Saturday, November 17, 2007

Oldies but Goodies

"There is no age limit for applications."

I was pleasantly surprised to see this in a recent mass mailing I received from a certain medical association calling for applicants for specialist traineeship.

2 years ago, in a similar letter (I guess they send one out every year), I noticed an age limit in place for applicants. When asked by a director in the public health institution I was working in at the time whether or not I was going to apply for traineeship, I gave him a wry smile & said that I was too old. Admittedly, I was flattered by the look of surprise on his face when he realized that this lowly M.O. was already the mother of a teen & a pre-teen (at the time) & already over-aged for such lofty ambitions (sarcasm intended).

So why the change in policy now? If I had to make an educated guess, I would say it is to try to make up for the perceived lack of doctors in the public sector. Whether or not this will make more senior doctors step up to the plate...we can only wait & see.

I am glad the age limit has been abolished (for now, anyway). After all, in this day & age, 40 is hardly considered over-the-hill. Yes, the eyes may be starting to go a bit, & some of us need reading glasses to read the small print; and the reflexes may not be as good as, say, a decade ago. But the brain power is still there. Plus the added years of experience of practising general family medicine I think is a huge advantage.

But I wonder how this will affect the teacher-trainee relationship, especially if the trainee is one who was already practising medicine when his teacher was still struggling with the PSLE! It will be interesting, to say the least!

So does this mean that I am considering applying? Nah...not right now. But who knows? Five years from now, when I am an empty-nester, I may reconsider it. But by then, the policy may have changed again...

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