Saturday, January 17, 2015

Going to med school and becoming a surgeon when you are older

A 34-year-old lawyer is thinking about going to medical school and becoming a surgeon He asked me for advice. Here's a link to that post.

8 comments:

artiger said...

I cringe when I read posts like this. It sounds like he has the resources to cover tuition, and if his spouse works, the financial hurdle (likely the biggest one) is pretty much solved. Still, I would advise against it. Too much time and hassle for too little reward and overregulation.

PA or NP might be a more advisable route if his interest in healthcare really runs deep.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

True, PA and NP are options and wouldn't take as long.

frankbill said...

I would think it would be hard to learn the skills needed to be a surgeon for someone close to 40.

Hope said...

I think it would be hard. I've seen some older residents really struggle in surgical residencies. I don't even think it's necessarily the technical skills. The thing with a surgical residency, as traditional and backwards as it sounds, is that you have to submit to a hierarchy and swallow your pride. No matter how much of life you've seen or accomplished outside of surgery, the training paradigm really only works well if you commit to the idea that someone else is allowed to tell you what to do, simply because he/she is "ahead" of you. Being a surgical resident often sucks, and there's a lot of scutwork and sacrifices that become less and less palatable the older you get. It's hard to suck down your pride when you're 40 years old and some 28 year old kid who may be less intelligent than you tells you to go write an H&P on someone because he doesn't feel like doing it. But the truth is, the best interns and junior residents are sometimes the ones who just keep silent and do their jobs. It's true that sometimes it's easier to teach a blank slate than someone who has already been molded a certain way. The trainees I've seen struggle the most are the ones who actually have spent quite a bit of time doing things OTHER than surgery - having a family, having a different career, traveling - for a period of time before they've started their training. It's a tougher pill to swallow when you have a bigger perspective on the world. When you're going straight through, you're younger, less experienced, you accept the system more. Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

That's sad Hope. I would think that your brighter minds go into surgery. This makes it more about get used to bending over and then do it to someone else than smarts.

Then again it explains certain personalities too.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Good points. It can be difficult both mentally and physically for the older resident. On the post itself is a comment by a 66-year-old third year med student. He is a former Marine so maybe he will get through.

TheNurseelle said...

im am 26 years old. is it too late for me too?

Skeptical Scalpel said...

No, it's certainly not too late for you. Go for it.

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