“I’m Over 30: Is it Too Late to Pursue a Medical Career?”
A common question I hear from many men and women is “I’m over thirty years old—is it too late for me to pursue a career in the medical field?” The answer to that question is simply no—no, it’s not too late. Whether you have realized that you don’t particularly enjoy your current degree, or if you have finally realized that your true ambition is to become a doctor, it’s not too late to pursue your dreams. Of course, pursuing medical school at a later stage in life presents a number of challenges. Below are issues to consider and steps to take as you pursue your dreams in the medical field.
Have you received your bachelor’s degree? If not, you will need to get this degree before you can even apply for medical school. You’ll want to pursue a degree in pre-med or another science related degree—but be aware that medical school typically takes four years to complete, which means you are looking at a minimum of eight years of additional schooling. On the other hand, if you have received your degree, but not in a scientifically related area, you’ll need to check with individual medical schools to see if it is acceptable for admission. You may simply need to take a few additional classes in order to qualify.
Can you afford to spend time and energy on your schooling? Even if you have your bachelor’s degree, you are looking at a minimum of four years spent in medical school before you can begin practicing medicine. As you probably know, medical school demands a great deal of your time and energy—it will be very difficult to work, even part time. If you are currently dependent on your income, you’ll need to consider either taking out loans to cover your living expenses, or putting off medical school until you can afford to attend.
Are you certain that a career in medicine is really what you want? If you’re already in your 30’s, chances are you will be nearly 40 before you finish your schooling and can begin practicing medicine. That’s fine—at 40, you can look forward to many fulfilling years as a doctor. However, you will have invested a substantial amount of time and money into the process, meaning that changing your mind and pursuing a different career probably won’t be an option. Take some time and think this decision over before you arrive at your conclusion. A career in medicine is great—but not for everyone. The last thing you want is to make an impulsive decision and then feel trapped in your new career.
Each year, thousands of individuals make the decision to change their career path and pursue a career in medicine. You may not have followed the “traditional” route towards a medical career, but you still have the opportunity to achieve your dreams. If you would like further information and help overcoming the challenges presented by your unique circumstances, please get in touch with me today—I’d love to talk to you!
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“Great presentation! It was great to hear someone tell us about the process and how to stand out. I’m a freshman and now I feel confident on how to become a stand out applicant.” Shelly C.