Why did you become a nurse instead of a doctor? - page 3

I'm just curious about what made you decide to become a nurse instead of a doctor.Or did becoming a doctor never even cross your mind? It took me a while to figure out that I wanted to work in the... Read More

  1. by   pmchap
    I started nursing school because I could work as an assistant at the hospital at the same time while I studied. I initially thought I would do nursing to see if I enjoyed the medical side of work - then I would do medicine. (the thought of 7 yrs hard study with no income was just plain scary). I enjoyed the nursing & found that instead of med. I have also done a teaching degree. I love working with people and realised early in my nursing days that docotors for all of the love of patients just don't get to spend much time with them. I am one of those nurses who enjoy spending time talking to the oldtimers - something that Doctors never seem to have time to do. I am also able to go home and relax - knowing that the next shift of nurses have taken over - something that I feel many doctors are unable to do. I respect and value the work doctors do - but when I saw their workloads and how limited their family life was I quickly decided being a doctor is an ideal myth - lots of images and concepts around - but in reallity it is had slogg for the docs and only limited benefits. Nursing may not have the esteemed reputation but you get patient contact, flexible work and time to have a life outside work.

    I wa able to complete a teaching degree while doing nursing because of the flexiblility nursing offers - now I have combines the too and teach nurses - it is the best thing I could imagine doing.
    Cheers
    Peter
  2. by   Butterfly03
    I decided on nursing because I didn't want to spend all those years in school and residency. I wanted to be able to start a family and enjoy life. And I wanted to be able to care for the patient on a one-on-one basis. I didn't see that happening as an MD.
  3. by   maxcat
    My reasons for considering nursing (I'm taking pre reqs right now and applying for an accelerated BSN program in a few years, when kids are a little older) are similar to many other posters... I have a biology degree, and considered pre-med in undergrad. Frankly, I don't have it in me to do what it takes to get into med school-retake Biology 101, General and Organic Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, etc... and get all A's in order to even *apply* to med school. I am married with 2 young kids and there's no way I would want to put my family through the financial and logistical contortions it would require for me to go to med school... My husband wouldn't support that decision, I am sure. I want a life. I don't want to spend the next 10 years preparing for and going through med school, and then have 200K in loans. I think you really have to *want* to be an MD more than anything in order to succeed. If you don't want to do it, you won't make the cut.

    Nursing seems like a better fit. Like some other posters, I don't want to be on call all the time. I don't want to be the one making the life and death decisions. I'm going to get a BSN and then maybe a master's later on, if I feel the need or desire to. But yeah-3 12's seems like a pretty good idea to me. Then I can be around for my family, and still make decent money, and work in a fulfilling medical career.
  4. by   TracyB,RN
    I thought about going to med school, once for about 3 seconds... waaay too many headaches, & I like being a nurse(most of the time, lol), plus, followed in family footsteps, lots of nurses. Plus... I dont' have a big enough ego & the power trip thing just isn't for me.... heee hee hee hee hee
  5. by   PinkDiamond6
    I actually went to college and majored in Biology. But after I couldnt pass Chemestry and Cal1, I knew it was not for me!!
  6. by   NurseFirst
    Let's see:
    Through much of my childhood I wanted to be a physician. The roles of physician and nurse were far more distinct than now, with the addition of nurse specialists and nurse practitioners. My OB Clinical Instructor told us that the RNs now do what used to only be done by physicians just a few years ago (e.g., newborn assessments.)

    I went to school in the 60s and spent a little too much time protesting the War in VietNam and too little time studying, which interfered with my grades.

    I did become a paramedic, but found that being a paramedic (especially in those days, before Anita Hill made "sexual harrassment" a household word) in this male dominated profession with little outside support (I moved 400 miles to take a job) was a little more than I could take.

    I entered the hi tech world and stayed there until 2001 when I was laid off in the dot bomb. Since I did not have a specific degree in computer science I knew I was faced with re-tooling. Did I want to go back to school to get a degree in computer science, especially when those jobs were being exported overseas? No, I didn't think so. Spent a year daytrading but gave that up due to lack of success. While contemplating what to do next I had surgery which put me back in contact with medicine, which re-ignited interest in my long-time love.

    Going to medical school, at least in the U.S., was not gonna happen at my age. I have looked at going to medical school overseas. In the meantime, I went to a nursing information meeting and liked what I heard. Still ambivalent, I completed my pre-reqs, took as many healthcare-related classes as I could and entered nursing school.

    The people contact has just won me over. While I now have the grades, and took the MCAT in 1994 with acceptable scores and could probably get into an overseas school (I'm much too old for U.S. Med schools--although DO might be an option)--I find that many of the complaints about physicians--not spending enough time with patients, lack of psychosocial context in dealing with patients--solved with nursing.

    I would also point out that nursing is a profession on the ascendancy. Nurses are getting to do more and more things. Hours, as folks have pointed out, are good. (I asked my GYN why he came out to California, where living is so much more expensive than the Midwest. He said because he wanted to have a life; and this is a common theme among newly-minted MDs.) Some nurses can make as much, or even more, than some physicians--depending upon the specialty of the doctor and the nurse's specialization. Throw in the difference in malpractice insurance and school loans, nursing could very well be more "lucrative" overall, especially if you factor in the additional number of years that an RN can work while the physician is still in school. (A major medical journal recently had an article about the huge increase in medical school debt over the past 10 to 20 years.) Medicine, because of managed care, reduction in re-imbursement rates, malpractice, etc., is, IMO, at this time a profession in descendancy; physicians have lost a lot of power in the last few decades--which has actually caused many to leave the profession.

    So, there you have it. Probably more than you wanted to know

    NurseFirst

    PS -- and I still keep in contact with my friends on the foreign medical school forum...I may not want to practice in just the U.S., or California, in the future. I have heard that RNs in other countries don't have nearly the scope of practice as much as U.S. RNs.
  7. by   tridil2000
    if i won the lottery tomorrow, i would probably go to med school. i'd have the money to pay someone to finally explain calculus to me.

    like the previous poster pointed out, nursing can end up being more lucrative now when you lay it all out on the table.
  8. by   begalli
    I waited and waited in replying to this thread because the question kinda threw me, like are we suppossed to consider becoming a doctor while we are deciding on becoming a nurse? It never crossed my mind. I will admit that becoming a PA crossed my mind until I met someone who turned out to be a real mentor for me. She was a nurse.

    I found this little tidbit below. I think it's worth sharing and it pretty well sums up how I feel.

    http://www.nursingadvocacy.org/faq/nf/you_could_be.html

    "You could be a doctor!"

    Well-meaning persons sometimes suggest that a nurse they find to be skilled or knowledgeable could or should be a physician, or kiddingly address such a nurse as if he were a physician. Although nurses appreciate compliments, many nurses view these usually innocent comments as unhelpful to the profession. Nurses work together with physicians to restore and maintain health. But nursing is an autonomous profession with its own theory, scholarship and clinical practice areas. Nurses are not junior physicians or physicians' assistants, and few nurses wish to become physicians. In fact, nursing has its own "doctors:" nurses with doctorates in nursing.

    In many cases, these statements reflect a common stereotype that a health care worker who displays significant knowledge or technical skills must be a physician, since nurses do not have such qualities. When it becomes obvious that a particular nurse does have such qualities, it is not surprising that many conclude she must be exceptional, which does not conflict with their larger pre-existing ideas. The challenge is to help the public see that knowledgeable, skilled nurses are not the exception, but the rule. Breaking down this part of the nursing stereotype could also help persuade more bright, motivated people to enter the profession and relieve the current shortage.

    Not all elements of the common nursing stereotype are negative. Many regard nurses as notably trustworthy, caring and patient-focused. However, we are still waiting to hear about a physician who displays these qualities being told: "You could be a nurse!" Of course, given the wide disparity in status between physicians and nurses, such a statement would be virtually impossible today. And we are not suggesting that it should be made; it could reflect negative stereotyping of physicians.

    2003-2005 The Center for Nursing Advocacy, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    I have told a couple of doctors that they would make great nurses and one of the best doctors I know was a nurse who did the same thing I do now.
  9. by   jaimealmostRN
    I agree with Jim's comments...its like asking me why didn't I become a marine biologist instead of an RN. I am "thristy" for information as well, but I'm interested in S.A.N.E. certification and an MPH...not an MD.
  10. by   energizerbunny05
    Quote from jaimealmostRN
    I agree with Jim's comments...its like asking me why didn't I become a marine biologist instead of an RN. I am "thristy" for information as well, but I'm interested in S.A.N.E. certification and an MPH...not an MD.
    well yes that is your choice of a degree. you want the MPH i rather have the MD. The fact is that physicians in general are given a bad rap by nurses when bad behavior doesnt apply to all physicians. And yes I have met very compassionate doctor as well as nurses. I have also met very nasty nurses including my preceptors so lets not act like doctors are the only ones behaving badly. You know whats funny i see alot of doctor bashing on this forum but not as much in pre med forums funny isnt it.
  11. by   michiganrnathome
    I know so many Dr.s, one of my best friends is a Dr.'s wife, we joke that she seems more like a single mom than a married woman! He is not a resident either, he's an attending in the ER. My aunt is a radiologist who has never given her kids a bath, her 5 year old is still not potty trained for BM's and her 3 year old just got off formula. I met this resident 2 years ago that I will never forget, she hadn't seen her 4 year old son in 5 months, since the start of her residency. (Her husband couldn't leave his job in California so the son stayed with him). I could go on forever with these stories because I have 2 Doc's in the fam and 1 medical student but what it boils down to to me is that being a doctor sucks up your whole life and I have other important fillers.
    Quote from Anaya_1de
    I'm just curious about what made you decide to become a nurse instead of a doctor.Or did becoming a doctor never even cross your mind?
    It took me a while to figure out that I wanted to work in the medical field. After that was done I only had to figure out in what profession I wanted to be in. I always thought it would be great to become a doctor but although I think I have the potential to be a good doctor and would like their work, I decided that nursing was the better way for me. Some of the reasons for that were that I liked the schedules better, schooling takes less time, it's easier to get into the schools and I'm not willing to give up my family life or marriage for a career as a doctor.

    It would be intersting to hear why you guys think that nursing is the better career (or not?!)
  12. by   smk1
    Quote from energizerbunny05
    well yes that is your choice of a degree. you want the MPH i rather have the MD. The fact is that physicians in general are given a bad rap by nurses when bad behavior doesnt apply to all physicians. And yes I have met very compassionate doctor as well as nurses. I have also met very nasty nurses including my preceptors so lets not act like doctors are the only ones behaving badly. You know whats funny i see alot of doctor bashing on this forum but not as much in pre med forums funny isnt it.
    go visit SDN you will see plenty of MD-bashing DO-bashing Nurse-bashing Minority-bashing, the list goes on. It's great that you want to be a physician, but it's not an interest for everyone. The fields are complimentary but not a succesive process.
  13. by   energizerbunny05
    Quote from SMK1
    go visit SDN you will see plenty of MD-bashing DO-bashing Nurse-bashing Minority-bashing, the list goes on. It's great that you want to be a physician, but it's not an interest for everyone. The fields are complimentary but not a succesive process.
    Do they? Well does it make it okay for us to do it as well? How does that help improve the relationship between doctors and nurses? My point is that in order to give someone advice there is not a need to speak negative of other professions.

    P.S. alot of the nurse bashing on sdn is done by premeds that donot have any idea that nurses are their teachers as well as physicians. These premeds have not been out in the real world of rotations and residency so i would take their comments are due immaturity.Their attitudes will change when they realize how important nurses are for their progression into clinical time.
    Last edit by energizerbunny05 on Mar 5, '05

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