davidoldie67
Badges: 8
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
Hello all.
I'm 54 years old, and have always wanted to be a doctor.

My wife said recently that with some 'imaginative' working of the budget, she would be willing to take the mortgage in her name, and I could study medicine.

I'm aware that it would probably take a couple of years of volunteering and studying, and then five years of medical school after that, and then probably two years 'foundation' after that. By the time I was ready to be 'a doctor', I'd be around 62-64 years old.

Is this a ridiculous pipe dream? Should I grow the hell up and forget it?

Basically: talk me out of it.
0
reply
Priyapinkrabbit
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
I think everyone deserves to have a dream and dreams can be achieved regardless of age, so I don't see why you wouldn't chase after your dreams. You have a wonderful wife who is willing to support you on this journey, I'd say go for it!

If you really want to become a doctor then you'll find every reason to become one.
Good luck future doctor!
2
reply
Reality Check
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 month ago
#3
(Original post by davidoldie67)
Hello all.
I'm 54 years old, and have always wanted to be a doctor.

My wife said recently that with some 'imaginative' working of the budget, she would be willing to take the mortgage in her name, and I could study medicine.

I'm aware that it would probably take a couple of years of volunteering and studying, and then five years of medical school after that, and then probably two years 'foundation' after that. By the time I was ready to be 'a doctor', I'd be around 62-64 years old.

Is this a ridiculous pipe dream? Should I grow the hell up and forget it?

Basically: talk me out of it.
I don't want to talk you out of it. But there are an awful lot of practicalities to consider here:

-The very minimum pre-med school academic work you would need to do would be a one-year access course. If you've been out of education for quite some time, you might find that quite a struggle, so would possibly need to do something else first/concurrently. Alternatively, you could do A levels independently if you have the money for the practical endorsement component. Let's say 2 years of study, taking you to 56.

-Five years minimum of med school. 61

- Foundation training of 2 years: 63

- Specialist training. You've not said what speciality you might be interested in, but let's say general practice. At the moment, it has the shortest ST period of 3 years. 66. You'd have two years left of practice before the state retirement age, and most GPs finish quite a time before then because the job is so difficult and demanding.

- Other specialist paths: 5 years minimum, so 68...

Do you really want to be a FY1 foundation doctor (what would have been called a junior houseman back in the day) at 63 years old? Night shifts? Possibly having to move around the country once or more times? Clerking patients...

I hate to say that anyone is 'too old' to do anything, but I think that this is an example of when you really are 'too old'. GANFYD - what do you think?
1
reply
GANFYD
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
(Original post by Reality Check)
I don't want to talk you out of it. But there are an awful lot of practicalities to consider here:

-The very minimum pre-med school academic work you would need to do would be a one-year access course. If you've been out of education for quite some time, you might find that quite a struggle, so would possibly need to do something else first/concurrently. Alternatively, you could do A levels independently if you have the money for the practical endorsement component. Let's say 2 years of study, taking you to 56.

-Five years minimum of med school. 61

- Foundation training of 2 years: 63

- Specialist training. You've not said what speciality you might be interested in, but let's say general practice. At the moment, it has the shortest ST period of 3 years. 66. You'd have two years left of practice before the state retirement age, and most GPs finish quite a time before then because the job is so difficult and demanding.

- Other specialist paths: 5 years minimum, so 68...

Do you really want to be a FY1 foundation doctor (what would have been called a junior houseman back in the day) at 63 years old? Night shifts? Possibly having to move around the country once or more times? Clerking patients...

I hate to say that anyone is 'too old' to do anything, but I think that this is an example of when you really are 'too old'. GANFYD - what do you think?
I am just going to repeat something I said to someone a couple of years ago who thinking of starting a medical degree at 49:
"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)."


This is the thread and the consensus from those of us who do the job and are even approaching your age was DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6037634

I will leave davidoldie67 to adjust the ages, etc as appropriate. I don't know what you do now, but I think you are crazy to think of changing to do medicine at this stage in your life, when you will get all of the negatives and none of the benefits.
2
reply
Democracy
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
(Original post by davidoldie67)
Hello all.
I'm 54 years old, and have always wanted to be a doctor.

My wife said recently that with some 'imaginative' working of the budget, she would be willing to take the mortgage in her name, and I could study medicine.

I'm aware that it would probably take a couple of years of volunteering and studying, and then five years of medical school after that, and then probably two years 'foundation' after that. By the time I was ready to be 'a doctor', I'd be around 62-64 years old.

Is this a ridiculous pipe dream? Should I grow the hell up and forget it?

Basically: talk me out of it.
In addition to the practical (and entirely correct) points Reality Check and GANFYD have made, it might be helpful if you could tell us a bit about why you have always wanted to be a doctor?

It might be the case that you have built up an idealistic image of being a doctor over the years which might not correlate with the reality of the job.

(Apologies if that sounded patronising, but it might be helpful to explore).
Last edited by Democracy; 1 month ago
1
reply
Turning_A_Corner
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 month ago
#6
It’s that Jurassic Park principle. Even if you could, maybe stop to think if you should.

Legally, no one can stop you. But the career structure for medicine is not kind to anyone and favours the young.

Rather than shooting you down altogether though, I would actually encourage you to look at alternatives. There are a number of careers where your life experience will be really valuable and where the career structure is slightly flatter than medicine’s. Look at physician associate courses. You could easily work for fifteen years as a PA and get a medical career out of it. They use the medical model and you’re basically a junior doctor for life. Given you’d probably be unlikely to reach consultant much before retirement age as a doctor, you’d essentially be a junior doctor for most of your career anyway so there’s very little difference in principle! It would also be cheaper for you to study this way.

You could also look at the allied health professions. These courses are only two years to train, maybe three if you take an undergraduate route for the AHPs and you’ll get the autonomy that you want. I am assuming you’re a graduate but even if you’re not, this might still be the right call. I know someone who qualified as a speech and language therapist at 55 and she’s living life. I know a physio who qualified at 47 and the majority of the PAs and advanced clinical practitioners in my hospital qualified in their late 30s or 40s.

This could be the compromise you’re looking for. Do consider it.
1
reply
SorryMedic
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by davidoldie67)
Hello all.
I'm 54 years old, and have always wanted to be a doctor.

My wife said recently that with some 'imaginative' working of the budget, she would be willing to take the mortgage in her name, and I could study medicine.

I'm aware that it would probably take a couple of years of volunteering and studying, and then five years of medical school after that, and then probably two years 'foundation' after that. By the time I was ready to be 'a doctor', I'd be around 62-64 years old.

Is this a ridiculous pipe dream? Should I grow the hell up and forget it?

Basically: talk me out of it.
Whilst admirable, being a foundation doctor in your 60s just doesn't sound worth it in my opinion. I don't mean to overstep or come across in a rude way but I'd also consider the financial opportunity cost as well. It sounds like from your current position it would take you at least 6-7 years to get the qualifications needed for med school and then to complete it and enter foundation training. You have mentioned about the wife needing to be 'imaginative' with the budget and those years without earning properly further compound as to why I would not recommend it along with all the aforementioned reasons given by others in this thread.

Of course, I've made a few assumptions and what not but thought I'd add this point in. Whatever you choose to do, please let us know and I wish you the absolute best . Good luck!
1
reply
jzdzm
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 month ago
#8
I think the above suggestion of physician's associate is a good one. PAs basically do the work of a junior doctor, with much more social hours (9-5 mon-fri). They don't rotate like doctors do, so you wouldn't have to move regularly. The training is shorter. You can make a big difference to patients' lives.

There are obviously downsides - less (or no atm) opportunity for progression, less training, you can't prescribe or order scans using ionizing radiation (that may change soon), but I would argue that at your age those things don't matter so much.
1
reply
davidoldie67
Badges: 8
#9
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#9
You know what? I agree with the people who say it's not a good idea. I'm dropping the plan. Maybe in a next life, I'll be a doctor - if next lives exist.

Thank you for your advice, everyone.
0
reply
Turning_A_Corner
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 month ago
#10
(Original post by davidoldie67)
You know what? I agree with the people who say it's not a good idea. I'm dropping the plan. Maybe in a next life, I'll be a doctor - if next lives exist.

Thank you for your advice, everyone.
Maybe keep that PA option? Only one life to live.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
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

What support do you need with your UCAS application?

I need help researching unis (3)
7.5%
I need help researching courses (3)
7.5%
I need help with filling out the application form (3)
7.5%
I need help with my personal statement (20)
50%
I need help with understanding how to make my application stand out (8)
20%
I need help with something else (let us know in the thread!) (1)
2.5%
I'm feeling confident about my application and don't need any help at the moment (2)
5%

Watched Threads

View All