HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – CBS has a new medical show about a woman embarking on a second career, midlife.

There’s a doctor in New Jersey who can relate.

CBS’s new show “Carol’s Second Act” is about a 50-year-old medical intern.

“I was like, wow, I had the exact same experience that she had in the trailer, where they thought I was a senior attending,” said Dr. Herman Morchel of Hackensack University Medical Center. “I was 52 when I started residency.”

He was decades older than his fellow interns.

“They thought I was a senior attending. They thought I was an official, and I’m like ‘Hey guys, no, I’m one of you,'” Dr. Morchel said.

After a few days he said they forgot about the age gap.

Web Extra: ‘Carol’s Second Act’ Star Patricia Heaton Chats With Chris Wragge

Dr. Morchel works at Hackensack University Medical Center where, among other things, teaching young residents mostly in their 20s. Except for 37-year-old Roopa Avula, who felt an instant connection with Dr. Morchel.

“We’re what they call nontraditional medical students in this field,” Avula said.

Before med school, she taught music.

“I had a long career in electronics systems engineering,” Dr. Morchel said.

Volunteer work with a local ambulance squad in town led to some medical classes and eventually medical school.

But the doctor hasn’t abandoned his first career. He’s using his engineering expertise on the job, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.

“I’m engineering director and medical director for a fleet of disaster response mobile hospitals that we have,” he said.

His unique background and life experience has made it easier for him to talk to patients and their loved ones.

As for a third act? He says he’s good, for now.

So what does he like to do in his spare time? Work on cars and his house with his wife.


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