DO (school) in anesthesiology or CRNA school

  1. I am a new member. Discovered you guys about a year and a half ago and tap in every now and then and read discussions. Great site! Great discussions. I have a question I am hoping you can help me with. First a little background. I am 46 and my wife is 41. After years of working in the computer industry my job was sent to India! My wife has never worked out side the home. After much research and debate we both decided to go back to school and we are currently enrolled in a ASN program. We decided to become nurses for two reasons. One - we wanted to be able to come home each day and know that we really made a difference in peoples lives, (I have spent months working in the past without being able to answer yes to this question). Two - You can not send sick people to India!!! (Job Security). Since being in nursing school we have found we love it. We love the clinicals and working with patients. My wife even more! She is getting straight A's in every class. (She had no previous college experience)! Well this is our background. Sorry for the wordiness. Here is the $60,000 dollar question. As far as difficulty getting into school - which would be easier, DO in anesthesiology or CRNA. From reading your discussions it seems virtually impossible to get into a CRNA program, whereas there are a lot of doctor of osteopathy programs out there. It seems to me that it would be easier to get into a DO program and upon graduation become an anesthesiologist - and you would make more $ too! Am I off base on this?? Look forward to your comments.
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  2. 72 Comments

  3. by   crazyivan
    I believe DO school would require the following: 4 years of undergrad, 4 years DO school, and I think maybe 6 years of residency (unsure of this one) also anesthesiology slots are very very competative at the MD/DO level.
  4. by   zambezi
    I wish you luck. Either way you have alot of school ahead of you. If you went the CRNA route: 2 years ASN, 1-2 years for BSN, at least one year critical care nursing full time ( I say full time because you could potentially work while getting your BSN but that leaves you not alot of time for family, etc). After at least that year, you have two years CRNA school.
    For the DO you have to have your four years undergrad, four years medical school, residency (which I am not sure how long that is...)

    Either way, you are looking at at, minimum: 5 years CRNA and assuming you already have a bachelors in something probably 5-9 years DO with anesthesia residency. Anyway, I wish you luck. I think that both ways would be tough to do. I am sure that others will have more information for you with thier experiences.
  5. by   suzanne4
    I would highly recommend that you try to "shadow" a CRNA for a day and see if you really like it first of all. You may actually find that you like another area of nursing that you prefer while you are completing your nursing program.
    Either way, you should consider age also into this. You have been used to working the same hours all of the time in a set schedule, with anesthesia that goes out the window. You will be bouncing all over in terms of hours worked, and shifts worked. At many hospitals, they also have twenty four hour shifts. Do you feel that this is something that you would be able to handle? I have nothing against age, I am in the same ball park as you, but I would seriously reconsider a specialty at this point. Remember that during your CRNA program, you will not have an income coming in, same thing if you decide to pursue the DO/MD route. But you will also have the living expenses and tuition fees. This is something else to consider.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  6. by   zinnia27
    In my experience I do not recall ever seeing a DO anesthesiologist. You would be more marketable if you completed crna school or med school. Residency for anesthesia is 1 year of general internship and then you do 4 years of anesthesia. Good luck.
  7. by   duckboy20
    I would also recommend shadowing a crna/md to see if you really like anesthesia before that is what you decide to do. Like they said it is a lot of school either way, what you could do is get your BSN then apply to both. You do have to work at least one year critical care before CRNA school though. Good Luck!
  8. by   jrvb
    Zinnia-

    What do you mean by saying "Youd be better off going to med school"? What do you think a DO is? I have worked with two DO anesthesiologists. They are just as qualified so your choice would be, "do I want to be a doctor or crna?".

    Mantibob-
    Instead of figuring out what would be easier to get into why dont you decide what you want to do. Maybe you should graduate from your ASN program and see if you even like patient care. If your wife is getting straight A's maybe she should apply-not you.
  9. by   TraumaNurse
    I agree with with jrvb, you have to decide whether you want to be a doctor or a nurse. Personally, I think since you are in an ASN program, you should finish your BSN, work in ICU and apply to CRNA school. CRNA school is very competitive, but so is medical school and getting into an anesthesia residency.
    One of my questions in my interview for CRNA school was if I knew the difference b/w CRNAs and Anesthesiologists roles. Learn the answer to this and you may be better able to decide what you want to do.
  10. by   Brenna's Dad
    MDA residency is 4 years + fellowship = five.
  11. by   suzanne4
    One thing that always puzzles me about many of these questions, before which deciding what route to take...................have you ever been inside of an actual operating room and aware of what goes on in there or picking anesthesia because of the salary and perks? I think many of you that are applying to CRNA programs really should spend time in an OR and see if you really like that type of thing to begin with. I love the OR and prefer it over everything else, but I am also aware of all of the different areas and have experience in most (except Land D). Anesthesia is what I wanted to do when I chose nursing school and left my pharmacy school program half way through. But, back then once I finished and while I was getting my year experience, I found that I liked the ER much better at the time. Pick something that you like because you love what you are doing, not because of the paycheck. You will be much happier.
  12. by   suzanne4
    Also remember that for much of your time, your patient will be sleeping so you won't be spending that much time talking with them. A different type of hands-on nursing.
  13. by   sway
    So far these responses are good, except I think people are underestimating what it takes to get in to med school. your ASN will mean practically nothing. If you get a BSN (which you'll need), you'll still need to take a year of inorganic chem, a year of O-chem, a year of physics (the kind that uses calculus), microbiology and mollecular biology. If you're thinking "I'm already taking some of those classes for nursing school", think again. The med school councelors practically were choking back the laughter when I described my organic/biochem class I took. Same with my micro class.

    Also, remember that even if you have a BSN, you'll be competing for med school slots almost exclusively with people who majored in "pre med", microbiology, or other hard sciences. An ASN to BSN isn't exactally very competitive.

    I'm not saying it's impossible, but warning you not to underestimate what it takes to endure med school. CRNA school is tough, but it is short because it is so focused on a specific skill. In med school (and especially DO school) you'll spend years (and thousands of dollars) learning about things that have absolutely nothing to do with anesthesia. I think you're looking at about 10 years of full-time-hard-core school AFTER you get your BSN, and probably in the neighborhood of $200,000 of debt. That's not where I want to be when I'm in my 50s.
  14. by   mommyof2grls
    2 of my classmates from BSN program were torn between CRNA and Becoming a Phys. ( had not decided which areas to go into) Both had at least a 3.9 overall GPA, and did Excellent on the MAT(is that the right one?), and both were accepted to atleast one program I know of. They had taken the basic undergrad courses required, but instead of taking say..Chem 110 for health professionals they took 111 gen Chem etc. Neither one went that route and both are CRNA's now and very happy with their decision. Both say that for the time, education and money they are very happy with their role as CRNA's and if they had to do it all over again would go the same route.

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