Nursing or Medicine???

Nursing Students General Students


Hello everyone!!!

I'd like to get your opinion about something. Have any of you felt that negative pressure from your society on choosing Nursing as your profession, rather than going into Medicine? I ask this because, a hierarchy-oriented society discourages real passion within an individual and young people somehow gets 'programmed' to believe that they want to be a doctor. I'm not against doctors, but from what I've heard, most people who enter into a Medical school go there just to climb up the social ladder and not because they actually have that passion inside them.

Not sure where you "heard" this, but there are much, much easier ways for people to "climb up the social ladder" than medical school and residency. I've been in nursing for a long time in lots of different settings and geographical areas, including working at big teaching hospitals with lots of medical students and residents, and have never encountered anyone with that attitude. Not sayin' that every med student, resident, and physician I've ever worked with has been a saint, but I've never encountered what you describe.

I was actually referring to those students who get into an elite Med school, only because their parents want them to. And the real reason lies in the fact that doctors are one among in the top list when it comes to salary and also becasue it was considered a 'supreme' profession even from the very early times... :)

Why I didn't and why I wouldn't choose nursing -

1. The time I would need to put in school didn't seem worth it. I would have to go to school how many more years after my BS? And then if I survived and got my MD, I would be expected to work how many hours?

2. How much in loans would I need to take out for this MD?

3. Doctors are specialized - they only work in one field. Oncology, gynecology, etc. As a nurse, I can work in ED one year, the next go to Oncology, the next work pediatrics, the next work maternity and then after years of maternity go into psych. Doctors can't do this.

4. If I wanted, I could keep going to school to become a specialized nurse in a field but I don't have to if I don't want to.

5. And finally, and most importantly, I get to work more with the patient than a Doctor. :nurse:

Specializes in med/surg 1 year, ER 5 years.

i always wonder if there are two other professions that have as much competition and contention as nursing and medicine. can't we all just get along?! for the record, most people do not enter medicine to make money. as mentioned before, its almost a decade (sometimes more) of schooling/training with little compensation and debt. there are easier and less time consuming ways to make money. plus, once we are finally doctors, we will have to deal with just as much (if not more) of the legal and administrative crap that comes along with health care as nurses do. most med students are type A with OCD tendencies and therefore are attracted to medicine because of the autonomy and decision making responsibilities. also, many of us are attracted to the idea of treating many patients at a time as opposed to the 6 or so patients nurses can treat at a time. me personally, i want to be a surgeon so med school was my only option. anyways, thats my two cents. and by the way, med students and residents can have a life. sure its a lot of studying but we work hard and then play hard! :D

Even though this thread is somewhat old I thought I would make an observation. Some of the "physician versus nurse" rhetoric that we hear in this country is strictly because of American cultural views of health and medicine. In some parts of the world physicians are not viewed as highly, and in some parts of the world nurses and physicians are viewed as being separate but complimentary professions. We, at least here in the USA, do not, by and large, think of medical systems, and our views on healthcare, as being culturally based, but they are. For good or bad (and I think it is way bad), the American view of medicine is that physicians are the "owners" health. All others, even the patients, are somehow below the physicians. I am not saying that all physicians feel this way (or even that any of them do), but all it takes is a quick look at how medical staff is portrayed in television, movies, and books to see this view is a popular one in the United States. I heard a Japanese physician make a statement one time that in Japan "doctors do not get rich", and somebody asked "why then do you do it". This could have been from the view that physicians should be rich, or it could come from the fact that medical school in this country (and most college and university work) is WAY too high. I had thought about medical school, but after a friend of mine graduated from medical school with close to $400,000 in debt and married a physician who had about $300,000 in debt, I really had to think about how this kind of debt would fit with the life I want for myself as I get older. I also do not want to have to work 70 to 80 hours a week until my 80s (I am a nontraditional student) in order to be able to pay off my medical school loans. If the "reason" that people go into medicine is "for the money" as one poster asserts then they should look at really how little money they will have left over. I also know an ER physician who, after paying all of his expenses related to his job but not his life in general (i.e. med school loans, malpractice, etc. but not mortgage, car payment, etc.) has less money left over than the nurses in the ER. Also I wonder if the reference to a 5.35 GPA is referring to Australian GPA. If so this is about the USA equivalent of a 3.5 which is NOT competitive for most medical schools.

Thank you for sharing your views. Like you have mentioned, the attitude towards health, nurses and doctors differ in different cultures. Well, back in where I come from, it is a doctor-dominant health care system. It is perfectly evident even when you scan the administrative systems in health. There had been a move by the government over here to put graduate nurses in-charge of the community health centers due to the disturbing lack of doctors to hold the position (just because they find the job too boring, less productive in terms of the financial remuneration etc.). But once this order was made public, all the doctors' associations have teamed up against this move to put nurses in-charge. What does this show? It spills from an impending fear they have that nurses might take their places. And the most ironic thing is that they keep forgetting who the center of health care system is. Patients are the ultimate sufferers, in this case, the economically backward people form the community.

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to this. Life has been a little hectic lately, but such is the way of things sometimes.

Along the lines of what you mentioned, I read an article the other day by a medical student bemoaning a perceived, at least to him, shortage of residency positions for medical school graduates. Then I read an article with follow up comments from residency administrators who had read his article. They pointed out that while there might be fewer sub-specialty residencies than students seeking them there are actually, every year, a large percentage of primary care residency slots that go unfilled. They said most medical students viewed these positions as less glamorous or not worthy of all the advanced knowledge they had received in medical school. Who fills the gaps left by physicians not taking primary care residencies? PAs and NPs. The PAs and NPs are taking the positions that supposedly the physicians didn't want . . . well at least, as you point out, until someone else was there to take them. It seems sort of like a child saying "I don't want that toy anymore but I also don't want you to take it".

As always just my two cents worth . . .

Thank you so much for taking your time to reply. The way you put the entire discussion into just a simple funny quote was brilliant by the way. Very apt. Hope you are having a great time touching lives of those in need :) Regards...

Before I truly understood the medical model vs. nursing models and nursing concept of care, I regarded nursing as "assistants to physicians." I think, like most things, people need to be well informed before they pass judgment. I'm aware of the basics involved in nursing care, and I can say with complete confidence that becoming a physician or going to med school would not be suitable for how I feel about patient care and the healing process. Society gives weird stereotypes to various career choices... the only "cure" for that is education.

I thought about becoming a Dermatologist or a OB-GYN, but I think I will enjoy nursing a lot more! Nursing will allow me to see a variety of health cases, have a more flexible schedule, more patient contact, and I believe I will be able to be a mommy and wife as a nurse, more so than if I was a doctor. These are just my opinions:)

And they are very good opinions. There is something to be said about thinking about work-life balance and what really makes you happy prior to jumping into a career. Of course, you can always change course in life, but sometimes it is better to pick the correct path the first time.

I wish you all the best in your career and life.

Thank you so much for taking your time to reply. The way you put the entire discussion into just a simple funny quote was brilliant by the way. Very apt. Hope you are having a great time touching lives of those in need :) Regards...

Thanks for your very kind comments! Stay safe out there.

Society gives weird stereotypes to various career choices... the only "cure" for that is education.

And I would add real education not indoctrination or the pushing of an agenda. Like you I feel that way too many times people decide on a career based on their perceived understanding of how that profession is viewed (if that wording makes any sense). What they should really ask is "title and alphabet soup after my name aside what would I really enjoy doing?" And to begin to answer that question they need to understand what the jobs they are considering actually entail.

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