Post # 1
So I know people say, it’s never too late to pursue what you want to do, etc, etc…but I just wanted to get some opinions from the hive anyway. I’m doing a masters program (3 year program) right now and won’t be done until I’m 29. At that point, I plan on either pursuing med school or PA school (I’m leaning more towards med school but obviously have reservations because of my age).
So my question is… at 29, do you personally (and honestly) think it would be logical to START med school? I’ve had several people (physicians) tell me that I’ve missed the bus on this one….
Thanks in advance for your input 🙂
Post # 3
I don’t think it’s too late. But it might be hard to go for the specialties that require longer training like neurosurgery.
I go to grad school at a school that has a very famous med school. I know there are plenty of students in the medical program that are older and have done many nontraditional things with their life before going to med school.
Good luck if you do it. Just make sure you know absolutely what program you want to do and why you are doing it, otherwise it might be hard to get through the tough coursework and long studying hours.
Post # 4
I don’t really know for sure about med school exactly but I would worry that you might end up being underqualified in a sense because they might be looking for younger students to take entry level positions. Are you planning on having kids any time soon? Because that could end up completely ruining your career plans if you don’t have a solid job before taking time off to be with a baby and it could be hard to come back.
Post # 5
I don’t think it’s EVER too late to pursue your dreams.
I do think you need to access if it is what you really want. If it coincides with other things you may want. What about your hubby? Is he on board with the idea? It will cost you lots of $$$$. And time. Are you hoping for kids in the near future? With med school and rotations at hospitals I think it’s safe to assume there will be no kids in the near 4-6 year future?
My HS friend who was incredibly smart, she was valedictorian of our senior class of a specialized school. Anyway, four years of college and and 5 years of med school (is what I’m assuming) because she just graduated from med school and has been starting her rotations at hospital this past year. And she spent about 6 months interviewing at differnt hospitals around the country before she luckily found a permanent spot near her family. Are you prepared to be far away from family if it requires it? Is your husband able to quit his job at that point if you find a job elsewhere? I really do think these are things you have to consider.
Anyway, I don’t think you should ever let age stop you from achieving your dreams.
Just make sure it’s something you & your husband are prepared for.
Best of luck in your decision.
Post # 6
Age doesn’t matter; what matters is figuring out the type of life you want and then working for it. But what type of life do you really want?
If you want to go to medical school or physician’s assistant school, why not start now? You didn’t mention what year you are in with the master’s program, but why are you committing 3 years to that if what you really want is to become a doctor? On the one hand you might be “wasting” the money you have invested in the master’s program if you do not receive that degree, but on the other, won’t you be wasting your time? I went to a 2-year master’s program and realized about halfway through it wasn’t for me. I stuck it out and got the degree because I told myself I had already invested so much money in it that I wanted to get the degree. But now I am in a job where my advanced degree is irrelevant, and it’s unlikely at this point it will ever be relevant. If I had quit halfway through I would have $15,000 less in debt. (This is all assuming that the master’s program is not somehow a prerequisite for getting into medical school, by the way.)
So right now it sounds like you’re making plans for about 8 more years of education on top of the four you’ve done as an undergrad (assuming 3 years masters, 5 of medical school). I don’t mean to be overly blunt, but is the job the attraction or the schooling? My sister in law, for example, is turning 30 this year and something of a perpetual student. She has two bachelor’s degrees and is now working on her doctorate. During her education she has gotten married and now this past January she has had a baby. Odds are that she will finish her degree and then stay home to raise the baby. I have my doubts that she will ever be doing work in which her doctorate is necessary.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t begrudge her her choices. She is happy and that’s what matters. But she has also made choices where the financial obligation is pretty low (her doctorate is totally paid for by the school). So if it’s really that you love going to school and being in an academic setting, then I would consider carefully before taking on the huge financial burden of medical school if the life of actually being a doctor isn’t going to be as appealing 9 years from now (when you might be prioritizing having or raising kids more, for example, and find that the demands of the job are too much). And if it really is that you want to be a doctor or a physician’s assistant, then don’t let wild horses stop you, no matter how old you are.
Post # 7
I started med school at 28/29. We can discuss more in-depth if you want, but I saw it as an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
Post # 8
While age is of course a consideration, don’t let a few years difference keep you from doing what you really want to do!
I’m in vet school right now which is pretty similar to med school, but residencies are not required unless you want to specialize. The age range in my class is 21-42 and plenty of people are married and/or have kids. There are even girls who had babies during the school year and make it work. Plenty of my classmates have graduate degrees already. It’s often to their advantage!
Would your masters program be willing to release you early? Most graduate school now won’t accept you in the middle of another degree if you’re not released. If they are, you could apply to start before finishing your current program.
Post # 9
I would agree that it truly is never too late to do what you really want to do… but I think at 29 you have to be pretty sure you want to do med school. I’m a dentist, and in our program we went to school for 2 years with med students. Those guys were INTENSE. I feel like you have to have a lot of passion for medicine to go through the competition in school, after school, and the demands on every aspect of your life (financial, time, emotional, physical). It IS an advantage to be older in the sense that you can process everything you learn with your life experience, but the older you are the more likely it is you have other obligations already or coming up sooner. Like, how do you imagine your career (whatever it is) fitting in to the rest of your life? Do you have a timeline for a nice house, kids, a stable career life?
Of course, it’s possible to ‘have it all’ (one girl had kids, finished her grad degree, and excelled at med school all at once)… but I honestly don’t know how people do that and remain sane and standing. If you’re one of those amazing people, I am an awe (…non-sarcastically…).
It sounds like you know physicians you could shadow or interview… maybe that would help you find out if you like it or not?
It’s a really hard decision, I’m sure. But if you think you want it, go for it. 29 is still young and there’s too many more years/decades of your life to be regretting not going for something or stuck doing something you don’t like.
Hope that was helpful!
Post # 10
Thanks all for your input and time!
I think it will help if I clarify the situation a little bit. Well the program I am in now is chinese medicine (acupuncture/herbal). What I would like to do is have an integrative medicine type of clinic later on. The reason why I chose to pursue this before md/do timewise is because I have to be the sole supporter right now since hubby is still in undergrad and his schedule us so spread out that he’s not able to hold a full time job. Plus he has a different internship or two every quarter (most of it is unpaid). With my schedule right now, I am able to work full time and go to school full time…with med school I would definitely not be able to work full time.
As for knowing for sure whether or not I want to go into medicine, I am 100% for sure. I did shadowing in undergrad (about 80 hours or so?) and it def solidified my passion for medicine.
Thanks DG, I will pm you 🙂