I don't WANT to be a doctor

  1. I just want to vent a little. My family seems to have this thing about doctors. When I called my folks to tell them I was getting a divorce, the very first thing my Dad said was "Oh good, now you can be a doctor!" (uh, say what?) Last night I got a long long email from my brother telling me about a med school on Dominica island where "even you" could get an MD.

    Okay, people...try to get this...I WANT to be a nurse. Someday I may go back to school and get an NP, but that'll be because I want to be a Nurse Practitioner, NOT because I'm a frustrated wanna be doctor. I LIKE the way nurses care for the whole person. I LIKE the fact that we see the patient, not the disease. I don't want to be a doctor. Nope, Huh-uh, no way.

    But that means, in my family, I'm deliberately choosing to be a 'second class citizen'. And, I have to admit, it hurts my feelings just a little bit that they can't be proud of me for my choices. Getting my BSN as a single Mom with four kids (okay, most of them are out of the house now, but that doesn't mean they don't require mothering) has been HARD. And I'm proud of it. I just wish they could be proud for me too.
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   sunnyjohn
    Even though they are annoying as heck, your family means well.

    I told my daddy and mum in fifth grade I wanted to be a doctor. They haven't let up since. I might become a doctor some day, but I am going into nursing to be a nurse, not as a stepping stone.

    These days, I just smile and nod. Ya gotta love living 2000 miles away! My mum has gottten the hint and elbows dad when he starts in on the 'Dr. Sunny' bit.
  4. by   mommy2boys
    Family and friends can come off as being mean, rude, etc. when they think that they are encouraging you. I would just explain to them what you have said here about wanting to treat the whole person, that you have no desire to get a MD and maybe possibly becoming a NP. It is sad that many people see being a nurse as a stepping stone to being a MD, but many people don't know that nursing is a whole different field than being a doctor.

    When I told my family that I was going back to school to get my RN, they said that it was wonderful that "you finally decieded to go back to work because they were worried that I was wasting away at home and not living up to my potential". I know that they want me to be happy, and staying home (to raise my kids) for the last 4 years is what I chose to do. They also said "you are so smart, why not go to medical school".

    At first I was offended, how dare they look down on me for making the choices I have made, but then I relized that they were just "looking" out for me. Sometimes you just need to explain to them what you want to do and why and then most of the time they will be on your side. If they still cut you down, then ignore them.

    HTH
    ERin
  5. by   Halinja
    Quote from sunnyjohn
    Ya gotta love living 2000 miles away!
    LOL, Yep! Distance is a wonderful thing!
  6. by   Jo Dirt
    Well, lets see, remind them that it takes about 8-10 years longer and is 100 times harder to become an MD than an RN, and ask them why they think you would want to put yourself through that at this point in your life? Maybe you don't want to seem harsh to them but they don't seem to consider they are being pretty harsh themselves.
  7. by   clee1
    That can be either funny, or sad; depending on who says it and how it is said.

    Let's face it: most of us alive today have families that were reared to believe that being a Doctor or Lawyer was the absolute pinacle of professional and/or social achievement. They just cannot see that there are many more paths to professional and personal achievement than there were 2-3 generations ago.

    I recently told my brother, an attorney BTW, that he needed to step back from his "Ozzie and Harriet" or "Leave it to Beaver" mentality. The was NO WAY I was, at my age, going to medical school - and I wouldn't practice as a doctor if the proverbial "genie in the lamp" showed up and made me into one instantly. He was astounded by my response.

    I know several doctors well; a few very well. 95% have told me that if they had to do it all over again (considering the educational years and expense, the cost of malpractice insurance, and the hassles of dealing with the managed care era we are in) they'd have rather become NPs.
  8. by   JoeyDog
    Just explain to them why you chose to be a nurse and what it means to you, what aspects appeal to you about nursing, and why they should be proud of your decision. Tell them nursing school is so competitive that it is a major accomplishment just to be accepted into a program. I would also tell them about the down side of being a doctor. Long hours, never home, stress up the wazoo, 11 years of schooling, can't switch departments when you get bored with your specialty/dislike your co workers, just not the right fit for you, ect.

    Remember that they mean well, and although you are an adult with children of your own you will always be their child (thats what my mom tells me anyway).
  9. by   Halinja
    Quote from clee1

    I wouldn't practice as a doctor if the proverbial "genie in the lamp" showed up and made me into one instantly.
    :yeahthat:
  10. by   Antikigirl
    Holly cow! I don't ever want to be an MD! I thought of med school...thought I would make a rather cool MD...but then I looked at what it is like to be an MD!

    School, internship, on call, being a slave to your cel phone, never being able to make plans, heavy pt loads, responsibility to your patients weather they did what you prescribed or not, lots of legal issues to worry about (much more CYA), having to be everyones probelm solver and most times needed right NOW, never seeing your family, clinic THEN hospital to check on your pts, having to know millions of things but nothing can be known specifically, keeping up with the latest and greatest meds and treatments (which seem to change weekly), having to give bad news, and having to keep it all straight in case someone calls at 2am and you certainly don't have their chart handy!

    No thanks! I rather like that I go to work, and go home! Most of my MD's lately have looked like they crawled back out of the grave! Most are sick and still having to work, and wow...they have been a bit crabby lately! LOL!

    I really felt it when we changed over to a new system of medication reconsiliation and if there is the slightest probelm...we have to call them night or day to ask a question of them. IE, we had a patient on Ambien CR and my pharm doesn't have it...we had to call the MD at 2300 and ask if we could substitute Ambien 10 mg! SHEESH!!!!!!!!! (the patient had a long surgery and recovery time and didn't hit the floor till then). I would not be happy if I was that MD... I even saw someone call over a colace at 2200! A COLACE! Sheesh! Give em a prune juice and brand muffin for goodness sakes and leave it for the AM!

    Anywhooooooo...those are just a few reason I don't want to be an MD!
  11. by   augigi
    Luckily my mum is a nurse, so she always agrees "who would be a doctor?" - with the lifestyle sacrifices, hours, training, etc etc.

    Plus, I LIKE the work nurses do. I hate it when people say "oh, you're so smart you should have done medicine".. well, er.. nurses are smart too! If I want to further my education, I'd rather do it in nursing!
  12. by   Halinja
    School, internship, on call, being a slave to your cel phone, never being able to make plans, heavy pt loads, responsibility to your patients weather they did what you prescribed or not, lots of legal issues to worry about (much more CYA), having to be everyones probelm solver and most times needed right NOW, never seeing your family, clinic THEN hospital to check on your pts, having to know millions of things but nothing can be known specifically, keeping up with the latest and greatest meds and treatments (which seem to change weekly), having to give bad news, and having to keep it all straight in case someone calls at 2am and you certainly don't have their chart handy!
    Exactly! Why would anyone do that to themselves ON PURPOSE!

    Plus, I LIKE the work nurses do. I hate it when people say "oh, you're so smart you should have done medicine".. well, er.. nurses are smart too! If I want to further my education, I'd rather do it in nursing!
    Thank you! It is sooooo nice to hear other people feel that way too!
  13. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Quote from Halinja
    But that means, in my family, I'm deliberately choosing to be a 'second class citizen'.
    My family felt the same way when I decided to do nursing. I had been considering many other educational programs before deciding on nursing, such as engineering, science, math, paramedics. My family really didn't express any interest for or against any of my options and had left my choices completely up to me with no input from them....until I chose nursing. Suddenly my parents were begging me to at least become a paramedic if I really wanted to do health care 'but dear God, not nursing'. My family totally sees it as a second class profession, and since my decision we just don't talk about my choice. Nursing never comes up in conversation, and is never mentioned.

    No one in my family has ever been sick (thankfully), so I think their only impression of nurses/nursing is what they see on House, ER, and Greys.....which isn't the best portrayal of the profession. Doctors are always made to look like the good guys, doing everything and being there for the family and patients. Nurses are portrayed by the media as if we are second class citizens, so no wonder people who've never been in contact with nurses feel that way. I totally disagree, but can see where that viewpoint might come from.

    Anyways, back to the OP.....I hear ya!
  14. by   purplemania
    Are you involved in ANA or some other professional organization? That would develop your professional growth and help you network with other nurses. It might even show the fam that nurses ARE professionals. I think they are "encouraging" rather than putting you down because you have accomplished a lot already. Just gently remind them of your contentment.

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