The "Why don't you go to Med School" Question - page 2

If I had a dime for every time I've heard this question, from individuals in and out of the healthcare field. Just because I'm male and a minority doesn't mean I cannot be a nurse. I do not care whether or not I'll be "taking... Read More

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    I hear this all the time, and it drives me insane. I don't want to sound cocky or stuck up, but I will admit that I am intelligent person. I made a 97 A in my first semester of nursing school, and I had no problems with clinical, skills labs, or class. Now I am in my second semester, and I love every minute of it. I pretty much have a photographic memory when it comes to nursing and medical information, so I hardly have to read the textbooks or the drug books. Because of this, I get the, "you should have gone to medical school" thing all the time. I hate hearing it because nursing is my passion, and it has been for as long as I can remember. I don't want to be a doctor, and I didn't want to spend eight years getting my MD (then another four to six years doing a residency and fellowship). I love nursing, I love the thought process behind it, and I can't wait to graduate and begin my career as an ICU RN.

    I think it's ridiculous that people encourage intelligent males (or females for that matter) in nursing programs to leave nursing school and go to medical school. At my program it seems that any students who are intelligent, quick to catch on, or who do well hear the bit about medical school at least once. It's almost as if the students, instructors, and hospital staff think that we are too smart to be nurses. I find the idea that someone is too smart to be a nurse absolutely absurd. We need intelligent nurses at the bedside monitoring patients, delivering compassionate and competent care, and ensuring that nothing goes wrong. Nurses have a lot of input on issues of patient care, they are always at the bedside, and they are often the first to notice changes in patient condition. It's up to us as nurses to alert the physician to a change in condition, and ensure that something is done to resolve the issue. With all this responsibility, you can't possibly tell me that anyone is too smart for nursing.

    I don't want to sound rude, or like I'm calling anyone stupid, because I'm not. But when people see a star student who loves nursing, does exceptionally well, and finds nursing school easy, they shouldn't discourage them. These students will make excellent nurses, and they will provide excellent care for their patients. I'm not saying that other students won't be just as good, but we shouldn't try to convince all of our high intelligence students that they are in a field that is too, "dumb" for them. Nothing about nursing is easy, and it requires a good deal of intelligence. Simply getting into nursing school is hard, and surviving is even harder. It's obvious that each nursing student is intelligent, but it is also obvious that there are those who are smarter than others. I feel that nursing programs should do their best to equip each student to be the best nurse he/she can be. However, I also feel that the more intelligent students shouldn't be discouraged from nursing.

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    Quote from Living4Peace
    "The inevitable question", haha. I think it is largely due to the obvious fact that nursing is predominantly a female occupied industry. Many people can not wrap their heads around men beings nurses. The nurse/doctor dichotomy in many people's minds is a female/male dichotomy. It is all ignorance. Men bring something unique to the profession. I am glad that more men are entering into nursing schools and are kicking ass! I am soon to be one of those men.

    On a more personal note, I have never been asked that question. When I was in college during my undergrad I wanted to become a doctor but then reality settled upon me that all the years of schooling coupled with the stress would have been more than I could have handled. Furthermore, I am going to be honest and say that I don't have the kind of intelligence to be a doctor (Now don't jump on me for making this statement, I in no way am saying that nurses are intellectually inferior to doctors. What I am saying is that it takes a certain kind of intelligence and cognitive functioning. Some doctors don't have the cognitive abilities to think as nurses). In the beginning I was resistant to the idea of being a nurse due to how I thought people would perceive me, but then I grew a pair and realized that I am an individual and don't have to comply with social, or in this case professional, norms.

    When I tell people I am becoming a nurse they always give me a positive response, both men and women.
    You will soon find out that, in some areas of medical knowledge, the nurse must know more than the doctor. What are you going to do when the MD writes for three times the recommended dose of Cardiazem, and you give it because pharmacology was your weakest area while in nursing school? You will also find that nursing is, in many ways, more stressful than medical school. I am in the nursing program with many people who have bachelors and masters degrees in other fields (and I even have a chiropractor in my class) and all of them say this is the most stressful thing they have ever done. In medical school, you may be allowed to squeak by with a 70, but in nursing school, you will be required to average much higher. If we fall below an 85 in my program we are out the door. Our grades consist of four exams and a final. You can imagine the stress there. I don't mean to sound rude, but don't think that you have chosen a stress-free education, or a program that is an intellectual walk in the park. Many people in my program made that mistake, thinking nursing would be easy, and that there was nothing to being a nurse; needless to say, these people quickly realized how wrong they were.
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    Nursing school is a very singular experience. I wouldn't compare it to medical school one bit. Each program requires a certain kind of intelligence. Am I intellectually or socially inferior to someone that chose the MD route? Of course not. Nursing has its own peculiarities. People fail to realize that intelligence comes in many forms. One may be musically a genius, one may kinetically be a genius and hone their talents towards the sports arena, others may be artistically gifted. No form of intelligence is inherently better than the next. Nursing intelligence and Medical intelligence are starkly different. I can kick ass and memorize and regurgitate facts (which is what a lot of medical school is), but not be able to apply what I have learned and integrate it into working knowledge that is situational (which is what nursing school does).
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    Im asked this almost every day and even by the nurses i work with. So annoying. I agree though i became a nurse because thats what i wanted to to. I like catching the MDs mistakes. I caught the pharmacist today, that was a new one.
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    Funny, I was just asked this question at work a couple of days ago. A girl was asking me what my major is, and I told her nursing. She looked at me like I was joking, and even went as far to say "I've never really seen a guy nurse before..." Part of me wanted to slap her upside the head, but there must be something about doing no harm in nursing ethics...
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    I get this question all the time too, and I have through trial-and-error come up with my blanket response:

    MD's are educated and focused on treating disease, I chose the nursing model as a practitioner because we are educated and focused on treating the patient and the patient's response to disease.

    I've found most people say right away they'd rather have me focuses on them than a disease.
    justinhines9 likes this.
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    I LOVE your top ten!!!
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    Haha I should use some of those comebacks whenever someone asks me that question again. Its not that I'm not an intelligent person, I just find the Nursing-Patient relationship a better fit for me than the MD-Patient relationship. Exactly! Some people feel as though Nursing school is not intellectually challenging as Med School, reality is they are both stressful.
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    I hate that question so much, hahaha.
    I'm an Asian female on a scholarship; I get that a lot.

    I simply like the nursing approach to patient care over the medical one. Like I posted somewhere last week... I work as a patient escort and sometimes I go to doctor's appointments with my patients. It's annoying when their doctors prescribe 2 or 3 different blood pressure meds, thinking that the hypertension will magically go down without changing their diet/activity level.
    Like really, this lady is sitting on her butt for almost the entire 24 hours of the day, eating McDonald's and sipping Diet Coke. Get a clue?
    WannaBNursey likes this.
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    Because being a doctor sucks! Being a nurse rocks.


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