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...to start a degree in dentistry at the age of 34?

(28 Posts)
rumtumtugger Sat 17-Nov-12 15:09:47

I'm thinking of career changing into dentistry - I have good maths/science A levels and a 2:1 degree in Biology from a Russell Gp uni. I'm 34...is this too late?

I've seen lots of mums talk about the workload of a medical degree and medical training but none on dentistry. Is it compatible with a family life?

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 15:12:07

Of course you're not unreasonable. I really believe it's never too late. There was a good article about this in Psychologies recently.

You might be able to miss a year or two of the degree, I know some do with medical degrees when they have already graduated.

I have no idea if it's compatible with family life, but if people can do a medical degree with a family I can't see why dentistry would be any different.

Can you contact a few universities and see if they have any advice?

edam Sat 17-Nov-12 15:16:14

You aren't too late - my Mother had a secretary who went off and did a law degree in her 50s and had a ruddy good career for best part of two decades.

I occasionally daydream about retraining in dentistry but it's completely ridiculous (am much older than you and only science qual is O-level biology). Think it started when I got made redundant - my subconscious is clearly searching for a secure, well-paid job!

GobblersSparklyExplodingKnob Sat 17-Nov-12 15:24:14

Not of the same demand but I have just started an arts degree and I an 3 years older than you. If it's something you really want then there is no such thing as 'too late' imo.

It's sodding hard with a family though, but well worth it.

GhostShip Sat 17-Nov-12 15:26:11

No never too late. A lot of uni's encourage the more 'mature' student.

You should be entitled to help with child care costs too

FromEsme Sat 17-Nov-12 15:26:47

Most universities have creches too if that's an issue.

hiviolet Sat 17-Nov-12 15:30:38

I've worked for a couple of medical schools and have met plenty of mature students studying medicine, so why not dentistry? smile

kenanddreary Sat 17-Nov-12 15:32:50

Not too late at all! 34 is YOUNG smile.

Go for it! If you think you will have the support you need during the studying then YANBU at all. As far as starting a new degree - I have friends in their 40's who are commencing second degrees and careers.

Good luck!!

MrsTwankey Sat 17-Nov-12 15:33:07

No never too late. One of my friends who at the time was in her early thirties went back to college for her A levels, then Uni for a degree and became a teacher. Ten years on she's now deputy head of a high school.
I know she found it difficult as he had 3 children (2 in primary) but had lots of support from her husband but it certainly paid off

rumtumtugger Sun 18-Nov-12 14:22:06

Yeah, the support at home bit is what I worry about as DH works 60h+ weeks in the City, and we're also trying for another baby at the moment (!) so if all goes to plan when I apply for the course in September 2013 we will have/just about to have 2 DCs....and when I start the course in September 2014 DD will be nearly 4 (and at nursery) and I would need to start my hypothetical new DC who will be almost 1 (!) at nursery. Am I mad?!

MammaTJ Sun 18-Nov-12 14:28:17

I hope not, because that would make me unreasonable to start a Nursing Degree next year when I will be 46!! grin

Agent64 Sun 18-Nov-12 14:59:13

Go for it. You are not too old. From where I'm sitting 34 looks pretty young.

We took a gamble on DH embarking on a new career a few years ago (at the grand old age of 38). It was expensive (cost of course coupled with loss of income) but we knew that if he didn't take the chance we would regret it.

It was very difficult at first but we persevered and it has changed our lives for the better.

I am much older than you and considering a drastic change of direction.

RichTeas Sun 18-Nov-12 15:08:14

It's not true that it's "never too late". For the OP it's not too late, not at all. But there are plenty of courses and professions in which it can become too late to embark upon and/or progress within.

RuleBritannia Sun 18-Nov-12 15:12:12

What courses would be too late, RichTea?

ThalianotFailure Sun 18-Nov-12 15:14:38

I don't think it's too late, and just as importantly there aren't enough dentists in this country (FiL very senior in dentistry and my DM retired dentist too) so from a career point of view it's a good choice. Go for it!

1605 Sun 18-Nov-12 15:19:54

The retirement age is inevitably going to increase. My bet is that it will rise to 70 within this decade.

If you could qualify by the time you're forty, you would have a thirty year career ahead of you, at least.

Just make sure you have good childcare. If you have to, get into debt to pay it, and treat it as an opportunity cost.

MaryPoppinsBag Sun 18-Nov-12 15:20:06

I am 34 soon and I definitely want to retrain . No idea whether to choose NHS career or Teaching.

Go for it & good luck smile

FromEsme Sun 18-Nov-12 16:02:51

At 34, I don't think anyone can say it's too late for anything.

At 40 or 50, I still think retraining is a very good option.

Maybe once you're 60, doing medicine or something doesn't make sense, but you could certainly still change career.

Cahoots Sun 18-Nov-12 16:11:15

There are plenty of mature students doing medicine, I guess dentistry would be the same. You might want to look at The Student Room
And get feedback from others in the same situation.
Good luck. smile

kenanddreary Sun 18-Nov-12 16:18:09

Is there anyone else who can offer you support when you start the course?

But where there's a will there's a way! If you really want to do it then you will succeed.

sarahtigh Sun 18-Nov-12 16:25:08

With a degree in biology you can almost certainly do a shortened course for science graduates only, there is one in plymouth but there maybe one other place that does it, there are only 15 dental schools in UK 2 in london, I am a dentist so you can PM if you like but I only check mumsnet every couple of days. There is an age limit, I am on a child break going back next year when DD in nursery, once qualified there is more flexibility for PT or FT at non standard hours in general practice than in medicine as to become GP involves 3 years of FT training

I do not know but I think you would not get accepted for either medicine or dentistry after 40

dental courses do not have the long holidays most degrees have it is 42-45 weeks a year not 30, during training it is pretty much 9-5 with a few weeks in years 4-5 experiencing hospital side which probably means nights on call

sarahtigh Sun 18-Nov-12 16:26:01

one further point do not think you can work PT and do dental degree when you have a family

fishnhips Sun 18-Nov-12 19:59:36

Not at all, my husband is in his 4th year and started when he was 30. I don't think there is an age limit - there is someone in the third year who is 41 and we and other people on the course have children. The course is intense and now he is in clinic 9 -5 but I wouldn't say it is impossible with good time management and childcare. My OH makes sure he is available for a couple of hours after work for dinner and bath time and then studies in the evening. Also, post qualification there is only one VT year and then that's it. We haven't found it too difficult tbh

yummytummy Sun 18-Nov-12 20:06:56

hi op, another dentist here. it wouldnt be impossible but bear in mind it will be bloody hard! do you have kids? its a long course even when done when younger and with no commitments. it probably will mean you wont be able to work at all outside of the degree and will be fairly expensive.

however having said that if you are determined to do it then you can but research thoroughly first.

also a word of warning there are very few dental jobs out there at the moment i have been looking for a job for over 9 months so it is no longer a guarantee of going straight into a high earning job. vt spaces are also highly competetive and each year around 100 newly qualified grads are left without a space.

pm me if you like.

nickynackynoodle Sun 18-Nov-12 20:51:32

In accordance with recent EU ruling, dental degrees must be five years long. No exceptions. They must also be completed within seven years. Don't ask me how I know this tedious rubbish.

Go for it!!

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