nurse vs. doctor - page 2

I am a sophomore in college trying to decide whether I should continue towards being a doctor or changing to nursing school. I don't want to wait until really late in my schooling to decide that I... Read More

  1. by   Teshiee
    In my opinion you should see both worlds. Talk to both sides of the coin. Nurses don't have to go to school for years like a doctor, yet you are in control of care of that patient. Even though nurses are there more with a patient you still rule. I think both professions are rewarding. They can be both demanding and hard but what side you want to be on is a matter of preference. Nurses salary is not the greatest but are you into medicine for the money? What are your objectives? Both careers have their political redderick so I couldn't tell you what the pros and cons it is a heart felt decision you must make on your own. We are nurses and I love what I do. I respect doctors just as long as I get it in return. There can be a beautiful relationship between nurses and doctors if the egos were at bay. It depends on what you are willing to deal with in the end.
    Last edit by Teshiee on Aug 16, '02
  2. by   pfleige
    Power money and autonomy. no question about it!
  3. by   csojet
    Becoming a doctor is not what it use to be. HMO's are dictating lots about patient care. The pay is not that great when you take all the expenses into consideration. The time and energy that it takes requires a lifetime commitment. If you are someone who likes to take care of the "patient" and maintain a social life outside the hospital, nursing does offer lots of different avenues that can be very rewarding career wise, flexible time wise, and rewarding financially. I myself struggled with the same decision a few years ago. I kept switching from pre-med to nursing. I finally decided on nursing because of the great opportunities that it has given me and for those that are still to come. Remember, the only one who really can answer this question is you!
  4. by   Anaclaire
    In my experience (as an RN myself and having relatives who are RNs and MDs), the MDs are married to their work. They have to marry people who completely understand that their spouse will often not be able to attend family activities, will have to leave the house in the middle of the night, and will constantly have their practice on their mind. They are active in research, writing papers, going to conferences, and all sorts of stuff. They are truly busy nearly all the time. My sister-in-law is a psychiatrist and although she mainly works a 9-5 job, she still never found the time to date much and is now 40 and voicing concerns about her biological clock and the lack of suitable men available. Sure, MDs make more money than nurses, but they also have more expenses, especially if they have a private practice.

    Physicians endure many years of school and if they want to change specialities, like to change from being an internist to become a surgeon, it requires about 2 more years of intense study and residency. On the other hand, if a nurse decides to leave a pediatrics floor and work on a cancer floor, they need a few weeks of orientation and they're in business.

    Nurses don't generally make as much money as physicians, that's for sure.

    Nurses get to really know the patients as people rather than a bunch of symptoms. Doctors love to identify and diagnose illness and then be able to recommend effective treatments to cure the illness. Nurses are the ones to implement many of the treatments the doctors order. They are there to give comfort, to cry with the patients, to encourage them. They simply are able to enjoy the social interaction with the patients on a deeper level than the physicians seem to be able to do. Time constraints... The physicians, I'm sure, care about their patients as much as the nurses do... just in a different way. Both professions are necessary and complement one another.

    Advanced Practice Nurses make more money than staff nurses, but also have more responsibility and ability to perform more intensive treatments and care for their patients. Advanced Practice Nurses have much more schooling than the RN or BSN nurses. They are nurse practitioners, midwives, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, etc. Nurses can obtain more education and become professors, researchers, administrators, etc. There is a role in nursing for everyone!

    You need to decide what you want to do each day for the rest of your working life. If you choose to be an MD for the money, the work will most likely be unfulfilling. You need to do what YOU want to do... not what you think people around you/society thinks you should do. It's a tough decision. You'll know you've made the correct decision when you feel relieved and at peace with it... and are able to sleep well at night and wake up excited and happy about your future.

    I wish for only the best for you as you make this most important decision.
  5. by   mattcastens
    Originally posted by Anaclaire
    In my experience (as an RN myself and having relatives who are RNs and MDs), the MDs are married to their work. They have to marry people who completely understand that their spouse will often not be able to attend family activities, will have to leave the house in the middle of the night, and will constantly have their practice on their mind
    I think this is a significant point that a lot of people don't fully grasp. "On call" means that you may get called to go admit a patient just when you're sitting down to your daughter's first dance recital, or just as you're getting to sleep at 2 am after a busy day of clinic and rounds.

    "On call" means that you might get pestered every fifteen minutes by the patient advocate nurse who insits that you come in to take the patient to the cath lab even though you don't want to.

    I also find that many people, although realizing that television does not show reality, do not realize how unreal medical shows are. A lot of what you see doctors doing on TV is done by nurses. Who does the compressions and defibrillating in a code? The nurses. Who gives the meds? Nurses -- I have NEVER seen a doctor give a med. Starting IVs? Nurses. In some environments and situations nurses intubate patients emergently (not even anesthetists -- RNs!). Doctors don't hire and fire nurses -- as much as TV would have you believe it. Doctors don't make the budgets for hospitals and departments. If they did, frankly, I think the staffing would be a lot better.

    You have to decide what you value more -- working with the patient as a whole, or treating symptoms and disease.

    Don't get me wrong ... doctors and nurses are both valuable members of the team ... two sides to the same coin. You just have to decide which side appeals to you more.
  6. by   rachel h
    I also seriously considered going into medical school as opposed to nursing school. In the end, I picked nursing for several reasons. The biggest reason was that I would not have to be married to my job. I'm young, and I want to be able to have a family and spend time with my family. I think that's the most important thing in the world. There is also a ton of flexibility in nursing- you can transfer to any area you want, and there are also a ton of nursing jobs that don't involve bedside nursing if that's not your thing. You can also advance your education and become a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator, etc.

    I decided that I may go on to be a nurse practioner eventually. In the state I live in, NPs can diagnose and prescribe just like MDs. Of course, they don't get paid as much, but money is not the main object here. Sure, the money an MD makes would be nice, but spending time with my family is much more precious, IMO.

    Weigh the options. Only you can decide what decision is right for you. Good Luck!
  7. by   MPHkatie
    Personally, I like being a nurse, but I also know several female doctors with families and children who are doing well and enjoying the whole family/career thing. I would recommedn when you shadow a MD and a Nurse, you find one who is doing what you think you will want to be doing in life. Quite frankly, I think it is interesting that we assume that everyone wants children. Some people really don't and thats perfectly fine.

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