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NP student considering med school

Posted

Specializes in Medical-Surgical nursing. Has 2 years experience.

Hey, everybody! I just started NP school a couple weeks ago and I'm in a bit of a predicament and hoping to get some advice. 

Long story short: I always planned on going to medical school but when I was offered a seat in the NP Program at the university I did my BSN at I took it thinking it was the right thing to do. After being in this program for a few weeks, I've realized it's maybe not for me and I should have stuck with my original plan to go to med school after nursing school. 

I'm thinking about finishing up this semester, stopping my program, and beginning med school pre reqs. 

Has anybody felt this way before or done this? I'm just looking for thoughts, advice, etc. 

Thanks!

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 4 years experience.

If you have the grades and ability to maintain top grades in pre-req and mcat, I don't see why you shouldn't. Why bother with finishing this semester? If you can get a refund, drop out and start your pre-reqs now or save up the money.

BackInTheSaddle, BSN, RN

Has 37 years experience.

Your gut instinct is telling you. Go ahead & make plans to get to med school. In NP school, preceptors are where you are really learning yet finding preceptors is a burden put upon the student. I've known of other NP students who make it to the final segment of the NP Program where clinicals are done only to find out that either the preceptor rescinded their offer or they simply cannot find a preceptor. Can you imagine? Telling your family you have one year left, quitting your job, then finding out you can't finish until another year goes by?

In med school, you will not have this burden. The school establishes your plan of learning including doctors in practice to mentor you. Go for it & save yourself this heartache. 

Estiefel0814

Specializes in MSN, FNP, ATC. Has 6 years experience.

I just finished FNP school and im having a hard time finding a position that I like. I've never wanted to do a Monday-Friday and it seems the only jobs with a lot of flexibility are inpatient. I could go back and get an AGACNP but at this point I've also been considering med school. I wanted to do it all through NP school but thought I'm too old/already put all this time and effort. I think I am going to pursue med school now and I wish I had done it at the beginning of NP school. I say go for it! Your heart and gut is telling you something you should listen to it! 

DrCOVID, DNP

Specializes in psych/medical-surgical. Has 12 years experience.

Everyone here says go with your gut and all that - to me your post sounds very vague. I'm wondering why you feel it's not "for you?" For some of the specialties, the roles are very similar. Obviously, medical school is much more rigorous and time consuming than NP programs. Most of my FNP cohort don't feel very prepared. 

If you are in your early or mid 20s, I would personally would choose medical school. But now into my early thirties, I just don't see the point - an NP with a few years experience and good relationship with an MD, or an IP state - you can be independent, great quality of life in the right place, and make very close to the same money. My preceptor bills 20-30k a month. From where I sit, it seems there is little difference in the end game. Your responsibility is (depending on where you are/organizational structure) going to be very similar. All I can say is for a psych resident, 4 years of residency seems a little excessive. You need insurance, an office, all of it is the same...

For example, I am going to be an independent provider in a RED practice environment. I have to market and find my own clients and I have a delegating that I will pay a few hundred a month. I don't really have a boss. And have full control of my schedule and how much I work...

Edited by adammRN

The Good Nurse, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Medical-Surgical nursing. Has 2 years experience.

Thanks everybody for all the advice so far! Everyone has been super helpful! 

canyonforest, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in ICU/CCU.

I would say go where your heart is telling you to go and have no regrets

DrCOVID, DNP

Specializes in psych/medical-surgical. Has 12 years experience.

On 9/29/2020 at 4:59 PM, The Good Nurse said:

Thanks everybody for all the advice so far! 

Why is NP "not for you", really curious?

Edited by adammRN

The Good Nurse, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Medical-Surgical nursing. Has 2 years experience.

16 minutes ago, adammRN said:

Why is NP "not for you", really curious?

Great question! For me, it's really the advanced knowledge that physicians have that makes NP not for me. Nothing again NPs of course, the NP education just doesn't seem that great, at least at my school. I feel like I'm only learning everything on a survey level. For example, my pathophys and pharmacology classes are basically identical to how they were for me in undergrad. The science of medicine and the human body has always been my passion, and I just feel like that is not what NP school is focused on. I also live in a very restricted practice state. I plan on continuing to practice in this state, and it doesn't appear that the NP practice laws will change soon. This is important to me because I would like to be the final responsiblity and the one with the most knowledge about the situation. Again, nothing against NPs at all, I just don't think it's right for me. 

On 10/1/2020 at 12:07 PM, The Good Nurse said:

Great question! For me, it's really the advanced knowledge that physicians have that makes NP not for me. Nothing again NPs of course, the NP education just doesn't seem that great, at least at my school. I feel like I'm only learning everything on a survey level. For example, my pathophys and pharmacology classes are basically identical to how they were for me in undergrad. The science of medicine and the human body has always been my passion, and I just feel like that is not what NP school is focused on. I also live in a very restricted practice state. I plan on continuing to practice in this state, and it doesn't appear that the NP practice laws will change soon. This is important to me because I would like to be the final responsiblity and the one with the most knowledge about the situation. Again, nothing against NPs at all, I just don't think it's right for me. 

Would medical schools care that you quit a NP Program? If they don't I think you should be able to get into medical school as long as you have a high GPA. I'm just trying to think about the risks of quitting. So much of being a good doctor is continuing to learn after graduating so I don't think because the NP Program isn't great you should quit. Graduating NP school with a bad knowledge base from the school isn't good either of course.

RNFalconIII

Specializes in Critical Care Registered Nurse. Has 2 years experience.

The medical schools will not care that you started an NP Program or quit it. If you go through the trouble to take Organic Chem I&II, or Biochemistry, Physics I&II, along with other courses that they require, they will not care. They will see that your goal now is to be an MD or DO. There are plenty of physicians that started in dental school because they accepted them into their program first, and after a year they switched into medical school once they were accepted. Having gone through some of the NP Program will not make you look bad. However, you should have your interview answers prepared as to why you want to be a physician. 

You would not be the first RN or even NP to go to medical school, however, it will set you apart and make you a competitive applicant if your GPA is above a 3.0. Medical schools are beginning a trend of looking at applicants differently. They want more well-rounded students, not robots that do not have common sense. If you are an RN or hold a position in healthcare or have a history of it, that is a plus. Volunteer work is a plus (many opportunities for this in healthcare).....volunteering at cancer walks or autism, or visiting people in hospice units can further show your compassion. If you have held a position of leadership in the last 5 or 10 years, that is a plus. If you were in band/choir/sports in high school and you went to state, nationals, or got 1st division in UIL, or interesting clubs in college that is a plus. Anything that makes you look well-rounded. If you do not think that you are well rounded, this can be fixed in a year.

Within 1 year, I started working as a tech in the ED, volunteered at a different hospital for 3 hrs a week, joined the nursing student association at my college, ran for treasurer and got it...(though, just running can be mentioned even if you did not get  the position)....You can join local programs that shows your interest, but excelling in 1 or becoming involved in 1 is better than just joining several. They also do not need to be healthcare related. If it is not healthcare related, it can show the graduate committee some of your other interests and further set you apart from the rest.

I wanted my bachelor's in nursing, because anything else would have been a waste since I knew I was going to be into healthcare. I knew that once I had a BSN that I would either become an NP, PA, or an MD/DO. 

You do not have to be an NP just because you are an RN. Becoming an NP in many states involves limiting oneself on many levels. If this is not your jam and you have it in you to go through medical school, then do it! You are smart enough to do it. It is just a matter of if you want to. It will take a lot of your time, but it is for a purpose. Putting your time and effort will be easier if you are fully committed to your vision. If you are not committed to your vision, then it will become harder.

Medical school can be really exciting too, you will see and do a lot.....a lot more than you would have in NP or PA school. You will go through more rotations as well that are really cool (& will not have to look for your own preceptors). There are a lot of resources available to you as a medical student and a physician. 

You will also have a lot of internships and study abroad opportunities available to you for experience which can help when applying to fellowships or jobs.

Remember to study smarter, not harder. Go to lecture, review. Get a "Lecturio" membership, helps with filling in gaps and cementing lectures. Dr. Najeeb's Lectures are helpful as well and free (you get access to a limited # of free lectures per day). When you are going to study for your boards exam use "Boards & Beyond". For now, this is a go-to, but this may change by the time you graduate.

You will have 2 USMLE exams throughout med-school. I recommend getting on medical student forums to see what everyone is using for those.

There are some schools that do not require MCAT scores. Apply to these first if you have not prepped for it. However, I would see what their residency "Match Rate" is. 

Also, consider if you want to be an MD or DO. The school that you end up going to will determine which of these you become, hence, it will also determine which specialties that would be available to you.

 

The sky is the limit. You've got this!

-Emilia

Edited by RNFalconIII

canyonforest, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in ICU/CCU.

I don’t plan on med school but I learned so much from this post; I agree her horizons are broader and she has more opportunities !!