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Seeking advice: MD Career Change at 45? Too Late/Too Old? What's required?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by FireCloud9, 04.05.09.

  1. FireCloud9

    FireCloud9

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    I'm hoping that someone here has "been there" and can provide some real life advice based on their experience.

    I'm 45 with a business background BBA (GPA 3.3) / MBA (GPA 3.3) both earned while working full-time.

    (Would appreciate a brutally honest assessment - trust me, I can take it)

    1. Is it too late for med school?
    2. Given that I have no clinical experience and am coming from a completely different background without a great GPA undergrad or grad what are my chances?
    3. What's required? I know I have to take several science courses as pre-reqs - microbiology, A&P and take the MCAT, but what's truly required beyond that for a successful application?

    My main area of interest is Psychiatry/Psychology. I don't see the PhD in Psych as being possible given that I don't have research experience and have spent my life in the technology business.

    Any mid-40s career changers into MD (with a family to support) out there?
     
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  2. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    Possible, sure. A good idea? Only you can decide. It will probably take you two years to be ready to apply to med school. You have to take all the prereqs (which are NOT micro or A&P -- they are two semesters of Bio with lab, two semesters of Gen Chem with lab, two semesters of physics with lab and two semesters of orgo with lab, plus a year of English, a year of math, and some places require biochem), do a lot of volunteering and obtaining clinical exposure (probably best to do this first and decide if medicine is really for you), and study for and do well on the MCAT. Plan on two years -- the goal is going to be to get A's, not get done quick. Then once you start, med school is 4 years. Most people need to borrow $150k or more for this which can be tight where you have a family to support. Then residency is going to be 3+ years. I wouldn't assume you will like psych until you do a rotation in it. Lots of people, probably most, change their mind at least once during third year. And then when you get out of residency you will be in your 50s, and getting hired as an older person may have its own challenges. (yes, age discrimination is illegal, but doesn't mean it can't happen). So you may be opening your own shop. While you worked during college/business school, you should expect not to be able to do this during med school. So whether your family can handle you being out of the work force for 4 years, and then earning peanuts the next 3+ is going to be a decision you have to make. So yes, it's probably doable, but only you can decide if it's wise.
     
  3. melanoleuca

    melanoleuca

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    You're too old. At the very best, by the time you finished a psychiatry residency you would be, assuming you get into medical school in 2011, 56-years old. Additionally, going through residency in your fifties will blow, big time.

    On the other hand, if you are independently wealthy and would like to do something interesting, I'd say why not? But as a legitimate career change? You are off your rocker.

    Also keep in mind that you have an excellent chance of never being accepted to any medical school because of 1) Your age 2) Your low GPA 3) Your age, and you may spend a couple of years and blow a lot of money applying for nothing.

    I was 37 when I started medical school and today, at 45, I have less than 80 days before I am done with residency. For the sake of medicine I put my life on hold, impoverished my family and destroyed my marriage and it's not even that fantastic a job. It's okay, I mean, and I enjoy it for the most part, but I think in hindsight I should have stayed in engineering.

    Here, read my friggin' blog and make up your own mind:

    www.studentdoctor.net/pandabearmd
     
  4. ChairmanMao

    ChairmanMao Serving the People

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    Panda Bear?
     
  5. ChairmanMao

    ChairmanMao Serving the People

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    While I would never say that you're too old or that you'll never get in, I do suggest that you consider other alternative careers first. Although there have been people who have gotten in at your age (45), it is very unrealistic to assume that you'll be a competitive applicant or that you'll have an equal chance of being accepted as compared to a 22 year old who has the same GPA or MCAT score as you.

    As Law2Doc pointed out, just because age discrimination is illegal does not mean that it happens. If you go the AAMC website, you'll see a precipitous drop in the number of applicants who get accepted after they turn 40. If you apply in your early to mid-20s, you have about a 40% chance of being admiteed. However, according to the AAMC, if you apply in your 40s, that drops to <10% and by the time you turn 50, you pretty much have a negligible chance of being accepted.

    While it may seem unfair, consider that an applicant who graduates from medical school at 25 can practice medicine for at least 40 years, whereas an applicant like yourself who graduates from medical school at 50 can practice medicine for only 15 years. That may not even give you enough time to pay off your loans if you do an extended residency or fellowship. Furthermore, you have a family to support, and it's extremely difficult to support them while taking college classes, going through medical school, while not having a real paying job for at least 6 years until you've graduated from medical school and are doing your residency.

    This assumes that you are competitive enough to be accepted to a medical school and that you have prior clinical/research/volunteering experience. With your GPA and lack of clinical experience, it's going to be a real stretch to make yourself competitive within the next 2-3 years. The average accepted applicant last year had a 3.7 GPA and scored a 32 (85th percentile) on the MCAT, and I think a very high percentage (70-90%) have various volunteering and research experiences.

    So in conclusion, I suggest that you look into careers that have a shorter training time, that don't require living on loans for 10 years, and that would be more amenable to your family situation. I don't want to discourage anyone from pursuing what they believe is their calling, but if you're simply browsing through and trying to decide on a future career, unless you have a passion for it, medicine is not going to be a good fit for you.
     
    Last edited: 04.06.09
  6. ChairmanMao

    ChairmanMao Serving the People

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    Double post
     
    Last edited: 04.06.09
  7. FireCloud9

    FireCloud9

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    Thank you all for your very candid response. I truly appreciate it.

    I have some follow up questions if you don't mind.

    Am I to assume/imply that I couldn't use the year + of English, Math (incl. calculus coursework) and Bio w/lab that I already have from my undergrad degree?

    The local colleges around here have compressed 6 week sessions where one can do a semester of Chem w/lab (5 credits) - 12 weeks for 2 semesters.

    • two semesters of Bio with lab,
    • two semesters of Gen Chem with lab,
    • two semesters of physics with lab and
    • two semesters of orgo with lab,
    • plus a year of English ?
    • a year of math ?
    • and some places require biochem),
    As for the age discrimination situation... according to the AARP and several other sources, the 2 industries with the least age discrimination is healthcare and education.

    Ok, I see that at best I could accelerate requirements to 12-18 months instead of 2yrs (and that would assume that my undergrad coursework completed in '93 would count).

    If the residency for Psych is too long, then perhaps I could choose a shorter residency?

    By the way, what happens to MDs that finished medical school, but don't do a residency?

    And is there some forced retirement by law that requires MDs retire at 65? Or can a psych MD practice part-time beyond 65?

    So if I wanted to get into the healthcare field and I'm too old and not sufficiently competitive for med school, what alternatives in healthcare would you suggest?
     
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  8. dragonfly99

    dragonfly99

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    psych is a 4 year residency, if you don't do any subspecialty like child psych.
    the shortest possible residencies are 3 years (internal med, family practice and peds) so they wouldn't save you much time.

    I agree with the advice above. Your GPA and lack of health care experience are going to be big stumbling blocks to your getting in med school. Your age will be a problem as far as getting in, and residency is extremely tiring and time consuming.

    I suggest a master's in clinical psychology, or PA school. The clinical psychologists tend to see and talk to a like of psychiatry-type patients, depending on where they work. You won't have to be in an expensive med school for 4 years, and won't have to spend 4+ years as a low paid resident. PA's get to start earning money right away, and do a lot of the same stuff that doctors do (not surgery and not some of the really complex cases, but in general a lot of the same stuff). To get in PA school you'll need to get yourself some clinical experience, though.
     
  9. FireCloud9

    FireCloud9

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    So....

    1. PA
    2. MA in clinical psych
    3. Nursing? NP?

    Since I do have an MBA.... how about healthcare administration? Most of those jobs seem to require having some clinical experience as well though...
     
  10. Scottish Chap

    Scottish Chap Moderator Emeritus

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    Some medical schools might want all of the prerequisites to be repeated, but many will take what you have. Mine were approx. ten years old when I applied. A 50-year-old matriculated with me, and I know that his math, chemistry etc. credits from undergraduate (late 70's) counted. In your case, if you need the GPA boost, it might not hurt to repeat a couple of extra classes so that your new GPA will be as high as possible. Just keep in mind that non-standard medical school applications most likely do suffer from age-related discrimination and the way that this is occurs is by finding 'gray areas' (old prerequisites etc.) to make it look legitimate on paper. They look for excuses to trim the massive applicant pool, so do not give them any.

    Panda does raise an important point. I started medical school at 28 and walked from a faculty offer at a top medical center in California with 100K starting salary offer plus amazing benefits four years ago. Do I regret it? No. Is it what I expected it to be at the medical school level? Pretty much. Has this decision been difficult for my family? Absolutely. If you know that you'll never rest until you're a physician, I get that, and I say go for it if you have the time, energy, support, and financial stability. However, if you see yourself being content in your current career, you have your health, you don't have much debt, and your family is happy, that's about as good as it gets and you should absolutely not mess with that.

    I just had coffee with my now 54-year-old graduating classmate, and he was a superstar in medical school. He is going into emergency medicine, and matched at his first choice. He says that he thinks he has 10-15 years of work left in him. If you are independently wealthy, that's one worry you won't have. If you need loans to furnish 100% of your tuition and expenses, keep in mind that you'll be paying 200-300% of the original loan value back in around 10 years. Interest compounds and, starting this summer, deferring loan repayments during residency will cease to be an option, and your only option is forbearance if you can't make payments as a resident.
     
  11. atomi

    atomi Member

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  12. edub

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    To answer your questions, 3 yrs is generally the shortest residency there is (psych = 4 years) except for some very esoteric fields. I would say 99% of all physicians complete a minimum of 3 years residency.

    MD's that do not complete a residency do not become licensed practitioners in the field they wish to practice. I'm a bit unclear on this answer, but suffice it to say, you would be wasting 200K, many years, etc, to become an MD if you do not complete a residency.

    I'm not aware of any laws requiring physicians of any kind to retire at a certain age. The question is: Until what age will you be able to responsibly treat your patients? This is an empirical question.

    I don't mean to be intrusive, but it would help me to know WHY you want to be a physician? Your motivation seems to be in counseling others as a psychiatrist, but what else is it about MEDICINE that calls to you so strongly that you are willing to commit to it for the rest of your life. At this point, your scope/passion seems really narrow and/or not well defined. If you are inclined to do something else in healthcare, there are some extremely pragmatic reasons for you to.

    Further, it's tough to counsel you on other career options in healthcare because I don't really understand your motives entirely. In general, just based on your position in life, I would strongly encourage you to consider nursing. You could work in a psyc facility. Assuming you work until you are 65ish, you'll probably be ahead financially with nursing as opposed to medicine when you factor in the costs of applying, attending, and how much you will earn by the time you hit this age. I think you need an extremely compelling argument for why medicine is so important to you that these pragmatic factors cannot dissuade you.
     
  13. ChairmanMao

    ChairmanMao Serving the People

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    No offense but I'm somewhat concerned that you haven't researched these things before you started considering this as a viable career option. Even if you don't have to retake all of your medical pre-requisite courses, you're still looking at a minimum of 2 years until you can matriculate at a medical school. For one thing, you need to take the MCAT before you apply, for another thing, you need to actually demonstrate that you have an interest in the heatlthcare field, either by volunteering extensively at a hospital (for a year or so), or by shadowing a physician.

    Assuming that you could take all of your accelerated classes over the summer and the fall, you still need a few months to study for the MCAT (a very difficult test, no matter what your grade or your job is). And after that, you need to apply the year before you plan on attending medical school. So if you're planning on matriculating in August of 2010, you need to submit your application (along with your MCAT scores and your pre-requisite class grades) by the summer or fall of 2009. As you can imagine, you cannot decide on going to medical school and apply the next months - you have to plan these things out first.

    Second, no matter what field you decide to enter, you still have to do a 3-4 year residency after graduating from medical school. A medical school graduate who doesn't do one cannot legally practice medicine or become a psychiatrist. No matter how you look at it, there are no shortcuts to becoming a doctor, you're looking at a minimum 10 year commitment (2 years of classes and MCAT, 4 years of medical school, and 3-4 years of residency) before you can become a practicing physician. While it may be true that healthcare has the least amount of age discrimination, you're thinking of healthcare in general (nursing, therapists, medical technicians), physicians make up only a small portion of the healthcare field (like 5-10%) and there's certainly going to be some age discrimination when you apply as a middle age father of three.

    I wish I can help you more with finding out what other healthcare career (PA, NP, or PT) would be a better match for you. But as edub pointed out, you haven't explained to us why you want to become a doctor in the first place. Is it because of the job security and the high salary? Or is it because you are truly interested in treating others and dealing with people on a daily basis? You need to consider why you're attracted to healthcare and you need clinical experience (volunteering or shadowing) to convince yourself that you're OK with working at a hospital and that you can handling working with patients.
     
    Last edited: 04.06.09
  14. Deepa100

    Deepa100 Junior Member

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    If you have the funds and no one in your family will complain, apply to LECOM 3 yr. family practice medicine and get it done in 6 years. Why not?
     
  15. atomi

    atomi Member

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  16. FireCloud9

    FireCloud9

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    Thank you all for your advice.

    It's not a lifetime calling or passion. I don't have "passion" for any profession. I'd be just as happy to hit lotto and sleep all day. :)

    That being said, this is the real world and one has to work to support a family. Currently I'm unemployed as a result of mass layoffs at my previous firm. I've been working/employed uninterrupted since I was 18 - 27yrs, and have held numerous roles during that time from soldier to software developer, project manager, sales, marketing, business development, operations, network management, etc.

    I'm just not built to be passionate about any profession, and I can assure that whatever I do next, I wouldn't describe as having a "passion" for it.

    I do have plenty of intellectual curiosity which leads me to seek out variety and I thought the healthcare field is large enough that it may satiate my need for variety and provide for a decent living.

    For personal reasons, the one area that has always been of interest to me was psych. I'm less interested in what I would describe as the mechanics of the human body, and only interested in that aspect to the extent that it influences the brain and human behavior.

    Those that have suggested doing something with my MBA in the healthcare field are on the right track. I certainly plan on leveraging that business experience.

    I take no offense, and I did research it and much like a lawyer already knew my answer before asking the question, but like many of the smarter patients you'll encounter, I'm here getting a 2nd opinion. :)

    The question was whether it was a viable career option (and the answer is no), so the next question is what would be a viable career option in heathcare given my situation.

    I'm certainly not about to go take classes, MCATs, etc. before determining whether it's even realistic/viable. I'm willing to put in the necessary work in any career provided it's viable.

    Age discrimination is much more prevalent outside education, healthcare and government, and those are the few areas where jobs can't be easily offshored overseas.

    Hopefully, now that I've provided additional information, it would be easier to offer advice on the practical/viable non-MD pathways into the healthcare industry (PA, NP, PT).

    P.S. And before you say that you need passion for X profession. I've heard that all my life in most of the jobs I went after. It's great if you're born that way to have a passion in X, but alas there are those of us in this world that weren't born that way and lead perfectly normal if passionless professional lives.
     
    Last edited: 04.06.09
  17. FireCloud9

    FireCloud9

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    What is LECOM?

    Can someone that did 4yrs medical school (but no residency) teach?

    If YOU couldn't be in med school (for whatever reason), but were still interested in the medical field, would you do PA? NP? (other alternative)?

    By the way, does my appendectomy, splenectomy, lithotripsy, count as clinical experience. (jk) :)
     
    Last edited: 04.06.09
  18. atomi

    atomi Member

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  19. Scottish Chap

    Scottish Chap Moderator Emeritus

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    With completion of Step 3 and one year of a primary residency, this is indeed correct - you don't need a full residency (just ask Robert Rey, MD from Beverly Hills 90210. He is running a full-service cosmetic surgery office with no exams taken after the USMLE Step 3...though he did complete residency and fellowship). This is possible because his patients pay cash.....you end up (as I understand) with huge billing issues if you have not completed a residency - even though (at least on paper), you can legally practice as a GP. This is not a good, deliberate career strategy for the OP, though.
     
  20. ChairmanMao

    ChairmanMao Serving the People

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    I stand corrected. I assume that the OP meant no residency or internship. That would be very unusual for someone who graduated from a medical school.

    FireCloud, I think you have a better idea of some practical consideration which might prevent you from practicing medicine, and I do think that choosing an alternative healthcare career is a better idea. Why don't you scroll down to the bottom of the SDN mainpage and look at the psychology forum or the clinician (NP, PA, PT) forums? Those might be more suitable if your thinking about going into nursing, therapy.
     
  21. FireCloud9

    FireCloud9

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    Yes, I'm male. I look at nursing only in the context of having an MBA-RN combo to provide me with a couple of years of clinical experience and be credible and suitable for healthcare admin roles.

    I've not seen much demand for MBA-PA when I do job searches, but I know of one PA that just graduated and is starting at $80k. A lot less than I was already making, but it's a start and a new career with potential to make $100k+.

    I've done my time in the military, but never had exposure to an area that paid well... well, I did meet a General once and they're paid well. :)

    Social work is definitely out of the question.

    Thanks ChairmanMao, I'll definitely take a look. Just a guess... I could be wrong, but is the med field your 1st career?
     
  22. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Definitely don't apply to med school. The road to being a physician is long and hard even for people who have a passion for it, and this career is not going to give you the kind of life you are seeking. If I were you, I'd consider getting an MPH. You might get credit for some of your MBA classes, and there may be some programs that can be completed in a year regardless. With your background and experience, I would think you'd be pretty attractive to MPH programs.
     
  23. ChairmanMao

    ChairmanMao Serving the People

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    Yeah definitely don't become a doctor. I don't know if you're being light-hearted about it, but when you say that you don't have a passion for any profession, the image of Wally from the Dilbert cartoon comes into my mind. That's not the type of individual that I would be comfortable with when making life and death decisions in the OR. In fact, everyone that I've met in the healthcare field, from the residents, to the PA, to the nurses, to the medical technologists have some innate sense of responsibility when they were treating and caring for other people's lives.
     
    Last edited: 04.06.09
  24. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    There is no value to going to med school if you have no interest in doing a residency. No you aren't going to get a teaching gig (other than maybe teaching bio at a high school) with an MD but no practical experience. Med school is taught by PhDs and by clinicians. And residents by and large teach med students on the wards (the whole see one do one teach one mantra). Personal medical ailments and hospital admissions won't count as clinical experience.

    As for alternatives to med school, you will have to research those jobs if they interest you. Premeds and Med Students are not the right folks you want advising you about PA and NP routes.
     
    Last edited: 04.06.09
  25. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    As mentioned above, many med schools won't be okay with courses taken back in 93 and will expect you to retake any prereqs over X number of years old.

    Trying to find a program that lets you rush through the sciences is a really bad idea. The goal is to get A's, not get done quick. Because a non-sci person without A's in the prereqs doesn't get into med school. So you take them at the pace that allows you to really get a handle on them. Also you need to learn the info well for the MCAT anyhow.

    Residencies are at least 3 years. Most are 4 or more. There may be some limited ability to practice as a non-specialist after 1 year, but probably tough to get insured. So plan on 3+ years if you want to be a doctor. There is very limited value in an MD without residency and certainly nothing medical you can do with it.

    And nobody retires at 65 anymore. Chairman Mao is off the mark on this. People work until they can't these days.
     
  26. jamesgatz4

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    I'm not sure where you got the idea that healthcare administration requires clinical experience, but that is certainly not the case. The upper management at many, if not most, hospitals is full of MHAs, MBAs, MPHs, and JDs (our first lady?).

    For example, albeit an anecdotal one, browsing the management bios of various hospitals tends to indicate that most non-academic institutions favor business training, as oftentimes all but the CMO lack MDs. At academic institutions, MD leadership seems to be the norm, but that's not the case everywhere. Granted this is upper management, but I'm sure it's indicative of the business structure at all levels of the hospital.

    I'm currently in a very unsatisfying business career, and have thought about a post-bacc plus med school for a few years now. That would mean age 28 at matriculation at the earliest, so I've been considering an MHA instead. I can't imagine I'd have the same difficulty in this decision process if matriculation would be 30+.
     
  27. DrJosephKim

    DrJosephKim Advisor SDN Advisor

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    It would be a very long road, but there are some who have traveled down this path. I think it would be important to get input from them. Probably the most difficult part will be the part about supporting a family as you pursue this ambition. You'd need to do some serious financial assessment/planning.
     
  28. sirius08

    sirius08

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    Just to add a note about prereqs taken awhile back - I took most of mine before 1991 (all except organic chemistry, which I took in 1996), and I was invited to interview at 10 allopathic schools this year (with 3 acceptances so far).
     
  29. ucsfstudents

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    I'm not going to repeat what everyone else has said. I pretty much agree with most of them. Age does matter in medicine. After reading all of the responses to your questions, you should think about your priorities, values, family situation, and reasons for wanting to go into medicine (at this stage in your life.) You should ask yourself how you would help others as their physician, and how you would manage the difficult life of medical students.

    As an MBA I'm pretty sure you know what hard work is like.. so I think you will do what you need to do to become a physician (i.e. you will most likely complete medical school once you get accepted). However, the real question is should you get in in the first place? That's a decision you have to make for yourself.

    If after reading all of the warnings, you decide to pursue it, than I'm sure everyone in the SDN community will support you.

    Are you too old to apply to medicine, NO. Is it too late to apply? NO. Should you apply? Totally up to you! What are your chances? Worse than someone who is younger, but it is very possible.

    Good luck in your decision! :)
     
  30. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, all schools are different. But some openly advise folks to retake if they are 7-10 years or older. I think only 3 have explicit policies about this though (somebody a few years back called many of the schools and compiled a list).
     
  31. saidel273

    saidel273 MD Class of 2012

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    At 45, it is just not worth it to change your career especially a career change into medicine. This is a very tough road, just look around this forum and you will find people in their 20s who just complain over and over about how miserable they are..

    There is a lot to consider at your age, just think about this that by the time you start rotations, you will be in your late 40s and you will be bossed around, yelled at by kids in their 20s..
     
  32. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    I actually don't think that bothers most people -- or at least it makes the 20 year olds more uncomfortable than the nontrads. You aren't being bossed around by a kid in their 20s. You are being bossed around by someone with more knowledge and experience on this path than you. So it's not like senior citizens taking jobs at McDonalds and being bossed around by some know-nothing teen. You will be working under someone at least a year ahead of you on the path, which by definition means they know things you don't. They've earned some respect, so it's fine to follow their leadership. But a lot of 20 year olds have issues bossing around someone older than their parents, because if they have any manners, the were brought up to respect the older generation.
     
    Zelda840 likes this.
  33. saidel273

    saidel273 MD Class of 2012

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    Maybe you've had good experiences, but I've met many older people who found themselves often uncomfortable in these situations.

    Anyways, this is not the main thing to consider before choosing a career in medicine. My point was there are a lot to consider at 45 before jumping ships.
     
  34. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"

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    You're talking about making a career decision in a pressure situation. All the things we're talking about are expensive long-term solutions which won't address your short-term needs. Do you have the financial reserves to wait 3 or more years until you earn a good salary, and to pay expensive tuition in the meantime? Going to med school in your 40s is pretty much financial suicide and will set you back a long, long way (I've done it). There is plenty of silent age discrimination, particularly in residency applications.

    The reason we keep asking about passion is that, when you are working with stinky disagreeable people and making less than you dreamed, you are going to need some passion to get you out of bed in the morning. The idea that there are great jobs waiting around for the MBA/whatever is really a dream. I don't think this is going to solve any of your problems, unless you are a business genius with a proven track record.
     
  35. FireCloud9

    FireCloud9

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    I knew this would be confusing for most when I mentioned a lack of passion in any profession. Mainly because most people have passion for something and from my perspective are easily excitable. Even skydiving didn't bring out the excitement the majority of people report.

    Not to be confused with not being responsible, lazy, etc. That's simply not the case.

    I'm just built a bit differently than others...

    That being said, I never had any intention of being a surgeon. As I mentioned early on, my interest related to psych. And if that didn't work out then perhaps other areas of medicine that are more research driven or intellectually driven as opposed to a "body chop shop"...

    And thank you to those that have PMed me providing input on schools that prefer non-traditional students and other "short cuts".
     
  36. MidAtlantic

    MidAtlantic

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    I am a 44 year old. I have been accepted at one medical school and I am wait listed at another. There are still 2 more schools outstanding. The medical schools I have interviewed with have said that many of their mature students have been there best. During my interviews, I have had great discussions with the MDs and professors at the schools about attending. It can be done but there is a lot to do.

    I had no problem with medical schools accepting my older transcripts though I have read some medical schools don't. Since GPAs have been inflating over the last 20 years by about 0.5, your GPA is going to hurt your chances to be accepted. I had the same problem. And I also had to take extra classes before applying (2 semesters of Bio, 2 semesters of Org. Chem) and of course the MCAT. I took the courses at a local county college and did well on the MCAT. Just a note: the teachers at the local community colleges (NVCC in VA and Ocean County CC in NJ) were great!.

    I am doing this because my goal is to serve as a MD in the 3rd world after my residency. I do have a passion for it. But I realized that if I did badly in some of the courses before or did not perform well on the MCAT, I would have to look at different options. There were no guarentees and make sure you can finance it. Best wishes.
     
  37. fahimaz7

    fahimaz7

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    I thought he was board certified in General Surgery?
     
  38. dragonfly99

    dragonfly99

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    I'll bet he is. There are a lot of people doing cosmetic surgery stuff who never did a formal plastic surgery residency...but there aren't that many folks not certified in their primary specialty (i.e. general surgery for this guy).
     
  39. Signaq

    Signaq Signaq

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    Another idea is enrolling in an acellerated nurse practitioner program. Instead of taking four years and getting an RN, plus more years for an ANP, many nursing programs offer a fast-track where the student can bypass the traditional RN classes duplicated in the undergraduate degree. No need to retake English, for example. Then the needed RN classes are taught in a condensed time frame. So instead of two days a week of one or two clinicals per semester, the student takes 4 weeks of daily, 6-8+ hours per day of multiple, simultaneous clinicals back-to-back. The classes are tailored to these nontraditional students so they can get them complete as fast as possible. The last two years of the program is designed to complete the classes needed to sit for the ANP certifying exam. The benefit is that a second-career bachelor's prepared student can earn a nurse practitioner degree in three years, with no nursing experience prior to enrollment. It's fast and intense, and there is little opportunity for working while in such a program. Also, you may have an RN licence, but you'll be totally unprepared to work as a floor nurse anywhere because you bypassed so much of the RN curriculum. However, depending on your state, you can graduate and be an independent, nurse practitioner in three years. You can even specialize in psych. Not too shabby.

    Good luck, Gramps (and I mean that affectionately -- I turn 40 in 2 months, so I'm old, too! :))
     
    Last edited: 04.08.09
  40. Scottish Chap

    Scottish Chap Moderator Emeritus

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    Nope - not according to the last few discussions on this. He stated clearly that he always meant to take his board exams, but got involved in a busy fellowship, then got involved in a setting up a solo practice. He states that he intends to take the exams eventually. Clearly, he's great at what he does and he's highly successful.
     
  41. dragonfly99

    dragonfly99

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    wow...well the board exams are kind of a money making scheme for the boards who put them out, but I'd still be kind of nervous to be operated on by someone who never even passed the general surgery boards. It does prove a baseline level of knowledge, though of course doesn't guarantee surgical skills.
     
  42. Scottish Chap

    Scottish Chap Moderator Emeritus

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    I completely agree with you. Let's face it: it's basically a union card so that everybody can feel good about the professional (same thing goes for the USMLEs; they basically just prove you can take a test), but you're wide open for litigation if you have a bad outcome without board certification, and it takes just one of those cases.....
     
  43. Bleurberry

    Bleurberry

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    Really? Good to know. I just posted this question in another thread, but you and Panda (Sorry, melanoleuca) just answered it. I thought maybe being 38 when one graduates from a EM program could put one at a disadvantage. I guess there aren't many 65 yr old EM docs out there, but does anyone know of one?



     
  44. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    Yes. They're out there. :)
     
  45. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion Gold Donor

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    Here's Seattle's famous/infamous patron saint of the ER: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2008/11/harborview_legend_stepping_dow.php

    He graduated med school in 1964, so I'm guessing that makes him 70. He's still working, just not 80 hours a week.
     
  46. ChairmanMao

    ChairmanMao Serving the People

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    Well after working 100 hours/week for the past 25 years, I think he earned a very well deserved vacation. At least, he didn't bother to call back those pesky reporters at the Seattle Weekly for comments :laugh:
     
  47. Bleurberry

    Bleurberry

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  48. CremasterFlash

    CremasterFlash Born yesterday.

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    I work in a big urban ED and there are a few attendings in their 60s. They're all a bunch of salty dogs with big hearts and lots of funny stories. The oldest EM resident that I know is my age (38).

    I plan to begin my EM residency at 42. I wish that was a record since it would give me something cool to talk about in (fingers crossed) residency interviews, but I very much doubt that it is.
     
  49. pianola

    pianola MS2

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    I'm going to enjoy this quote for the rest of my day. :D
     
  50. netminder

    netminder

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    Good job, Sirius. That's awesome.
     

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