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To think I could study medicine aged 48?

201 replies

Nooname01 · 24/06/2015 10:51

Just that really.

I've long wanted to be a doctor but thought I couldn't for various reasons.

I am academic enough (v high achiever, 1st class degree in a different discipline) and we could afford it financially.

Dc would be 16, 14, 12 and 8.

Would I just be too old on graduating though?

OP posts:

Goldrill · 24/06/2015 10:51

Isn't the cut off 40 for graduate entry?


Goldrill · 24/06/2015 10:52

(because if that's changed then I am right behind you in the queue!)


sadwidow28 · 24/06/2015 10:53

Perhaps have a read of this medsonline information:


ChrisQuean · 24/06/2015 10:55

If you are going to be a doctor and work in the NHS for years after qualification then YANBU. We need doctors. If you're studying medicine for the intellectual thrill, will find the hours too long and not make a career of it, and then retire at 60, then yes,, YAB abit U. it's something of a waste of everyone's time and money to educate you through the clinical years.


Stopandlook · 24/06/2015 10:56

Yes, sorry you are too old to consider this. I'm normally an optimist but five years full time study, then two foundation years (during which you do 12 hour night shifts coping with all sorts and 12 hour long days often) then two more training years before you then start training for your speciality. You'd be at retirement by the time you were done. Find something medicine related to do instead and enjoy life!


2rebecca · 24/06/2015 10:57

It would be another 9 or 10 years until you could be a GP longer to be a consultant. The 5 years med school is just the beginning of the training. I think you would be poor value for money.


CrystalHaze · 24/06/2015 10:59

What were the 'various reasons' why you thought you couldn't do it earlier? Are any of those reasons still applicable?


RepeatAdNauseum · 24/06/2015 11:00

Goldrill - Med schools aren't allowed to impose age limits anymore.


swooosh · 24/06/2015 11:01

By the time you're thinking about specialising you'll be at retirement. There will be much younger doctors aiming for consultant level too with many many years ahead of them. Why not something else similar?


PurpleDaisies · 24/06/2015 11:09

It is a rubbish job to try and do with commitments. When you apply for jobs you'll be applying to a deanery which is a pretty big area of the country (Wales is one deanery) and no consideration is given to whether you have dependants or not so you could find yourself working 2 hours away from home, assuming you get a job in your chosen deanery.

The independent this week carried a story about how horrible life is for junior doctors. It doesn't get much better as you get more senior and you have to reapply for your next stage of training about every three years with no certainty of getting it in the area of the country you want it.

My advice would be run a mile unless you want to turn your life completely upside down.


TedAndLola · 24/06/2015 11:09

I think you would be very unlikely to get a place and it's not a good use of 10 years of your life. I would do something in a similar field that doesn't take as long so you at least get a decent length career out of it, and are less out of pocket! Biochemistry?


whois · 24/06/2015 11:09

Yes, far too old. you won't work afterwards for nearly long enough to have made it worthwhile training you.


Nooname01 · 24/06/2015 11:10

Once you finish your 5 years training then are you in paid work?

OP posts:

HicDraconis · 24/06/2015 11:10

5 years training, 2 years foundation and 7 years run through training (depending on speciality) is 14 years. You'll be 62 when you become a consultant, which is something to consider given most retire at 60.

Night shifts, on call work and fatigue are less well tolerated the older you get, which is why the association of anaesthetists recommends the older consultant comes off the call roster - they suggest at age 55, which is when you'd be starting run through training.

To some extent it probably depends on the speciality you want to do - pathology with less call is probably doable, GP possibly. Surgery, probably less easy.


PurpleDaisies · 24/06/2015 11:11

Yes but not well paid for the horrendous hours and stress.


WorktoLive · 24/06/2015 11:11

I wouldn't have thought anyone entering the NHS now would have a retirement age of 60, but you would probably have to look at working well into your 70s for it to be worth the effort, for you and the NHS (I don't know what has to be paid by you and the NHS/Government in terms of training costs).


2rebecca · 24/06/2015 11:12

They maybe aren't allowed to impose age limits but with medicine especially graduate entry medicine having far more applicants than places she is unlikely to get a place, they just wouldn't be allowed to give the sensible reason for refusing her as the real reason if asked and would have to be creative.


yellowdinosauragain · 24/06/2015 11:17

I'm a hospital doctor. I think 48 is too late to start for all the reasons started upthread.

However if you're really determined there are medical schools that do 4 year courses rather than 5 for mature students and there are universities that are more supportive to older students. Newcastle is one, there may be others.

But I'd strongly advise looking into something similar instead


carabos · 24/06/2015 11:17

A woman of my acquaintance is intending to study medicine. She's 40 ish now and doing A levels. She has been told by everyone involved that it's out of her reach because she simply won't be able to qualify, train on and establish herself much before retirement age - and that's assuming she can get a place at med school. She's not listening and as a result is setting herself up to fail.

You're too old, move on.


SusiePaloozie · 24/06/2015 11:24

OP if it is possible then do it. There is NO such thing as too late unless the "computer says no."...if they let you then do it.


quellerosiel · 24/06/2015 11:25

Please do let anyone here put you off of returning to study for even a second. Everyone has a right to study whatever they want at whatever age they choose. I teach med students (undergrad and postgrad) and I've met some wonderful students over 40 and actually they bring a level of sensitivity to the job that a lot of the younger ones just cant. Your life experience with stand you in such good stead. Go for it! I bet your DC will be bursting with pride at your graduation Smile


FishCanFly · 24/06/2015 11:27

Go for it if you want to


Nooname01 · 24/06/2015 11:30

Quelle that's a lovely post thank you!!!! That's what I think, I've met a lot of doctors in my time and many were very lacking in a human touch. Experience is not a bad thing.

My take is that I feel I would really enjoy all the training years, it's not just a means to an end, just a, let's get through this.

Life is for living now, who knows what might happen to anyone...

OP posts:

swooosh · 24/06/2015 11:38

I work in a consultant led hospital (the only level of doctors we have) and they are around 40-60 in age, some of them just look so tired Sad

I'm all for following your dreams and jumping at chances but it's a really big thing to consider.

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