Exchanging a job for a passion: A neurosurgeon’s story
John Seelmeyer, 9/12/2011
From Northern Nevada Business Weekly
Christopher Demers sat in a hospital room in 1996, waiting while his wife, Linda, gave birth to the couple’s first son.
Waiting and thinking, actually.
Waiting and thinking and preparing to make a breath-taking decision, all the more breath-taking because of the increased responsibilities that he would face as a father.
Christopher Demers prepared to chuck a successful, good-paying career in marketing and go back to school.
And not just any school. Medical school.
Today, Max, the son who was born that day, is a freshman at Reno High School. And Demers, who decided to start over, is starting over as a neurosurgeon in practice with Sierra Neurosurgery Group in Reno. For months before he sat in that hospital waiting room some 15 years ago, Demers had known that he needed to change direction.
You can read the rest of the story here. While Demers was (and probably still is) considerably younger than many readers of this blog, his story can be inspiring.
What made it work was that he chose a field where demand is so great that age discrimination doesn’t play a role. In some fields, a thirty-something professional would be considered too old for an entry level job. If Demers had decided to get a PhD in his early thirties, he would have been considered “older” and would not be considered for many university teaching jobs when he was ready to apply in his late 30s.
Additionally the path to the new career was well-defined and straightforward – even regulated. Once you jump through the hoops you are considered qualified.
Finally, Demers chose a field where he can be entrepreneurial. I know two lawyers who finished law school when they were consierably older than most of their classmates. One tried to find a job, but eventually ended up working for a corporation in a related field. Another opened her own practice, where she enjoyed success and found fulfillment.
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