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Has anyone done medical school later in life?

(18 Posts)
narmada Fri 23-Nov-12 21:09:20

If so, I would really appreciate some advice.

I have always been fascinated by medicine but my career is in something completely different.

I have two small children (2 and nearly 5) and just wonder if there is any mileage in me investigating retraining to be a doctor.

I have no science a-levels so would have to do them first. Then I guess it would be the quick compressed course (4 years). A few questions:

a) would I ever see my children, both during initial training or the hospital bit afterwards? I currently work 3 days a week and would not be prepared to do more than, say 40 hours a week at any stage.
b) would I have to work nights (total dealbreaker for me if so)
c) would I bankrupt myself - e.g., would I have to pay full fees as I have a first degree from a UK uni?
d) would I even be able to get on a course at the ripe old age of 38?!?!!?

I think I have answered my own question with all my restrictions (!) but I thought I would ask anyway...

housesalehelp Fri 23-Nov-12 21:54:42

I think if you are not prepared to long hours at any stage that is going to be a problem
there is a lot of threads about graduate entry to med school in thestudentroom website

narmada Fri 23-Nov-12 21:56:47

OK thanks housesalehelp I will take a look there. It would be so nice if it was a job you could do in normal office hours: then, I probably wouldn't hesitate smile

Wandastartup Fri 23-Nov-12 22:05:41

You will need to train full time which means full time plus various evenings on call plus lots of work in evenings and at weekends.
After that very possible to work part time but this will always a proportion of night and weekends ie if work 0.6 would need to work 0.6 of a full timers nights etc.
Depending on specialty once a consultant or GP may not need to do nights. This would be a minimum of 5 years after med school( if training full time).
It is expensive but loans are available.

Wandastartup Fri 23-Nov-12 22:08:01

Sorry meant med school needs to be full time.
From an age point of view not too old but may struggle to become a consultant. Minimum 9 years after med school if working full time and usually more depending on specialty.

narmada Fri 23-Nov-12 22:13:36

wanda.... well, I think it's out then grin Thanks for your honest answer. I do like my work-life balance and not prepared to put up with compromising on that even if it is 'only' until I became a consultant/ GP. Just nope!

I admire those who do do it, though.

My other idea's some sort of neuroscience degree. I think that might be slightly more achievable!

procrastinor Fri 23-Nov-12 22:15:59

Being honest I'd say no. The hours are long. During med school you are incredibly busy and I'm finding working difficult with just 1 DC. My standard week is 48 hrs plus. You are expected to stay late and tbh I wouldn't be happy with a junior who never stayed late. (I have days where I cannot leave late, but have sorted DH to do childcare on other days so that I know I can stay late).

You have to do nights in at least the first five years I'd say because even if you want to be a GP you have to hospital specialties prior to that. I personally know no doctors below consultancy who work part time - I have heard about some but it sounds like it is the most stressful thing imaginable.

If you want to be a doctor I really don't think age (or children) are a barrier but it is in no way a 9-5 job. If that is a set criteria for you then i personally dont think its realistic. Sorry to be all pessimistic!

narmada Fri 23-Nov-12 22:22:26

Not pessimistic smile I had really come to the same conclusion but was just hoping in this day and age there might be .... a way. Oh well, I can keep myself busy armchair diagnosing my immediate family grin...

narmada Fri 23-Nov-12 22:24:24

It's probably just the nature of the job, I guess: not sure I would want to be treated by someone who had only done training in the equivalent of office hours IYSWIM.

procrastinor Fri 23-Nov-12 22:30:08

I guess it is. I wish it wasn't - I'd love to be part time but they were shocked enough when I told them I was pregnant now that was like stepping back into the 1950s grin

Good luck with whatever you go into - have you read Oliver Sachs' book? That almost convinced me to go into neurology!

narmada Fri 23-Nov-12 22:40:07

I love oliver sachs - how funny. I read his books when I was about 14 and keep meaning to re-read them.

Wandastartup Fri 23-Nov-12 22:42:46

I am part time and have a pretty good work life balance ( but it took 11 years and a PhD on the way!) It can be done but I think much easier to get junior jobs done full time and get them over with.

greatresult Sat 24-Nov-12 17:51:04

How about pharmacy? Very popular and do-able to work part-time and/or locum. Very similar knowledge base to medicine, but not "hands on" so to speak.

narmada Sat 24-Nov-12 21:42:53

hmmm, had thought about that too..... Eill check it out propetly. ta greatresult

narmada Sat 24-Nov-12 21:43:16

bloody smartphone...

MadameJosephine Mon 26-Nov-12 13:24:03

Procrastinor/Narmada which oliver Sachs book would you recommend? My 16 year old DS is planning a career in neuroscience and was thinking I might get him one of his books for Christmas

TittyBojangles Mon 26-Nov-12 13:45:39

What about radiography? Physiotherapy? Any of the allied health professions are likely to give you a better work/life balance whilst training and working. I initially did a biomedical degree but found it didn't really lead to the sort of job I wanted (toyed with the idea of medicine but was aware of the commitment you need from friends who were training) so after doing a couple of years in an unrelated job I did radiography. I am now completing my ultrasound training and so will have that extra level of responsibility/diagnosis??? that I wanted but in a 9 to 5 job. Obviously not the same earning potential.

MadameJosephine Mon 26-Nov-12 14:51:34

Sorry that was totally off topic and I didn't even reply to your original question - how rude lol

Have you thought about midwifery? I originally did a pharmacology degree and went into R&D but after about 12 years I felt I needed more hands on patient contact. I considered medicine but like you coulcnt see myself being able to commit to the hours both during training and the job itself. I thought about physiotherapy for a while as a wanted sonething where i would have a certain amount of autonomy/resposibility but settled on midwifery and I haven't looked back. I've been qualified for almost 6 years now (I'm 41 now) and just completed my postgrad certificate in obstetric ultrasound so am now a midwife sonographer and love it

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