Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
prettybogle
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:44 am

Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by prettybogle »

I am a 35 year old female working in IT. I am considering career options in medical field - I am assuming it is too late to study to become Doctor. What other options exist in medical field ? I am drawn towards medical field for job stability and growth reasons.
livesoft
Posts: 86186
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:00 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by livesoft »

Data analyst. A friend of mine has a degree in Nursing, but is a data analyst for a national hospital chain. Her job is all about IT.

But hospitals, medical offices, doc-in-the-boxes are just businesses, so they need all the business people: managers, accountants, administrators, computer everything, CFO, CEO, go-fers, assistants, cybersecurity peeps, billing agents, debt collectors, etc.
Last edited by livesoft on Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
User avatar
arcticpineapplecorp.
Posts: 15194
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

prettybogle wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:42 pm I am a 35 year old female working in IT. I am considering career options in medical field - I am assuming it is too late to study to become Doctor.
maybe not:
Dr Atomic Leow Chuan Tse was the oldest known medical student, graduating at 66 years old from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi, Romania, in 2015

source: https://www.inspiraadvantage.com/blog/h ... cal-school
When Michael Butler fulfilled his longtime dream last June and graduated from medical school, he was 62 — an age when many of his contemporaries begin to think about retirement.

source:https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/ ... 206379001/
that being said, what kind of income are you looking for from the field? That could be a starting point. This article has the 20 highest paid non-physician jobs in healthcare:

https://www.healthcare-management-degre ... ealthcare/

any of those pique your interest?
It's hard to accept the truth when the lies were exactly what you wanted to hear. Investing is simple, but not easy. Buy, hold & rebalance low cost index funds & manage taxable events. Asking Portfolio Questions | Wiki
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 19610
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi - white sandy beaches, N. Arizona 1 mile high.

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by Sandtrap »

prettybogle wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:42 pm I am a 35 year old female working in IT. I am considering career options in medical field - I am assuming it is too late to study to become Doctor. What other options exist in medical field ? I am drawn towards medical field for job stability and growth reasons.
Do you have the time and money and resources to finish an RN?

The work and career and personal ethos are seemingly opposite between IT and patient focused medical fields.
Do you have an engineering degree and what field of IT now?

What draws you to the medical field?
Patient advocacy?
Caring and nurturing?
Pharmacology?
or
is there the Medical environment that has fields that tangent to what you do now?
Medical Coding or etc?
Research?

To op:
Some questions for you.

j :D
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
YeahBuddy
Posts: 2555
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by YeahBuddy »

In some places, nurses can practice with 2 year degrees. 4 year for in big cities
Other 2 year degrees
Computed tomography (CT tech) --> which could lead to MRI tech
Respiratory Therapist

All these are capable of 6 figure incomes
Light weight baby!
er999
Posts: 1377
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:00 am

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by er999 »

You aren’t too old to be a doctor, just make sure you’d like it first. It also depends if you are already financially independent from your IT work vs needing to borrow a bunch of money to go. If you are already wealthy going to medical school at 37-38 (as would take 2-3 years to finish pre-recs and apply) wouldn’t be terrible but think twice if you need to make a lot of money.

For a shorter course that has a clinical role look at PA school.
dcabler
Posts: 4621
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:30 am
Location: TX

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by dcabler »

Two friends:
One in her late 30's switched from engineering to Nurse Practitioner. Loves it.
Another in his 40's switched from IT Support to Physicians Assistant. Also Loves it.

Cheers.
User avatar
Metsfan91
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:33 am
Location: Rust Belt

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by Metsfan91 »

prettybogle wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:42 pm I am a 35 year old female working in IT. I am considering career options in medical field - I am assuming it is too late to study to become Doctor. What other options exist in medical field ? I am drawn towards medical field for job stability and growth reasons.
It is not too late to be a doctor. I have seen residents who are are in their 40’s. You can do it. Physician assistant would be another great option. There’s shortage of nurses… you have many options in healthcare.
"Know what you own, and know why you own it." — Peter Lynch
mhalley
Posts: 10447
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:02 am

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by mhalley »

I went from high school into the Navy for six years. When I got out I went to college and I thought it was too late for me to go to med school, so I planned on getting my degree and going into the workforce. Then a 35 yo classmate of mine was accepted to med school and I realized it wasn’t too late. I changed my major to premed and I went on to have a career as an er doc, thanks to my classmate having the courage to apply and be accepted at that “advanced” age.
There are other medical careers that don’t take the 4 years of med school plus 3+ years or of residency, such as physician assistant, nurse practitioner etc.
ccieemeritus
Posts: 731
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:43 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by ccieemeritus »

Most hospitals have IT needs. My local Kaiser hospital has a computer in every exam room, computerized records, pharmacy orders, lab orders, web access for users, VPN infrastructure for doctors, security and compliance (HIPPA) requirements, networks, database backends, backups, and so on.

That will simultaneously give you medical “job security”, exposure to various medical fields, and (probably) good hiring prospects if you do decide to retrain.
cmr79
Posts: 1351
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:25 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by cmr79 »

OP would need to spend the next 2+ years doing post-bac premed coursework too before applying to medical school, so they could easily be 38-39 before matriculating and 45-50 before finishing training.

RN would be more flexible, provides stability and direct patient care (if that is what OP desires...if not, I second above recommendations to consider working in the IR/data analyst space within medicine!), and OP could always pursue a CRNP in the future if they want to further increase income potential or change their role to one where they have a greater hand in directing treatment decisions. PA programs usually require some background medical experience.
Napa Car Guy
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:35 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by Napa Car Guy »

One of my daughters got a 2 year RN degree at the local community college, got a job at the hospital and then went back to school part time to get her BSN which hospital paid for. Then three years later went back to college again part time to become a NP, which again the hospital paid for. Sure it took her a 3-4 extra years but all she paid out of pocket was for 2 years of community college. So...I guess my thinking to the OP is if you want to do it and have some time you could for sure pull this off and maybe find the right employer to pay for it.
Now my daughter is looking into getting her MBA and yes again the hospital is willing to pay on that as well. A little off the norm but sure worked for her, and her dads wallet too!
alfaspider
Posts: 4883
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by alfaspider »

Metsfan91 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:58 pm
prettybogle wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:42 pm I am a 35 year old female working in IT. I am considering career options in medical field - I am assuming it is too late to study to become Doctor. What other options exist in medical field ? I am drawn towards medical field for job stability and growth reasons.
It is not too late to be a doctor. I have seen residents who are are in their 40’s. You can do it. Physician assistant would be another great option. There’s shortage of nurses… you have many options in healthcare.
It's certainly possible, but I think the biggest issue with older folks is they often have commitments (kids, family, etc.) that make it extremely difficult to do residency. Plus, they are more likely to have their own medical needs that can make it harder to work the insane hours demanded. The PA or Nurse practitioner track may be a bit less intense but still lead to a similar career to an MD/DO.
User avatar
Veiled
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:12 am
Location: Texas

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by Veiled »

dcabler wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:58 pm Two friends:
One in her late 30's switched from engineering to Nurse Practitioner. Loves it.
Another in his 40's switched from IT Support to Physicians Assistant. Also Loves it.

Cheers.
+1 for midlevel, also consider CNM/midwifery. Short path to clinician providing impactful services. Low debt burden (or cash flow your training), high reward. I always tell people, unless you want leadership/entrepreneurship, innovation/research, or public policy, you don't need MD/DO to provide patient care.

Edited to add: there was a 40 year old intern in my residency...it was tough for that person and their clinical practice didn't have those busy building years. They went straight to mid/end career type practice and schedule. Up to you--weigh the happiness quotient carefully.
jh4986
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:55 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by jh4986 »

I know 2 people who went thru this program. After you graduate, you are being addressed as Doctor.

https://chan.usc.edu/education#Programs ... 0Therapist

Programs to Become an Occupational Therapist
Entry-Level Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) ⟩
If you have a bachelor’s degree in any field other than occupational therapy, you will apply for our Entry-Level OTD, which is 3 years. This top-ranked program will prepare you to be a practicing occupational therapist.
HighC
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by HighC »

Medicine is my second, or maybe fifth, career. I started at an age slight older than you. It is certainly possible. Many people here have suggested the NP or PA route. This is an option. It really depends on what you want. If you want/need to truly understand, or sort of truly understand what is going on medically and you want to be “in charge” then I would recommend the MD or DO route. If you’re OK with a more superficial understanding of things, NP or PA is good too. Training time difference is enormous. I have no regrets about my choice. I love knowing what I know, and using it meaningfully daily. I think there’s a big advantage to having a prior career before medicine. You already know how screwed up all human endeavors are so it is easier to appreciate the positives in medicine. Of course, the hierarchal nature of training is a drag, but that’ll be the case no matter what direction you go in medicine.
CLKGTR
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2024 7:36 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by CLKGTR »

prettybogle wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:42 pm I am a 35 year old female working in IT. I am considering career options in medical field - I am assuming it is too late to study to become Doctor. What other options exist in medical field ? I am drawn towards medical field for job stability and growth reasons.
Exact opposite of me. Im also 35 yo and thinking of quiting medicine and going into IT. Medicine is literally the most repetitive and draining job. Im totally burned out.

Id say nursing then CRNA is probably best bang for the buck. At that age, spending likely 9 years of your life in med school and residency is very risky bet financially.
BorqaZ
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2024 7:01 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by BorqaZ »

I think a good compromise will be to become a Physician Assistant.

Year 1: take prereq science classes from your neighborhood university (if you don't have a science degree) and apply to PA school
Year 2: Attend PA school.
Year 2: Attend PA school.
Year 4: Attend PA school.
WMK
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2023 10:16 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by WMK »

I graduated as a Physician Assistant at age 40. It was a second career and it worked out well.
I also went to work for the Veteran's Administration Hospital Medical System, and this also proved to have worked out well. From a retirement planning standpoint, the Fed. is one of the few remaining employers that have a pension (FERS) and tax-sheltered retirement program (TSP), They contribute to both. FERS is inflation indexed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_E ... ent_System

Regards
WMK
fasteddie911
Posts: 466
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 3:13 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by fasteddie911 »

Why not IT at a hospital? But what are you looking to do and what growth are you looking for? Generally, even doctor's (and many others in the field) don't really "grow" once they're established.
ScubaHogg
Posts: 3621
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by ScubaHogg »

My sister went from a SAHM to a speech therapist in her mid to late 40s. My wife became an occupational therapist in her early 30s. So there are some routes that aren’t the full MD gauntlet

ST, OT, PT, PA, NP, RN
“Conventional Treasury rates are risk free only in the sense that they guarantee nominal principal. But their real rate of return is uncertain until after the fact.” -Risk Less and Prosper
JPM
Posts: 602
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:29 pm

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by JPM »

In regard to physicians, I know two physicians who graduated medical school at age 40. Being a 40-41 year old intern is probably physically challenging. Some 25 year olds were not up to the challenge back in the 70s. I hear it is less physically taxing these days.

I have known a few RNs graduate in their 50s for second careers. For them it was something they had wanted to do, but SES problems precluded doing it right out of high school. As pointed out above, a nursing degree has a lot of flexibility and can be obtained in far fewer years than an MD+postdoc training which comes to at least 7 years of training.

I do not know any PAs (physician assistants) yet who entered that profession late in life, but it's probably an option. Maybe the smartest medical student I ever had was a PA student. I asked her if she would be OK working for doctors who would not be as smart as she is over the length of her career. She replied that she had a young man that she planned to marry and create a family with him and that 7-9 years of physician training was not compatible with her plan. She said she would be doing much of the work that a doctor does but only need her 2 year masters degree in PA school to do it instead of the long haul of physician training. She has had a very rewarding career working in specialty groups in major medical centers for the past 20 years.
Valuethinker
Posts: 49122
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Career in Medical field for 35 year old

Post by Valuethinker »

prettybogle wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:42 pm I am a 35 year old female working in IT. I am considering career options in medical field - I am assuming it is too late to study to become Doctor. What other options exist in medical field ? I am drawn towards medical field for job stability and growth reasons.
I would discount working in IT in a hospital etc. That would basically be doing what you are doing now, but in the medical application area - I don't see why that would be intrinsically interesting (you wouldn't be developing innovative diagnostic programs, or developing AI applications for medicine, I don't think).

It is not too late to become an MD, but you really need to be determined:

- there is the time investment
- it takes a physical toll, especially residency
- medical school is (normally) quite expensive
- there may be geographic limitations - ie you wouldn't find it easy to practice in some cities or areas that are oversupplied?
- much of the modern work of a doctor seems connected to paperwork, there's not time to spend clinically with each patient (as much as might be warranted)

Things like geriatric medicine are obviously growth areas giving aging populations with complex care needs. Also I believe there is a shortage of medical practitioners in many rural areas?

So this to say you really need to know:

- what appeals to you about working in a medical field?
- is there a shorter route such as RN or physician's assistant? which would give you that kind of exposure/ those experiences which you seek?

A couple of books. 3 in fact:

- Herminia Ibarra (business school prof) wrote a book "Working Identities" which was helpful in terms of thinking about career change
- Po Bronson wrote a book about career change - really just a series of pieces about people who changed careers (and sometimes changed back)
- What Color is Your Parachute is a classic, and has some good stuff about thinking about career change, how to do informational interviewing, etc
Post Reply