Hey guys

  1. I have not started nursing school....yet. I still am undecided whether or not I want to be a CRNA or MD. I've always wanted to do anesthesia, for as long as I can remember. Part of me wants to be a CRNA, but the other part wants to be a MD. I think i'd be happy being either. If I did go to med school i'd probably not do anesthesia, although I can't say for sure. I believe i'd like to get into Cardiothoracic or Transplant surgery. I have thought about doing this: Going through Nursing school, and while going take the prereqs for med school also, apply for med school after MCAT. And when the time comes to be able to apply to anesthesia school apply, and try to get it to one of them. What does this sound like? I know it probably sounds like a "What-if" situation, but it's not! Please tell me your thoughts on this and if you had trouble deciding CRNA or MD.

    Thanks,
    Brett
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   lgcv
    Sounds like a good choice to me. You leave all your options open until you make your decision.
  4. by   WntrMute2
    I think you might want to decide who you are first. Nurses and Drs have almost diametrically opposed philosophies. Nuses are pt oriented while Drs are problem/disease oriented. Who protects the pt against harm? Not the Doc, Who puts those side rails up? Not the Doc. Who makes sure the right pt is getting the right procedure? Not a Doc, a nurse does. Who pushes the Docs to do the right thing? The NURSE! Very different animals. Nursing is not being almost a DR. Different mentality, decide who you are. Sorry for the rant, flame away.
  5. by   lgcv
    Since your in high school, you have plenty of time to decide who you are. Keep your options open.
  6. by   ma kettle
    There was an article in the Time magazine stating the large loans that the new MDs are aquiring.were a cause for alarm for many.
    It indicated that these loans, combined with high malpractice premiums and now low insurance returns, are causing many not to go into this profession. It use to be that doctors could make up there debt with a few years. I suppose that there will always be internships and grants. I know of a young doctor now that is paying very large loans for his education. And because he is an associate in an established group he is not getting much of a return, or so he claims. He moonlights at the local hospital at night to make up the difference. He states he is working between 60 and 80 hours a week. Then when I recently asked him "What 's new/" he States he bought a new coffee maker. I initially tought he was kidding . But I some realized he was serious.
    I guess the point I am trying to make here is this. If your heart is in what ever it is you decide to do. None of this other stuff will matter. Just make sure your motivation is not just the all mighty dollar$. It may never pan out. Good luck with your decision, I am glad I am not making it.
  7. by   tom4333
    This post may be late, but you need to consider what you really want. If surgery is your choice then don't waste time and money with a nursing degree. Get your undergrad in Biology. From there, given your personal circumstances, you can then branch out towards the direction of choice. An undergrad degree in Biology is a good base for Nursing or Medicine. An Associate degree in Nursing will get you into a CRNA program after a year of Critical Care Nursing. Or, follow up your Biology base with an application to Med School. Don't reinvent the wheel however. Make a clear choice and advance towards it. Time and money will restrict some of your options but don't paint yourself into a corner by limiting your terminal career goal.
  8. by   meandragonbrett
    Sandy, I'm not in it for the money! Thanks for your post! Thanks for all of the other info guys. I really believe that my heart is in anesthesia. I'm just interested in transplant surgery because my best friend died in october of 01 during her second liver transplant. *cause of death was Portal and Hepatic Hypertension. They ran out of blood in the hospital to give her. She had Budd-Chiarri syndrome, some of you may have heard of it. She was like the 6th or 7th case in the US, it's a clotting disorder that causes clotts in the liver. Anyway, i'm still leaving my options open. I just wanted to see what you guys would say.

    Thanks,
    Brett
  9. by   ufmatt
    you mentioned in your post that an Associates degree in nursing will get one into CRNA school. There aren't any schools that will accept someone without a Bachelor's degree (not Associate). just wanted to let you know

    matt
  10. by   meandragonbrett
    matt,
    I believe you CAN go to CRNA school w\just an ADN, but you have to have a BS in addition to the ADN, and the BS doesn't have to be in Nursing. BTW- I've decdied to go the CRNA route.

    Brett

    if that's not what you're talking about matt, disregard this post
  11. by   BRobison
    Dave: I appreciated your statement:
    "Nursing is not being almost a doctor."
    Succinct, and oh, SO true! Wish doctors could understand that!
  12. by   nrw350
    Go in to become CRNA. I know that is a bold statement. But if you have a kind heart and want to be there for the patient before, during, and after the surgery then it leaves 2 options. One is a nurse, the other is a CRNA. Since you are very informed on the area, and like it so much I say go for it.

    Nick
  13. by   Qwiigley
    Brett; I have recently gone thru the process of applying to CRNA school. I have 5 years experience in a Level III Pediatric Trauma center's PICU. My BSN gpa was 3.6 from an extremely competitive and reputable college/nursing school. Do you know with all that, I was not a shoe-in for CRNA school. In So. Cal., at least it is very competitive. Many of the applicants have their master's degrees in nursing and have 4.0 gpa.
    When you go through nursing school, and decide later what career you want to continue with, I would suggest a BSN minimum. Many more doors will open for you. An associate degree will allow you to practice nursing, but you will remain a task oriented nurse and not a critical thinker. Critical thinking, you will find, is the key. I personally love being a bedside PICU nurse.
    I am going on to become a CRNA this fall because after long hard thinking and working in the field, I found that this is what my calling is. You want to be able to say, I am 1). proud to be a nurse 2). I am proud to be a CRNA. IF you are constantly comparing yourself to an MD, then you can not say those two things. Each has a different job and is proud of what they do. It is not interchangable. Good luck
  14. by   Tenesma
    As a lurker on this forum, I figured I'd throw my 2 cents in ....

    The choice between CRNA and MD is a very difficult one... To be quite honest I think most of the lay public is not even aware of CRNAs, so most people who become CRNAs tend not to have that as their goal when they start nursing... only during their nursing training, or even later during the course of their work do they realize what a wonderful jewel CRNA is!!! I would argue that you (meandragonbrett) belong to the exceptions.... The total opposite is evident for medicine, because there are a lot of people out there who want to be doctors even before they really know what it entails...

    As a resident physician it is kinda obvious which choice I made. Both professions are very noble and both professions have totally different mentalities and training... I chose to become a doctor because I wanted to be the last man standing - I wanted to bear every responsibility for the patient's care/treatment/outcome/palliation(and possible demise) on my own shoulders. With this responsibility came a lot of sacrifice.... Medical school was rough - the amount of knowledge poured down our throats was mindboggling. Internship and Residency is even rougher - the long hours, the lack of sleep.... BUT WORST OF ALL: the sacrifice of your social life... My friends (nurses, lawyers, businesspeople,etc.) have married, bought houses, drive nice cars, spend their weekends with family and friends, and are always asking me why I look so tired. My other friends (MDs) and I are losing relationships (just ask any nurse what it is like dating a doc...), losing money (>100,000 bucks in debt)..... In retrospect do i think the sacrifice is worth it? Some days, absolutely... Some other days I scratch my head in bewilderment! Would I change my mind and do it differently? NEVER, this is an unbelievable experience and I would never give it up.

    Now from the outsider's perspective on CRNAs: great job, great future, fun environment, great salary, great hours... and this is available to RNs with ICU experience and 2 years of master's training!!!! sounds good to me! But only CRNAs can explain why they chose to be a CRNA...

    Just so you know the training for transplant surgery (assuming we are talking general transplant - not cardio/thoracic transpl) is:
    4 years of med school, 5 to 7 years of general surgery residency (the extra year or two are for research as it is required by some programs, and if you want to get into a good transplant program - you will need research anyway) and then 2 to 3 years of transplant surgery.... so that is 11 to 14 more years of training and salary <50k (while accumulating debt/interest) after you finish your bachelors... nothing to sneeze at. I have a buddy who is one year out of transplant surg. fellowship, finally making a good buck (still on call every 3rd night)... who just got Hep C from a patient. He is now 36, with hepatic failure and just now realizes he spent his whole life in the hospital...

    I don't know if this helps or not, feel free to ask more questions

    Tenesma

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Hey guys