When is old too old?

Issues specific to osteopathic medical education and practice as a DO.

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When is old too old?

Postby wannabeDO » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:47 pm

Hi all,
I want to learn from others on this site who might have had conversations with docs and/or who might have their own opinions on age in the medical profession. I'm 35 years old and plan to start taking all of my D.O. school prereqs in the fall of 2009. I have a BA but never took pre-med courses. I figure by the time I'm done with those and in my first year of med school I'll be about 38 years old. Then by the time I hit my internship and finish residency I'll be about 45. I'd like to go into anesthesiology and was wondering if there's a point where being old is just too old for the work. I figure if you're a surgeon it's better that you start young that way you can get more years of work in. I assume given the highly detail oriented day-to-day job of an anesthesiologist that youth would be on your side. Given that I'll be about 45 when I can actually start really practicing I figure I'll have only 10 years of solid work years ahead of me. Am I totally off base here? Are there anesthesiologists that practice into their 60's and 70's? I see myself moving into a medical school professor role in the event my age becomes a factor in performing the job. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Joe
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Re: When is old too old?

Postby tramflap » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:20 pm

That is all dependent upon you. I knew a couple of docs that didn't begin practicing until their 50's, and they were still loving it at 70. One of them was a psychologist who decided to go to med school in his 40's, and did a Gas residency after that. He was in a group practice, and thus had a reasonable schedule. He is in his 70's now, by the way. The question isn't if it can be done (it definitely is being done), the question is if you can see yourself doing it.

Good luck!
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Re: When is old too old?

Postby Adminnaoum » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:47 am

If you start practice around 45, you'll still have about 20 years of very active time. If you want to keep working after that you can, or you can move into a more sedentary position if you want to keep busy.

"Desk jobs" for physicians, like reviewing cases for state agencies, typically pay about $500/day with no liability and flexible schedules. Not necessarily joyous work, but a pretty straightforward way to make money in your retirement. I know of many physicians in their 70s who do this.
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Re: When is old too old?

Postby OlufunshoBY » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:34 pm

I am a 3rd med student. I have a 45 yr old in my class with 4kids and he's interested in neurosurgery. You are young as a 38y/o first yr!
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Re: When is old too old?

Postby bigdoc » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:41 pm

You can do it!
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