what is the avg age for someone just beginning md/phd

Habari

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most people in my class had taken on average 1-2 years off - and the ages range from 19 to 26 or so.
 

tedrik

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i'll be 23...yikes, im oooooold!!!
 

marionseven14

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Yep, I will be 24 and I am trying to adjust to the fact that there is almost no way I will be under 30 when I graduate... I also have been corresponding with a recent graduate of my likely program and I realized that he started his MD when I was starting high school... yikes!
 

kels

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i'd say almost half are straight out of college and almost another half take 1-2 years off, so most are between 21 and 24... then there are maybe 10% who are outside that range.
 

BDavis

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qqq said:
I was 21 and my classmates ranged from 19 to 23 or 24. I went straight from college (4 years); others took time off for studying abroad and some took 3 years for college.
 

Mitro

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Speaking of Doogie Howser, wasn't there a kid a few years ago who was 12 when he started? Anyone else know what I'm talking about? I think it was UChicago.

Slightly more on topic, there are people of many ages that start the programs. I've met people who started in their late 20s, and even one person who started in their early 30s. However, as most people have pointed out, most seem to be just out of, or within a year or two, out of college.
 

dr.z

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Mitro said:
Speaking of Doogie Howser, wasn't there a kid a few years ago who was 12 when he started? Anyone else know what I'm talking about? I think it was UChicago.
Yeah I've heard about this guy. I think he did his undergrad at Loyola, and he started MD/Ph.D program around 12 (or maybe 14).
 
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qqq

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early 30s would mean graduating around 40? ouch.
 

1Path

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qqq said:
early 30s would mean graduating around 40? ouch.
I'll be in my late 30's when I start, so around my mid 40's when I finish. I know a few other folks in the same situation and as far as I know, it doesn't hurt much. ;)
 

tr

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Hm. For our program I think time off before starting is slightly more common than going straight through. I'd say at least half take some amount of time (usually a year), and we have several people who started in their late 20's.

(I was 22 when I started; took 1 year off after college.)
 
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qqq

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1Path said:
I'll be in my late 30's when I start, so around my mid 40's when I finish. I know a few other folks in the same situation and as far as I know, it doesn't hurt much. ;)
i'd think you are less likely to get demotivated, jaded, and/or cynical, but what about your family life? are you able to keep a healthy balance? i guess it's no different than a doc that works horrendous hours but is stil able to be there for his family.
 

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qqq said:
i guess it's no different than a doc that works horrendous hours but is stil able to be there for his family.
EXACTLY!!! I just look at it like a "job" where I make peanuts (which BTW many, many people do) and balance it with family life like other working families.

Truthfully, I hate to see people discouraged form going MD//PhD especially women, because they feel they believe they're too old (dead is "too old" IMHO) or can't balance everything.
 

tedrik

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1Path said:
EXACTLY!!! I just look at it like a "job" where I make peanuts (which BTW many, many people do) and balance it with family life like other working families.

Truthfully, I hate to see people discouraged form going MD//PhD especially women, because they feel they believe they're too old (dead is "too old" IMHO) or can't balance everything.

1Path, you're an inspiration! :thumbup:

I retract my ealier statement about 23 being old.
 

noy

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this year we had 19 (started college young) to 26 (did some military service), but most of us were right out of school, be it 4, 5, or 6 years (some got masters or did a year of reserch).

The medical school had much more variety - people who worked for a few years or were teachers, etc. Some 30 year olds. I dont think we have had a 30 year old MSTP in a while. Most likely that people who just this route know it earlier, (certian exceptions noted!)
 

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noy said:
Most likely that people who just this route know it earlier, (certian exceptions noted!)
I first considered MD/PhD when I was about 25, but was told over and over and over again that it was too late for me to consider this. Once I decided to go for it, I had other life issues to deal with. Now at 38, I'm right in the thick of it (albeit on the PhD end of things for now)!! Most importantly, I have a role model pathology resident with an MD/PhD who finished her program at 42 with a husband and 2 kids in tow for MY inspiration. :thumbup:
 

mendel121

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qqq said:
i'd think you are less likely to get demotivated, jaded, and/or cynical, but what about your family life? are you able to keep a healthy balance? i guess it's no different than a doc that works horrendous hours but is stil able to be there for his family.

I'm doing the MD/PhD thing the "old-fashioned" way - doing my PhD at one place then switching schools to do the MD. I started my PhD/MPH at 24, and will start med school this fall at 29. I have a wife and two kids. It really hasn't been much different than a regular job, it just takes an understanding wife considering the whole dirt poor thing for a while
 

Reckoning

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1Path said:
I'll be in my late 30's when I start, so around my mid 40's when I finish. I know a few other folks in the same situation and as far as I know, it doesn't hurt much. ;)
31, when I start this summer. I'm sure I'll be older if not the oldest MSTP in my class. When I was 21 I thought OMG I am going to be 30 one day. And I am still here to tell the tale! I imagine I will say the same when I am 40.

There is something to be said for living life outside of medicine for a while as well.
 

Reckoning

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1Path said:
EXACTLY!!! I just look at it like a "job" where I make peanuts (which BTW many, many people do) and balance it with family life like other working families.

Truthfully, I hate to see people discouraged form going MD//PhD especially women, because they feel they believe they're too old (dead is "too old" IMHO) or can't balance everything.
Kudos, 1path. I'm taking a saintly wife and a 2 year old along for the adventure.

On the interview trail, I had one Prof ask me in honest astonishment. "Do you realize how old you will be when you actually start practicing?" Although tempted to say, "Holy sh!t, Watson! Ya know it never really occured to me!" I said, "Well, I am going to be 44 one day anyway. I think it would be better to be doing exactly what I want to do rather than stick out my current career as an engineer." Needless to say I withdrew from that school.
 

Mimidoc^2

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If successful, I will be 22 starting (1 year off after college)
 

Big Bill

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Path1, when I went to my financial aid person at my school. She told me i would not be the oldest ever to appy or graduate. I will be 41 if I get in when I matriculate. Right now at my school we are being offered full ride and a stipend. For a few extra years of study you will save yourself 250,000 in loans. not a bad deal. The big guy
 

lynnier79

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hey all --

i thought i was pretty average -- ill be 26 when i start this summer. certainly doesnt bother me to think that ill be almost 40 when all of this is over. i couldnt care less. ive been out of school for 3 years -- 2 of them were full time in research, and now im full time in a medical clinic. it has been so worth it for me to see both sides -- what everyday research is like and what everyday medicine is like. i think that we get a lot of pressure to start early because the "clock is ticking" but really its no big deal. from what i understand, as a woman, there is NEVER a great time in any career to have kids. it messes everything up whenever you decide to do it, so you just do it when you do it and you deal with it.

though, Big Bill, it does seem tempting to go through "just a few more years of school" to avoid the debt. but i think that in the end, spending your life in academic medicine pays peanuts compared to the private stuff -- so if you really dont want to do research forever, then the money saving is probably not the best reason to go into it. though its a nice perk, because in the end we will never log the kind of biling targets that the clinical guys do.

lynnie
 

Reckoning

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lynnier79 said:
hey all --

i thought i was pretty average -- ill be 26 when i start this summer. certainly doesnt bother me to think that ill be almost 40 when all of this is over. i couldnt care less. ive been out of school for 3 years -- 2 of them were full time in research, and now im full time in a medical clinic. it has been so worth it for me to see both sides -- what everyday research is like and what everyday medicine is like. i think that we get a lot of pressure to start early because the "clock is ticking" but really its no big deal. from what i understand, as a woman, there is NEVER a great time in any career to have kids. it messes everything up whenever you decide to do it, so you just do it when you do it and you deal with it.

though, Big Bill, it does seem tempting to go through "just a few more years of school" to avoid the debt. but i think that in the end, spending your life in academic medicine pays peanuts compared to the private stuff -- so if you really dont want to do research forever, then the money saving is probably not the best reason to go into it. though its a nice perk, because in the end we will never log the kind of biling targets that the clinical guys do.

lynnie
Excellent points.

Further, even if you wanted to go just clinical practise after MSTP, the extra years you spend in school are also years you lose making real money in your practise. I ran the numbers from a financial point of view (assuming $200K in debt paid off over 30yrs) and there is no long term advantage to going MSTP. In fact it will take an MSTP years (~10) of full time practice to catch up to the MD in the same field. Of course your residency might be more painful with the debt, in the long run go MD only if you are doing it for the money.

Working toward a PhD is much harder writing a monthly check to MEDloans.

The only real upshot to the MSTP is if you want to lock in the research angle to your career.
 

1Path

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Just some food for thought about salaries and the MD/PhD:

I have a friend that is graduating with her MD/PhD this year but was offered 250K salary at a MAJOR pharmeceutical company 2 years ago! Now this is BEFORE residency but this young lady, who is absolutely amazing despite getting into med school in the first place off the wait list, has published about 8 papers between her MPH and PhD (In Epidemiology). Another MD/PhD friend is planning to get her JD after finishing her residency. Already she's looking at 300K. I also heard that MD/PhD's make more in salary as a resident, which INHO, they should.

So I think the salary you earned depends a LOT on what you plan to go into. I've seen quite a few people start off in industry then go into academia later on and vice versa.

Lastly, best wishes to all the "old timer" future MD/PhD's!!!