Torn between CRNA and MD...

  1. I'm wondering if any others have had a hard time deciding? I've still got a year before I complete my BSN and I can't wait to get to ICU. The more and more I think about it (and the more MD's I talk to), the more I feel like I really want to go to med school instead. My only concern is that I turn 30 this year. All the docs I've talked to say don't even think twice, I'm plenty young to go for it. I've always known I wanted to be in the OR, but I just wasn't motivated enough to go to school when I was younger. The idea of being a CRNA hasn't lost it's fire, and I'm still really excited about it... I'm just wondering if I'll regret it later if I opt for that rather than med school.

    ... but then that means after my BSN I've got to take all of my pre-med classes first, because all I've got done is my A&P and micro. So I'm looking at at least this year, 2 years of prereqs (maybe 3) and then 4 years of med school... and then intership/residency... That's a loonnnnng time to continue being a poor college student!

    Just looking for advice. Anyone else thinking/thought about it? Any advice on who I should talk to?


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    About Dakkon76

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 57; Likes: 9
    Specialty: 2nd Year RN Student


  3. by   Lndcrsrlvr
    I am facing the same question as well. Recently, spoke with a CRNA about the same issue concerning Med School for Anesthesiology or CRNA school.
    Received the opposite response than you did. CRNA told me these MDs wish they attended CRNA school instead for some these reasons and more:
    1. MDAs starting salary about $250,000
    CRNA starting salary about $150,00
    However, MDAs must pay approximately $100,000 in malpractice.
    Most CRNAs have their malpractice paid for by their employer.
    After malpractice is paid, looks even to me.
    2. CRNA have greater flexibility in their schedule. (7 a.m-3 p.m., 8am-4 pm)
    MDAs have less flexibility and more responsibility.
    3. Post Bachelor Degree Requirements:

    MDAs- 4 years MD school
    2 years internship
    1 year Residency
    2 year Anesthesiology training= 9 years
    CRNAs: 1 year ICU work while getting paid
    2 years of school
    If I'm wrong please feel free to correct me. Looking at CRNA school in the near future.
  4. by   schway
    most MDAs don't pay $100k/yr in malpractice....
  5. by   coopsc1
    Not to bash the previous comment, but I think $100,000 in malpractice is a bit high. The MDA that I know pays about 6-10k per year. And this is because he works for a group, not a hospital. Previously, his malpractice was paid for when he worked for the hospital. Also, I think an MDA has a lot higher earning potential. Starting at 250k with the potential to earn 400+. Not to be negative or anything, just my 2 cents!
  6. by   augigi
    You have to work out if you're prepared to spend the time, money, and effort to do medicine. If you will always feel like you "settled" for being a CRNA, do medicine. If you want to provide anaesthesia for patients, earn a good wage, and get there sooner, do CRNA.
  7. by   Dakkon76
    How does pay work going the MD route? Do you get paid anything for your internship or residency, and if so does anyone know how much? There's no way I could justify going 9 years w/o getting paid :/
  8. by   Laughing Gas
    This is quite a dilema. Rarely are people torn between one or the other. You either know early on, or your lot in life leads you in one direction. In GENERAL... Your CRNA career can be molded to what you want. 9-5, home with the kids, 24 hours etc. Get home, don't worry about your profits, or employees. And be in the top 5% in income. And obviously, do an awesome job that is challenging and rewarding. (don't try to zing me on the money thing) MD has alot more earning potential, but IMO much greater headaches. In what I have seen and heard, alot of the MD's get mired down in business, fighting with HMO's etc. Alot of the Docs in my group also pull anywhere from 50 to 80 hour weeks.

    If I were 18 I would probably go the MD route. But I honestly wouldn't trade nurse anesthesia for MD now that I'm here. You both administer anesthesia, you just pick the peripheral scenery.
  9. by   Brian_SRNA
    Well put...I think that you need to truly examine the whole picture. The students in my class that I have really met knew very early on that they wanted to be CRNA's. It is almost a calling, and the intial reason was usaully not the money. For people that are torn between this prof and others based on money are truly missing the "passion" and "fire in the belly" about being a CRNA that most successful SRNA's have. Just my two cents.

  10. by   dfk
    hey DAKKON,

    another piece of info for you to chew on. i'm not sure where or what unit you have worked on, or are working on, but get to the ICU and you will have a WHOLE different perspective of what gas docs (and in general, all docs) do, and what they put up with and what they go thru. i worked at a large urban teaching facility, and let me tell you, not only did i hate when july rolled around (new med students), but i saw what they were required to do, what time to be there, how long they were there, and on and on and on... my point is this, what the previous posts have said is true, and my perception was changed when i really got into the thick of nursing. so, yours may too, but be aware that it's not all glory no guts.
    good luck ~
  11. by   Summitk2

    I don't see anything in your post saying WHY you want to go to med school...? What's the real dilemma?
  12. by   coopsc1
    How does pay work going the MD route? Do you get paid anything for your internship or residency, and if so does anyone know how much? There's no way I could justify going 9 years w/o getting paid :/

    You do get paid during residency but it is typically 36k (ish) and increases as you get to the 4th year of residency. Also, your student loans can be defered; however, they are accruing interest! So if you have 100k in student loans and interest accruing at ~6+ %, that is a lot of money. Federal loan rates aren't 3% like they use to be and i think they are only going up!

  13. by   DolphinRN84
    Definitely..interest rates are only going higher it seems..:uhoh21: I was actually just like you. I was debating whether to go to med school or not. I even have all of the prereqs done....but recently I decided that I want to be a CRNA instead...which will definitely be in the future because I am only a new nurse now and looking for a job still. I want to work a good amount of years ( ~3 years med/surg then do ICU for another 2-3 years) and then apply. This is a tough decision...but do what really interests you the most.