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- by confusedstudent_88 May 15, '12Hello everyone-
I am having a slight issue. I was just admitted to nursing school but I feel like I want to be a doctor. I have had this nagging for some time and I finally have the courage to go for it. Do I continue on my path and become a nurse then go back to school for a med degree or do I start taking the prereqs for med school and go from there? I am moving away from my home in Cali to Nebraska for nursing school and figured id go to school there because of the cost of living.
Do I get my nursing degree and have a guaranteed job while working towards a med degree (more debt) or do I just go for my med degree (less money... but still a ton of money).
Thanks for your input!
- May 15, '12 by StephalumpEr, do you have a degree in anything yet? Either way, I personally wouldn't do a degree in nursing as the pathway, unless you're only sort of committed to attending medical school, and need a ready back up plan immediately. I say that because the most important thing to do us major in something you and are good at so you can have as high a GPA as possible in addition to pre-med requirements. Graduating from nursing school with a 4.0 is quite a feat.
I was pre-med and majored in psychology and theatre and it was great
If you really need the money, maybe. Job market isn't great, so it could take a while to reap the benefits, but having health care experience looks fantastic. But, personally, I would just become an MA or something. I can't imagine pouring out my heart trying to get through a program for something I don't even want to do, and possibly suffering from a too low GPA because of it.Last edit by Stephalump on May 15, '12
- May 15, '12 by theantichickYou didn't mention how old you are, if you're married and/or have kids.
Personally, if I had my life to do over again, I'd go to medical school. If you're young, not married (or have a VERY supportive spouse), and don't have kids - just figure out how to get through medical school, delivering pizzas if you need to if your goal is to become a doc.
If you take a detour through nursing school, you'll find that nursing is a different profession than being a doc. While you would definitely get some insight into what other people you will be working with actually *do*, it's not really going to prepare you for medical school. You also may get stuck in a career you hate. (Of course, you may love it, too... you never know.) Also, medical school isn't flexible, and it's not normally something you can do "around" a nursing job. Your *life* is medical school, and if you have to in order to have a place to live and eat, you get a job that flexes around your school.
Now, if you're older like me (I'm 42 and will graduate with an AAS at 43), medical school probably isn't an option no matter how you slice it. My plans are to work as a nurse (preferably in ER) while I advance my education, eventually becoming a nurse practitioner which will allow me to function much as a primary care physician does, either in practice with a MD/DO or on my own.
- May 15, '12 by confusedstudent_88Hello. Yes I already have a Bachelors in psychology. I am 23 and have no kids. Thanks for the advice ladies. I just have a big decision in front of me. I am worried I won't be able to make it. Just have to believe in myself.
- May 15, '12 by theantichickOh, yeah, definitely... if I were you I'd get my prereqs that hadn't been taken already out of the way, take the MCAT and push through. There's plenty of places where the wash-out factor is high if you truly aren't meant to be a doctor, but you're young and if that's your dream, your goal, go for it. Just remember all the people who have done it before, and know that if they can do it, you can!
- May 15, '12 by AnonRNCWhy do you think you want to be nurse? Why do you think you want to be a doctor? Have you written pros & cons? Can you shadow a doctor, a nurse and a nurse practioner? Have you read extensively about both (all) professions?
You're young enough to do whatever you want. And you're right: it is a big decision. Regarding being worried you won't make it: talk to an academic advisor, better yet, someone from your B.A. program who knows you well. Does that person think you have what it takes?
- May 15, '12 by confusedstudent_88Hi AnonRNC! I made a pro con list. I used to work for a doctor and I shadowed a nurse and an np. I've done soo much research on both my head is going to explode! I spoke to a few close people and they believe in me and stand behind me 100%. Told me they were happy actually. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy for changing my mind not after I worked so hard to get into nursing school!
- May 15, '12 by mrmedicalI asked myself this same question in college and the advice from my peers and doctors and nurses was the same: if you really want an MD or DO go for it. Don't go through nursing school just to apply to medical school, that will be a much longer path to the same outcome. If you truly enjoyed the medical science: bio, a&p, micro, neuro and want to be involve in more deeper application and at the forefront of research and treatment go get that MD.
You're 23 and got an undergrad. Do those last couple prereqs, shadows some doctors, prepare 6months for the MCAT and pass it, then prepare your CV for the adcoms. You got a good support system, and as long as you're disciplined enough to stay on top of studying 5-7 hours a day for the first two years and preparing for Step I and II, you'll be OK. Most likely you'll have to take out a loan, it it might hurt looking at all that money, but remember becoming a physician you're returns are gradual not instant.
The face of medicine is rapidly changing and we are needing good doctors just as much as good nurses these days.
Addendum: what ever your choice, pick the one where in 20 or 30 years you can look back without regrets. Sounds romanticized, but true.