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Is it possible to re-train as a doctor?



 
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squarejack
Rookie


Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:11 pm    Post subject: Is it possible to re-train as a doctor? Reply with quote

Iím probably mad but the master plan is thus.....

My situation is that Iím 30, married with one small child and plan to have more. Iím currently a partner in a successful IT/Media firm. The truth is this isnít what I want to be doing; my passion/dream is to become a doctor and has been perversely ever since I left university (great timing).

With the benefit of money and the intellectual/personal development of 9 years working and living, I would like to realise my potential, do something useful and re-train as a doctor.

The simplistic thinking is that even if I spend the next 10 years in education/gaining experience, I would still have 25 years left to practice Ė if not more.

Iím really after some unbiased advice/thoughts from people that have taken the GAMSAT and are currently studying medicine and/or any advice from any qualified doctors.

Iím a British citizen by birth, but now a (smug!) permanent resident of Australia, my original degree (Environmental Science - pointless!) is from the UK. I have not participated in any formal education since then.

The plan is to take the GAMSAT is March 2010 and then (dependant on the mark) make my decision to pursue a career in medicine. I havenít directly spoken to any university; my reason being that if I donít get a respectable mark in the GAMSAT, then probably best to stick with what Iím doing. Iíve researched in as far as that universities will take mature students. I wouldnít be in a position to go to uni until 2011 (age 32).

What I would like to know is:

1. Has anyone else decided this career path at this age or older and hows it going?

2. I have an understanding of the time involved in studying to become a doctor, but am I mad to think that I can do this with a family in tow?

3. In a perfect world there would be no need to ask this question, but will being newly qualified and nearly forty massively hinder my chances of employment?

4. How long is it before you can expect to receive a form of income from medicine?

5. Would I need to retake the GAMSAT if there is a year gap before application to a university?

6. Obviously Iím aware of the personal/financial pressure of an extended period of un-employment/study, but is there anything else that Iím just not thinking about?

7. Approximate cost of study - excluding loss of earnings.

Any advice in any direction would be greatly appreciated.
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Lovebite
Grizzled


Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 259
Location: Perth, WA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Is it possible to re-train as a doctor? Reply with quote

squarejack wrote:
Iím probably mad but the master plan is thus.....

My situation is that Iím 30, married with one small child and plan to have more. Iím currently a partner in a successful IT/Media firm. The truth is this isnít what I want to be doing; my passion/dream is to become a doctor and has been perversely ever since I left university (great timing).

With the benefit of money and the intellectual/personal development of 9 years working and living, I would like to realise my potential, do something useful and re-train as a doctor.

The simplistic thinking is that even if I spend the next 10 years in education/gaining experience, I would still have 25 years left to practice Ė if not more.

Iím really after some unbiased advice/thoughts from people that have taken the GAMSAT and are currently studying medicine and/or any advice from any qualified doctors.

Iím a British citizen by birth, but now a (smug!) permanent resident of Australia, my original degree (Environmental Science - pointless!) is from the UK. I have not participated in any formal education since then.

The plan is to take the GAMSAT is March 2010 and then (dependant on the mark) make my decision to pursue a career in medicine. I havenít directly spoken to any university; my reason being that if I donít get a respectable mark in the GAMSAT, then probably best to stick with what Iím doing. Iíve researched in as far as that universities will take mature students. I wouldnít be in a position to go to uni until 2011 (age 32).

What I would like to know is:

1. Has anyone else decided this career path at this age or older and hows it going?

2. I have an understanding of the time involved in studying to become a doctor, but am I mad to think that I can do this with a family in tow?

3. In a perfect world there would be no need to ask this question, but will being newly qualified and nearly forty massively hinder my chances of employment?

4. How long is it before you can expect to receive a form of income from medicine?

5. Would I need to retake the GAMSAT if there is a year gap before application to a university?

6. Obviously Iím aware of the personal/financial pressure of an extended period of un-employment/study, but is there anything else that Iím just not thinking about?

7. Approximate cost of study - excluding loss of earnings.

Any advice in any direction would be greatly appreciated.


1. Has anyone else decided this career path at this age or older and hows it going?

Yes. I'm 32 and just finished first year. I have a pretty similar history to you, albiet my degree was in Arts, and I worked professionally in the aviation industry.

2. I have an understanding of the time involved in studying to become a doctor, but am I mad to think that I can do this with a family in tow?

I'm a divorcee, so I have my children 5 nights a fortnight, and its working well. I also work part time (27 hours a fortnight) to pay the bills and keep the investments ticking over.

3. In a perfect world there would be no need to ask this question, but will being newly qualified and nearly forty massively hinder my chances of employment

Hmmm. Not hinder your employment as an intern, but it may cause a little strife for training courses. I guess it depends on the specialty you want, as some of them will take a good many years to get into after graduation from medicine, and all of them have different commitments... Equal opportunity means that they shouldn't discriminate against you, but that doesn't mean it WON'T happen.... just that it shouldn't.

I'm interested in General Practice (because I want to still be an active father, and many specialties are very family UNfriendly)... I'm not worried about my age effecting that.

4. How long is it before you can expect to receive a form of income from medicine?

The start of your fifth year, presuming you do a 4 year graduate course... i.e. day one as an Intern.

5. Would I need to retake the GAMSAT if there is a year gap before application to a university?

Gamsat scorse are good for 2 years.

6. Obviously Iím aware of the personal/financial pressure of an extended period of un-employment/study, but is there anything else that Iím just not thinking about?

This is pretty obvious, but remember that you'll be dropping right back to the very very bottom of the ladder. Med students are treated pretty poorly in a lot of circumstances, and the level of professional courtesy that your used to no as a professional in your own right just won't happen.

Its the little things, like late notice timetabling changes which get to me the most, and really impact on my study/family balance, as I have to often ditch later classes to look after my kids.

Its not uncommon for lectures at my uni to be moved to 6 or even 7 at night the day before.... good luck if your expected to be at home while you wife works, or be at a school thing.... so I'm often trading off lectures for the kids etc. It just makes life that little bit harder.

7. Approximate cost of study - excluding loss of earnings.

Loss of earning will be BY FAR the biggest expense.

aside that, here is a rough guide for my expenses this year:

HECS $8700
Textbooks $500 (you could spend a LOT more or a LOT less... depends on where you like to study!)
Equipment $200 (steth, lab coat e.t.c)
Transport $15 a week (you get student discounts on all of this, and many other things.... so its much cheaper than you might think to get around)

Thats IT! its actually very cheap. the real expense is the opportunity cost of continuing in your profession, and the financial rewards that reaps. I genuinely don't think I'll catch up my losses anytime in the next 15 years... and probably won't ever really catch up, as I was pretty actively investing when i worked full time.

Feel free to PM me with anything else. I'm happy to chat to you about it.
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tealou
Rookie


Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am thinking I am a bit crazy too, but we are similar.

I own a web business, have 3 children and am planning to sit GAMSAT in 2011 for 2012 entry. I was going to this year but I have Cushing's so need to get well first.

But yes, I have 3 children, a successful business, a Master of Arts, and hit 30 and realised that I needed to bite the bullet and start achieving my actual goals.

So, it's possible. And I think it's worth it. I plan on specialising in endocrinology as well so thats a whole lotta learnin'! But I figure that if I DON'T do it, I will regret it. And we only get one shot.

And really, when you think about it, we aren't *that* far behind really... because 18 year olds need to do 6 years, they are 24 when they finish... many don't go straight in and I think that at 30, when you have kids and business experience, and in my case suffering a disease that Drs dont know about, it gives you some different perspective. I don't thnk Medical School will be nearly as difficult when you are older.... except for the whole family thing.... but I already work ridiculous hours so its not difference really Smile

Just get your business earning money without you in it. That's my plan and so far it's working.... so that I can still get away with 5-10 hours of consulting a week to support us whilst I study.
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SoMdoesn'tcare
Rookie


Joined: 28 Mar 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes there are mature-age students but they generally struggle (moreso from finances and family, affecting their study).

At least you are not too old. I know of a >50yo Med student.
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