Dear Dr. Rex Russell,

Thank you for your very helpful answers about all things anesthesiology! They've been a great help -- informed, intelligent, reasonable, and generous, and I appreciate them. Could I please ask you a question as well?

My background is I have a previous degree in computer science and worked in the computer industry for a number of years before deciding to begin the long process of medical school. I'm now approximately halfway through medical school. I'm hoping to become an anesthesiologist. However, my problem is I'm currently 38 years old. I should be about 40-41 years old when I begin residency, and 45-46 when I finish (since I hope to do a fellowship).

I'm not certain if I'd like to end up in private practice or academics. I'm open to both. I believe I'm healthy and fit, run regularly and eat well, and otherwise long hours and late nights and all-nighters aren't the most pleasant experience but they don't really take a toil on me as far as I can tell. I'm prepared to work as hard as any other individual, and do all I can wherever I end up, whether private practice or academics.

My question is -- do you think it will be difficult for me to be hired in my mid-40s either in private practice or academics?

Thank you for taking the time to read my message, and thank you for your help!

Being in your 40's shouldn't be a big deal. A bigger factor will be a combination of the current market for anesthesiologist's and your ability to sale yourself and your willingness to be a hard, dependable worker who is also competent.  If you are a fit looking 40 something being older may be an advantage.
Good luck


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Rex Russell


Any question dealing with general anesthesia issues. With particular emphasis on regional anesthesia.


I am a board certified anesthesiologist, graduated from residency in 2004 from Johns Hopkins Hospital. I have since worked as an anesthesiologist first in the Air Force for three years and then most recently in Texas in Private Practice.

Texas Medical Association Texas society of Anesthesiologists American Society of Anesthesiologists

BS, BYU MD, U of Texas, Galveston Intern-St. Joe's Hospital, Phx, AZ Internal Medicine Residency-Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

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