These four women decided to become doctors later in life

They tell their stories

Training to become a doctor in middle age is not easy. We hear from four women who have taken the plunge.


Debbie Gillon, 52, Flinders University School of Medicine

There are pros and cons to learning medicine with an older brain. On the one hand, it’s let me set aside a bit of the emotional stuff when things have gotten tough. But an older brain also means you have to work a little harder at remembering things.

I was 40, and my youngest daughters were getting older when I turned my sights to medicine.

When I was younger, I had wanted to be a nurse, but having left high school in year 10, I wasn’t able to get into a nursing course. Instead, I entered a year 12 equivalent tertiary-enabling program to see if I was suited to university.

No one in my family had been to uni before, but I learnt how to write an essay and do the research, as

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