Ever considered becoming MDA ?

  1. Hi,
    My name is Ursula and I'm a RN who is very interested in the science of anesthesia. I've been following Nilepoc's BLog ( keep up the good work!) and read a entry that made me stop for a moment. Then I read a posting here that really made me think.
    So, My question today is : Have any SNRAs or CRNAs ever considered becoming MDAs?
    From the entries that Nilepoc has written, it seemed that the medical student were projected to be "better" ( though we all know they're not) and more respected. But, they received typed notes. Someone also posted " If I had to do it again I would have tried to get into med school, although is a harder and longer goal you are at least treated like a professional from day one and are taught to be in charge and make decisions, you will not experience anything like that until you get into crna school." I'm now wondering if maybe it's better to go to med school and learn over a prolonged period of time. Maybe it's not as stressful as CRNA school and having tons of information crammed into your head in such a short period of time. As I stated, I'm interested in the science of Anesthesia and have been since high school. I just want to put people to sleep be it as a CRNA or a MDA really doesn't matter as long and I learn about the science I'm content. I would like to know the true thoughts of those who have mastered the task as well as those on the journey to becoming CRNA. Please keep it real!
    Thanks in advance,
  2. Visit Howyaluvdat profile page

    About Howyaluvdat

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 46; Likes: 1
    Specialty: ICU, ER,Med Surg, Psych, Management,


  3. by   loisane
    I think anesthesia is a difficult, challenging field for both CRNAs and MDAs.

    CRNA school is more focused, and shorter over all. But that is not to say medical school is any less intense. You may learn over a longer time, but you cover more area. MDs are trained to be generalists first, then specialize in anesthesia.

    To consider the abstract: My personal philosophy is that giving anesthesia fits into the nursing paradigm better than the medical. Anesthesia is about monitoring and support, it usually does not include diagnosis and treatment of disease. Of course, there are those that disagree.

    To consider the real world: Most actual anesthesia is given by CRNAs. Many MDAs function by supervising/directing only, and spend very little (if any) time actually "on the stool, squeezing the bag". So if you really enjoy the "hands on" part of anesthesia, CRNA is a better fit. There are practices where MDAs actually run rooms, so it would be possible to seek them out, if a person was so inclined.

    So to answer the question, if I had it to do over, I would still choose nursing anesthesia. Med school was a choice for me, I had the numbers, the pre-requesites, took the MCAT. But I am most pleased I chose nursing, and nurse anesthesia.

    Even with the politics, and the reality of health care hierarchy (that you illustrated from nilepoc's blog). I disagree with the physician at the top of the pyramid system we have now. It is too last century. I believe we will move forward, and that the system will evolve, and change. I am looking forward to participating in that evolution, as an advanced practice nurse.

    loisane crna
  4. by   Howyaluvdat
    Thanks! That was a WONDERFUL response. I have applications to many CRNA schools and I am sending them off today. I want the hands on experience! Thanks again. Wish me luck!
  5. by   u-r-sleeepy
    Like Loislane, I considered it and had the numbers too. But, I'm not 22 anymore and after looking it over, I realized that taking another 7-9 years to become an MD didn't look too great.

    I was eating dinner with a CRNA recently who told me about an MDA who told her candidly, "I wish I had done what you did by becoming a CRNA. If I had it to do all over again, I would go your route." She had considered the same MD route I had and came to the same conclusion.

    I think: If you're young enough and there is a certain practice of medicine that you can acheive only as a physician, you really owe it to yourself to "go for it"! I believe med school would be fantastic and something to be very proud of accomplishing. Only you can decide what avenue is best for you. Still, for pure anesthesia practice, I would skip the extra years and become the absolute best CRNA you can be.

    One more thing - I've noticed something that bothers me about SOME CRNAs/SRNAs: I have seen some who seem to want to study only "as much as necessary" and then once they're done with the test/course/out of school, they don't continue to learn and grown and stay abreast of things. I think that is SO WRONG - WRONG - WRONG!!! Why shouldn't CRNAs be just a diligent and commited to their profession as MDA/DOAs? I realize this is no doubt a topic for another discussion, but I feel a commitment to a lifetime of learning (as I see so many doctors possess) is absolutely CRITICAL! #1 - I REEEEAAAAALLLY enjoy learning and #2 - I think it's a tad bit lazy to not be interested in continuing to advance one's knowledge and abilities.

    Just some food for thought - (or @#$% for the fan? ;-)