nurse vs. doctor

  1. 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 would rather be a nurse and have wasted a lot of years. What are some of the pros and cons to being a nurse rather than being a doctor from what you have experienced? Thanks so much!
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   maizey
    What do you want out of your career? My opinion. Nurses are terrific caregivers. We take care of the whole patient. Albeit we get lots less respect than the docs even though we are the ones caring for the patient's 24/7 while in hospital. This will have to be a personal choice for you and want you are wanting to achieve. What are your goals in medicine. Do you want to do patient care or do you want to diagnose and prescribe? It will be interesting to see what others have to say. I have an extremely intelligent best friend who is an APN. She has two masters and people are always asking her why she doesn't go on and become a doc and she say's "I don't want to be a doctor, I want to take care of patients".
  4. by   P_RN
    I have a couple of friends who got their BSN, used it as their undergraduate degree for med school, and one is now a Pediatrician and one a Dentist. They did what they wanted to do and I did what *I* wanted to do.....
  5. by   stevierae
    If you've got the grades to get into medical school, go for it!!! I think that is a gift that you should definitely not ignore. I originally planned to go to nursing school first, and then apply to med school, but "life got in the way, while I was busy making plans!" Anyway, I don't think my grades would have cut it, and I was already in my late '20s (having been in the Navy first.) Best of luck to you!
  6. by   eak16
    I agree with Maizy-

    Someone once told me (not a nurse, but a long term patient) that doctors treat diseases and injuries, but nurses treat people. People ask me all the time why I dont "go all the way" and be a doctor. To me the people that "go all the way" are the ones that stay with the patients 24/7, taking care of their needs, reassuring them, AND treating them medically.
    But, of course, I am biased, and we need good doctors in the world too.
    Follow your passions. If possible, shadow a nurse and doctor or talk to some. There are many misconceptions about both roles and the important thing is to figure out what you would be best at and what would make you happy.
  7. by   cactus wren
    one other consideration..........i have several female doc friends, who say that the struggle between their family obligations( hubby, kids,etc.) and their career is just not worth it...........one wishes she had gone to nursing school instead.....another female doc regrets she never found the "time" to have children...she says that the total dedication it takes in the first years after med school made it impossible to even consider starting a family......and that when young she always figured that one day she would have children......and one day she realized she was 48..........too bad, she would have been a great mom.....
  8. by   sjoe
    I would suggest that you arrange to interview a few doctors so you can get even a small idea of the many reasons so many of them are getting out of the field these days. I would also suggest that you arrange to interview a few nurses so you can get even a small idea of the many reasons so many of them are getting out of the field these days. Then, if your choices are limited to just these two fields, you will have more info on which to make your choice. You could always go in to law.
  9. by   researchrabbit
    No time spent learning is ever wasted, whichever way you choose.
  10. by   CEN35
    jfr, after two years of working er, i thought i might want to go back and continue to be an md or do.

    however, little by little i have seen insurance companies, and others that are responsible for reimbursing physicians, destroy them.
    malpractice insurance for physicians is near the point of not being affordable. no hospital/facility will ley you practice without it.

    i have seen a number of cardiologist, internal med, anesthesia, and ortho guys drop their practices totally.
    their plans?
    involved going into real estate and/or private bussiness's.
    why?
    bottom line?
    it's near the point, and past for some, where the benefits do not outweigh the risks/hassles.

    just my two cents

    me
  11. by   cmggriff
    I had a Doc ask me once why I didn't go to Med school. I told that I don't like most of the Dr's I know. They all seem to be more concerned with their annual income that the patients paying the bill. Wo why would I want to spend those years becoming someone I wouldn't like? Gary
  12. by   APN-RN-MOM
    Shame on you Stevierae! What's all this about better grades for Docs? I was in the same biochemistry/organic chemistry/ and physics classes with med students and did better than most! Medicine and nursing are truly two different philosophies and I chose to align myself with nursing's. Every day I'm so pleased I chose to become a nurse practitioner. I am so proud to be a nurse. Choose the path that fits with what you believe. Both pathways require hard work and both take good grades and great critical thinking skills! Good luck in your choice!
  13. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heat of texas

    GO FOR THE GOLD
    doo wah ditty
  14. by   Genista
    As previously stated, you should consider which is more to your liking: medical model vs nursing model. Aside from length of schooling, MDs also work many more hours & that can be tough for some. One of the benefits of being an RN, is you can change specialties fairly easily if you want a change in your career & there is greater flexibility in number of hours worked & shifts worked. Have you thought about the role of NP or PA as well? Why not do a job shadow? All you have to do is ask. Good luck!
    :roll

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