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Is it illegal to say you're a med student if you are not in medical school?

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by psu_213 psu_213 (Member)

psu_213 has 6 years experience .

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OK, so I say that in jest; however, given the large number of discussions on AN about "can an MA call themselves a nurse?" I found this amusing.

Today in the ER, my pt told the resident (a medical school graduate, a full fledged MD) "I am a medical student too. I am studying medical coding." At this point I am trying to hide a smile and suppress a chuckle. The resident handled it professionally (i.e., ignored it), but I though it was kinda amusing and, well, really rude. Of course, I'm glad he didn't say anything....if he had corrected the pt that would have hurt our Press Gainey scores.

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SaoirseRN has 8+ years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

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I remember being in nursing school, and having "friends of friends" tell me how their daughter/sister/niece, etc, were "in nursing school, too" followed by the statement "doing the care aid program".

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hiddencatRN works as a Registered Nurse.

28,994 Visitors; 3,408 Posts

I was explaining something to a patient once and she interrupted me and said "Oh, I know all about that. I went to medical school. I'm a medical assistant."

Man it must suck to go through med school and get stuck as an MA. No pay off, I tell ya!

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applewhitern has 30 years experience.

3 Likes; 25,257 Visitors; 1,871 Posts

Well, I see nurses talk about being in "medicine" all the time here. Nurses are in "nursing;" doctors are in "medicine." Two separate things. Anyway, one of our patients told a doctor she was in "medical school." Turns out she was in school to be a medical assistant.

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mrnightinggale has 3 years experience and works as a Telemetry Nurse.

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Anyone can say they are a medical student in a bar. To the layperson, it is all medicine. Most people are naive about it so I wouldn't hold it against them. The resident handled it correctly. It is probably not illegal until you try to practice, don't go there.

:angrybird1:

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SummitRN has 5 years experience and works as a ICU.

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Medical students have no authority or license. It isn't illegal. It is silly.

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KelRN215 has 10 years experience and works as a Complex Care Manager.

38 Likes; 67,257 Visitors; 7,344 Posts

I remember being in nursing school, and having "friends of friends" tell me how their daughter/sister/niece, etc, were "in nursing school, too" followed by the statement "doing the care aid program".

My best friend once called me and said "you'll get a kick out of this." Her teenage sister-in-law who was a senior in high school at the time was talking about getting accepted into college and what she was going to study. Someone said to her "I thought you wanted to be a nurse" and her response was "I am a nurse." She had evidently taken a CNA class at the local nursing home. Hahaha.

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1 Like; 15,731 Visitors; 993 Posts

I am friends in facebook with a girl who got her CNA a year ago. She is always posting how hard it is to.find a nursing job. The thing is there are a million nursing homes here always hiring. I wonder if she is applying to actual nursing positions, hence the unemployment.

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a CRRN, now a case management RN.

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I completed a medical assisting program back in 2000 when I was 19 years old. One of my former classmates, a 40-something female, used to tell her friends and relatives that she was in 'medical school.' I suppose some people with low self-esteems need to embellish their life accomplishments to impress others when, in reality, they're making themselves look foolish.

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a CRRN, now a case management RN.

21 Likes; 1 Follower; 228 Articles; 315,319 Visitors; 27,607 Posts

Another unrelated thought. . .my father used to tell people I was in 'medical school.' I would always correct him by informing him I was in nursing school, but he'd always say, "It's the same thing!" My father knows nothing about college education or advanced degrees, so to him it was the same thing.

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psu_213 has 6 years experience.

26 Likes; 27,412 Visitors; 3,869 Posts

First, I was just joking about it being illegal...I only said this vis-a-vis the many AN discussion on the illegality of calling oneself a nurse if one is not actually a nurse.

Anyway, I don't know if this pt said it to boost her own self esteem or to try and get on the same level with the resident (who, incidentally, is not a med student either) or to just make it sound like she knew what she was talking about. Whatever the case, I just found it to be a bit...umm...improper.

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Glycerine82 has 3 years experience as a LPN and works as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

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I can't get over how ignorant society is. *shakes head* Its certainly not illegal, being in school doesn't give you a licence to practice anything. As a pp stated it certainly is stupid, but it sounds to me like the person truly thinks "medical school" means school for anything pertaining to the medical field....ugh.

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