Nursing or Medical School

  1. 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 all of the years of training that are ahead. I have completed two years of pre-reqs towards medical school and have done very well so far.

    Anyways, the college that I attend has just completed an arrangement with two regional hospitals (in the Upper Midwest) whereas the hospitals will pay a certain part of students' nursing tuition in years 3 and 4 in return for 2 years of service. I think that's an excellent idea for someone like myself who relies soley on student loans and working to finance education.

    I want to get into healthcare to make a difference. What does anyone think about entering the nursing field vs. going to medical school? Any comments or advice would be very helpful. Thanks for your help.

    Yosemite
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   kennedyj
    Have you thought about physician assistant school. I know many people who start out going for pre-med and change to PA school. You have a broad scope and they usually like you to have a pre med background.

    J
  4. by   nursedude
    Don't castrate your earning potential...

    Do anything BUT nursing.
  5. by   Yosemite
    Kennedyj & wildtime88: Thanks for your suggestions. I did look into PA school also but I quickly found out that the schools really like to see a significant amount of healthcare experience in their applicants. I found out that there are many RN's, CNA's, EMT's and Paramedics, etc.. that apply each year. I do have hospital volunteer experience but I certainly fall short when compared to the above mentioned careers.

    nursedude: I can see where you are coming from with the earnings potential argument. Seems like the NYC and Minneapolis, MN areas pay nurses the most. I suspect that the strong union presence in these cities has something to do with that. Otherwise, pay really varies across the country. From reading your other posts on this site you seem unhappy with nursing. Have you thought about going the NP or PA route? How about becoming a CRNA? I'm just curious, that's all. Thanks again.
  6. by   nursedude
    Yosemite,

    No...

    That's my answer. I have thought about becoming a PA, CRNP and even an MD. Quite frankly, I wouldn't recomend any career to anyone in healthcare at present. I think that healthcare is under such severe financial strain right now that it's about to implode. Doctors, nurses, xray techs, all the folks in healthcare are dependant on an archaic and expensive system. How much longer and how much higher can the cost of healthcare get before it becomes un-affordable? I'd say that within the next 10 or 20 years we'll see the end of healthcare in the USA as we know it. I'm suggesting that soon government sponsored healthcare will arrive on a nationwide basis. Once that happens the system (healthcare) will collapse.

    Well, that's just my opinion, especially here in Pittsburgh. As far as your pointing out the salaries being higher in bigger cities I agree but also worth noting is that the salaries are most likely higher in those big cities because the cost of living is higher as well.
  7. by   tonchitoRN
    Stay in medicine but definitely make your goal a physician assistant, nurse practitioner or MD. Stay away from bedside nursing. You'll feel better about yourself.
  8. by   RNKitty
    Originally posted by tonchitoRN
    Stay in medicine but definitely make your goal a physician assistant, nurse practitioner or MD. Stay away from bedside nursing. You'll feel better about yourself.
    Not to sound sexist, but it's too bad you are male. I am an OB nurse who works in the low risk LDRP setting. I have done high risk, level II, and low risk, and I love every aspect of maternal-child care. We need more good nurses, but managers are reluctant to place men on the OB units.

    The difference between nurses and doctors? Nurses TAKE CARE of the patient. You go, do your 8 or 12 hour shift, then you leave the hospital and go home to your life. Doctors focus on CURING the patient, and wear beepers, take insane call hours and seem to have a harder time getting away from their careers, not to mention the liability they carry. One family practice doctor and I sat down and figured out that I took home more income than she did after she paid her overhead for her practice and insurance. For some doctors, it's not about the money, but how they want to spend their life.
  9. by   debbyed
    I work with several guys in the ER and they love the work as much as I do. We find we can live quite confortable on our income and when we go home our job is done. No patients calling all hours of the night. In this day and age you couldn't pay me enough to be a doctor.
  10. by   cmggriff
    I graduated from an ADN program in 1984. I have never regretted the decision to become a nurse. I have worked construction, in the oil fields and had my own business building houses. I had an opportunity to go to med school. But I don't like most of the Dr's I know. I figure I don't want to become something I dislike. I think if you feel that you might want to be a doc, that is what you ought to do. Otherwise you may become a bitter nurse. Good luck, Gary
  11. by   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.
  12. by   Yosemite
    To everyone who has replied,

    Just wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to respond to my post. I am still debating but nursing school sure seems like a more attainable and equally rewarding career. The college that I attend will start to offer a one year BS, RN degree next September for those students who already have a bachelors degree and have completed the pre-nursing requirements. Basically, it's an accelerated program cramming the 2 1/2 year professional nursing program into 1 year...... yikes! So, within 2 years from now, I could be employed, compared to the 9 or so years (and $150k debt) that it would take me to become a physician.

    Gee, I didn't know that gender played such as role in OB units. Not sure what to think of that. I appreciate everyone's comments on money and lifestyle choices. Sounds like you all have chosen the right career for you.

    Yosemite
  13. by   msdeeva
    I have the same views when it comes to the status of healthcare in America. I am just finishing up my first year in nursing school and I have been aware of this fact before I started. Eventually, I would like to go into policy making in the future. You seem to have a knack for that field as well, seeing as you have many opinions as to the dire straights the nursing field is in. Why haven't you sought a career in administration or policy making in nursing?

    Quote from nursedude
    Yosemite,

    No...

    That's my answer. I have thought about becoming a PA, CRNP and even an MD. Quite frankly, I wouldn't recomend any career to anyone in healthcare at present. I think that healthcare is under such severe financial strain right now that it's about to implode. Doctors, nurses, xray techs, all the folks in healthcare are dependant on an archaic and expensive system. How much longer and how much higher can the cost of healthcare get before it becomes un-affordable? I'd say that within the next 10 or 20 years we'll see the end of healthcare in the USA as we know it. I'm suggesting that soon government sponsored healthcare will arrive on a nationwide basis. Once that happens the system (healthcare) will collapse.

    Well, that's just my opinion, especially here in Pittsburgh. As far as your pointing out the salaries being higher in bigger cities I agree but also worth noting is that the salaries are most likely higher in those big cities because the cost of living is higher as well.
  14. by   suzanne4
    Quote from RNKitty
    Not to sound sexist, but it's too bad you are male. I am an OB nurse who works in the low risk LDRP setting. I have done high risk, level II, and low risk, and I love every aspect of maternal-child care. We need more good nurses, but managers are reluctant to place men on the OB units.

    The difference between nurses and doctors? Nurses TAKE CARE of the patient. You go, do your 8 or 12 hour shift, then you leave the hospital and go home to your life. Doctors focus on CURING the patient, and wear beepers, take insane call hours and seem to have a harder time getting away from their careers, not to mention the liability they carry. One family practice doctor and I sat down and figured out that I took home more income than she did after she paid her overhead for her practice and insurance. For some doctors, it's not about the money, but how they want to spend their life.
    I have worked with quite a few male L&D nurses over the years, including one that was nurse manager of a very busy unit in Detroit. If the Ob/Gyn can be a male, why can't a male be a nurse there?

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