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Doctor Blog--More On Becoming a Female Doctor

Posted Sep 22 2008 3:25pm
Here's a conversation with another reader who is questioning their
interest in becoming a doctor and wondering how to decide.

Hi , I came acroos your blog recently via google and I was wondering if you
could help me with something. 

I am 27 years old, South African female , and I am married and have 3 kids.
I am an IT systems analyst. I am relocating to Dubai early next year and am
considering going to medical school there.  

Would you advise this ? or am I too late? 

Please answer. 

Thank You 

I'd be happy to address this question but I need more information. 
How old are your kids?  Who would help you take care of them?  What is
the educational process of medical school in Dubai?  In the US, we go to
college (4 years), medical school (4 years), then internship (1 year) and
residency (3-5 years depending on the field).  Is medical school education
state funded or would you be paying tuition?

Hi Dr Rima, 

I sincerely am grateful to you for your prompt reply. I have 3 kids - 2 boys and a girl.
My eldest son is 9, the other son 5 and the youngest, a little girl aged 2. My husband
is self employed and we are thinking of getting a full time nanny in Dubai. I visited
a website for a medical school in Dubai - it is 5 years including

I have worked in IT for about seven years so I have saved enough for me to go
and study without the hassle of worrying about expenses, although I can try to
generate a bit of income there in my spare time.  

What are the pros and cons of being a female doctor? 

Once again, thank you for you assistance

I look forward to hearing from you 




It sounds like you have the basics taken care of.  A stable income from your
husband, some savings, a plan to care for the children (because you will need
someone at your beck and call at any time of the day or night), and a plan for
getting into medical school.

When the time comes, you will need to decide the setting in which you would
like to practice.  This can make a big difference in lifestyle for both yourself
and your family.  The post about medical school should help give you some
things to think about.

The short answer is, you are not too late.  At 27, if the training is 5 years, you
would be finishing at 32 y/o.  That's not too far beyond when most US trained
doctors finish their training.  You could work for 30 - 40 years before retiring.

If you have a passion for medicine and taking care of the sick, then you are
not too late.  If you are just toying with the idea because it is intriguing and
you think you might have an interest, then look elsewhere for a career.

Medicine is rigorous in any situation.  That is what attracts some people to
it and what puts other people off.  You will have to decide in which group you
belong and if this is something that fits you and your family.

RBishara, MD 

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