Am I crazy? Medicine degree age 49!!! Watch

Janey44
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 6 days ago
#1
Going with my gut feeling I would love to be a doctor but I will be 49 when starting medicine degree and that’s if I get in!! Do you think I’m too old? Would love to hear from anyone else who is in their late 40’s, I know the uni doesn’t have an upper age limit. Also how much voluntary work is good? Would working as a Marie curie helper position be a good start. I have thought about OT and nursing but due to lack of confidence I haven’t actually believed that I would be good enough to be a doctor but I guess it’s all in the mind! Any advice would be great. Lucy
0
reply
ltsmith
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 6 days ago
#2
I'm not in medicine but I would suggest you try.

Trying and failing > not trying and regretting. the former gives you a chance of success the latter will haunt you forever
1
reply
Sinatrafan
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#3
Report 6 days ago
#3
Definitely possible, I’ve worked with doctors who didn’t qualify until their late late fifties/early sixties.

I think the question is more about looking at your current life circumstances and appraising whether it’s worth it for you or not. This will obviously be heavily influenced by your current earnings, wealth, children/dependents etc.

I know many people approaching their fifties want to be near the peak of their career rather than starting at the bottom of the ladder again.

Getting through medical school is tough but very doable. The part I would think hard about is foundation and core training.

Being an F1/F2/CT etc is tough and you’re the common dumping ground for lots of quite menial issues. You’ll also be on call a lot, working long days, weekends and nights. This is fine when you’re 25, but you need to be 100% sure you can see yourself kipping on the couch in the doctors mess in your late 50s.

You may also be slightly more limited in your career choices as you may be approaching retirement before you qualify as a consultant should you wish to pursue long training programs such as surgery or paediatrics. But again this will depend on your own areas of interest and aspirations.

I would say that nursing and allied professionals more commonly see people coming to them later in life and the advantage is that you could be working clinically much sooner.
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
2
reply
yaseen1000
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#4
Report 6 days ago
#4
(Original post by Janey44)
Going with my gut feeling I would love to be a doctor but I will be 49 when starting medicine degree and that’s if I get in!! Do you think I’m too old? Would love to hear from anyone else who is in their late 40’s, I know the uni doesn’t have an upper age limit. Also how much voluntary work is good? Would working as a Marie curie helper position be a good start. I have thought about OT and nursing but due to lack of confidence I haven’t actually believed that I would be good enough to be a doctor but I guess it’s all in the mind! Any advice would be great. Lucy
Go for it , if you have the
(Original post by Janey44)
Going with my gut feeling I would love to be a doctor but I will be 49 when starting medicine degree and that’s if I get in!! Do you think I’m too old? Would love to hear from anyone else who is in their late 40’s, I know the uni doesn’t have an upper age limit. Also how much voluntary work is good? Would working as a Marie curie helper position be a good start. I have thought about OT and nursing but due to lack of confidence I haven’t actually believed that I would be good enough to be a doctor but I guess it’s all in the mind! Any advice would be great. Lucy
Go for it
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
0
reply
notespad
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#5
Report 6 days ago
#5
Hi Lucy,

Yes, that kind of experience would look great. My father actually applied to study medicine, when he was 42, and I was in year 8 (I'm now a junior doctor!) He ended up having to drop out in second year for personal reasons, but I always think he was really courageous for pursuing medicine as he'd always had the "what if?" for the rest of his life,

There are negatives, as with any other career, but if you're happy with the salary (starting would be 30k including on-calls) and the unsocial hours (nights/12.5 hour shifts) for at least 2 years (you can specialise thereafter and pick a more social speciality), then go for it!!

EDIT: one of my class-mates at med school was also in her mid-to-late 30s with 2 kids and has taken maternity leave after FY1 with her third! Do it if it's for you!
Last edited by notespad; 6 days ago
0
reply
random_matt
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#6
Report 6 days ago
#6
NHS will take anyone.
0
reply
ecolier
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 6 days ago
#7
(Original post by notespad)
...(starting would be 30k including on-calls)...
It'll be more than that.

Basic salary for FY1 is currently £27,146 per year, with on-calls it will be easily £35k +
0
reply
notespad
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#8
Report 6 days ago
#8
(Original post by ecolier)
It'll be more than that.

Basic salary for FY1 is currently £27,146 per year, with on-calls it will be easily £35k +
Lol i always switch to the 'worst-case-scenario' mindset when planning my own finances! I got paid £34k on my medical speciality with medical-oncall, so I wouldn't say easily.
0
reply
ecolier
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#9
Report 6 days ago
#9
(Original post by notespad)
Lol i always switch to the 'worst-case-scenario' mindset when planning my own finances! I got paid £34k on my medical speciality with medical-oncall, so I wouldn't say easily.
It would be "easily" by the time OP has obtained their degree.

The basic salary would most likely be > £30k by then.

* Personally I had 2 unbanded jobs when I was an FY1, and it was on the old contract too.
0
reply
Janey44
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 5 days ago
#10
Thanks for all your reply’s. This website is so good to get advice etc. I think I will try! First thing is either the access to he in science route or I’m going to find out if they take say a Bryce national as I do t have the a levels. Yes it’s hard work, unsociable hours to start with but would rather try and take baby steps to get there. It’s not about the money for me though of course it helps! But rather having a careers that I find fulfilling and proud of and I guess you don’t know until you try
2
reply
AngryRedhead
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#11
Report 5 days ago
#11
I wish you all the best, OP, you are very brave
1
reply
GANFYD
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#12
Report 5 days ago
#12
I am going to be the Party Pooper, here. I am a similar age, but did medicine straight from school.
I am not sure what you are hoping to gain from going to med school at nearly 50? This is a genuine question as there are lots of fulfilling careers that don't need the sacrifices, long hours and lack of autonomy you will have for YEARS if you do this.
I cannot imagine restarting again now - the energy needed, the being bottom of the pile and GENUINELY having no idea what you are doing with all the anxiety and discomfort that brings, the disruption to life in terms of having to move for junior doctor jobs, work shifts, long hours.
I have no doubt you could do it, but would question why anybody would want to, given the impact it will have on your life, family, friends etc.
You will be 54/55 by the time you qualify, (even 53 if GEM is going to be tough) you have 2 years of long shifts, moving jobs, but worse than that having essentially no knowledge of what you are doing in terms of actual medicine. Then, even if you go into General practice, which is the shortest qualification route, you have 3 years of again changing jobs every few months, being the lowest in the pile with all the anxiety you will have because in each specialty you will again have no idea of what is needed, let alone the way the ward, team, etc work.
If you sail all through this, you will be a minimum of 58 by the time you can work as a GP. And then it becomes really scary, as you are on your own, no boss to ask about things you are uncertain of and although you will have colleagues, they will be too busy to respond immediately to all your queries.
Plus the hours at this stage are still 8-8, and this interferes with all the normal things you want to be doing at this stage in life (I rarely make my book club, do not do the classes and fun evening things I would like to, miss events with my friends and this is when my Partner and I bend over backwards to try and find a good work/life balance and cancel.swap/change things where we can).
I would say it takes 2-4 years to become confident in what you are doing, to not have an underlying feeling of fear at what somebody is bringing you through the door, and by then you are at least 60, and trust me, I can only work part-time now, and in 10 years time expect to be retired!! Plus if you are working LTFT then it takes longer to develop that confidence, comfort and enjoyment of your job (or to actually qualify if you do this straight out of Foundation Years).

I would be looking at a Physician's Assistant if I were in your position. Shorter training, still opportunities to develop your career and in Primary Care they are going to be doing pretty much the same job in a few years, with regular hours, defined protocols to work to and as much (or little) responsibility as you want, whilst still getting a pretty good salary. Or a paramedic (but would not want the shifts).

Whatever you decide, I take my hat off to you and wish you luck. Please DM me if you have any questions you don't want to post on here
Last edited by GANFYD; 5 days ago
4
reply
Janey44
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 5 days ago
#13
thanks for your advice GANFYD I have sent you a private message
0
reply
Fsofoxy
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#14
Report 5 days ago
#14
(Original post by Janey44)
Going with my gut feeling I would love to be a doctor but I will be 49 when starting medicine degree and that’s if I get in!! Do you think I’m too old? Would love to hear from anyone else who is in their late 40’s, I know the uni doesn’t have an upper age limit. Also how much voluntary work is good? Would working as a Marie curie helper position be a good start. I have thought about OT and nursing but due to lack of confidence I haven’t actually believed that I would be good enough to be a doctor but I guess it’s all in the mind! Any advice would be great. Lucy
GO FOR IT you only live once your age shouldn’t be a barrier for you ! Wishing you the best
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
0
reply
Helenia
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#15
Report 4 days ago
#15
(Original post by GANFYD)
I am going to be the Party Pooper, here. I am a similar age, but did medicine straight from school.
I am not sure what you are hoping to gain from going to med school at nearly 50? This is a genuine question as there are lots of fulfilling careers that don't need the sacrifices, long hours and lack of autonomy you will have for YEARS if you do this.
I cannot imagine restarting again now - the energy needed, the being bottom of the pile and GENUINELY having no idea what you are doing with all the anxiety and discomfort that brings, the disruption to life in terms of having to move for junior doctor jobs, work shifts, long hours.
I have no doubt you could do it, but would question why anybody would want to, given the impact it will have on your life, family, friends etc.
You will be 54/55 by the time you qualify, (even 53 if GEM is going to be tough) you have 2 years of long shifts, moving jobs, but worse than that having essentially no knowledge of what you are doing in terms of actual medicine. Then, even if you go into General practice, which is the shortest qualification route, you have 3 years of again changing jobs every few months, being the lowest in the pile with all the anxiety you will have because in each specialty you will again have no idea of what is needed, let alone the way the ward, team, etc work.
If you sail all through this, you will be a minimum of 58 by the time you can work as a GP. And then it becomes really scary, as you are on your own, no boss to ask about things you are uncertain of and although you will have colleagues, they will be too busy to respond immediately to all your queries.
Plus the hours at this stage are still 8-8, and this interferes with all the normal things you want to be doing at this stage in life (I rarely make my book club, do not do the classes and fun evening things I would like to, miss events with my friends and this is when my Partner and I bend over backwards to try and find a good work/life balance and cancel.swap/change things where we can).
I would say it takes 2-4 years to become confident in what you are doing, to not have an underlying feeling of fear at what somebody is bringing you through the door, and by then you are at least 60, and trust me, I can only work part-time now, and in 10 years time expect to be retired!! Plus if you are working LTFT then it takes longer to develop that confidence, comfort and enjoyment of your job (or to actually qualify if you do this straight out of Foundation Years).

I would be looking at a Physician's Assistant if I were in your position. Shorter training, still opportunities to develop your career and in Primary Care they are going to be doing pretty much the same job in a few years, with regular hours, defined protocols to work to and as much (or little) responsibility as you want, whilst still getting a pretty good salary. Or a paramedic (but would not want the shifts).

Whatever you decide, I take my hat off to you and wish you luck. Please DM me if you have any questions you don't want to post on here
I have to agree with this. I'm a relative spring chicken at only 35, and am getting towards the end of my specialty training in anaesthetics (I will be a consultant at 38/39, it's taken longer as I've had kids and gone part time) but I cannot imagine throwing myself into the hell of FY1 again now, let alone in almost 20 years time! Of course, I'd never say never, but this is something you should think very very seriously about.
1
reply
Janey44
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 4 days ago
#16
(Original post by Helenia)
I have to agree with this. I'm a relative spring chicken at only 35, and am getting towards the end of my specialty training in anaesthetics (I will be a consultant at 38/39, it's taken longer as I've had kids and gone part time) but I cannot imagine throwing myself into the hell of FY1 again now, let alone in almost 20 years time! Of course, I'd never say never, but this is something you should think very very seriously about.
I do totally agree, I have decided to maybe pursue nursing instead! I could train to be a nurse Practitioner in the future so I have a clearer goal now. Just wish I had pursued it when I was a lot younger but I believe I would learn a lot from the nursing route too! Thanks for your input
0
reply
AngryRedhead
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#17
Report 3 days ago
#17
When did you graduate if you don’t mind me asking? I’m worried about starting medicine on my late twenties
(Original post by Helenia)
I have to agree with this. I'm a relative spring chicken at only 35, and am getting towards the end of my specialty training in anaesthetics (I will be a consultant at 38/39, it's taken longer as I've had kids and gone part time) but I cannot imagine throwing myself into the hell of FY1 again now, let alone in almost 20 years time! Of course, I'd never say never, but this is something you should think very very seriously about.
0
reply
Helenia
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#18
Report 3 days ago
#18
(Original post by AngryRedhead)
When did you graduate if you don’t mind me asking? I’m worried about starting medicine on my late twenties
I graduated at 25, worked FT till having my first son at 32, and PT since then. Currently on mat leave with no.2. The people I started ST3 with are completing their training and becoming consultants at the end of this month, I will finish in ~May 2023.
Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
0
reply
AngryRedhead
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#19
Report 3 days ago
#19
Thank you do you think starting fy1 etc in early thirties/ mid thirties is doable? I know I’ll be older than the average junior
(Original post by Helenia)
I graduated at 25, worked FT till having my first son at 32, and PT since then. Currently on mat leave with no.2. The people I started ST3 with are completing their training and becoming consultants at the end of this month, I will finish in ~May 2023.
0
reply
Helenia
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#20
Report 2 days ago
#20
(Original post by AngryRedhead)
Thank you do you think starting fy1 etc in early thirties/ mid thirties is doable? I know I’ll be older than the average junior
I should think so - not much fun, but I know a fair few people who manage it. Would be harder if you have kids or other significant commitments but not impossible.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Bournemouth University
    Clearing Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 31 Jul '19
  • Staffordshire University
    Postgraduate open event - Stoke-on-Trent campus Postgraduate
    Wed, 7 Aug '19
  • University of Derby
    Foundation Open Event Further education
    Wed, 7 Aug '19

Are you tempted to change your firm university choice on A-level results day?

Yes, I'll try and go to a uni higher up the league tables (150)
17.71%
Yes, there is a uni that I prefer and I'll fit in better (75)
8.85%
No I am happy with my course choice (501)
59.15%
I'm using Clearing when I have my exam results (121)
14.29%

Watched Threads

View All