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Feb 19, 2018
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hey everyone I’m 27 and just started going to community college for the past semester I have been pursuing a career in law enforcement but recent events has made me ask myself if I want to get into medicine. My 17 year old cousin is pretty much dying of cancer and seeing the way his parents are and seeing the doctors tell them they don’t know why anything is happening has made me want to change careers but I am asking myself and the good community here am I to old?
 
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Microbug

2+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2016
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The (not)-Greater NYC Area
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MD/PhD Student
hey everyone I’m 27 and just started going to community college for the past semester I have been pursuing a career in law enforcement but recent events has made me ask myself if I want to get into medicine. My 17 year old cousin is pretty much dying of cancer and seeing the way his parents are and seeing the doctors tell them they don’t know why anything is happening has made me want to change careers but I am asking myself and the good community here am I to old?
PhD and research would tell you why things are happening, not really medicine. Make sure you know what it means to be physician with shadowing before you dive in.
 

21Rush12

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5+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2014
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Don’t go into this for the wrong reasons.

By that I mean, don’t go in because of an emotional response to a difficult situation. This passion will fade and if you torch your career in LE, you’re going to be worse off.

Please spend the time it takes to cope with the situation, and reflect on what your passion really is. Medicine is a marathon. If you are 27 now and starting college, it will be a minimum of 11 years before you’re a fully licensed physician with no gap years or missteps from here.

The reaction to want to fix the situation is understandable, and I really empathize with how hard it is to be in your situation. Just know that while your age won’t keep you out, you should take the time to really experience and understand what a doctor’s job is, what a career in medicine entails, and what you would be sacrificing in order to achieve it.
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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hey everyone I’m 27 and just started going to community college for the past semester I have been pursuing a career in law enforcement but recent events has made me ask myself if I want to get into medicine. My 17 year old cousin is pretty much dying of cancer and seeing the way his parents are and seeing the doctors tell them they don’t know why anything is happening has made me want to change careers but I am asking myself and the good community here am I to old?
Some of my all time best students have been in their 30s and 40s.

You are aware that doctors do not always have answers, right?
 

Danny Archer

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Feb 15, 2018
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Medical Student
I think it gets very difficult to learn well as you get older. I am few years older than you and have been struggling constantly throughout this whole process. You need a certain energy level to grasp the volume of information in medical school, and I believe this ability starts to greatly diminish as you get into your late 20's and early 30s. I can only imagine that it gets worse past there.

TLDR; yes you are too old to start now.
 

gonnif

Only 88 Days Until Next Presidential Election
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Jul 26, 2009
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*too
And no. Someone who was 50 got into DO school so.
-According to somewhat dated AMCAS stats, about a dozen people a year 50 years or older start MD school in the US. Adding that with recent DO stats, there are approximately 2 dozen people a year 45 or older who start US MD or DO each cycle
-A past chair of the AMA didnt start medical school until they were 35
-I routinely send people in their 30's each term to medical school and usually have at least 1 term 40 or older
 

altblue

5+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2014
1,807
2,253
Status
Medical Student
I think it gets very difficult to learn well as you get older. I am few years older than you and have been struggling constantly throughout this whole process. You need a certain energy level to grasp the volume of information in medical school, and I believe this ability starts to greatly diminish as you get into your late 20's and early 30s. I can only imagine that it gets worse past there.

TLDR; yes you are too old to start now.
Yeah but you don't know about how mature OP is or about their overall level of energy. A lot of the postbaccs in my classes do better because they're more motivated and organized than the younger traditional students.
 
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getdown

7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2010
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Attending Physician
The age issue doesn't have to do with the cognitive or intellect, it deals with the physical tole on your body. The question one should ask themselves is this: can I survive doing a 24 to 36 hour shift? And yes, you will be up all day and night answering pages, doing admissions and dealing with disasters. This will be at best once a week or at worst everyday for 2-3 months if you're in a competitive surgical subspecialty field. Can I switch easily with my internal clock from doing day shifts and night shifts every other day? Will I be able to split time with the demands of residency with my family obligations (if you have a family already, which if you're in your 30-40s is likely)

This is all doable at any age but significantly more challenging when you're that much older and don't have the stamina of a 20 year old. That's why the older attendings don't want to take 24 hour call anymore, it's hard on your body.
 

Pagan FutureDoc

2+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2015
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You aren’t too old to start now...I started over older than you are now. However you are too old to jump in half cocked into medicine. Give it some time and serious thought. Shadow some docs, get some health care exposure and then see how you feel. In the mean time I’d focus on doing well in school and not overloading on prereqs at your CC.
 
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