Looking for advice! NP vs. MD

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    Hi all, I'm 22 and graduated from college this past Spring. I was pre-med all throughout college, although a little part of me had always worried about whether medicine was really a good fit for me because of my desire to have a big family and spend a decent amount of time at home raising kids. I've been back and forth between doctor and nurse practitioner for the past few years, and was frustrated that I couldn't confidently make a decision and decided to apply to medical school anyway. Yesterday I found out I was accepted. I'm so excited, but at the same time I really want to think this decision through and not jump into medical school just because it's right there in front of me. My concerns about medical school are I want to have several children when I'm older (after finishing residency), and be able to work part time for awhile at least while my kids are young (not sure what route I want to go but currently interested in peds). I'm worried that after I'm done residency around age 30 or so, I'll have so much debt from school that working part time and starting a family won't be very realistic. I think NP would be more flexible in regards to this, and schooling is not as long so I would be able to have kids earlier, but I know if I choose this path some little part of me will always wonder if I would have been more satisfied being a physician (and especially knowing I got this far).

    For any NPs willing to respond, do you find your career just as exciting and rewarding as those of your physician co-workers? Do you ever regret not going the med school route? I'm a scribe so I work with docs, PAs, and NPs in the ER everyday, but nonetheless am having a hard time deciding. I feel like I won't REALLY know what a career as an NP or MD will be like until I'm there. And of course I feel silly trying to "plan" my future with when I want to get married, how many kids I want, etc., but I can't help thinking about it! Any advice or insight will be greatly appreciated!
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    can't help from a NP perspective, but as someone who has been in your exact shoes i offer you my decision.....I was pre-med all through college, had pressures to go all the way in this field...however, when it came down to it and i was able to make a clear decision because med school become a viable option for me, i decided that in the end there were so many other valuable and desirable things in life that i could achieve with both a career and family and not sacrifice one or the other for very long. Becoming a doctor was not going to give me that which i wanted. Nursing and becoming a NP will, and I am so excited about the journey that lays ahead. If you know what specialty, especially, that you want to go into, but its a demanding specialty, as an NP you'll be glad you went this route. I want a big family as well and having a very satisfying and rewarding career. As a NP, i really believe it is possible---you can have it all! However, if you feel you'll have any regrets, think long and hard about it. Med school is a huge commitment and is not to be taken lightly. Make a list of your priorities because in life nothing is guaranteed....good luck feel free to ask any other questions you may have
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    As a FNP - I like my job, but if I could start all over - I'd be a dermatologist or plastic surgeon/ENT/OMFS (probably not OMFS as that life can suck too).

    If you want to be an MD - go be an MD. If you want to be a nurse - go be a nurse. I just had a PT today asking similar questions - I told her the same thing. Don't muck around going from layer upon layer of nursing if being a provider is the end game. Skip the nonsense, go to med school, get a real residency, and go be a doc that never has to answer any questions again.
    FCMike11 likes this.
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    If given the choice and knowing what I know as a relatively new FNP (a little over one year experience) I would say go to med school and don't look back. Also if you can specialise then all the better. As an MD you will get better education, more money, more opportunities, more respect, better networking. It's a no-brainer. If u r concerned about loans then go with govt repayment assistance where there are jobs that have loan forgiveness. U might work in less desirable areas for a few years but if u r not worried about that then could be a good option. As an NP I know for a fact that finding clinical rotations was pretty much left up to the student. it's a roll of the dice on what kind of precepting u will get unfortunately. Since I had worked for a number of years in bedside nursing prior to NP school I felt that it gave me an advantage to those who hadn't worked long as nurses or worked admin or school nursing where they didn't have the exposure to giving meds, seeing variety, etc. it's not like NP school is cheap either.
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    As a new NP at my first job, my advice is go with your heart. For me, it was about being a nurse first. The education, the values, the way we care for patients (I think) is different from an MD. I take care of the whole person, not just their abdominal pain. I think you have to think long and hard about what you want to accomplish and how you want to be trained. Don't get me wrong, I love the MDs that I work with and I respect them and am very aware of the fact that they know A LOT more about medicine than me. But, to me, that is not what it is all about. It is much more than that. I would suggest you sit down and think about how you define "health" and go from there.

    On a side note: I love the fact that I am not on call, working weekends, or reading xrays and writing notes all night at home. When I am done at 5PM (or so), I go home and have my own life. My nursing values define me as a person; I am not defined by my job title.
    snapjacks, kimanh, fromtheseaRN, and 3 others like this.
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    Quote from SomeKindOfWonderful
    As a new NP at my first job, my advice is go with your heart. For me, it was about being a nurse first. The education, the values, the way we care for patients (I think) is different from an MD. I take care of the whole person, not just their abdominal pain. I think you have to think long and hard about what you want to accomplish and how you want to be trained. Don't get me wrong, I love the MDs that I work with and I respect them and am very aware of the fact that they know A LOT more about medicine than me. But, to me, that is not what it is all about. It is much more than that. I would suggest you sit down and think about how you define "health" and go from there.

    On a side note: I love the fact that I am not on call, working weekends, or reading xrays and writing notes all night at home. When I am done at 5PM (or so), I go home and have my own life. My nursing values define me as a person; I am not defined by my job title.
    Very well defined.
    fromtheseaRN and ShifraPuah like this.
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    I love being a nurse (not a NP but had the advance courses) but in hindsight I would have loved being a pharmacist. I would own the business and have regular hours. That said I have almost the same with nursing so i am happy. I say go for it because you only live once.
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    My dad was a physician. It's a hard life in many respects. I always dreamed of being a NP because I guess I secretly wanted to be a doctor too but without being on call, being awaken at night for emergencies, and all the heavy responsibility and weight of life and death decisions. Med school is long and hard but if you love learning and don't mind a life of sacrifice I'd say go for it. They are two similar but very different paths.
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    I am an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice. Nursing and medicine are disperate but complementary entities. I like to say that the best physicians practice nursing without a license. In the hospital, I see stroke patients. My census is generally 5-15 patients. My Hospitalist colleagues see anywhere from 20-35/day. I have the joy of getting to know and understand my patients, learn what is meaningful to them, and how they define recovery. Physicians are trained to cure disease. That is the medical education model. Nurses are trained to treat patients' responses to illness and injury. A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice NURSE, with a medical tool kit (if you will). An NP working in the hospital, especially in a specialty service, has a very fulfilling career. I get to engage with, educate, learn from, and partner with my patients and significantly impact the quality of their care. Because I have time to listen to patients and thoroughly review their charts, I find an error or omission on nearly every case. Often I find several. It is also M-F 8 hrs/day. If this sounds like what you want, then by all means, become an NP or better yet, a doctor of nursing practice. If you are really stuck on the medical model, have you considered becoming a Physician's Assistant? You would not be a Licensed Independent Provider like an NP, but you would have medicine without a lot of the hassles.
    snapjacks, fromtheseaRN, TRR8021, and 1 other like this.
  12. 0
    Quote from kindaquazie
    I am an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice. Nursing and medicine are disperate but complementary entities. I like to say that the best physicians practice nursing without a license. In the hospital, I see stroke patients. My census is generally 5-15 patients. My Hospitalist colleagues see anywhere from 20-35/day. I have the joy of getting to know and understand my patients, learn what is meaningful to them, and how they define recovery. Physicians are trained to cure disease. That is the medical education model. Nurses are trained to treat patients' responses to illness and injury. A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice NURSE, with a medical tool kit (if you will). An NP working in the hospital, especially in a specialty service, has a very fulfilling career. I get to engage with, educate, learn from, and partner with my patients and significantly impact the quality of their care. Because I have time to listen to patients and thoroughly review their charts, I find an error or omission on nearly every case. Often I find several. It is also M-F 8 hrs/day. If this sounds like what you want, then by all means, become an NP or better yet, a doctor of nursing practice. If you are really stuck on the medical model, have you considered becoming a Physician's Assistant? You would not be a Licensed Independent Provider like an NP, but you would have medicine without a lot of the hassles.
    this is exactly why I am applying to NP programs! very well put.


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