i will be 39 years old this year. After many decades of time wasting, i realize that I do want to be a doctor. I am enrolled at a city college now with an A average. I want to keep my grades up, and hopefully transfer to the University of Chicago. I know I will be around 45 when I finish, I still want to be a heart surgeon. Has anyone ever become a surgical resident after 45 uears of age?
A contemporary of mine entered his general surgery residency at 45. I expect to begin residency as a fresh-faced forty-two-year-old. The only limit I’m aware of is in the military programs, and I’m told even they are pretty flexible.
One of the early members of OPM, graduated from medical school at 50 and entered surgical residency.
I’ve looked into the military programs. they keep pushing it up and up. Last I looked, you had to be under 60.
Realistically, it will be difficult (extremely) but not impossible. You will be 45 when applying to a surgical residency which is 5 years and the CT surgery is another additional 2 years (I think) so looking to be 52 by the time you are done. To be honest this is not the most sensible option for you but sure, others have done it. Besides, this to be honest is a topic to be considered ONCE you get accepted, ONCE you go through your rotations and ONCE you have good board scores. Thinking about this now is very unproductive IMHO. Focus on getting in now, then doing well in medical school/USMLE then think about options.
Another consideration, and this is obviously up to the individual and the shape you might be in… But surgeons are on their feet a lot. Long surgeries, lots of hours standing, hunched over, sometimes holding up parts of the body. A lot of the older surgeons stop doing certain procedures, as it’s just too hard on them. Total knee replacement for example.
It’s just one of those things that would be no big deal as at 30, and probably for a few decades after that, but at some point age could make a difference. Once you’re starting a few decades late, it could make your time in the OR a lot shorter. Not trying to discourage, but just throwing out some realism.
Many surgical residencies are becoming 6 year programs and I suspect that most will become that by the time the OP would be applying. However, there is also a move afoot to change the traditional gen surg residency + subspecialty fellowship path and creating specialized residencies such as vascular or cardiothoracic where you wouldn’t have to first do a full gen surg residency.