1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I need serious advice for my career in medical field

  1. Dec 30, 2007 #1
    Hi guys,

    I am 33-year-old who have Biochemistry degree. Now, I am considering to go to medical school. One of the problems is my age. I am pretty old. If I go to medical school, I will have to spend another 7 years including residency to be a doctor. I would be over 40 years of age at that time. I think that it is not suitable for that career. As far as I notice, average age of medical doctors in the United States is just 30.
    I have another choice too. I can also apply for Master degree in Biotech or Biochemistry. I just need to spend two years for that. Anyway, this career is no match for doctors when it comes to money.
    I need you guys' advice and experience for my career. Which one is suitable for me? What are my weak points and strong points? Thanks all.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Your age won't matter in terms of medical school or becoming a physician. It's only an issue of personal decision if you want to completely change careers (med school) or just advance within the career you've already chosen (Master's in Biochem). If you're only looking at it from a perspective of earning potential, however, don't even bother. Nobody wants a doctor who's only in it for the money and doesn't have a deep desire to do that kind of work. If you are really interested in both options and are just weighing earnings to try to justify the time commitment at your stage in life, then consider that you're going to leave med school deep in debt, and will spend quite a few years just paying off your student loans (unless you're already wealthy enough to pay for med school without loans). A master's degree is going to leave you with a lot less debt, and sooner to start earning again.

    We sure can't tell you which is most suitable for you, nor do we know anything about you to tell you what your strong and weak points are. You need to think about that for yourself, decide what you want to do with your own life, and which is a better path for you. About all we can surmise from your post is that you're not content with your current career or the limitations imposed by your current education.
  4. Dec 30, 2007 #3
    Hmm...this gives me a measure of hope as well. Personally I'm only getting my physics PhD to satisfy that pesky, insatiable appetite for physics (which I discussed at length in a recent thread). After I get done and hopefully satify that appetite, I've been thinking about applying to med school myself. Of course it occured to me that I'd be 28 by this time. But if you can do it at 33, then I suppose I could as well!
  5. Dec 30, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    my wife went to med school at 33, and she is glad she did (and so am i, as she is happier and more fulfilled).
  6. Dec 30, 2007 #5
    I've always thought doctors did their studies to help people..... not make loads of money :/
  7. Dec 31, 2007 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    One would hope so.

    Starting a career at 40, even if you stick with a traditional retirement age of 65, leaves you 25 years of practice. That's a lot of time to be useful and productive. Looking at it the other way, it could also be 25 years of sticking with the same old job, or another one that's not fulfilling, which is a long time to be unhappy with one's career choices. So, it's not at all about the age, but about making the right choice for one's personal aspirations.
  8. Dec 3, 2011 #7
    Most do but even then, you have to think about your situation that for a good 10 yrs (med school/residency) you're making next to nothing and will leave with 200,000+ dollars in debt. I want to be a doctor and I'd do it for free because the scientific medical field is amazing in my opinion. But practicality kinda rules that out.
  9. Dec 3, 2011 #8
    Are you familiar with SDN (student doctor network)? They're probably the best pre-medical/medical student forum on the web, you should check out their non-traditional forums.
  10. Dec 3, 2011 #9
    just to let you guys know ... claytonh4 responded to this 4 years after it was posted, i'm sure this guy is either almost done with medical school by now or has moved on to other stuff.
  11. Dec 3, 2011 #10
    You're right. Thread locked.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook