Starting at 35 - Is it Sane?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by waimea, Jul 16, 2000.

  1. waimea

    waimea Junior Member

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    Hi All. I just turned 35 this past May. Though I have many thoughts when I was younger that I should go to medical school, I would like some truth of what I can expect to face financially if I pursue this dream of mines. I've determined that with the premed requirements of our local university, and if I can take and pass these courses with good grades, I should be able to enter the school of medicine in the Fall of 2003. Given that I succeed to complete the 4 years of school within that time, I should be graduating in 2006 at the age of 41 years old. Given that I complete the residency program (for either a family physician or internal medicine) and pass my board certification, I may be 45 years old at that time. I'm already engaged and my finacee and I are planning to have at least one child in about the time when I enter medical school. She will continue to work at her present job but I will then have to quit mines. The school highly suggests that their students don't take up a part time job. Considering that I will be making much less when I'm doing my residency while I have to pay for my loans, is this a good idea for me? I wonder if this is all worth considering. Financially, I will probably break even pay off my loans) when I'm about 50. Now I will truly make money after that to when I was thinking of retiring no later than 65. Is this analysis too bleak?


    [This message has been edited by waimea (edited 07-20-2000).]
     
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  3. Methuselah

    Methuselah Senior Member

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    Great question. The way I read it, you figure to break even financially around the time you turn 50. Your first child will be 12, and looking at college in about 5 years. You want to retire at 65, which gives you 15 years of earning power,less 5 for your kid's tuition, reducing the amount of time you'll have to pay for your house and squirrel away enough cash to live comfortably, down to ten years. I'm guessing you're from Hawaii, where the cost of living doesn't make it any easier. I don't know what you or your fiancee do for a living now, so I can't project where you'd be if you opt not to become a physician. I don't know whether or not you already own property, or your means of paying your tuition. Are you an underrepresented minority with access to grants and/or scholarships? Is there family you can live with while you go to school? (That would help with the kids, too.) Lots of tough questions, I feel for you. When I wrestled with my own questions, a trusted professor put it to me this way: "Where are you going to be at age ___ if you don't do it?"
     
  4. whynotme?

    whynotme? Senior Member

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    Exactly...You are gonna be 50 regardless (God willing) so, do you want to be 50 and be a physician or 50 years old doing something else? Good luck with your decision

    ------------------
    "Nothing ventured, Nothing gained"
     
  5. Dr. FS

    Dr. FS Member

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    Every day i ask myself a similar question: Should i spend my life (years) in something so demanding...is it worth it?

    I am 20, expect to be a Dr with my residency done at age 29 to 30. Medicine takes too many years of any person's life. very often i think, instead of being a Dr, i will just start working after i finish college and enjoy life, with money, and ready to form a family and spend time with them.

    Is it worth it to become a physician at any age? i think not, it is insane! but it is impossible to imagine doing anything else.


    if you feel that way, them i think you should go for it, nothing is worse than being in a job that you hate.

    if you are 35, i assume you graduated from college. so lets see.

    note: notice that you will be doing something that you like,=happiness.

    Conclusion: it is worth it!!!
     
  6. waimea

    waimea Junior Member

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    I thank you all for your opinions on this tough and emotional issue. Being that I'm not 100% yet sure, I'm on the path of doing this. While I'm continue to evaluate information on the profession and the financial impacts of this decision, I will be taking my first premed courses this Fall. I see that the Student Doctor forum is a really good place to get information.

    By the way, I still need to do a financial analysis. What I presented was a gross estimate. No..I don't have much money and my finacee does not make much to support me through school. It will be tough times as I've thought about it. We want two kids..lots of issue to think about...oh by the way, does anyone know what financial aid I can start looking into? Yes,...I'm a minority. Aloha!

    [This message has been edited by waimea (edited 07-19-2000).]
     
  7. bill clark

    bill clark Junior Member

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    Hi Waimea,

    I think its great that you're taking the plunge and following your dreams. I count myself among that "insane" group of older students who wish to attend medical school. I'll be entering med school at the 'ripe old age' of 40! Its always good if we know others who have followed the same path. One of my friends graduated from med school last year at the age of 43, so it can and is being done.

    There's a great website for we older applicants; its quite comprehensive and covers everything from prereqs to financing one's medical education. Here's the web address. Hope it helps, and I wish you the best of luck in your studies! http://www.cs.umbc.edu/~mikeg/medschool.html
     
  8. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child

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    I was watching "Trauma - Life in the ER" the other day (on the learning channel - yikes [​IMG] And they did a segment on a 42 year old 1st year resident. His story was pretty interesting, he's from south africa, and his life's dream was to become a doctor, but because of apartheid, he wasn't able to persue his dream. But he's happy now, not the least worried about his age.

    Moral ? Do what you'll be happy with. If that means becoming a physician by the time you are age 50 (or 60), then so be it. Haven't you seen the news where that 90 year old woman went back to college ? You are 1/3 her age, consider yourself a youngster. It's all relative... Maybe with the mapping of the Human Genome and Gene Therapy (very very slim chance though), the life span will be pushed further than 120, and people will start retiring at 70 or 75 rather than 65... But you shouldn't think that far ahead. Focus on right now: do you want to do this ? If yes, go for it!!
     
  9. waimea

    waimea Junior Member

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    Glad to hear about the 42 year old resident! Would like to hear more successful stories of nontraditional residents...Thanks all for your input!
     
  10. siddhartha8

    siddhartha8 Junior Member

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    Waimea,
    Aloha brah
    I'm a 33 y.o. non-trad. Starting at UVa. this fall. I say do it, age is just a number.
    Good luck!
    P.S. The waves at Hatteras lighthouse were chest and peeling off in six/seven wave sets this weekend. Only about a dozen guys out, it was killer! Not bad for the East Coast.
    Aloha
     
  11. waimea

    waimea Junior Member

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    I thank you all for giving me a boost. I wonder if anyone is in a similar situation as me...wonder if anyone comes close. Aloha.
     
  12. tonem

    tonem Senior Member

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    I'm a 35 y.o second year...thats pretty close. Good luck.
     

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