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Never too late to be a doctor

CNN Health, June 14, 2011

By the time Mike Moore finishes school and starts his career as a doctor, he'll be in his 50s. As a second-year medical student at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, Moore listens to lectures from younger professors and sits with classmates who are old enough to be his kids. Stories about midlife career transitions are mostly about how a stressed out professional quits to pursue a passion like baking cupcakes or opening a cafe. Seldom do they involve a more rigorous route -- like becoming a doctor in your 40s and 50s. Future doctors like Moore who make unlikely career choices are called nontraditional students, and they are increasingly attractive candidates for medical schools. Last year, 9% of the medical school applicants were over age 29, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Those statistics have held steady in the last five years. While 29 isn't exactly midlife, it means by the time students are done with their training, they'll be inching toward their 40s.