Hi, I'm new here on a personal quest :)

  1. Hello everyone,

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through all the forums over the last couple of days... so thoroughly that I have hardly studied at all. :P

    I will try to condense my life story into a short paragraph - it would be nice to meet some other peeps who are in similar situations. Let's see.. I turned 30 this year, am happily married with 2 rockin' kids (3 and 7 months) and I am still trying to figure out what I want to do with my own career. I have a BS in Earth Science and have been in 3 graduate programs since then. Yes, I have a hard time deciding what I want to do.

    For the past year, I was working toward a goal of starting med school in 2009. Just this weekend I found all sorts of discouraging opinions about med school and medicine in general on various blogs. I had heard things before (oo, beware the hours) but for some reason did not take the time to seriously think about them and put myself in that situation. But the more I thought about it, the more worried I got. Enter some research on a career as a Pediatric or Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. I was really impressed to discover that I could get my BSN or MSN in less than 2 years and then get into a DNP program, all the while getting student loans at least partially paid off for me. The financial implications of becoming a doctor, on the other hand, are simply mind-boggling!

    My passions lie in serving as an advisor to parents. I am an advocate of breastfeeding and every other aspect of attachment parenting, while still maintaining respect for alternate choices. I have my own business teachign parents how to communicate with their babies through sign language. I am fluent in Spanish (loan forgiveness in migrant worker clinics???) and can get by in ASL. I wanted to become a pediatrician. Now I think that I can satisfy my desires as a PNP in private practice. I don't like being told what to do. If I am to have that kind of autonomy, I feel I need to go beyond the RN to NP.

    What's scaring me away from med school? Time is the biggest factor. I can't fathom 30 hours on-call and 80 hours a week AVERAGED over three weeks. I love my kids and I don't want to sacrifice a healthy relationship with them for the sake of my personal career. Horror stories about how awful residents and attendings can be to work with... (although nurses have to deal with that too) And pediatricians are the lowest paid physicians from what I can see... average salary of around $145K - if I can max out at $90K or $100K as a PNP, why would I want to suffer through med school to get the same basic job?

    So much for condensing the life story. I look forward to e-meeting you all! BTW, I'm in Memphis and would be going into the BSN program at UTHSC or the MSN program at UM. Right now I'm taking O-chem, Physics I, and A&P I. If I decide to switch to the nursing track, I"ll take A&P II, Micro, and Nutrition next semester, then start the nursing program in July.

    Liz
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   teampierce
    Hi Liz. Welcome to the group. I have gathered a lot of motivation and reconfirmation of my dream to become a nurse from these forums. So I hope that we can help you in your quest as well. Good Luck.

    As a mother I can totally understand your hesitency (sp?) about med school. While some women's personalities are hardier then others, I know that *I* would not be happy if I made that sort of time commitment somewhere other than my children. Either way you can make a sound decision that makes sense to YOU.. So search your heart.
  4. by   turbohound
    My wife is a doctor, and it has required great sacrifice by her, and everyone else in our family. Even when she is at home, she can get called at anytime, and has to drop everything for her patients. The price is very very high.
  5. by   nurz2be
    Quote from dilleweed
    Hello everyone,

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through all the forums over the last couple of days... so thoroughly that I have hardly studied at all. :P

    Liz
    I would like to share with you a little story of my family. My father, is deceased, was a Pediatric Otolaryngologist (ENT) and my mother, who is now retired for health reasons, was a Pediatric nurse. I can tell you some personal horror stories, but suffice it to say that I spent CONSIDERABLE more time with my mom, than my dad. My mom, the nurse, worked 3-4 12 hours shifts and was off the rest of the week, unless dad needed her in his office. Dad, however, I would see maybe once at night during the week before I had to go to bed, and I would see him mostly on Sunday while he was dictating or studying charts. He would attend a few of my games a year, and every once and a while he was in attendance at teacher meetings. My father ADORED me, he was doing his best to provide a good life for us, and he did, but it did cost him and our family. I remember once in high school, mom was asked if she was a single mom cause this person always saw mom at activities. Mom, being the nurse, smiled and said, "No, I am happily married, my husband just works many hours and can't always be in attendance, his heart is with us though." Dad was in med school when I was born.....I started kindergarten when he started his 100+ hour a week hospital rotations. My dad helped a lot of kids. My mother helped a lot of people, saved a few lives in the process. I am now a nursing student, who is also a mother. I would not and COULD NOT, be my father or live with the stresses he must have had being a parent and a physician, especially to small kids. I do guess that a mother's attention is different than a dad's attention. I always thought I wanted to be a doctor or nurse. I am SO glad I am taking the nurse route. I too, am going for NP once graduated. Good luck in your decision process. Your kids are only little once.....
  6. by   dilleweed
    Thanks, nurz2be... that really helps. I don't want my kids to have to tell a story like that.

    I lived in Melbourn for a while - my aunt and cousin still live there!
  7. by   nurz2be
    Quote from dilleweed
    Thanks, nurz2be... that really helps. I don't want my kids to have to tell a story like that.

    I lived in Melbourn for a while - my aunt and cousin still live there!
    You are very welcome. I don't want to sound discouraging, if being a physician is what you want then you should. I just know from my childhood what that meant to me. I know he loved me and my family, I just cannot imagine being able to give up that relationship with my kids.

    I do wish you all the best in your life and with your medical career.
  8. by   happydays352
    My Dad is a Family Practice MD in the army, He also went to med school with three young kids although he had my Mom to take care of us.He got lower grades so he could spend time with us. I actually remember him during that time lol ( I was 9). However, it was a hard sacrifice and watching him go through it made me realize that maybe Med school wasn't the best choice for me especially since I want a family. Your also right about the pay, he makes less than some NP's, and he's now a civilian. He didn't have the med school debts but if you think about all the debt yuck. Primary care physicians get paid jack diddly.
    I think NP is a great idea, you can take time off in between getting your degrees to be with your children, your pay will be good, you'll be doing what you love without giving up a family life. Less debt, less stress.

    Good luck with your future!
  9. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    I would also say, don't discount your age. If you can get into med school in 2009, you graduate in 2013. Now tack on a 3-year residency and now it's 2016. Now you're 38 or 39 and you're just starting out - and you're probably holding $150,000 - $200,000 in debt. That debt and the limited time that you have to service it will dictate what you do and where you go. Will you be ready to pick up and move your 9- and 12-year-old kids?

    Speaking of which: Is your family ready to move in order to start med school? And then again when you do your residency?

    Medicine can be an incredibly rewarding career but it comes at a very steep price financially, temporally, and relationally.

    Long ago I was speaking to a man just starting his 3rd year at the local medical school. He was married and had two small kids. He said that if it weren't that he and his wife had a great relationship going in, he didn't think it would've survived the stress of his first two years. He also said that if he had to do it over again, he's not sure he would have because of the affect on his family. And he was only 2 years into his education.

    Personally, I'd go the NP route.

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