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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DO2012, May 6, 2008.
Starting med school this fall. Am I too old to become a successful surgeon?
You'll be like 33 once you start internship, how would that be too old? Unless you're developing parkinson's disease, you'll be fine. I don't know any more about surgery than the next person, but this seems like common sense.
I don't think so, but I think the best way to find out is to shadow surgeons early on or talk to them during rotations. Ask them.
Do you have kids? Are you planning on having kids? Is family life very important to you?
These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself. While it is true that you could potentially do anything you want starting at age 28, the truth of the matter is that it will take you at least 9 years to become a general surgeon (or 11 years to become a plastic surgeon). It is also a very demanding field during residency and beyond. So you may have to sacrifice family life to do it. At age 37-39 you are not too old to practice surgery and you may have a fulfilling practice lasting 25+ years.
It ultimately comes down to you and your life goals. I am not saying it is not possible but it is difficult to juggle both aspects of life and having kids at almost age 40 is kinda hitting the upper limit in that sense.
Hope this helps. (I am in a similar position as you are but I am a male)
no way are you too old...
women live several years longer than men anyways, so you're like the equivalent of a 23yo male starting med school
To put it into perspective: The average age for students matriculating into medical school last year was 25 yrs. So you're only 3 years off from the average, which isn't significant in the grand scheme of things, and I'd bet you're still w/in the SD.
Too old? No.
There are still a lot of factors to weigh in for you in the future:
are you married?
have kids or want kids?
career driven or family oriented?
There are women in their late 20s to 30s who answered either way on all of these questions that I know personally. You can always make it work. We all make it work. My advice would be to talk to several women who are in medicine now in various fields for some perspective. Then honestly decide for yourself.
Ultimately it's your choice. Though, its not even close to too late to do surgery.
You can be finished with a gen surg residency by like 37. That easily leaves 20+ years to practice, at $250K+ a year. So finances (i.e., being able to repay your loans and put enough away for retirement) shouldn't be a major problem, and assuming you stay in relatively good health, age shouldn't be a factor. Go for it.
I shadowed an orthopedic surgeon who had been a couple of hours away from getting a Ph.D. in exercise physiology when he decided to go to medical school. He was 28 when started med school, and he is an amazing, well-respected surgeon.
I am married and do plan to have kids eventually. I was just feeling down because I feel like everyone on the student forum is like 22 and I am way older than that. If I had gotten into med school the first time I had applied at 21 I would have been done with surgical residency by 30. Instead now I am 7 years behind making me 37 by the time I am done with surgical residency.
Did you take a bunch of years off between the first application and now, or have you been trying mostly all along? (Just wondering)
no, not too old, I don't think.
On a side note, why are you posing this to pre-meds who as much as we would like to be able to help, really do not know what to say having never been to med school much less a surgical residency? If you want actual valuable input, post this in the surgery forums and see what actual surgeons say.
Good luck in fall.
You consider yourself old at 28? Man do I hope I don't feel that way in another 5 years.
Nah, I think you're worrying too much. Plenty of people will be around that age , so you need not feel alone.
It's those young whipper-snappers that should be worried about being younger than everyone else. No life experience I say! Let 'em wait their turn!
When you start medical school, try to find a female mentor in Surgery who can answer some of your questions and address concerns you have. Many schools have have panels and talks to introduce you to different specialties and that cover different topics like "having a family in medicine." These are good places to get information. Also try:
I had a bad MCAT score in my first try back for Fall 2001. I tried to get into med school for Fall 2004 with a better score, but I only applied to four schools. Turned out that was too limited a list, got an interview, but no acceptance. This time around I was able to secure a spot. In the meanwhile, I have had a career as a benefits consultant and currently have a six figure salary and pretty much being groomed to be a hotshot producer. Though unbeknownst to my employer I am going for med school. I regret losing 7 years from medicine, however, I have done ok for where I am right now.
i think the maturity and perspective you've gained along the way more than offset the time. congrats on your acceptance, maybe i'll see you in a surgical residency!
I'm 28 (soon to be 29 on 5/15!) and I also want to be a surgeon. You are so not too old. I used to get stuck on the fact that I'm 7 years behind where I want to be, but life happens. At least you're well on your way now. Your life experience will also be a big plus once you start practicing. I have a completely different perspective on things than I did when I was still in undergrad and my parents were doing more for me. The whole family thing is not something I'm pressed about doing so I can't really comment on that. Anyway if it bothers you that much, just lie about your age if anyone asks.
Yep, too old. Throw in the towel now.
Once again, you are only a few years beyond the average matriculant age for medical school (25). Besides, one fellow interviewee had graduated college, taught English at a high school, taken a post-bacc, and started applying. he must have been almost 30.
nope! I'm 29 (turning 30 in nov), and I plan to become a surgeon and starting school this year. You can only stop you. But from what I hear you'll change your mind several times, so you may decide to go into derm, or em, or im, who knows.
I'll put 100 bucks on the fact that once you get through med school you opt for something besides surgery.
could i have another diet coke, please?
28? Go home, grandma!
j/k, I'm 28/m and going to med school in the fall. Surgery is definitely something I'd like to explore as well. However, I know that I'm not as big on family or relationships compared to most people - it could be a tough choice depending on how you see your life outside of the hospital.
We have a few people over 30 in our class, most of them are shooting for the quicker residencies, but seriously 28 isn't that bad. Only issue would be kids as you would most likely not have the luxury of waiting until after residency to have kids. However, with the push to get women into surgery programs are becoming much more friendly to the idea of taking maternity leave.
you forget that younger women are more inclined to date older men than younger men are inclined to date older women.
to the OP, I feel your pain. I do wish that, beyond all the other things, being stripped of the golden years is not the standard reward for doctors upon completing residency. seems like it hurts women more than the guys
..to all that posted their replies. I loved the "grandma" comment. I appreciate the reality check. I guess it will be having kids during my residency. Unless I could wait till 38.
22 M NY