Torn between Nursing and Medicine - page 4

Hello! I've posted here multiple times about dilemma I pose: my love for both nursing and medicine. I am currently a pre-nursing student, but I'm a bit hazy about my potential future as a nurse. I... Read More

  1. by   Ayeloflo
    Please give this some thought cos I'm worried about you.
    If you are not a native of the island, I'm inclined to think that you are having a culture shock. You are probably not used to what is "normal" on the island. Those who are used to what is "normal" expectation on the island, have a way of rolling with the punches. It's a big adjustment if you are an international student because many of such students give up and decide to go back to their home country, to an environment that they are more used to. It's a huge stress if you never experienced the culture prior to starting school on the island! The food, the social structure, what society considers to be acceptable or unacceptable,etc. Culture also determine how students interract with their instructor. In some areas of the world, asking a question of the teacher is considere rude. A student is only to listen and learn.
    Also, are you are under family pressure to achieve that goal. Are your peers and other people always asking you, "when will you finish?" Talk with other students who are not from there and how they are coping. Usually international students share info with one another for example in local ingredients you can use as substitute for your cooking. I know it's hard. You will need to try to remind yourself that you are going through a big adjustment. You will need to motivate yourself, one day at a time. You will need to try to reach out more to other students and study with them if you are not doing a lot of that. Always remind yourself that others have done, so you will get through it as well. We all help each other.
  2. by   LookForward
    Im guessing you really want to be a doctor, but your financial state make this dream questionable....If that is the case, see if you can garner funds/scholarships. The military/navy/army provides substantial support for eligible ones.....Explore.
    Last edit by LookForward on Jan 30, '11
  3. by   ImThatGuy
    Quote from cindyq
    I spent over $4,000 trying to get in and two years and never got in. I am here now and I do not know what to do. I mean it is not like I did not try the US I did I was never accepted though. That is the only reason I am here in the caribbean, and I am trying to decide whether to stay and tough it out even though I hate it or go back home and apply for nursing to become an NP or DNP. That is where I need advice.
    What are the USMLE pass rates there?
  4. by   tyloo
    You are interested in Emergency Medicine right? I would shadow an ER doc and then an ER NP. That will give you a comparison of what type of health care delivery you would prefer.
  5. by   10524246
    Go for the MD and do not look back. I'm a new grad nurse who has always considered med school. I'm 6 months into working my first job and know without a doubt that I want to be a physician. My father was a surgeon and told me to become a doctor instead of a nurse (i should have listened). Don't get me wrong, I respect nurses for what they do. In fact, now that I've been working as a nurse for several months, I have found that most nurses are very intelligent, intuitive, resilient men and women. But to be honest, the job is not for me. It involves A LOT of tasks, you are responsible for too much without a lot of authority (which is pretty scary), and the work is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining.

    As far as your degree goes, I would advise you not to get a BSN. You will not get a medical education in nursing school. Get a science degree (chem, bio, bio chem), and do well in your pre-reqs so you will be well prepared for the MCAT. I've heard that admissions boards for med schools tend to question an applicant's dedication to medicine if they get a BSN first, (something I'm sure i'll have to deal with I hope this post helps. I've been doing a lot of research on this so if you have any questions please let me know. Good luck with everything!
  6. by   BrookeeLou_RN
    At you age as long as you could afford it go for MD or DO. And yes I think you would love DO once you learn more about it! If you are unsure or money is an issue. go to will have more time with your patients, be more in charge and will still have a life besides work!! Forget what med school the time you get there,, there is no telling what the economy and health care will look like in the US. Please yourself..if it is meant to be and you are willing to work for it,,you will succeed. You are still young and when you get older having a life may make all the difference in the world to you. Definately follow both MD, DO and a DNP in heir day if possible.. Volunteer at the VA or jail or health dept and see what it feels like to care for those who can not always care for themselves...get a feel for the world, then conquer it! I have no doubt you will succeed in whatever you choose so choose wisely.
  7. by   kkinla
    My story is similar- always wanted to be a doctor (my dad was a family practice md) for as long as I can remember. Loved biology in junior high and high school, went into college knowing that was going to be my major. By the end of my freshman year, I realized that I wasn't so sure about med school anymore. All I saw was this long road ahead of me, with many more years of rigorous studying and sacrifices. For me, the most important goal in my life was (and still is) ultimately to become a mother, and I felt like medical school would be "putting my life on hold". I felt like I wouldn't really be able to live my life until residency was over. Also, I will admit that the MCAT scared me a bit. I knew that I could do it, but it would be another sacrifice for something that I didn't feel as strongly towards. So roughly at the end of freshman year or so, I came to the realization that medical school was off the table, and that I didn't know what I wanted to do instead.

    Sophomore year I started looking into becoming a genetic counselor. I had always (and still do) love genetics, and this was a field where I could combine my love of science/biology with healthcare. Then I discovered that genetic nursing exists, and as a nurse, it pays a lot more. (I should preface my comment on pay with the fact that my mother was a social worker, with a master's degree, who would work 2 jobs and still couldn't make enough money to eat. Her nursing friends would save the leftover food on patients' trays for her. Hence, she has told me more times than I can count that you need to go into a profession that you actually pays you enough that you don't need to depend on your husband's income. So the financial security in nursing was also important to me.) I spent a lot of time researching nursing, I shadowed a nurse for a shift, and at some point along the way, I had my epiphany, and realized that nursing was my path. It had so many positive qualities- good pay, flexible hours, and most importantly the patient care. I realized that I didn't want to be the doctor who spent 10 minutes with a patient and then left. I wanted to truly care for them and feel like I was making a difference in their life, even if it was on the most basic of levels.

    Fast forward, I graduated with a bachelor's in biology, took a couple pre-req classes I wasn't able to take in undergrad, volunteered at a hospital, and started in an Accelerated BSN program in May 2010. I will be graduating this May.

    Now, do I wonder sometimes if I should have chosen medicine instead? Yeah, I'll admit, sometimes I wonder if 5 or 10 years from now I'll be wishing I was an MD instead. But I don't think it will actually happen. I have so many things in nursing school that interest me, and have already had multiple experiences with patients that make me feel like I made the right choice. I've had people along the way ask why I didn't go to medical school, and I tell them the truth- I realized that it wasn't my passion. Nursing is.

    Do you want to go into medicine because other people say you should? My advice is ultimately to go with your gut. Expose yourself to the world of healthcare as much as you can. Volunteer at a hospital. Shadow doctors. Shadow nurses.

    My primary physician originally went to nursing school, worked as a nurse, and ultimately decided that she wanted to become a doctor. We hear these stories occasionally. But I cannot recall ever hearing of an MD who changed their mind, enrolled in nursing school, and became a nurse. My opinion is not that every MD loves what they're doing, but rather that leaving the medical profession and becoming a nurse means that they wasted A TON of time and money by going to medical school. Medical school is a bigger investment than nursing school. I don't hear much about doctors changing professions to begin with, let alone becoming nurses. Ultimately the decision is up to you, but the way I see it, if at some point I decide that nursing is not for me, I can go back to school. I don't think that becoming a nurse will have been a waste of time.

    Feel free to PM me anytime, I just can't guarantee how fast I'll be able to respond! Hope this essay helps you in some way
  8. by   want2banurse35
    If I was your age, I would go for MD. My fiance is currently in med school in the Bay Area and while it is strenuous and trying at times; he really loves it.
  9. by   ImThatGuy
    If it helps, I'd rather (and wanted to) be a doctor. My idea was becoming a PA. Instead, I finished my first B.S. degree and became a cop and paramedic. Sigh.

    Now, I'm in nursing school and can't conceive spending the time and effort in being admitted to and completing medical school. The years of lost life opportunities isn't worth the outcome. Nursing school isn't requiring that I give up that much. I still work, still earn a living, and still have time albeit it less time to "enjoy" myself with not that much, in my mind, added pressure.

    So to sum it up, I'm medically disqualified (colorblind) from doing the handful of things I wanted to do all my life, I wussed out on doing my runner up career, I tried something else I thought was fun and had fun doing it but that's all it was - fun, and now I'm in nursing school trying to be happy with it.
  10. by   johndz
    You know, I'm not going to read this all, mainly because so much I see on AllNurses is negative towards nursing.......but for the people saying "don't bother with nursing"......get the F@#$K off this website and these boards, you aren't a nurse and you don't care about nursing. This profession has a hard enough time gaining understanding, don't add to it by being a "self-hating nurse", seriously, leave, stop commenting. Nursing is a profession by itself, it is a model of care giving, by itself. The ARNP was created to deliver higher level care within the nursing model, not to be a "junior doctor". Nursing is not a stop on the way to medicine, it is a destination of it's own right. So, LOUX, figure it out on your own, if you want to be a nurse, this community will welcome you (by and large) with open arms; otherwise, take your talents else where, and good luck. And for those of you telling LOUX that nursing is a waste of time, then take your own advice, and leave this website, and the nursing profession, you are not needed. With so many people going back to college to get nursing degrees, there will be plenty of people that really want to be a part of this profession waiting to take your place.

    P.S. To everyone else, stop posting things like "it's just my opinion", or other "polite" rebuttals to the nurse haters.......their opinions suck, and you know it.
  11. by   cwhitebn
    I've always believe that if you "care" about your patients...follow nursing.
    If you care about the science...medicine. lol.
  12. by   kaitlynrs91
    ive been struggling with this as well OP, im 19 and have applied for nursing school in the fall, however as i am taking all these chemistry/biology/math prenursing/med reqs. i realize i dont handle stress too well nor am i big on problem solving, which are more necessary for medicine because they are science oriented people. I honestly prefer to work with the people and try to help them by giving them myself and my time, unfortunatly doctors don't do much patient interaction.
    the second reason is that Medical school is way too much time and money for someone like myself. I want to have a life before im 40! also many of my friends are putting in all this work for Med school in majors like biology and chemistry, but what would they do if they dont get into med school? 1. Teacher 2. Research. and i would hate those options. I know many people who use nursing as a "backup option" and I did not want to become one of those people.

    To all those who think nursing is underrated or whatever, i find that the people we work for and with make all the difference between a good job experience and a bad one. my advice is to switch job locations before hating the nursing career.
  13. by   CharmedJ7
    Quote from Newby'sWife07
    My gripe about nursing is that they seem to be responsible for everybody's mistakes. Pharmacy made a mistake? Well, the nurse should have noticed that med. was supposed to be this med. Patient upset? They yell at the nurse because the MD. is god.
    Haha, so true! Someone once asked me what hospital nurses do, and I said "Well, must be everything, because everything is our fault!" Labs not drawn? Nurse should've called phlebotomy until they came. Wrong diet or food not good? Nurse should've bugged dietary. Order wrong? Nurse shouldn't have trusted the MD. etc etc

    That aside, that's only a minor gripe I have with nursing most days. I will say, I was in a similar position as you and I'm not sure now if I went the right route. I was a biochem major in undergrad, and I LOVE science, but the work-life balance of nurse vs. MD struck a cord with me so I ended up doing the second degree nurse thing. I can say I think being a nurse is excellent experience and I wish all the residents would shadow nurses for at least a day to see what it's really like and what we see when we see their (sometimes silly) orders (ie, "Straight cath pt, if more than 300 comes out, put in foley" - really?). That said, I am not entirely satisfied with nursing education or the role, I felt like everything was gone into at a very shallow level and there's a lot of disinterest and/or hostility from other nurses if you want a deeper understanding of a particular topic. Also, it's very very hard to follow orders that you know are bad (ie, do wet-to-dry dressing on well, anything, or sliding scale insulin only for a pt whose blood sugar has been above 200 for days) and it's not always possible/it's exhausting to chase them every time. It is also very task-oriented, which I don't ostensibly have a problem with because I like working with my hands, but it leaves very little time to think and if that's something that will bug you, it's something to consider.

    I can't even tell you how many people at work have said "You should(ve) be(en) a doctor if you want to know all this stuff" and maybe they're right... I love with nursing how well I know my patients and the relationships you build and providing them that individualized, thorough care on the days you're actually not busy enough and can actually do it - trading that for the breezing in and outs MDs do, no thanks. Right now I'm thinking seriously about being a PA, I went to direct entry NP but after taking the only patho class they get, I'm really concerned that I would get that degree in still feel I don't really know enough.

    I do think that if you are really driven and intellectually curious you will get frustrated as an RN.