Nurse Anesthesia or Dentistry? Which career choice would you choose? - page 2

First of all, here is a little background on me: I am have just gotten my degree IN psychology from a Canadian university, cGPA: 3.6, science GPA:3.4. For the past year, I have been looking into 2... Read More

  1. Visit  CanuckStudent profile page
    Fiona59 said it best.

    1.) Canada doesn't use CRNAs. Some people are not aware of this. We don't have them. Our standards are different in healthcare. Only MDs can be anesthetists. MacMaster (I believe) has started a 'anesthesiology assistant' program that accepts nurses, but it is not the same scope (not even close) as a CRNA.

    If you want to be a CRNA, you need to get the documentation to move to the States, get accepted to a school in the States, and take the long hard road as Fiona59 pointed out. Also, you need a BSN (not any other degree) to apply to the CRNA programs, and experience working in critical care. They only want the brightest and best.

    2.) Which leads me to...your grades. A GPA of 3.6 is not competitive for Canadian med or dental schools with few exceptions (I.e. your MCAT or DAT score is extremely high and your ECs are stellar). In most cases, you simply won't make the cutoff. I suppose I can only really speak for Canadian med schools (you need typically AT LEAST a 3.7), but dentistry can be just as tough. I know people who have applied to both with GPAs from 3.9-4.0. I'm not kidding. I'm not saying this to discourage you by any means, just letting you know what you need to improve if you are serious about dentistry.

    Also, if you only have a 3.6 GPA with primarily arts courses, you may find it tough to get a 3.7 when you are taking Organic Chem, physics, calculus, etc. the classes typically needed for dentistry. Pre-med and pre-dental pre-reqs are generally the same. I know because I had pre-dents in many classes and have looked up the pre-reqs out of curiosity. Usually pre-professional (Dentistry, Meds, Vet Med, etc.) classes are the same. What science classes did you take as part of your degree? Many general bio and chem courses for arts majors are not acceptable for dentistry.

    Also, medicine requires that you have a full course load, and dentistry usually does as well. So if at any point your classes dropped beyond a full load, your grades for that semester will (likely) not count. You will need an additional semester of FT classes. Not saying that you did, but some people don't realize this. For example, nursing pre-reqs can be often completed part time, no one cares. Not so with medicine or dentistry. It's not hard to get a GPA of 3.5 taking a few classes at a time. It's something else to balance full pre-med/dent classes (including 'GPA killers' like O Chem) and still pull out a 3.7 or greater.

    3.) I often come off as abrasive, so please don't think I'm attacking you. I'm definitely not. I'm simply just trying to give you a heads up. Since it seems like you didn't know what you wanted to do until now, it's not like you would know this. I HIGHLY suggest that you meet with an admissions/academic advisor at your school (or the school you wish to apply to) who can advise how to proceed. If you are looking at the US for CRNA, you'll need to figure out if it will be best to do your BSN here (perhaps with an accelerated program as you are a degree holder), or in the US. I don't know which works out better when you factor in relocation, if the school only admits Americans, etc. Also, while you can come back and work as a dentist in Canada, you will likely pay much more in tuition. And some professional schools may not admit anyone other than Americans. Call around.

    Only you can decide which you would prefer, the two practices are completely different. Also, Canada doesn't have the 'malpractice' issues that the US does. Feel free to PM if you require further info. I do also agree that you need to check out pre-med/pre-dental forums.
    Last edit by CanuckStudent on Jul 18, '09
    Fiona59 likes this.
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  3. Visit  markuskristian profile page
    Actually no. ^^^ U. of Toronto has just started working towards developing nurse anesthetists:
    Students must pass an AA graduate exam [assuming that's the only close standard they can use with this young program] however they are NPs that train for anesthesia.
  4. Visit  CanuckStudent profile page
    Quote from markuskristian
    Actually no. ^^^ U. of Toronto has just started working towards developing nurse anesthetists:
    Students must pass an AA graduate exam [assuming that's the only close standard they can use with this young program] however they are NPs that train for anesthesia.
    That may be so but this role is not the same as CRNAs in the US as far as I can infer. It will be primarily an 'assistant' role under an MD. Until there is a licensing body for CRNAs in Canada and the role is accepted (if ever), I would be hesitant to suggest this route for someone who wants the scope of a CRNA.

    I don't see anything here that says that these nurses will be functioning the role that you think they will. "Care" does not meant administering in the same independent capacity as CRNAs do in the US. At least from what I can tell. No offense, but I wouldn't let anyone touch me to put me under with that kind of limited training. Nowadays, patients are sicker than ever and often have multiple comorbidities. There is no way someone with the education listed here should be allowed to independently handle cases.
    Last edit by CanuckStudent on Jul 19, '09

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