Nursing or Medical School - page 2

Hi everyone, I am new to this list serve so this is my first post. I am a male in my mid-thirties and am undergoing a career change. I am considering medical school but scringe when I consider... Read More

  1. by   Hopegirl
    I hear so many people say to steer clear of nursing either because of pay, or because of perception... actually, a million different reasons. But you know what I've found in my long quest to find the career that fits me? Most everyone says that exact thing about most every profession. I have friends that are: teachers, doctors, nurses, school psychologist, counselors, IT professionals, "working in corporate America", everything... and you know what? So many of them say the same thing... "Don't become a teacher, school psychologist, nurse, doctor, counselor, etc..." It seems to me that no one is happy in what they do, except maybe for the lone individual that chooses to work for Greenpeace or trek through the Far East looking for fossils (both friends of mine). So what I have concluded is this: You are only as happy as you allow yourself to be. All careers will have their unique challenges and strains, and it's up to you to find the right fit within that profession and diligently pursue happiness.

    Best wishes!
    J
  2. by   EmeraldNYL
    Yosemite,

    Not to sound rude, but I think you need to take things one step at a time. You can't go to medical school before you have a bachelor's degree. Nursing and medicine require two very different educational paths. If you decide on nursing, you will have to take some basic science classes, psychology, nutrition, statistics, and several nursing classes. If you decide on medical school you will have to obtain a bachelor's degree (most people major in one of the sciences) and take several pre-req classes. These include anatomy and physiology, o-chem, physics, and some schools require calculus. Then you must take the MCAT (medical college admissions test). You also need a really high GPA. You can always get a bachelor's degree in nursing, take o-chem and physics while in nursing school, and apply to med school later if you still want to go and still have that wonderful GPA. But med school is a really long, really difficult road. I was one of those people who started out in college as pre-med and didn't make it (like most of my class). But now I am happier for having chosen nursing and plan to become a CRNA. I agree with the other posters that PA school might be a viable option for you-- it requires a bachelor's degree and the same pre-med courses, but you would only be required to go to school an additional 2 years for your master's.
  3. by   msdeeva
    There are PA programs that aren't Master's Programs. Out here in California, there are Bachelor's and certificate programs. As far as the Medical vs. Nursing path. Where schooling is concerned, you can get a BSN and take the additional premed requirements as the previous poster stated before. If you decide that Nursing is the career path you want to take, then go for it. If you decide that you want to attempt the physician route, then you still have that option. As far as the G.P.A. is concerned. You would want to have a competitive G.P.A. It makes it a lot easier when getting into the school. I would say to even have a fighting chance you'd want to keep it above a 3.0. But I have known people in medical school that had below that. Also, if you are dead set on becoming a physician and your G.P.A. isn't spectacular, you could apply to schools overseas (European, Caribbean, etc.). I actually met a resident at UCLA that got her M.D. at a Caribbean school. So it's possible. There are also other factors such as your MCAT score, extra-curricular involvement, volunteering, etc. that come into play when it comes to your application. I was once pre-med myself (although I never applied to medical school) and it took me a long time to decide that this was not the career for me (even with nursing, I have discovered that my services will eventually be best served working on a much broader spectrum rather than direct patient care). But everyone needs to find out what best works for them as far as their career. At least, if you decide to get your BSN, you have the option of steering in either direction. If you need help in locating schools, I'll be more than happy to help.



    Quote from EmeraldNYL
    Yosemite,

    Not to sound rude, but I think you need to take things one step at a time. You can't go to medical school before you have a bachelor's degree. Nursing and medicine require two very different educational paths. If you decide on nursing, you will have to take some basic science classes, psychology, nutrition, statistics, and several nursing classes. If you decide on medical school you will have to obtain a bachelor's degree (most people major in one of the sciences) and take several pre-req classes. These include anatomy and physiology, o-chem, physics, and some schools require calculus. Then you must take the MCAT (medical college admissions test). You also need a really high GPA. You can always get a bachelor's degree in nursing, take o-chem and physics while in nursing school, and apply to med school later if you still want to go and still have that wonderful GPA. But med school is a really long, really difficult road. I was one of those people who started out in college as pre-med and didn't make it (like most of my class). But now I am happier for having chosen nursing and plan to become a CRNA. I agree with the other posters that PA school might be a viable option for you-- it requires a bachelor's degree and the same pre-med courses, but you would only be required to go to school an additional 2 years for your master's.
  4. by   Amberf
    I agree with what RNkitty had to say about lifestyle choice rather than monetary choice. Like others here, I too started out as pre-med when I made a return to school. I completed the first 2 years of a BS in microbiology, thinking I was well on my way to becoming a doctor....then I started working at a teaching hospital. I'm now spending the next year completing my nursing pre-reqs, hehe.

    As an intern or resident: a nationwide law went into effect not long ago that limits the hours that they can work to 80 per week. However, finding hospitals that adhere to that policy may be another issue...some still push residents to over 100 hours/week. As staff, it just depends on what type of facility you work in, what specialty, etc. I've seen anywhere from 60-well over 100 hrs/week put in (almost all of them had families at home).

    As an RN, again I would think that it depends on your specialty, and what type of facility you work in, what type of company (staff vs. travel, etc). The nurses on my unit (L&D) put in anywhere from 36-50 hrs/wk, more toward the higher end if they have to stay after a busy shift to finish up charting, etc. I'm sure the nurses here can add more to that.

    I made the decision that having a life away from work and a lot of family time was more important to me personally. I also enjoyed the closer patient contact you have as an RN vs. a MD. And as mentioned above, the required course of study is very, very different (Med schools are pretty uniform in their pre-reqs: Any 4-yr degree with completion of 1 yr each of organic and inorganic chem, general biology, physics, english, and Calc 1.). However...if you find that having your MD is something you feel you truly want to do, by all means, don't let the difficult course sway you. Med schools will tell you up front they have students that enter well into their 30's and 40's after a career change, it just depends on what course of action you feel you would get the most satisfaction from. Because at the end of the day I think the most important thing is to be happy with who and where you are.
    Last edit by Amberf on Apr 26, '04
  5. by   roam
    hey. i just wanted to let you know that you should really do more research for yourself and find out which would be best for you. both areas are very wonderful and rewarding. remember that nursing isn't just sitting at a sick person's bed. you can work in the community, in a psych ward, you can be a forensic nurse, be a flight nurse, work in a trauma center or be a nurse practitioner and open your own clinic. there are no limits to nursing. it is true that doctors get paid a whole lot more, but there jobs may be more time demanding a stessful. look into both areas, research, talk to people in the field... and then make your decision. good luck
  6. by   roam
    and one more thing, you can get your bs in nursing and then go onto med school?undefined
  7. by   talaxandra
    I know there are a lot of nurses who are unhappy. hey, I b***h and moan myself, on the not-rare occasion! And yes, for the responsibility and the c**p we have to put up with (rudeness, disrespect, assault etc rather than body fluids), the money often doesn't seem like enough.
    That said, deciding to becoming a nurse is the best decision I have made in my life I'm fifteen years in and I still enjoy it. Not all the time, but who loves everything every moment of the day? In all that time I could on one hand the number of bad shifts I've had, because my criteria for a good shift is making a positivve difference to someone's life.
    And now I sound like Mary Sunshine! i just wanted to say that, while salary and debt obligations are important to consider as part of your decision making, at the end of the day job satisfaction is important too.
    Good luck!
  8. by   duhlahin
    hi everyone, im new here and im not yet a nurse. actually i'll be starting school soon and i would like some info as to what i should expect as a pre nursing student. any kind of info would be greatly appreciated. i've already made up my mind to do my degree in nursing but im just a bit anxious ( cant wait to start) im from the caribbean and im hoping to do the nursing course in the united states.

    im not sure if im posting this the right place. correct me if im wrong.
  9. by   s1shaw
    I'll never forget years ago when my sons were little...there was a little guy the same age as my guys...the son of a Neuro Doc in this area....One Sunday in Sunday School they asked all the kids what they wanted to be when then grew up....the son of the doctor came into church after Sunday School and was in tears...when his mother asked what was wrong, he stated, "Someone actually wants to be a doctor...they will never be home, never see their children...." Although it was kind of funny at the time, it really showed that children of doctors often suffer from their mothers and fathers never being home...I never forgot that....maybe something to think about....
  10. by   amzyRN
    I'm now half way done with an accelerated second degree BSN. My first degree was in molecular and cell biology. I am now considering med school after working for a year, because my interest in the science aspect of health care has been renewed. But I worry that it will be so much work and time that it won't be worth it. Has anyone else had this dilemma?
  11. by   HealthyRN
    Yosemite, before making such a major decision, I would suggest that you spend some time actually volunteering or working in a healthcare setting. Also, try to job shadow as many different healthcare professionals as possible. There are lots of other options out there beyond medicine and nursing.

    I was pre-med at one time and I completed all of the prereqs (o-chem, biochem, calc, etc.) and graduated summa cum laude. I decided to get a BSN while taking all the prereqs. I thought that nursing would give me some exposure to healthcare and allow me to have a part-time career to take away some of the debt while in med school. By the time that I graduated, I was torn between NP and med school, so I decided to take a year off to practice as an RN.

    To make a long story short, this was the best thing that I could have ever done! I discovered something pretty quickly- I really dislike direct patient care. By becoming an RN, I saved myself at lot of misery that I would have experienced from putting in 4-years of med school, 3-4 years of residency and discovering that I don't enjoy patient care. Yes, there are other things that one can do as a physician, but the vast majority still involve patient care. From my experience in observing and working with physicians, I would have been very miserable indeed. On the other hand, there are many things that I can use my nursing degree for that do not involve direct patient care. I was very unhappy for my first few years as a nurse, but I now have a job that I enjoy and I am pursuing a master's degree in a subject that I am passionate about- health policy.

    I wish you luck and I hope that you will take the time to seek out some shadowing experiences.
  12. by   jjjoy
    The original post was in 2001. Yosemite may well already be a nurse or in med school... Yosemite, are you still out there to tell us what you decided to do and how it's turned out or is coming along?
  13. by   Natingale
    Quote from canoehead
    If you want to get rich nursing is your worst choice. If you want to care for people it is the best. Your personality is part of your treatment, and you get to know people at their worst and best. We see some real characters in the hospital, and you will be ringside for all of the drama and emotion. You must pick your hospital carefully though as with a patient load of 10-15 you won't have time to enjoy your career. I love my job and would never change it, but I have good staffing and a supportive hospital community. Make sure you plan on giving yourself the same advantages.

    If I could snap my fingers and be a multimillion/year plastic surgeon, I would take that money and go to nursing school to feed my soul as well as my wallet.


    Well written, well said :icon_hug:

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