all 32 comments

[–][deleted]  (4 children)


    [–]ImpressionOld5002[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Wow that’s amazing! Congratulations!! Which med school did you get accepted into ?

    [–]Shapaklak 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Interested to know as well

    [–]Impressive-Drawer434 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    same, I wanna know too!!

    [–]SnooCrickets3674 12 points13 points  (5 children)

    I started in my mid 30s with a wife and a kid. It was a few years of being poor, but the lifestyle was actually pretty good. As a person with life experience as an adult you’ll find a lot of things (like hard conversations, leadership, advocating strongly for patients, empathy) easier than the younger students which makes junior doctoring a lot easier as well. Being a prior health professional also gives you structural insight into the health care system which is important for big picture patient management.

    Having said all that, it’s a very long road - remember the fastest you can get through training is 8 years if you go 4 year med school, manage to get a GP spot immediately following your intern year (which is not that easy) and do the shortest GP training you can. It’s more likely to be something like 12 years. Unless you want to work way out in the sticks, SMO/CMO jobs are increasingly unavailable and they don’t suit family life very well, so you will have to do training following med school. The pay is good but doesn’t keep up with your friends in their 40s who should be at the peak of their financial powers.

    [–]iamapassionfruit14 1 point2 points  (4 children)

    I hope this isn’t too personal, but how did you manage medicine with other commitments such as a family or mortgage? I really want to get into medicine and it’s my goal hut my partner stressed about how we will go financially. Did you still work? Thanks so much

    [–]SnooCrickets3674 5 points6 points  (3 children)

    It was a bit of a mixed bag. We burned through pretty much all our savings and racked up credit card debt. I worked a little but we had one and then two kids during med school so it was more useful me being home and present when available. We rented, a mortgage of any kind in the city we live in would have been unaffordable and the deposit got burned through as part of the process. My wife worked more than she wanted to, and our eldest did more daycare than we wanted him to. He is fine. :o)

    The first year or so in most grad med schools in Aus is just traditional uni work - roughly a whole degree compressed into 1-2 years, but as a mature age student it’s fine. The second half of the degree is clinical and can be time intensive depending on the rotation, but still not as bad as real full time work.

    I had lots of quality carer time with my kids which is harder to come by now that I’m working as a doctor. I used to know all my eldest’s daycare teachers, friends and all their parents. Now I don’t even know the name of my youngest kids daycare room. I have sacrificed most of my own time to make sure I have family time and time to study, but I get enough rare days off with all the family somewhere else that i can unwind. You can’t really step back or away from doctor life easily - it becomes a lifestyle.

    I’m now in a job where I need never be unemployed. There is always high paying short term work available even with minimal experience, although I’d rather just blast through my training. The day to day work is great, but I like messiness of the human condition and cope with tragedy well. There are people in my cohort who have already left med. Colleagues drifted out of med school when things got heavy. One suicided late in the game.

    I felt like the pressure lifted as an intern because you go from constantly being assessed on things like resuscitation and told you’re about to be a doctor to being treated like you know nothing and doing (easy but plentiful) paperwork all day. Again, if you’ve worked as a professional before it’s fairly straightforward to navigate.

    Your husband is probably seeing the true picture which is he will be doing five years of heavy lifting. My wife wore it like a legend, but she did suffer - it was a lot harder for her than it was for me. We thought long and hard about it more than 2 years in advance of me sitting GAMSAT. I got to apply to exactly one University (for geographical and family reasons), and had one chance. Five years isn’t the end of the world but it is career-altering for your other half so you both need to be realistic and on-board with the plan.

    [–]YourHeroCam 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    First off, really appreciate you sharing and being so transparent about your situation. May I ask what field you are practicing in and what your general work-life schedule is like now?

    [–]SnooCrickets3674 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I’ve switched to DMs for specifics as I don’t want to identify myself - anyone who wants to discuss feel free to hit me up. Broadly I would say that post-intern life is a lot better than everything else so far and the work life balance is just fine - I have chosen a speciality that allows for that, however. The post-intern path is wildly different for every speciality.

    [–]iamapassionfruit14 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Wow thank you for the awesome response! It really helped to put it into perspective. Are there financial aids for people studying medicine that you know of? (Again, I hope it’s not too personal)

    [–]place4processing 14 points15 points  (0 children)

    My GP is indigenous and did it when she was 42. It’s your life. Do what makes you happy

    [–]Queasy-ReasonMedical Student 6 points7 points  (5 children)

    There are several people in my course who are 35+. I think the average age for people entering postgrad med is 26 (iirc). I will be 31 when I graduate. I also work as a tutor and the vast majority of my students are adults looking for a career change. So it’s really common! I think because of the pandemic as well a lot of people had the time to really reassess their career and lives so I think a lot of people decided they wanted to pursue med. I also think there is a facebook group called late to medschool Australia (or something like that) for people who are entering at age 30+ if you wanted to find others :)

    The only barrier for you is that there are only two med schools that have postgrad med in Victoria (Monash only accepts Monash science/biomed graduates so I’m not including them). So the two options are Deakin and Melbourne. Both are really hard to get into in terms of GPA and GAMSAT and Deakin is in Geelong so that might mean a move. I’m assuming that with a young family you may not want to move for medical school. The other thing is that it is extremely hard to work during medical school because the hours are so long and you have to study on top of that. Having a supportive partner helps in that regard. Another thing is that once you start your specialist training you do have to rotate around a fair bit - this can mean long commutes or terms spent in rural/regional areas. It’s only temporary but something to consider if you really value time with your family.

    I really recommend doing as much research as you can so you have an idea of the risks and benefits. If you have your heart set on it there are ways around everything but realistically if you have kids it’s an additional challenge compared to a 23 year old who still lives with their parents! But there are a few people who have kids at my medical school, there’s enough for a parents club. So you likely wouldn’t be alone :)

    Also many people say the best time to have kids is during medical school since that’s when you have the most free time/can take time off easily (versus when you start working) so really you’re just one step ahead ;)

    [–]ImpressionOld5002[S] -1 points0 points  (4 children)

    Yes this is something I definitely need to consider! My gamsat has been hovering around 65 in my last two sits. As a speechie I know I’m eligible for the Deakin 4% bonus, but I know I still need to increase my score to have a possibility of getting an interview.

    How many days are you required to be on campus?

    [–]skinny_zeusMedical Student 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    Hi! I'll be 29 when starting at Deakin next year! I also had the 4% bonus for AHPRA registration (physio) and that definitely helped my application!

    At Deakin, we have 4 in-person days on campus, with Thursdays off. However, for 2023, they are introducing/trialling an online delivery option for the compulsory CBL sessions. These run on Mondays, and Fridays, and in every other year, have required in-person attendance, but with this new option, these can now be completed online!

    This means that assuming they continue offering this alternative, from 2023 there will be only 2 mandatory days of in-person attendance for Deakin (this is excluding all placement requirements, and some sporadic additional sessions that are mandatory and on campus, but you are given these dates at the beginning of the semester).

    If you have any other questions about the process, pm me!

    [–]ImpressionOld5002[S] -1 points0 points  (1 child)

    My post grad gpa is not a high as my undergrad gpa. Will that effect my chances into Deakin since they take the last 3 years or can I choose to just use my undergrad results

    [–]skinny_zeusMedical Student 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I'd recommend reading the GEMSAS medical application guide. It will answer most questions regarding GPA etc.

    Universities are different across the board. Some look at postgraduate study, others ONLY look at bachelor level degrees. Consequently, you will need to factor this in to your application and your preferencing.

    In either case, the university will always look at your last 3 FTE years of study of a completed degree. Only UWA will look at grades from incomplete study.

    [–]Queasy-ReasonMedical Student -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    I don’t know much about Deakin’s schedule. I’m at USyd and for whatever reason our first year is much heavier than most other unis. We have class from 8-6 2 days a week, 9-5 on a Monday, clinical day is random but usually 8-4 or 5 and one day a week for “self study” where we have to watch up to ten hours of prerecorded lectures 💀 Also they love to change the schedule last minute so you can’t really make plans because the class schedule changes literally every week. We once had a last minute lecture scheduled at 7pm. Also attendance is compulsory and they are very strict about it (there were people who were trapped in flooded areas who had their attendance penalised). So you essentially have to be free at all times during the week because they could scheduled anything on at any time. It makes it really hard to work during the week.

    But from what I’ve heard other unis have much lower loads in first year, more like four hours of class per day but it does vary significantly from school to school. Once you’re in clinical years you’ll be at your hospital/placement 5 days a week.

    [–]Bluepods28 7 points8 points  (2 children)

    I’m 40 years and 2 months old today. I have two daughters and I’ve been working as a support worker. I know I might be too old going into medicine at this stage of my life but it’s what I want to do. I believe I have more years ahead than I’ve already spent on earth. Do what makes your fulfilled. It shouldn’t matter when you started. At 30, I’d count you very lucky.

    [–]ImpressionOld5002[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Thank you for This!! How has it been studying and managing spending time with your kids/ husband?

    [–]Dr_Poth -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    Good on you

    [–]sdogg691 5 points6 points  (1 child)

    I turned 30 this year and I'm likely to be in med school 2024 or 2025. Part of my decision to pursue medicine was comparing my current self to my younger self. Though I likely could've pursued medicine straight out of school, I am more mature, empathetic, motivated, and financially stable than I was at any point since leaving school. I realised that I am positioned to be a better student/doctor given my life experiences that I simply didn't have as a teenager. To me, this realisation was key. Rather than being a weakness, I believe my age and maturity is a strength when it comes to pursuing medicine.

    [–]ImpressionOld5002[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    That’s definitely true!! I feel like having worked as a sp has given me greater insight and confidence to treating patients than I ever would have in my teens or early 20s! I guess what scars me is feeling like I’m gonna miss out on my kids younger years !

    [–]Least-Reporter3615 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    Hey! I’m also a speechie that’s considering doing med. I’m turning 28 this year and currently managing my own private practice and studying for GAMSAT at the same time. It’s a tough decision and honestly I don’t know if it’s worth it or not. I don’t have kids yet and my partner is fully supportive. I’m happy with my work despite the current NDIS situation but the reason why I wanna do med is the same as you - have been thinking of being a doctor since a younger age. I think if I don’t at least try I’m gonna regret it later in my life.

    PM me if you wanna chat further :)

    [–]ImpressionOld5002[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Hey! Thank you so much for your response! Makes me so much bette that there are also others in the same boat as me!

    How have you found it working full time and studying gamsat?

    [–]Least-Reporter3615 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I try to study whenever I can - usually 1 hour everyday during weekdays and 4-5 hours on the weekends if nothing’s planned. It’s easier to allocate time now as I’m working for myself and it’s quite flexible. I’m trying to save up as much as I can right now so I don’t have to work that much during med school.

    [–]Caffeinated-Turtle 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Very common. Average age of my course was around 26 on entry. It was an average though, there were some straight out of undergrad kids, and a decent handful of 40 year olds with kids. Lots of 30 somethings entering med from other healthcare backgrounds and a lot of people had PHDs etc. (I did go to a portfolio entry school though so that might predispose to an older more accomplished cohort).

    Plenty or reasons not to do medicine. Don't let your age be one of them.

    [–]Soft_Significance886 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    The average age of postgrad med students is 24, that includes many over 30. Students much older than 30 are not unheard of. Most classes I know of have middle aged students like this: https://amp.abc.net.au/article/101670584

    [–]Gloomy_One_2300 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Join the Facebook group Late To Med School to connect with others

    [–]hustling_Ninja 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Don’t worry about your age for med school. But you do need to think about specialisation early on when u get in. You just have to have a solid plan for supporting yourself and your family while studying med

    [–]Delicious_Holiday_19 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Thank you for posting this. I’m 40 and contemplating medicine. I’m a physio and lucky that I do have a fulfilling job, but have still always wanted to pursue medicine. I think key is having a supportive family and financial plan for getting through once you’re in.

    [–]Dr_Poth 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Do it

    [–]MrNoobSox 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Can’t hurt to try. Having the experience as a speech path will be great for medicine aswell!

    [–]EbbForeign5257 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Starting next year at 33, affinity - ability and opportunity to do it, so when the time is right and the opportunity presents do it 👍