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CRNA or ER Doc?

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FutureERDoc11

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Some background -- I'm 28, female, and single. I'm very passionate about having a thriving career throughout my lifetime, and although I would like a child (probably just one), I have so many other passions (medicine being one of the biggest), traveling, etc. I'd like to 'have it all' so to speak.

I'm almost finished up with prereq's for Med School, hopefully would begin at age 29, and I'm wondering if anyone has any insight as to which the better option might be?

I've worked out the timeline for both -- both seem to be about 7 years once I begin (7 for MD) (6 at best, maybe closer to 7 for CRNA).

With med school, age is a bit of a factor for me, because I would have to have said child in either medical school or at the end of residency. (29-33 done with med school), then (33-36 or 37 done with residency).

I think it's doable, but I'd like some advice from others. Is one of these options 'better' than the other? I realize the fields are vastly different, however I think I'd like different aspects of both.

I'm an extremely hard worker (anything below a 65-70 hour work week feels weird), and although work-life balance to me doesn't really matter now, maybe it should be more of a factor? I'd like to think I can still date / have some semblance of a life in medical school and as a doc? Thoughts? Anyone facing / faced this dilemma in the past?
 

RocuROMANium

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Your name suggests you have already made the decision...
 
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Meridian32

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Given how much you enjoy challenging work, I think you would enjoy medical school and residency. An MD will open many more doors than CRNA, not just by giving you the option to do something that is not anesthesia, but also in that anesthesiologists have a broader scope of practice than CRNAs (they are trained to handle more complicated anesthesia cases and can work as ICU doctors after further training, which CRNAs can't). You can DEFINITELY date/do fun things in med school and residency. You can also have a child in med school or residency - a few of my female med school classmates and co-residents had/have kids. It does make things much more challenging (+/- depending on level of partner and family support), but is not impossible. It would also be reasonable to have a child at 37 after being done with residency. Good luck!
 
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FutureERDoc11

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Given how much you enjoy challenging work, I think you would enjoy medical school and residency. An MD will open many more doors than CRNA, not just by giving you the option to do something that is not anesthesia, but also in that anesthesiologists have a broader scope of practice than CRNAs (they are trained to handle more complicated anesthesia cases and can work as ICU doctors after further training, which CRNAs can't). You can DEFINITELY date/do fun things in med school and residency. You can also have a child in med school or residency - a few of my female med school classmates and co-residents had/have kids. It does make things much more challenging (+/- depending on level of partner and family support), but is not impossible. It would also be reasonable to have a child at 37 after being done with residency. Good luck!

Thanks so much for your input on this -- that's my real push to do medicine over CRNA -- many more options and much broader scope of practice / tougher cases. It's good to know I could still maintain a life, that is my #1 worry, especially being 29 (and single) upon matriculating and not 22.
 

FutureERDoc11

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Except the apples don't think they are interchangeable with squirrels ;)

Unless you have something relevant to add to the thread please find something better to do with your time.
 
D

deleted480308

Unless you have something relevant to add to the thread please find something better to do with your time.
I was speaking to madjack and will do so when I wish

But to your original question, if you want the greater intellectual challenge be a doctor. If however you would only be a doctor if you could be in EM, then don't risk it as EM can be competitive.
 
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Mad Jack

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Aware of that -- read the original post.
Some background -- I'm 28, female, and single. I'm very passionate about having a thriving career throughout my lifetime, and although I would like a child (probably just one), I have so many other passions (medicine being one of the biggest), traveling, etc. I'd like to 'have it all' so to speak.

I'm almost finished up with prereq's for Med School, hopefully would begin at age 29, and I'm wondering if anyone has any insight as to which the better option might be?

I've worked out the timeline for both -- both seem to be about 7 years once I begin (7 for MD) (6 at best, maybe closer to 7 for CRNA).

With med school, age is a bit of a factor for me, because I would have to have said child in either medical school or at the end of residency. (29-33 done with med school), then (33-36 or 37 done with residency).

I think it's doable, but I'd like some advice from others. Is one of these options 'better' than the other? I realize the fields are vastly different, however I think I'd like different aspects of both.

I'm an extremely hard worker (anything below a 65-70 hour work week feels weird), and although work-life balance to me doesn't really matter now, maybe it should be more of a factor? I'd like to think I can still date / have some semblance of a life in medical school and as a doc? Thoughts? Anyone facing / faced this dilemma in the past?
I faced it. Decided I was going to be 37 someday anyway, may as well be 37 and a doctor. It is hard work, but honestly nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. And if you decide to dial back, you can easily pick a less intense career. EM is a rough choice though, it's one of the worst lifestyles for late-career professionals in medicine due to the constant nights, weekends, and holidays. Most physicians later in their careers start to dial back call, work minimal nights, and dial back weekends, but most EM groups don't make this an option. But anyway, you'll learn all of this as you move forward, and if you go to med school, you'll sort out what kind of doctor you actually want to be.

Also don't look at the time as wasted- many of my classmates had some of the best months of their lives in med school. It is what you make of it. And the CRNA road is both not really short and in a market that is expected to be saturated completely before you'd even finish training.
 
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precisiongraphic

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Med school has the uncertainty on the front end when applying. For CRNA you have to get the BSN first then the ICU job (which - depending on your area of the country- may be hard to near impossible). Getting an ICU job is often only after a year or two on a med-surg floor which some people hate. And then you have to apply and hope that you get in. So the route to the CRNA leaves a lot to chance at the back end. And you only have one choice for specialty and you're out of luck if you don't like it.

I would pursue the MD/DO to the best of your ability and only give up if you have to. Then at that point do an Accelerated 12-15mo BSN and then ICU.
 
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RocuROMANium

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Med school has the uncertainty on the front end when applying. For CRNA you have to get the BSN first then the ICU job (which - depending on your area of the country- may be hard to near impossible). Getting an ICU job is often only after a year or two on a med-surg floor which some people hate. And then you have to apply and hope that you get in. So the route to the CRNA leaves a lot to chance at the back end. And you only have one choice for specialty and you're out of luck if you don't like it.

I would pursue the MD/DO to the best of your ability and only give up if you have to. Then at that point do an Accelerated 12-15mo BSN and then ICU.
I will add that if you do your practicum in ICU you can get hired on as a new grad. This is what my wife did. Now of course it's up to chance on where you get your practicum and not all ICU's will hire new grads but that is definitely a possibility, at least in Ga.

But I agree with @precisiongraphic go MD/DO.
 
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alpinism

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Why not anesthesiology?

Same length of training as EM if you end up doing a 4 year residency.
 
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ICUBlue

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If you're thinking about it now, and you have the social support/resources to, pursue medicine now. The itch doesn't just go away. Trust me.


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LXJ34

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Yes I complety agree with ICUBlue, as a fellow ICU nurse that can pursue CRNA vs Medicine. Go to medicine if you cannot absolutely see yourself doing anything else in life. You waste wayyy less time, and you have already sacrificed enough of your time, resources and ect in this path. It's better for you to follow your dreams now that your life is still malleable than have regrets later. Goodluck OP!!!


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precisiongraphic

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I will add that if you do your practicum in ICU you can get hired on as a new grad. This is what my wife did. Now of course it's up to chance on where you get your practicum and not all ICU's will hire new grads but that is definitely a possibility, at least in Ga.

But I agree with @precisiongraphic go MD/DO.

Yes, some hospitals will hire new grads into ICU. Vanderbilt does and it's quite competitive to get hired as a new grad as you might imagine. Also, some CNRA schools will allow applicants with ER experience at a Level I Trauma Center. Schools normally require at least 2 years' experience.
 

NoTownPreMed

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Save yourself the trouble, forget CRNA and go MD/DO. If you find yourself questioning which route is best for you and end up choosing CRNA, you know for a fact down the line you're gonna ask yourself "What would it have been like if I have chosen medicine instead?"
 
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Mat007

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So true. Just graduated CRNA school and passed my boards. However, I find myself still thinking about med school. I'm 34 so the age thing scares me a little bit. Also, the debt I'm already in makes it difficult. Wish there was a bridge program. Good luck. You'll do what you're meant to do, though.
 

Mt Kilimanjaro

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Your first branch point is medical school: yes or no. If yes, then you choose a specialty.

I’m sure there’s good discussions over on the EM forum, but look at EM burnout rate vs anesthesia. Playing candy crush in an OR is generally less stressful than the multifactorial stressors of EM work.
 

Skiiiiiing

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You've outlined the pros and cons pretty well. No doubt being a doctor is, ceterus paribus, preferential. But it takes a decade to get there, and having kids gets tougher as you get into late 30s.

Sounds like you'll have to make a decision.
 

Magus5454

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So true. Just graduated CRNA school and passed my boards. However, I find myself still thinking about med school. I'm 34 so the age thing scares me a little bit. Also, the debt I'm already in makes it difficult. Wish there was a bridge program. Good luck. You'll do what you're meant to do, though.
There's some of us older than that here ;) I definitely agree with the last sentence though. Took me four years to get accepted but I did
 

RNthenDoc

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Whatever you do, make sure it is what you want to do.

Many CRNA’s wish they had just bit the med school bullet. The last time I was gassed was a CRNA who did a great job. That person told me if I wanted to pursue has to go to med school, despite being ready for CRNA school at that time.

The roles are different, and it’s important not to spend years and years of life for a result you don’t want.

Just the 0.02 of a grizzled ol ICU nurse
 

stayathomemom

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Whatever you do, make sure it is what you want to do.

Many CRNA’s wish they had just bit the med school bullet. The last time I was gassed was a CRNA who did a great job. That person told me if I wanted to pursue has to go to med school, despite being ready for CRNA school at that time.

The roles are different, and it’s important not to spend years and years of life for a result you don’t want.

Just the 0.02 of a grizzled ol ICU nurse
I'm not the OP, but thanks for this. RN>CRNA was my prior plan, and was feeling guilting/unsure about doing MD instead. But this helps to banish the bad feelings.
 
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