Hi Everyone - thanks so much for contributing to a great site. For those with a desire to return to school so they can practice medicine: this site is unparalleled.
Although I’ve read dozens of ‘is this right for me?’ posts, and each has been incredibly valuable, I’m hoping eveyone here might help me with a sanity check. Each person has there own perspective on what’s important.
I’m a 38 year old IT Sales Engineer that had orthopedic surgery 4 years ago, and although it took a long time to heal, I learned a lot about medicine through the experience. The whole process plus a lot of experience as a patient and a desire to leave IT has driven me to want to become an orthopedic surgeon. I have a congenital birth defect called AMC (arthrogryposis multiplex congenita) that required I grow up at the Hospital for Special Surgery. I’d love to be able to help kids (people) the way I was helped.
The extent of my education is some college. My job in IT was six figures and left no spare time to get my undergraduate degree, with the exception of 15 credits or so. My plan is to take the next 2 1/2 years (summer and winter courses included) to get my undergraduate in biology or bioinformatics here is NJ.
Here are my questions, obviously this whole concept is a little nerve racking:
- Would it really be 13 years to become an orthopod? 3 years of undergrad + 4 years of med school + 4 years of residency + 2 years orthopedics fellowship?
- Just writing that is pretty scary - can I start practicing at 51? How much of a career could I expect? 20 years would be a lot: I’d be working until 71.
- Although I have some money it’s not enough to right a check for med school. In three years when I go for financial aid / loans, will they give me a hard time because of my age?
I’d love to be able to help people the way doctors have helped me - and it’s taken me a long time to realize it; I guess I’m asking myself if it’s too late.
Sorry for being so verbose but I wanted to get all my thoughts down in one spot. Thanks for any thoughts -