Old USN Corpsman Turned PA Looking To Go To Med School

Hello all,

Let me first say that this website has given me quiet a bit of confidence in returning to academics. You folks have done a great job here.

About me:

I am 39 years of age. After HS graduation I joined the US Navy and served as an Hospital Corpsman for 6 years, spending the majority of my enlistment with the USMC. Upon discharge, I enrolled at Western Michigan University intent on becoming a Physician Assistant. I took classes through all summer breaks and in 5 years graduated from PA school with 214 credit hours.

During PA school I kept having the nagging thought of ditching and heading for med school, but decided to finish what I had started.

I have now been working in Orthopedics for 10 years. The itch to go to medical school has yet to go away.

Today I sent off enrollment forms to a local university. I plan on brushing up on CHEM, BIO, and PHYS, then taking the MCAT next April.

My wife and I are in “Negotiations” at this point as to whether or not med school is doable right now. Taking this on probably means uprooting my family and becoming nomads for close to 7-8 years.

Our children are 7 & 9 right now. This would mean considerable upheaval in their lives as well.

I do have a question:

What is the probability of getting into an Ortho Residency at the age of 45? Does age factor into the decision at all? I understand the physical requirements of residency are rather rigorous, but feel that I am up for the challenge.

I love Ortho. I can’t see myself doing much else. Office 5 days a week is not for me. Not being in the OR would be unthinkable.

Thanx ahead of time for any and all replies.

Thanks for your service to our country!

I’m going into med school with an open mind, but right now I’d say that anesthesiology is my first choice. If my plan succeeds, I’ll begin a residency at 46.

If ortho is what you want, then go for it!

Layne Tapper

well if you don’t apply and go to medical school, the probability of getting into ortho residency is ZERO, NADA, ZILCH. If you do go to medical school, the probability is low in general with the intense competition amongst students for such slots.

But this is a gamble, this isn’t a game of chance, this is your personal attempt to achieve something. Be aware it may be difficult to get what you want, be aware you may wind up in a different specialty, and be comfortable with that reality. Be understanding of nomadic life, impact on family, and be comfortable and decide

Thanx for the replies.

After thinking about it for a while, I have been able to pull my head out for a breath, and, in all honesty, I realize there are a few other areas of medicine that I would find rewarding.

Anaesthesia, Emergency, Gen Surgery. Suffice it to say, I feel I need to do somethng that is a bit “Hands On”.

On the other end of the spectrum…Psych has always been an interest as well.

My first classes will start in May of this year. It will be good to get back to scholastics. I have thought about this as well in relation to our kids. I am hoping that growing up in an academic setting will enrich their lives.

On the plus side, your history as an ortho PA makes you a known quantity to many programs that would be a plus.

Good luck.