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New Patient Story

  • Location: San Pedro,
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I never let age stop me. In my late 50s, I decided it was time to start a second career, from strategic communications to hospital chaplaincy. I needed a career that better aligned my personal values with my worklife. This decision was not without its challenges. It required returning to school for a master's degree, followed by 18 months of Clinical Pastoral Education at a Level 1 trauma center with weekly 24/7 on-call shifts. It also required endorsement by the Episcopal church, which itself is no small undertaking. Undaunted, I took it one day at a time. My goal was to complete my education by age 60. And I did it! Two weeks before my birthday, I graduated with high distinction with my husband and two adult children on hand to watch me receive my diploma. Then, on my actual 60th birthday, my church community commissioned me for hospital chaplaincy. Two months later, I finished my residency...exhausted but excited to be looking for a job. One last hurdle remained: obtaining board certification from the Association of Professional Chaplains. I checked that box at age 63. My advice for anyone: you are NEVER too old to reach for your dreams and make a difference. That said, be sure to pace yourself. Self-care and wellness are important factors for success!