Medicine From The Trenches

Experiences from undergradute, graduate school, medical school, residency and beyond.

Why I went to medical school at a later age.

Since I am far away from my home base and living the life of a sailor, my thoughts have turned to why I entered medicine. This post was one of my earliest posts on this blog and long after my decision to enter medicine. Note the reference to a “Walkman”. Do they even exist anymore?  It was my father’s dream (he was an Internal Medicine specialist) that I follow in his footsteps. My uncle was my mentor (he was a Cardiologist). I was a scientist and entered medical school a bit later because I took the time to complete a Ph.D. I have no regrets because medicine/surgery is one of the most amazing things that I do, when I am not sailing.

Medicine From The Trenches

Back in 1993 when I was a busy graduate student, I was happily contemplating my future career as a college professor. Even as a child, I knew that I wanted to be a research scientist. I had excelled in math and science in the English school that my Mum had so carefully chosen for my education. My Mum was very pro-active when it came to the education and enrichment of her children. She was my first and best teacher. She had taught me the value of an education and the value of observation. While directing the growth of her children on a self-sustaining farm, she made our 90-acre horse farm, a living laboratory for our education. Armed with this background, we were expected to excell at all things academic. The “buzz” around our evening meal was not about sports but about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and higher mathmatics in addition…

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29 July, 2015 - Posted by | medical school


  1. Oh med school at a much much later age for me= less time to burn off debt

    Comment by MrKnowBody | 14 August, 2015 | Reply

    • To MrKnowBody:
      Yes, there is less time to pay back loans which is why one must consider cost in terms of institution attended. If one attends medical school in this country, the LCME accredits all schools. There is very little difference between the private versus state schools therefore attend one’s state medical school if finances are going to a problem. I attended my state university combined with scholarships left very little debt (paid off in residency). Also, many hiring packages include debt forgiveness which should be considered. Finally, the armed forces are a great option for service and training.

      Comment by drnjbmd | 15 August, 2015 | Reply

  2. Just wondering if as an older student if one’s eyesight begins to diminish if that affects surgical or (in general) procedural work or specialties with heavy procedures (e.g. interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, anesthesia, critical care)? Thanks.

    Comment by medsticktick | 29 July, 2015 | Reply

    • To Medsticktick:
      Everyone ages and the effects of aging on eyesight are more than compensated by experience. My eyesight is the same as it was when I was 25 years old. I wore reading glasses then and I still wear reading glasses. I wear loupes when I operate on vessels same as those who are younger than myself. I do keep myself in good physical condition which makes my more physically demanding specialty (surgery) easier. Most of my anesthesia colleagues are older than myself and don’t seem to be slowing down much. Practice is about experience and wisdom rather than physical attributes.

      Comment by drnjbmd | 29 July, 2015 | Reply

      • Thanks drnjbmd, I’m a med student in my mid-30s and really like anesthesia, ICU, and emergency medicine which all involve procedures though EM maybe not always as often as the other two. But I wasn’t sure if I could have a long career in one of these specialties as my eyesight has never been 20/20 and I expect it’ll get worse over time. Also I can feel I’m not as physically fit as in my mid-20s even though I’m active and play sports and run or jog 3 to 5 times per week and eat well. I thought maybe I should instead do a less physically demanding specialty without procedures but I really like the specialties I mentioned. Thanks for your inspiring example. I hope I can be half the doctor you are someday.

        Comment by medstick | 29 July, 2015

  3. This is really inspiring. Thank you for sharing your journey to medicine. As an older applicant myself, I love reading stories of people who have worked hard at it and succeeded!

    Comment by Malaika | 29 July, 2015 | Reply

    • To Malaika:
      You will be there soon. Just keep your eyes on the goal. Thank-you.

      Comment by drnjbmd | 29 July, 2015 | Reply

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