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Medical School or Nursing School?

Pre-Nursing   (711 Views 3 Comments)
by Chocolate39 Chocolate39 (New) New

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I'm having a hard time making a decision about what career path I should pursue. I'm currently a junior in college, and I have been accepted to nursing school. In high school there was a health occupation program that included a nursing program, and I did a lot of volunteer work in hospitals and patient transportation. I'm the first person in my family to go to college and all I knew is that I wanted to worked in the health field, in a hospital, help people, and that I love science. So I decided to pursue nursing and I took all of the prerequisites.

After taking the human anatomy and physiology sequence I found that I'm passionate about learning more about the human organ systems. I specifically enjoyed working on case studies where we were given a patient scenario, and had to apply what we had learned to come up with a diagnoses. By that time I had already finished almost all of my nursing prerequisites. Also, I realized that nursing was more about "patient care" rather than "patient cure." I want to be able to be a part of a patient's diagnosing process rather than be the one who gives the patient the medication from the doctor's order. I took an interest in becoming a doctor because I want to keep learning about diseases, how we treat them, and the physiology behind it all.

So now I'm stuck I don't know what to do! I have two weeks to decide. If I don't go to nursing school I risk losing the opportunity, and all my hard work. Because what if I don't get accepted to medical school and end up with a bachelor's in Biology with no job. My freshmen year in college I struggled financially and academically, and I failed a chemistry and biology course. But, I re-took the courses and came out earning A's. Right now my science GPA is a 4.0. However, those failed courses are still on my transcript/record.

I don't know what to do. Any second opinion is appreciated. Anyone else ever had this problem?

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anh06005 has 6 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Cardiac, Home Health, Primary Care.

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Nursing school absolutely teaches you pathophysiology, treatment, etc. maybe in more general terms (versus cellular level in med school). The nurse must understand all of that to catch subtle changes that may indicate patient decline. The nurse is on the frontline of the treatment plan versus seeing the patient for 10 minutes once or twice a day. You also have to catch when a doctor messes up to possibly save the patient from harm. So it's more than "patient care" of checking vitals, starting iv's, and holding hands.

Medical school will be tougher, more time consuming, and more expensive. Also comes with much more responsibility in terms of call and hours. The pay is better of course and yes YOU call the shots. You will get more science and understand everything more deeply than nurses so it may be a good option if that's really your main interest.

Just checking if you've considered NP or PA? They get to call the shots too but don't quite have all the responsibility of the MD.

You also must have a bachelors to get into med school. That bachelors can be nursing...the main thing is that you take the med school prereqs. So you could always TRY nursing.

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152 Posts; 3,993 Profile Views

Your either / or logic is causing you a bit of unnecessary grief. For example either nursing or medical school. You can major in nursing or even become a nurse and still apply and move on to medical school. You can major in biology and still work in or out of that field with your degree. There are plenty of biotechnology jobs for biology majors for example. And no matter which way you go, you can always change your mind.

So how to choose? Volunteer, work, network, and research. Get out there and talk to nurses and doctors (as you are here), but also really see what the job entails. Too many people commit insane money and time to these two career paths only to realize it is not what they imagined.

Finally, if medicine is really your passion, be persistent and you will be a great doctor. However if helping people on a more personal level is what you want you may be a better fit for nursing. Even in nursing, you have options in advanced nursing where you are more independent. Hope that helps a little.

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