Published Jun 22, 2009
Hello everyone. I am new to the board. I am going to be applying to nursing school in the spring, and I am really excited about it! But, I have been having thoughts about maybe doing medical school. I just can't shake off this thought and desire to go to medical school. But, I just don't know. Right now I live in Florida, but I want to move as soon as possible. I can't see myself living here for longer than a couple more years. And if I go to medical school I would want to pay in state tuition rather than out of state, but of course I would have to establish residency in another state first.
I guess my questions are these:
1. Did/do you ever want to go back to school to go to medical school?
2. If so, how did you go about it?
3. Do you think I should just get my RN license here in Florida, move to whatever state, work for a year or so to establish residency (and ideally experience the lives of nurses, doctors, etc), and then apply to med school?
I don't know... I want to hear other people's thoughts that are objective to my situation...
it is not better to be a nurse over a doctor or vice versa. you have to look at what you find interesting and what gives you your emotional buzz --and things you don't want to live with. the nutshell version i have seen is that doctors solve problems but nurses fix people. of course, that is a gross understatement, but not entirely untrue. nurse looks at the patient says "hmmmmm" while you are passing your morning meds, including lasix. you ask about her bowels and she's had diarrhea. hmmmmm. she complains about feeling weak and sore and crampy but attributes it to the lumpy bed. you suspect her potassium might be low. you think about her k-wasting diuretic and what is the cause of her diarrhea so you can intervene there. (isn't is med related? disease related? can it be stopped? or is it c-diff?)that myalgia gets you thinking it might be lower than a banana is going to fix. you know what the problem is and all the various parts of the WHOLE patient that is affected by low potassium. you come up with a plan of what needs to be done.
oh look! the Doc is just rounding now! "Oh doctor! Oh Doctor! have you seen mrs. patients K level!!! i think we should........"
"hmmm, yes, " says the doc. "give a bag of D5 1/2 w/ 20 MeQ KCL now --give it over an hour and let me know what it is in the morning."
this scenario has many possible endings, you can fill it in how you wish (including 20mEq of K in an hour on a general floor. Not typical if my memory serves me.)
Doc saw number on page, fixed it with order. smart! cool! some people love that. just give me the problm and i will give you the solution. BAM!** Next!......
the nurse needs to address the lasix dose, the K rate in the IV (longer than 1 hour) see how that kind of fluid will effect her lungs. and of course, just what should we do about the diarrhea. might resolve once K is up. Why did it go down in the first place?
That is a nurse.
doctors get better parking spaces, more money, bigger student loans, and when they complain, they are likely to get listened to because they bring the $$$ to the hospital---you don't. when nurses have a meeting, it's coffee, bottled water and do-nuts. docs, coffee, juices, water, omelet bar, croissant (to be said with the french accent). i'm not bitter. the folks who bring in the money get to get stuff. hope it helps.
Mike A. Fungin RN
I think you would be wise to make a decision, either nursing or medicine, because you're talking about two different disciplines. Sure, there are nurses who become physicians, but it's not common, and I've been told by a friend who did it that going to medical school after nursing was, "an unpleasant exercise in reinventing the wheel." You're still learning and working in health care, but you approach things from a very different perspective. It would be a much wiser investment of both your time, and money, to go one way or the other.
My advice to you would be to talk to both nurses and physicians, and if possible shadow one of each who work in an area you find interesting. That way you can get a better idea of what each profession is all about, and make an educated decision.
Whichever path you choose, I wish you good luck in pursuing your goals. If you have more questions about what exactly is is that nurses do (because television is not a reliable source) these forums are a great place to ask questions.
Thank you both for the replies... I think part of the reason that I have been contemplating medical school is because I have been getting mixed information from existing nurses. Some say that they love it, that they get to help people in some of their most vulnerable times... But recently I have been hearing a lot of people saying that all you do as a nurse is give injections, take blood pressures, change diapers, and wash bed sores...
I want to be able to know that I will be DOING things--medical things--to help people.
Does that make sense?
Thank you both for the replies... I think part of the reason that I have been contemplating medical school is because I have been getting mixed information from existing nurses. Some say that they love it, that they get to help people in some of their most vulnerable times... But recently I have been hearing a lot of people saying that all you do as a nurse is give injections, take blood pressures, change diapers, and wash bed sores... I want to be able to know that I will be DOING things--medical things--to help people. Does that make sense?
As a nurse you do WAY MORE than just tasks. It's you who notices the subtle differences in patients and alerts the MD...and you even suggest to them what they should do (residents are a bit green at times..). If you just carried out orders mindlessly all shifts, there'd be a lot more morbidity and mortality than there already is.
And not only do docs get the better parking places and more prestige, but they also get to pretty much live in the hospital and as a resident, they get paid less than nurses. Usually the blame is on them when something goes wrong (it seems everyone gets a little love when something goes right), lawsuits usually deal more with docs. Sure they make more money, but I still think they are severely underpaid for what they deal with. I'm not envious of their job at all!
neo nurse is right in everything she said. in my first post to you, what i was trying to show you was how by critically thinking thru lab values, obvious and not so obvious signals that there as something going on with the patient. it is heavy duty brain work. you mix the tasks with the critical thinking. often, (not always) you have a UAP helping with vitals, baths, etc. however, if the aide takes an abnormal BP, you are responsible for properly responding to it (this means asking several quesitons---critically thinking) i work in outpatient oncology. when i am the phlebotomy nurse, i am accessing ports, starting IVs and drawing blood all day. It is very task oriented. Almost a break, because I don't need to think too much. In the chemo room my radar is on hyper-over-drive. i am thinking about what they need, what they might need, is the order right and appropriate and even if it is, will they patient tolerate what happens--and what will i do about it if they react or extravasate? and very autonomous. the docs only come into infusion when absolutely necessary. when i work in the clinic or telephone triage...different set of skills. a lot of education. now. in the ICU or ED, you might get more hands on cool tasks and equipment to work with to go along with your critical thinking. figure out what it is about being a doctor that appeals to you--then see if it is true. you should be able to find a similar version of what rocks your boat in nursing! good luck!
EricJRN, MSN, RN
Good advice in the previous posts. Just FYI, I know at least a handful of RN's who became physicians.
When you're planning on medical school, you have to major in something. If you choose nursing (or liberal arts, music, anything outside the "hard sciences"), be aware that there are med school prerequisites that probably aren't built into your undergrad curriculum, so that's extra time and expense for you.
On the other hand, I know several former pre-med biology majors that didn't cut it for med school admission. They often see their remaining choices as teaching high school biology, working in a research lab for low pay, or in some cases, being highly qualified retail salespeople.
When choosing a pre-med major, I think you could do a lot worse than nursing. At least you'll have a number of job opportunities in the (unfortunately highly, highly likely) event that you don't get admitted to med school.
I would also say that if you go the nursing route, you are taking a slot form another nurse who may want to stay and work as a nurse. One of our biggest problems is people leaving the profession. Therefore, if you are not serious about staying in nursing, you may be taking a slot away from somebody who is. Nursing is not a stepping stone, nor should it be for tourists IMHO.
Spend some time obtaining some experience. Work as a CNA and volley or work with a physician. Talk with people, do good research, and decide where you want to go. This will ensure you are doing both professions a favor. You will find that nursing does not typically ensure you have the math and science requirements to be competitive for entry into medical school. (This was already stated earlier.) Therefore, you will have to spend more time after your BSN obtaining the said courses, and even more time taking additional courses to compete with people who have biology and chemistry degrees, if you are looking at medical school.
While an RN can become a MD/DO, I would not recommend you use nursing as a stepping stone into medicine. It will deprive another student of the RN slot, most likely take more of your time, and may cost you more money.
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