Sep 27, 2019
2
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I received my Bachelors in biology back in 2015, and I am going through a career change after several years in the research sector. I am really interested in pursuing family medicine/rural health. I am debating between becoming a DNP which will get me to the goal faster (about 3-4 years to completion). Alternatively, I am considering aiming for med school (with pre reqs, app cycle, med school, residency, it would be 7-8 years to completion). Considering NP and a doctor have similar roles in the realm of family medicine. What are the pros and cons of going either career direction? I have dreamed of becoming a physician for years, but the length of time is having me reconsider. Whereas I can obtain nursing degree in 12 months through an accelerated BSN program, and then i can also work while I am getting my DNP.

Thoughts/opinions/etc… are welcomed!

Thanks!
 
Dec 22, 2018
222
246
Status
Medical Student
Some people argue that family medicine especially full scope would be served best by a medical education. This could be important due to the undifferentiated and wide breadth of cases you would see - especially rural.
 

Damson

2+ Year Member
Nov 18, 2017
570
573
On The Move
Status
Medical Student
I received my Bachelors in biology back in 2015, and I am going through a career change after several years in the research sector. I am really interested in pursuing family medicine/rural health. I am debating between becoming a DNP which will get me to the goal faster (about 3-4 years to completion). Alternatively, I am considering aiming for med school (with pre reqs, app cycle, med school, residency, it would be 7-8 years to completion). Considering NP and a doctor have similar roles in the realm of family medicine. What are the pros and cons of going either career direction? I have dreamed of becoming a physician for years, but the length of time is having me reconsider. Whereas I can obtain nursing degree in 12 months through an accelerated BSN program, and then i can also work while I am getting my DNP.

Thoughts/opinions/etc… are welcomed!

Thanks!
While I'm a little busy today to give a full response, since you mentioned you have a BS in Biology, if you provide your cumulative GPA and science GPA I'm sure @Goro can send you in the right direction

@Allosteopath love your name by the way
 
About the Ads
Nov 12, 2018
610
775
It’s a very personalized question to ask NP vs MD. The obvious benefits of choosing the nursing route would be less schooling, less debt, more flexibility in career options, less responsibility/more free time. I’m sure you could think of others to add to the list, but there is one you can’t add and that’s “medical expert”. The education you will receive at any US medical school will be unparalleled to even the best NP school. If you want to be the medical expert then you want to be a physician. If you want to dabble in the medical field, have great pay, and a good lifestyle then you want to be a NP.
 

Goro

Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
62,346
93,451
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
I received my Bachelors in biology back in 2015, and I am going through a career change after several years in the research sector. I am really interested in pursuing family medicine/rural health. I am debating between becoming a DNP which will get me to the goal faster (about 3-4 years to completion). Alternatively, I am considering aiming for med school (with pre reqs, app cycle, med school, residency, it would be 7-8 years to completion). Considering NP and a doctor have similar roles in the realm of family medicine. What are the pros and cons of going either career direction? I have dreamed of becoming a physician for years, but the length of time is having me reconsider. Whereas I can obtain nursing degree in 12 months through an accelerated BSN program, and then i can also work while I am getting my DNP.

Thoughts/opinions/etc… are welcomed!

Thanks!
It's easier to go the DNP route. But remember you will always be subordinate to an MD or DO
 

jhmmd

supernatural
Apr 28, 2020
790
520
tskye701 said:
I received my Bachelors in biology back in 2015, and I am going through a career change after several years in the research sector. I am really interested in pursuing family medicine/rural health. I am debating between becoming a DNP which will get me to the goal faster (about 3-4 years to completion). Alternatively, I am considering aiming for med school (with pre reqs, app cycle, med school, residency, it would be 7-8 years to completion). Considering NP and a doctor have similar roles in the realm of family medicine. What are the pros and cons of going either career direction? I have dreamed of becoming a physician for years, but the length of time is having me reconsider. Whereas I can obtain nursing degree in 12 months through an accelerated BSN program, and then i can also work while I am getting my DNP.

Thoughts/opinions/etc… are welcomed!

Thanks!
Can't tell you much w/out knowing your GPA/MCAT score. This is more important than you may think. While I also don't have the time for a long reponse, you might want to make a list of the pros/cons, and shadow NPs as well as DOs and MDs. Good luck.
 

DO2015CA

Resident - PGY2
5+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2014
2,673
4,590
Status
Resident [Any Field]
On the surface NP looks like the “basically do what a doctor does” in practice they don’t nearly have the knowledge base to practice like a doctor. IMO, they are best utilized in subspecialty where the knowledge base is small and have no business in primary care. Rural this is especially true because you won’t have the easy referrals to specialists
 

Ganon

2+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2018
56
122
Status
Medical Student
It's easier to go the DNP route. But remember you will always be subordinate to an MD or DO
this just isn’t true in many states (unfortunately).

OP, I chose MD over NP because it fit with my life and goals. While I certainly would have finished in a third of the time doing NP, I know that for me I want the best education I can garner when I am taking care of my patients.

All of the reasons I had for choosing NP or CRNA were selfish ones (shortcut to paycheck, easier schooling). If I was in a position where I had a family to provide for, my decision likely would have been different.

a big tell for me was having friends who finished their DNP, got stuck in clinics, and felt woefully unprepared to be that independent. Imagine being a an Intern and doing everything yourself with no guidance.... not for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: katiemaude

daw05

2+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2018
201
283
Status
Medical Student
The best answers I've heard about DNP vs MD relate to how you want your daily work life to be. DNP / NP/PAs are paid to do 1st order thinking. A person comes in that is sick with a common disease; such and such algorithm says to prescribe X and give x advice. That requires training and intellect to do, but isn't the same as 2nd order. Physicians are expected to solve problems that don't have easy or straightforward solutions. They will encounter many 1st order problems, but are paid to solve the 2nd order ones that show up.

There's also the aspect of being the leader of a team or being part of a team, but I think that's already been covered.
 
May 16, 2020
1
0
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Just food for thought - you don't need a DNP to start practicing as an Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), especially if working in a rural/underserved area that is less competitive. You could begin practicing after completing your MSN program and obtaining your professional FNP license, and then earn a DNP later if you choose (it's currently not a requirement to be an NP at all, and many DNPs tell me it's only worth it if you want to teach nursing at the university level - it doesn't change your salary or ability to function as a nurse practitioner).
 

DexterMorganSK

Moderator
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2016
2,163
2,742
Tarsal Tunnel
I received my Bachelors in biology back in 2015, and I am going through a career change after several years in the research sector. I am really interested in pursuing family medicine/rural health. I am debating between becoming a DNP which will get me to the goal faster (about 3-4 years to completion). Alternatively, I am considering aiming for med school (with pre reqs, app cycle, med school, residency, it would be 7-8 years to completion). Considering NP and a doctor have similar roles in the realm of family medicine. What are the pros and cons of going either career direction? I have dreamed of becoming a physician for years, but the length of time is having me reconsider. Whereas I can obtain nursing degree in 12 months through an accelerated BSN program, and then i can also work while I am getting my DNP.

Thoughts/opinions/etc… are welcomed!

Thanks!
Nursing is a great career, and I have a lot of respect for their work.

That said, you have to ask yourself: do I want to be a nurse or a physician?...Will I be happy not becoming a physician?

If you will be happy/content being an NP then do that; otherwise, you will regret not putting in the time for meds school/becoming a physician.

All the best!
 
  • Like
Reactions: katiemaude

Darth Doc

7+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2013
552
461
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I was a PA for 20 years before going back to medical school (with a bunch of kids in tow), my husband is a NP.

The difference in knowledge is enormous. The reasons to choose NP (from looking at the above options) are all about you - shorter time to goal, less work, less debt. The reasons to choose MD can be about you - you will be an expert and have the widest knowledge base- but they should be about the patient. As a MD you will have a much stronger knowledge base for diagnosis as well as treatment.

I watched my husband get his online NP. I couldn't believe how little he was taught. Only the basics. No ability to differentiate common ailments from when something outside of the box should be seen by an expert. I see NP questions in their groups asking other NPs how to write for insulin and if they should write for insulin. They learn so little in their clinics then are sent out into the world. There's no oversight of those rotations to make sure all NP students get good training. In some of their rotations, NPs don't get to see patients on their own or offer treatment plans. How's that going to prepare them for practice? As a PA I got a stronger background than my husband, but sadly not nearly enough. Ten years in, I was still learning basics on my own I would have learned in the first 2 years of medical school. I've seen so many patients suffer because of the lack of knowledge of their midlevel providers (NPs and PAs).

Going to MD school is about being the best you can be and being the best provider for your patients. Rural patients deserve care expert care just as much as those in the suburbs or cities. In the rural clinic, you'll be on your own with no backup. How much knowledge do you want to have at that point? How many people do you want to suffer from your lack of knowledge?
 

KeikoTanaka

2+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2017
825
592
Status
Medical Student
Pursuing medical school from a lifestyle perspective actually is quite nice - Everything is paid for, you can take out of a lot of money, and you never have to worry about much. You don't need to work. You don't need to procure your own rotation spots. Many NPs on the other hand work as RNs while attending NP school and have to find their own rotations.

It costs a lot and is time intensive, but it's a straightforward path which is difficult, but forgiving from the standpoint that once you're in it, everything in your life is taken care of.
 
  • Like
Reactions: katiemaude
About the Ads