Viewpoint: Medical students should start school at 28

Delaying medical school until one's late 20s offers numerous personal and financial benefits for physicians, Monya De, MD, a Los Angeles-based internist, wrote in an op-ed for STAT.

Dr. De argues that students should work in a different field after undergrad and not start medical school until age 28. For one, this life path would allow physicians to start saving for retirement or a house sooner, rather than spending the money on student loans, licensure fees and malpractice insurance.

This timeline would also be more convenient for medical professionals who wish to have children. Older medical students could take advantage of perks like on-campus day care and the ability to take classes online while raising young children, Dr. De said. Then, by the time their children are school-aged, medical students would enter residency.

Establishing a different career before going to medical school also serves as a valuable fallback option for students and could limit the sense of regret some physicians feel over not following other passions in their early 20s, according to Dr. De.

"No medical student should begin such an expensive and stressful journey without the confidence that another job awaits should things go awry," she wrote, concluding that "medicine should be an individual's second profession."

To view the full op-ed, click here.

More articles on integration and physician issues:
Harvard fossil fuel debate hits medical school
Detroit Medical Center to lose neurosurgery training accreditation
Mayo Clinic medical school accepts 364 students by mistake

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