine as far as time away from family and other issues are concerned.

Didn't take me long to realize that every path I'm interested in requires a HUGE amount of sacrifice, so I may as well sacrifice for something I really want to do.

My Scientist/Physician Journey
www.Doc201X.blogspot.com

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