Family medicine is a promising field for middle-aged adults seeking a second career, because family physicians earn a decent income and are able to take time off. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, family doctors have an average annual income $160,000 and work an average of 47 weeks each year. Becoming a family physician, however, is a difficult process that entails attending medical school. If you're hoping to start a second career as a family doctor, consider attending a Caribbean medical university like St. Martinus University. For people switching careers in their 40s, overseas schools have several advantages.
Many Caribbean Medical Universities Have Rolling Admissions
The admissions process varies from school to school, but many Caribbean medical universities have rolling admissions. Unlike medical schools in the States, they don't have strict application deadlines that you must meet. They accept applications year-round and enroll students at all times of year.
In some cases, classes for a specific semester might be full or too far underway to being, and you'll have to wait until the next trimester begins. Delaying your start for a few months is much better than postponing it for a year until the following academic year is underway, though.
Anyone who is prone to miss deadlines may benefit from the rolling admissions processes that Caribbean medical universities tend to have, but this is especially helpful for adults who are between careers. You can begin the application process and eventually enroll in a school when it's convenient for you, not when it's a good time for the school. Whether you've recently been laid off, sold a business or just want to get a quick start, there's no need to wait to start your path towards becoming a family physician.
Medical Colleges in the Caribbean are Less Competitive Than Those in the States
Caribbean medical universities tend to be less competitive than schools in the States, which has benefits for recent college grads who slacked off in Organic Chemistry. If it's been a few years since you cracked open a textbook, the less competitive nature of admissions might help you, too. When applying to a Caribbean medical university, you don't have to spend another four years getting an undergraduate degree with a pristine GPA. Your grades will still need to be good, but you won't need a 4.0.
Although the admissions process is less competitive, the quality of education at Caribbean medical schools isn't inferior to that at U.S.-based universities. Professors are still board certified and licensed to practice medicine -- in many cases, they're certified in the U.S. Additionally, the final two years of medical schools are spent in clinical rotations, and many students attending Caribbean medical universities do their rotations in U.S. hospitals. For these two years, they learn right alongside colleagues who are enrolled in Stateside schools.
Caribbean Islands Medical Schools Cost Less Than U.S. Schools
Medical school isn't cheap anywhere, but it costs a lot less in the Caribbean than in the U.S. The Nerdy Nurse compares the average stateside medical school tuition for a four-year degree, which is almost $200,000, to the cost of a medical degree in the Caribbean, which can be less than $100,000.
If you're already in your 40s, you'll only have 10 to 20 years between when you finish residency and reach retirement age. Because you won't be entering family practice when you're in your late 20s, keeping your debt load minimal is important.
If you're dissatisfied with your current career and want to become a family physician, consider enrolling in a Caribbean medical university. They have rolling deadlines, less competitive admissions and low tuition. All of these things are important factors to consider if you're already in your 40s and have a job.