Please update this topic. I've been a out of medicine 17 yrs with special needs children, and need employment. I would appreciate any advice, have been advised it is impossible, and to retrain as a nurse, or teacher. I have maintained my license. My academic record was excellent. I doubt another residency is an option, due to my age, and the children's needs.
Hi Mob3, I have heard of someone going back to medicine after 20 years away, so 17 years does not exclude you automatically. It is good that you still have your license -- I am guessing that you must live in a state that is relatively friendly to re-entering physicians. If that is the case, then the main hurdle is convincing someone to hire you and/or give you privileges. Sometimes employers will want you to work under supervision or even complete a re-entry program or some residency-type experience, especially if you are in the more procedure-oriented specialties.
I understand how caring for special-needs children can impact the amount of time you have available for the re-entry process. It may also limit your availability for work as a physician, where part-time, flexible work is not always easy to find. The more help you have in taking care of them, the better.
There are so many little factors that can affect your chances of a successful re-entry: how much experience you had before leaving medicine, whether you have connections to people who might be willing to supervise/hire you, the employment market in your area, your specialty, your availability, etc. It is hard to say more without knowing more details about your situation. If you don't want to share them publicly, PM me and I will see if I have any other ideas.
To give you an idea of the re-entry process (in a state that is not friendly to re-entering physicians), check out
to see one woman's journey (it took way longer and cost way more than she expected). That might give you some ideas and some perspective on the situation.
I will also PM you -- look for a little green circle on the upper right of any page to get into the menu that leads to the mailboxes (I think).