× Thinking of a Becoming a Doctor

over 40 and applying to medical school

10 years 2 months ago #72186 by oldmedstud

pathdr2b wrote: 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.

Exactly my point! It's like the assumption is made that in my current life I have tons of time with my kids and can go to PTO meetings and baseball games, all of which I would be giving up. Unfortunately....not so....

As pathdr2b (I work in pathology right now too, actually.....but I am low-woman on the totem pole for sure) said.....if I am going to sacrifice, I might as well sacrifice for something I truly want.

Ah......in any event, I am lucky enough to have encouraging folks in my immediate circle of compatriots. And a fun thing happened to me this weekend, too. I rec'd a quick e-mail from a man I dated through the last half of our undergrad and all of his medical school years. I had recently written him that I am going back to school and he replied a few days later with this. "Congratulations!" Not "don't' or "but" or "do you really think you should?" or "have you considered?" ....just "Congratulations on this decision".

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10 years 2 months ago #72305 by 1buzymom
I agree with pathdr2. I was a high school teacher for the last 8 years. Many nights I stayed after school to tutor students, then I had to bring work home. So, even though I was in the house with my kids I was not spending anytime with them, because I was either grading papers or doing lesson plans. Now that I am laid off (I'm in Michigan) I am thinking of pursuing medicine (either a physician or a nurse). I am somewhat nervous, because I hear horror stories of how you have no life if you are a doctor (and I have a husband and three kids--ages 1, 3 and 6). But I have to realize that it is my responsibility to provide the best life for my family. I will just have to pray for excellent time management:).

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10 years 1 month ago #72393 by Doc201X
Hey ladies! I've started my MCAT prep in earnest. Anyone else with me?

My Scientist/Physician Journey

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10 years 1 month ago #72414 by mommd2b
I...am with you, path! Doing bio over the break...making changes in my Spring schedule...being serious, though not applying for 2 more years.


In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

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10 years 1 month ago #72456 by 3DMOM
Count me in too. Last 4 pre-reqs this sp and fall. May be taking a MCAT course this summer. Plan on taking MCAT 2011. Oldest will gradaute high school in 2012.

Last Edit: by MomMD.

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10 years 1 month ago #72471 by ohbeeguyknee
In my medical school class we had 2 students who were 40. They both found it very difficult to retain the volume of information that their younger classmates could handle. Now that I am 42 I understand that a little better. One of them graduated and the other dropped our "for family reasons".

When considering your options remember that for the 4 years of medical school and at least 3 years of residency you will need to spend nearly every waking hour studying. This studying may be in the classroom, in study groups, in the hospital on rounds or on your own. You will always feel like you did not learn enough and you will probably feel guilty for anything that you do that is not studying. That's at least 7 years that you will miss out on family events and important occasions.

If you have young children, this is especially important! If you are "doing it for them" will they be grown and out of the house by the time you make a reasonable income? If you are paying back your student loans will you have $ to pay for their college expenses? Weddings? Gifts along the way? Medical reimbursement is dropping very quickly and is expected to drop more. Malpractice costs are going up. There might not be much money left to take home once you graduate and get a job as a physician.

Some schools will only consider students who will be able to provide at least 20 years as a physician before retiring. If you are 47 when you finish residency and retire at 65, that's less than 20 years and a red flag. Expect to be asked questions about this!

With all this being said, I love being a physician. Call the admission offices at the schools you are interested in attending and ask them directly about the ages of their oldest students. I even went to their offices and introduced myself the year before I applied. I found out what they were looking for in students and worked on that (more research, more community involvement, more leadership in my community..).

Best of luck in whatever you decide to do!

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