Does age matter?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by paumera, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. paumera

    paumera Member
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    I was wondering...will a 39 year old med school graduate be at a disadvantage in gaining residency positions because of his age?
     
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  3. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member
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    I've posted previously about one of my fellow classmates who was in his upper 30's and matched into a Plastics position out of med school - this is perhaps one of the most sought after residencies, and he was definitely not stellar in his academics - just someone fun to be around, which must have been what the program was looking for.

    I think the limiting factor in the older person is their own personal reasons and whether they are ready to go back to the student phase of their life, and, inevitably, be on the bottom of the totem pole several times over for the next 7-10 years (IMHO). Clearly, their partners and children (if any) have a lot of weight in this decision.

    Airborne
     
  4. KG

    KG Member
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    Hope not - I'll be 42! Seriously, I think good board scores will make up for being a few years older.
     
  5. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...
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    njbmd is a member on SDN. She is a 51 yo surgery intern at UVA :clap:!
    Hopefully, she'll wander by and offer her two cents worth.
     
  6. paumera

    paumera Member
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    Thank you! I glad to see that there are other "older" people out there. I went on an interview at Sinai, and one of the Doctors told me that, although no one will come out and say it, age does matter," and he also discouraged me from trying to go into a specialty like ortho because of the length and intensity...I didn't think that was very cool...
     
  7. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member
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    Paumera:

    I won't be discouraged about the comments re Ortho - I have seen many, many internal medicine interns and residents put in just as much, if not more, time "in" at the hospital as the surgical specialties. Albeit there are more lifestyle oriented fields of medicine than these two branches and I would suggest you peruse Freida to see what the "average" attending does after residency.

    I was once told (by the head of surgery) that one cannot base their choice of field in medicine on the trials and tribulations of the residency - no matter which you choose, it CAN be bruttal (OK, maybe not Derm). He then commented that only if you are a micromanager, your future practice will consume you - However, if you can delegate and are comfortable with your staff (who, incidentally, are competent and have years of clinical knowledge), your workload, and subsequently time commitment, will be significantly reduced. I don't want to get into a debate over who works harder, but I think that your practice is what you make of it.

    Go for it.

    Moreover, as a somewhat older MSIII, I find that patients are a bit more receptive to a more "mature" doctor (I use this term loosely, as you will find that many, many patients feel their med student is 'their doctor' due to the large amount of time we give them, compared with the time pressured interns/residents/attendings) - Life experience is tantamount to understanding many of the psychosocial issues in medicine, and these transcend every field of medicine - surgical or otherwise.

    In short - Yeah, you'll work hard. Yeah, at times you'll wonder what the hell you were thinking. You'll ruminate about leaving your former profession and question if this is right for you. But at the end of the day, I know I could do nothing else and be professionally, personally and even spiritually happy.

    You know what you need to do - If it's medicine, drive on.

    Airborne
     
  8. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member
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    Sorry - Thought of two more points after I posted...

    Indebtedness seems to be a major concern for older (and younger) med students. I have thought of it like this - I graduated with a degree in Chemistry and Biology approx $30K in debt, and could have gotten a job for about $35K per year. I will finish residency approx $160K in debt, and will most likely take a job $150-200K per year. Clearly, the time to pay off each of these, as a percentage of income, is similar. Finances, although seemingly astronomical, are really a matter of perspective. Moreover, I know there are many positions in medicine which pay off your loans. I am unaware of too many that do so for your undergraduate degree.

    Second, This whole issue of time invested to number of years as a physician/surgeon seems to come up every now and then. Frankly, I think this a bit of hog-wash. There is/are a large proportion of physicians who are dissatisfied with their careers, and I'd be keen to know if those who entered the field a bit later in life are happier, in general, than those who graduated from medical school at 25-27. Although I am sure there is some literature on this, I am unaware of it (and frankly don't care that much to actually search on it). I would venture to guess that later life entry physicians are a bit more happy, having had other experiences to base their current career happiness.

    I don't mean to piss any one off - just observations and extrapolations...

    Airborne
     

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