Summary: Have you thought about making a career change but are not sure if you are too far into your career? Find out if changing careers is still possible in this article.
Question: I am a 56-year-old programmer who is seriously considering getting a physician’s assistant degree, concentrating in geriatrics. This involves undergraduate work, clinical experience, and then a two-year physician’s assistant program. Do you think this is possible?
Answer: Why not? Seriously, start with this question. From your description, it appears you have the desire and determination, but what are the obstacles, issues, and tradeoffs that concern you? How heavily do these weigh on your mind?
You are aware of the educational requirements and timeline. If you are up for the academic rigors and have a passion for the field, go for it. While you may face age bias, geriatrics is a growing field in which to market your credentials (once earned), enthusiasm, and insights.
Don’t make a final decision until you have done a reality check with those working as physician’s assistants on a day-to-day basis. Talk with representatives from the schools you are considering, and get the views of those who are living and breathing the profession.
If you have second thoughts, continue your search for alternative careers beyond programming. On the other hand, if everything checks out, this could prove to be the perfect role for the next phase of your life.
- See Am I Too Old to Make a Major Career Change? for more information.