MD/nursing: Is one more scientific than the other?

  1. 0
    Hi,
    Wondering if anyone can give me some ingisht/feedback. I'm taking the prerequisites(Micobiology,Organic, ect) to go to either nursing or medical school at a community college and everyone here (my community college has a nursing school and nursing educators) tells me that being a nurse and a doctor are two completely different things.

    I'm confused because, from what I've seen in my lifetime, both professionals seem to have to be equally "holistic" and patient-orientated (the nursing aspect) while at the same time, scientific and intellectual (the doctor/problem-solving aspect).

    I've seen nurse anesthetists work in the OR and think I want to get my BSN in order to eventually to get my CRNA. Im fascinated by anesthesia and do not want to go for an MDA because I've read so much about how an MDA and CRNA are basically the same profession. I love physiology and pharamcology and all kinds of intellectual work/research but also would like to learn how to view the patient in a very holistic, caring manner.

    Could it be that the best doctors use their background training of medicine but also have the qualities of a good nurse and that the best nurses use their background training of nursing but also have the intellectual abilities of a doctor?

    I want to go into a field that will broaden both my oportunities to grow as a person and learn how to truly care and understand people, but I also can't live with the intellectual stimulation and growth of science and the scientific exploration of the natural world around us.

    What is right for me?
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  4. 19 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    first decide where you want to go. You mentioned anesthesia, do you have a back-up choice if this doesn't pan out? would you be happy being an RN in certain settings or perhaps an NP? I say this because if you go into nursing with the goal of CRNA and you ONLY want to do this particular nursing job then you may be disappointed with working for a year ( or most likely more) as an RN first which is a requirement for the CRNA programs. If you really want to be a doctor and you have the time circumstances and drive then go for it, because by the time you actually become a CRNA you probably would only have 1-3 years left before you become an MDA. 4yrs for BSN at least 1 yr ICU experience (most of the time more and some ICU's won't hire new grads so that could tack on more time) 2.5 yrs CRNA program. The jobs of doctor and nurse are very different in most cases (with the exception of NP/CRNA) so this is why i say you need to know what you can be happy with. If you are in Medical school and don't match to anesthesia you will still be in a traditional "doctor" role elsewhere, however if you don't get into CRNA school you will be an RN (unless you go back for an NP degree) which is fine if that is what you want but obviously is a very different job than a MD. Would you be ok with lessened autonomy? Just take personal inventory of what you want to do and what would be acceptable to you if plan A doesn't pan out, then make your choice from there. Another idea is to get the BSN (also take any premed classes that you might need) and work as an RN (and study for the MCAT) and apply to bothe CRNA schools and med school and then see where you get in and make a decision then.
  6. 0
    Nursing and medicine ARE two different things. And no, the role of an MDA and a CRNA are not exactly the same. The MDA has more training (four years of college, 4 years of med school, and a residency) and generally, more supervisory responsibilities-- they can supervise CRNA's as well as run ICU's and PACU's. Ask yourself, do you see yourself as a NURSE or a PHYSICIAN? Nursing school generally focuses on the sciences less, and more on psychosocial aspects/ holistic care (this is not to say that physicians can't be holistic, especially DO's). Do you want to diagnose and treat diseases, or do you want to care for the whole person, both physically and psychosocially, and focus more on prevention/wellness? Also, what kind of grades do you have? No offense, but most people don't get accepted to medical school from a community college. You have to have a bachelor's degree, usually in one of the sciences (from a competitive college), have an excellent GPA, and take the MCAT. You can become a nurse with either a 2 or 4 year degree, and then if you desire a more advanced role like CRNA or NP, get your master's. But in order to do this you must have some experience working as a regular RN first. Becoming a nurse is also hard but no where near as time-consuming as becoming an MD or DO. What kind of sacrifice are you willing to make? I suggest shadowing someone in both roles to see where you fit the best.
  7. 0
    Both of the replies were very informative, but I would like to clarify a few things being a once-premed student (I never applied to med school because decided that becoming a physician was not for me). As far as medical school goes, you do not have to major in one of the sciences. Actually it is better in some ways not to major in one of the sciences: 1. you have to take difficult science courses already, so if you major in something you like (i.e., math or english) you'll tend to do well in those classes and be able to dedicate more time to your required core science courses; and 2. Medical schools see a lot of applications from Biology and other biological science majors, so those applications don't stand out (quoted from medical admissions board officials in California). I would also like to point out that you do not have to go to a competitive university to get into medical school and your G.P.A. does not have to be phenomenal. A G.P.A. above 3.0 will not guarantee you a seat, but it won't destroy your chance of getting into one of the U.S. medical schools either. Your chances of getting into a medical school are also reflected by your MCAT score. If I remember correctly a 40 (or 45) was perfect, a 30 was competitive, and I've known people to get in with a 25 (which is not competitive). Therefore, if you have a mediocre G.P.A. and a kick-*** MCAT score, your chances are good, and vice versa. Also as far as timeline of undergraduate education, there are some U.S. medical schools that accept students who have only completed the required science courses for admittance (although most don't). In addition, one may decide to take prereqs (science and g.e.'s) at a community college and transfer to a university (or four year college) to complete their bachelors education. Remember there are so many options. There are many nurses you decide that they want to further their education and become medical doctors as well. In fact, I know of an overseas medical schools that caters to medical professionals, such as nurses, and allows them to obtain their medical degree and work at the same time. It's totally up to the individual how s/he chooses to pursue his/her education. In any case, if one is unsure of which path to follow, see a counselor and ask for a career assessment tool (one in which you fill out a form to see what type of person you are and what careers fit you). In conclusion, all in all, most of the prior posters' advice was good and informative, but I had to clarify a few things.

    Quote from EmeraldNYL
    Nursing and medicine ARE two different things. And no, the role of an MDA and a CRNA are not exactly the same. The MDA has more training (four years of college, 4 years of med school, and a residency) and generally, more supervisory responsibilities-- they can supervise CRNA's as well as run ICU's and PACU's. Ask yourself, do you see yourself as a NURSE or a PHYSICIAN? Nursing school generally focuses on the sciences less, and more on psychosocial aspects/ holistic care (this is not to say that physicians can't be holistic, especially DO's). Do you want to diagnose and treat diseases, or do you want to care for the whole person, both physically and psychosocially, and focus more on prevention/wellness? Also, what kind of grades do you have? No offense, but most people don't get accepted to medical school from a community college. You have to have a bachelor's degree, usually in one of the sciences (from a competitive college), have an excellent GPA, and take the MCAT. You can become a nurse with either a 2 or 4 year degree, and then if you desire a more advanced role like CRNA or NP, get your master's. But in order to do this you must have some experience working as a regular RN first. Becoming a nurse is also hard but no where near as time-consuming as becoming an MD or DO. What kind of sacrifice are you willing to make? I suggest shadowing someone in both roles to see where you fit the best.
  8. 0
    Quote from msdeeva
    Both of the replies were very informative, but I would like to clarify a few things being a once-premed student (I never applied to med school because decided that becoming a physician was not for me). As far as medical school goes, you do not have to major in one of the sciences. Actually it is better in some ways not to major in one of the sciences: 1. you have to take difficult science courses already, so if you major in something you like (i.e., math or english) you'll tend to do well in those classes and be able to dedicate more time to your required core science courses; and 2. Medical schools see a lot of applications from Biology and other biological science majors, so those applications don't stand out (quoted from medical admissions board officials in California). I would also like to point out that you do not have to go to a competitive university to get into medical school and your G.P.A. does not have to be phenomenal. A G.P.A. above 3.0 will not guarantee you a seat, but it won't destroy your chance of getting into one of the U.S. medical schools either. Your chances of getting into a medical school are also reflected by your MCAT score. If I remember correctly a 40 (or 45) was perfect, a 30 was competitive, and I've known people to get in with a 25 (which is not competitive). Therefore, if you have a mediocre G.P.A. and a kick-*** MCAT score, your chances are good, and vice versa. Also as far as timeline of undergraduate education, there are some U.S. medical schools that accept students who have only completed the required science courses for admittance (although most don't). In addition, one may decide to take prereqs (science and g.e.'s) at a community college and transfer to a university (or four year college) to complete their bachelors education. Remember there are so many options. There are many nurses you decide that they want to further their education and become medical doctors as well. In fact, I know of an overseas medical schools that caters to medical professionals, such as nurses, and allows them to obtain their medical degree and work at the same time. It's totally up to the individual how s/he chooses to pursue his/her education. In any case, if one is unsure of which path to follow, see a counselor and ask for a career assessment tool (one in which you fill out a form to see what type of person you are and what careers fit you). In conclusion, all in all, most of the prior posters' advice was good and informative, but I had to clarify a few things.
    I want to further my education and medical school is one of my options. You said you know of med schools that cater to medical professionals? Can you give me more info on that? That would be great!
  9. 0
    Uh, msdeeva, I was once pre-med too (at a big-time pre-med college) so I know all about it. The reason most people who apply to med school are bio majors is because you are required to take so many science classes anyway, why not just major in it? It is difficult to major in something else like english, still fit in all the science classes you need (and do well in them), and graduate in 4 years-- that is why admissions committees love those applicants so much. No, you don't have to have phenonemal grades to get accepted (after all, medicine is not rocket science) but a 3.0 from a community college probably won't cut it. My fiance got in an osteopathic med school with a 3.4 GPA, a 25 on the MCAT, and 2 years of experience as an intern in the OR. He was rejected the first time he applied (several people in his class had to apply multiple times). I really would not recommend a foreign med school to anyone (even if there is some school that "caters" to nurses), as foreign med school grads often have a really difficult time passing the USMLE and getting into a U.S. residency program.

    The bottom line is, anyone debating between becoming a physician or nurse seriously needs to consider the time committment involved as well as the large differences in roles. A realistic self-evaluation of one's skills as well as one's willingness to make sacrifices is also necessary. Oh, and it's OKAY to change your mind-- I certainly did.
  10. 0
    While you have really good points, I feel that people should probably hear more than just one side to a story. By the time I completed my Biology major at UCLA, I decided that I wasn't really sure if I wanted to go to medical school, but I had plenty of friends who applied and got in to several U.S. medical schools with G.P.A.s and MCAT scores ranging from 2.8-3.7 and 22-31, respectively. A couple of them got into UCLA's med school (one with a 2.8 G.P.A.), Harvard, Yale, etc. Some of them did not major in science (but other majors, like English, Math, Psychology- a B.A. degree, etc) and they got out on time. ON the other hand, because the units were once all screwed up, it was not uncommon for a Science major to take 5 years instead of 4 years to complete his/her degree. Hence, it really is not that difficult to major in a non-science degree and still be premed there, and get out on time. I would lean toward listening to a tried and true formula. Case in point, my ex-boyfriend is in his 2nd year of med school at UCLA, and he majored in math. He loves math, that's what he's good at. So while the classes he took might look like rocket science to another person, he got A's in them because he was good at it, which boosted his G.P.A. On the other hand he could have taken some pointless Botany or Invertebrate class along with Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Genetics all at the same time. What's the sense in that? Work smart, not hard. As far as foreign medical schools go. It's all in what you make of it. I was once seen by a UCLA intern that finished her medical degree at a Caribbean medical school. She was confident in her medical abilities and I did not question her practice. On that note, if you believe that people are looked down upon for completing their medical degree abroad, you are sadly mistaken. There are so many doctors that are being recruited from overseas (because of a shortage that I am sure you're aware of - being a former premed and all). Obviously they got there education there. And in response to your USMLE pass rate comment: have you checked out each schools pass rate? The school I'm talking about has a high pass rate: I found out b/c I did my research. In addition, many pt.s can question the authority of an Osteopathic Doctor, because it isn't as popular as an M.D. Many M.D.s themselves do not value the DO degree. Hence, it is really important for the individual to determine his/or her goals and values when it comes to there education.

    Quote from EmeraldNYL
    Uh, msdeeva, I was once pre-med too (at a big-time pre-med college) so I know all about it. The reason most people who apply to med school are bio majors is because you are required to take so many science classes anyway, why not just major in it? It is difficult to major in something else like english, still fit in all the science classes you need (and do well in them), and graduate in 4 years-- that is why admissions committees love those applicants so much. No, you don't have to have phenonemal grades to get accepted (after all, medicine is not rocket science) but a 3.0 from a community college probably won't cut it. My fiance got in an osteopathic med school with a 3.4 GPA, a 25 on the MCAT, and 2 years of experience as an intern in the OR. He was rejected the first time he applied (several people in his class had to apply multiple times). I really would not recommend a foreign med school to anyone (even if there is some school that "caters" to nurses), as foreign med school grads often have a really difficult time passing the USMLE and getting into a U.S. residency program.

    The bottom line is, anyone debating between becoming a physician or nurse seriously needs to consider the time committment involved as well as the large differences in roles. A realistic self-evaluation of one's skills as well as one's willingness to make sacrifices is also necessary. Oh, and it's OKAY to change your mind-- I certainly did.
  11. 0
    I also wanted to add that my ex got into med school the first time. Some advice for Emerald: I wouldn't go around announcing that your fiance was rejected when he applied and had to apply again (esp. to osteopathic school). It raises eyebrows as far as competence. I know if my physician said I was rejected during my first round of applications, I would raise an eyebrow. Just a thought.
  12. 0
    typo/correction:

    I also wanted to add that my ex got into med school the first time. Some advice for Emerald: I wouldn't go around announcing that your fiance was rejected when he applied and had to apply again (esp. to osteopathic school). It raises eyebrows as far as competence. I know if my physician said I was rejected during his/her first round of applications, I would raise an eyebrow. Just a thought.
  13. 0
    Oh, I almost forgot. I made a mistake with the G.P.A. of my friend who went to Harvard med (now finishing up her 3rd year). She had a 3.6, not a 3.7. Sorry about that Please excuse all my typos, I haven't slept in 2 days. Oh and I also wanted to address the community college issue. An "A" is an "A." If you can take your premed requirements at a non-competitive school, than do it. You also pay less in tuition. When I mean non-competitive, that does not mean less quality, it means that you do not necessarily have to compete with Albert Einsteins in a class based on a curve.

    Quote from msdeeva
    typo/correction:

    I also wanted to add that my ex got into med school the first time. Some advice for Emerald: I wouldn't go around announcing that your fiance was rejected when he applied and had to apply again (esp. to osteopathic school). It raises eyebrows as far as competence. I know if my physician said s/he was rejected during his/her first round of applications, I would raise an eyebrow. Just a thought.


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