At 54, Medical Student Looks Forward to her Second Career – Student Features


It was really kind of funny, I received my
acceptance letter to medical school and my AARP card in the same week. I’m coming to medical school after 15 years
ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church and raising a family of four. When I was 49 I took some time to think about
what I wanted to do with the next chapter of my life. I was the priest in charge of a congregation
in San Diego and I really did enjoy my ministry, but I also felt like there was something more
that I wanted to do. What ended up happening and what really catalyzed
this kind of late in life career switch was losing my husband who had suffered from mental
health issues. Losing a spouse just really reinforced my
desire to eventually practice psychiatry to prevent similar tragedies. I was a widowed mother of four, I still had
children at home, I was the leader of a congregation, I liked my ministry. I was very subtle in my life, so it was a
very very scary thing to think about everything that would be involved if I had to make a
change. One of my children also told me, “It’s time
to do this. I’ve heard you talk about it your whole life,
so you either need to do it, or you need to leave it and never bring it up again,” so
I did it. I applied and I was so overjoyed to be accepted
to Wake Forest School of Medicine. My classmates have been wonderful and the
staff here has been wonderful as well.

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