Advice needed for exploration

Hello, everyone.

I came across this site while exploring career options and hope to get some valuable advice.

A short intro about myself: I am exploring different health care options for a mid-career change. (Am in my 40s.) I don’t currently work in health care, although I did at one time work as a medical editor. I found myself very drawn to the intellectual content of the work I was editing and have begun taking biology courses to return to something in that field.

There are two main areas I’m hoping I could get some input in. One is recommendations for programs that allow exploration of health care professions for older applicants. Many that I have come across require substantial time commitments, such as an entire summer or semester. Since I am supporting myself, I am hoping to find a program that might take something more like a few weeks or a month at most to explore. Can anyone recommend a approach or a program (such a volunteer vacation, perhaps?) that allows exploration of options in the health care field?

The other main area I’m hoping I might be able to get advice on is whether medicine might be right for me or not. I have a strong intellectual drive to understand how things work and to continue learning. Plus, in looking at the biological and health care topics that I am interested and would probably enjoy studying, there seems to be a high correlation between that and med school curricula.

Given my age (47), however, I am wondering if it might be wise to look into something that would take less time to complete. I have investigated, for example, the medical genetic technologist program at MD Anderson as something that might still contain the intellectual component I am after but. I am wondering if something like that might serve my interests and, if not, what other health care career options out there you guys might recommend if, indeed, it is a bit too late to pursue something like med school.

Thanks very much for your advice!