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Dietitian, now in nursing school, but considering med school

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by kmparman, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. kmparman

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    Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum. I'll try to be brief. I'm a dietitian who decided that it wasn't hands-on enough, nor did I feel satisfied with my medical knowledge, so I decided to become a nurse practitioner (still keeping current as an RD). I just finished my first semester of a BSN-MSN program. It wasn't what I expected- in fact I was pretty dissapointed overall. I realize that the undergrad vs grad programs are different. Still, my discontentment and several friends questioning why I'm not going to med school instead has made me begin to consider med school seriously for the first time. I realize that NPs and MDs/DOs have different scopes of practice and educational models, and that the decision to be one or the other is very individual.

    I would like to hear from anyone who is either a mid-level provider who wishes they were a physician or is a physician who wishes they would have chosen to be a mid-level provider. Mid-level providers, do you ever feel limited in your depth of medical knowledge? I want to be sure that being a mid-level provider is truly what suits me and if not then I need to work towards medical school, so I'm taking the time in-between semesters to really give it thought... Thanks!
     
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  3. theslave

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    I'm on the path to being a mid-level provider. Do I feel that my medical knowledge is limited? No! Why? Because I can read the same stuff that any doctor reads and be just as educated as s/he is about a disease. The difference is the depth of overall medical knowledge.

    I'm on path to go into a profession that works one-on-one with doctors. So I feel that the more I know the better co-worker I can be and the better care the patients can get. For example, I'm already applying for a grant to get funding so I can develop a LARGE study to show how effective patient disease questionnaires can help detect family histories for medical conditions. I can do this as an MD, PA, DO, or with my masters degree. I also plan on having a small private practice and continue working my medical writer job.

    I've spent a lot of time with many doctors. Close to 50% of them don't like their job because they do the same thing over and over again. One of the surgeons I know does 300 of the same surgeries a year and does very little else. To me that is a really boring job considering you have gone to school for so long. You will find that many doctors have this problem. The happiest doctors that I've meet have been EM doctors and cardiologists.

    I also plan on starting several new training programs in countries that don't provide the medical service that I'm going to school for.

    Well I ever be able to sign off on a patient chart for the diagnosing of a patient? No! Will I be able to collaborate with my co-worker (who will be an MD) to help come up with a diagnoses? Yes!...for every patient we would see. One just needs to find the right doctor to work with.

    If you want to get the science stuffy with your medical career, go to medical school, PA, or DO.
     
  4. engineeredout

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    Make sure you don't get medical school and the DO route confused :rolleyes:
     
  5. NPEMTIV

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    Dang...and all this time I thougth I was in medical school.... :rolleyes:

    As someone who was torn for a long time between medical school and PA school I completely understand the dilema. It truly is a personal decision so good luck. While I don't fit exactly the profile of people you were asking responses from I'll give you my .02 b/c it's a slow day so why not? I think your depth of knowledge as a mid-level practitioner will be very good. It will be perfectly sufficient to perform your job role. Also, as time goes on and you have ongoing clinical experience you'll get even better. I wouldn't worry about the knowledge component. I'd instead look more at what role you want to fill and what job fits you best. NP/PAs and MD/DOs have different roles and with that different responsibilities, hours, wages, liabilities, lifestyles, etc...

    When I was considering medical school I read a few books by PAs and MD/DOs that I really enjoyed. They gave me a good window into the lives of these clinicians and I think were very helpful. Maybe finding some of these or blogs of similar content would be helpful.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. kmparman

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    Thanks. Do you remember any of the book titles or blogs?
     
  7. NPEMTIV

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    I remember a few of the most notable books:

    Physicians:
    Intern Blues
    Learning to Play God
    On Call: A Doctor's Days & Nights in Residency
    Complications

    PA-C:
    An Applicant's Guide to Physician Assistant School & Practice (Good overview book)
    Physician Assistants in American Medicine (Can't say I read it all, but its VERY in depth...according to Amazon its not in print anymore so you may have to buy a used copy.)

    Blogs:
    Can't really think of any other than those that used to be on SDN and Kevinmd.com, but there are a ton more out there.
     
  8. nebrfan

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    I think it's important to decide if you want to become a physician with the ultimate, "buck stops here" level of knowledge and authority, but with a lengthy and expensive journey or a mid-level with a strong, working-level bread and butter knowledge which comes quicker and cheaper, but will require deference to physicians during complicated cases. If you want to be a Doctor - go the physician route: A provider/mid-level that *wanted* to be a doctor, but "settled" to be a RN/PA/NP/DNP is very dangerous in not knowing what they don't know.
     

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