Feb 3, 2014
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So, I started out wanting to go to medical school for my MD, but ran into some health issues that took me out of school for a while, and as a psych major, I decided I didn't have time to finish all my pre-reqs.


I will however manage to get all of the PA school pre-reqs done by my graduation in May. My current plan is to work as an EMT for two years and then apply to PA school. I also want to take a few more science classes in that time to boost my GPA and do other necessary things to help my application.

Sounds great, but I'm worried that PA school is oversaturated right now, and am thinking that maybe I should focus on something that can be more easily obtained, faster. I was considering nursing today, thinking that I can get paid pretty well as a nurse as I try to move up to practitioner level.

All I know is that I want to work in the healthcare field with a graduate-level+ degree, and have some semblance of autonomy.



My gpa overall is a 3.5, and my science gpa is 3.3. Both are uncomfortably low, which is also why I'm worrying about my chances at PA school.

I'm being tantalized by these fast track nursing programs at the moment. Can someone please give me advice? Hell, you can even give me suggestions outside of any of these careers!


Apologies if grammatical errors are present. Phone typing.
 

Faha

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If you complete all the science prerequisites for medical schools and score at least 500 on the MCAT you should be able to receive interviews at DO schools if you apply broadly and include all the newer schools.
 
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workaholic181

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So, I started out wanting to go to medical school for my MD, but ran into some health issues that took me out of school for a while, and as a psych major, I decided I didn't have time to finish all my pre-reqs.


I will however manage to get all of the PA school pre-reqs done by my graduation in May. My current plan is to work as an EMT for two years and then apply to PA school. I also want to take a few more science classes in that time to boost my GPA and do other necessary things to help my application.

Sounds great, but I'm worried that PA school is oversaturated right now, and am thinking that maybe I should focus on something that can be more easily obtained, faster. I was considering nursing today, thinking that I can get paid pretty well as a nurse as I try to move up to practitioner level.

All I know is that I want to work in the healthcare field with a graduate-level+ degree, and have some semblance of autonomy.



My gpa overall is a 3.5, and my science gpa is 3.3. Both are uncomfortably low, which is also why I'm worrying about my chances at PA school.

I'm being tantalized by these fast track nursing programs at the moment. Can someone please give me advice? Hell, you can even give me suggestions outside of any of these careers!


Apologies if grammatical errors are present. Phone typing.
Your GPAs are fine for DO schools, and possibly would work for MD if you scored really high on MCAT. So if you want to be a physician, that door isn't closed to you, it will just take more time and effort.

Ultimately though it's up to you which one you want to choose. If I were you, I would work as an EMT as you described and just gain more insight into the differences between these three roles in healthcare. You have plenty of time to decide which one you want to do.
 
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CyrilFiggis

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What's your end-game?

PA and NPs have some autonomy but financial cap is low-mid $100K. You would even get to NP level until you finish your nursing degree and get at least 3-5 years of ward experience.

MDs have much more autonomy than mid-levels but won't get you a full salary paycheck for at least 10 years on your plan but the floor is $200K and the ceiling is $500k+. Everyone says don't go into medicine for the money, but if you ignore the financial obligations and outcomes of career choices, you're just as foolish.

I know this doesn't really tell you much, but we all have our different goals and desires for our lives and careers. I was in the same boat as you and did my due diligence by volunteering with all 3 and seeing which lifestyle I felt was worth the time and effort. For me that was MD.
 
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Evisju7
Feb 3, 2014
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What's your end-game?

PA and NPs have some autonomy but financial cap is low-mid $100K. You would even get to NP level until you finish your nursing degree and get at least 3-5 years of ward experience.

MDs have much more autonomy than mid-levels but won't get you a full salary paycheck for at least 10 years on your plan but the floor is $200K and the ceiling is $500k+. Everyone says don't go into medicine for the money, but if you ignore the financial obligations and outcomes of career choices, you're just as foolish.

I know this doesn't really tell you much, but we all have our different goals and desires for our lives and careers. I was in the same boat as you and did my due diligence by volunteering with all 3 and seeing which lifestyle I felt was worth the time and effort. For me that was MD.

Money's definitely a consideration. I really hate that it is, but I need to be able to support myself through this process. EMT's don't make a ton of money, and it will be difficult to survive on that salary given that I will need to take more classes once I graduate. I really will not have any money for emergencies that life might throw at me. Then medical school will throw me into a lot of debt. To sum it up, it's what I dreamt about as a little kid, but being older now, I realize how much of gamble it is.



Nursing is not what I wanted. That said, it does get me into healthcare quickly and safely. I'm so so tired of being a poor, dreaming student.

I know it sounds like I've made up my mind, but I really haven't. I'm still following my track to PA school, but just encorporating extra classes along the way. I like to keep doors open, which has benefits and very large downsides too.

Question: Think it would be possible for me to pursue an MD--meaning working on becoming an ideal candidate--while working as a nurse? So say I take the nursing route and still want to pursue an MD or DO, I'd already have my degree and some pre-reqs, so with the extra time and some money (more than I'd be making as an EMT), I could take more classes. I'd also already have a strong healthcare experience background and could get LORs easily. Think it's a good idea or way too indirect?
 

workaholic181

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Money's definitely a consideration. I really hate that it is, but I need to be able to support myself through this process. EMT's don't make a ton of money, and it will be difficult to survive on that salary given that I will need to take more classes once I graduate. I really will not have any money for emergencies that life might throw at me. Then medical school will throw me into a lot of debt. To sum it up, it's what I dreamt about as a little kid, but being older now, I realize how much of gamble it is.



Nursing is not what I wanted. That said, it does get me into healthcare quickly and safely. I'm so so tired of being a poor, dreaming student.

I know it sounds like I've made up my mind, but I really haven't. I'm still following my track to PA school, but just encorporating extra classes along the way. I like to keep doors open, which has benefits and very large downsides too.

Question: Think it would be possible for me to pursue an MD--meaning working on becoming an ideal candidate--while working as a nurse? So say I take the nursing route and still want to pursue an MD or DO, I'd already have my degree and some pre-reqs, so with the extra time and some money (more than I'd be making as an EMT), I could take more classes. I'd also already have a strong healthcare experience background and could get LORs easily. Think it's a good idea or way too indirect?
That's too indirect. If you want to be an MD or DO go for it now; there are a ton of extra hoops you'd have to jump through in nursing that would just waste your time now, and you'd need to answer "why the switch from nursing" when you did ultimately apply to medical school.
 

Mad Jack

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Money's definitely a consideration. I really hate that it is, but I need to be able to support myself through this process. EMT's don't make a ton of money, and it will be difficult to survive on that salary given that I will need to take more classes once I graduate. I really will not have any money for emergencies that life might throw at me. Then medical school will throw me into a lot of debt. To sum it up, it's what I dreamt about as a little kid, but being older now, I realize how much of gamble it is.



Nursing is not what I wanted. That said, it does get me into healthcare quickly and safely. I'm so so tired of being a poor, dreaming student.

I know it sounds like I've made up my mind, but I really haven't. I'm still following my track to PA school, but just encorporating extra classes along the way. I like to keep doors open, which has benefits and very large downsides too.

Question: Think it would be possible for me to pursue an MD--meaning working on becoming an ideal candidate--while working as a nurse? So say I take the nursing route and still want to pursue an MD or DO, I'd already have my degree and some pre-reqs, so with the extra time and some money (more than I'd be making as an EMT), I could take more classes. I'd also already have a strong healthcare experience background and could get LORs easily. Think it's a good idea or way too indirect?
As a guy that took the stupid long route, let me assure you that going nursing then MD is a waste of time. Go one or the other. You have to do what will ultimately give you a sense of fulfillment- do you feel nursing will give you that? If so, go for it.

You could also consider other possible career paths (podiatry, anesthesiologist assistant, pathologist assistant, etc) as well as direct entry nurse practitioner programs.
 
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Evisju7
Feb 3, 2014
287
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Pre-Medical
That's too indirect. If you want to be an MD or DO go for it now; there are a ton of extra hoops you'd have to jump through in nursing that would just waste your time now, and you'd need to answer "why the switch from nursing" when you did ultimately apply to medical school.
As a guy that took the stupid long route, let me assure you that going nursing then MD is a waste of time. Go one or the other. You have to do what will ultimately give you a sense of fulfillment- do you feel nursing will give you that? If so, go for it.

You could also consider other possible career paths (podiatry, anesthesiologist assistant, pathologist assistant, etc) as well as direct entry nurse practitioner programs.

So, I'm guessing you did nursing and then got your MD. Why? Why didn't you go for your NP? Why do you discourage the route you took?
 

Mad Jack

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So, I'm guessing you did nursing and then got your MD. Why? Why didn't you go for your NP? Why do you discourage the route you took?
I went respiratory>DO because I never really thought I'd want to go to medical school. Changed my mind later, and ultimately it cost me a lot of prime attending years for no real gain aside from getting to enjoy my 20s.
 

ymedex

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May 31, 2016
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So, I started out wanting to go to medical school for my MD, but ran into some health issues that took me out of school for a while, and as a psych major, I decided I didn't have time to finish all my pre-reqs.


I will however manage to get all of the PA school pre-reqs done by my graduation in May. My current plan is to work as an EMT for two years and then apply to PA school. I also want to take a few more science classes in that time to boost my GPA and do other necessary things to help my application.

Sounds great, but I'm worried that PA school is oversaturated right now, and am thinking that maybe I should focus on something that can be more easily obtained, faster. I was considering nursing today, thinking that I can get paid pretty well as a nurse as I try to move up to practitioner level.

All I know is that I want to work in the healthcare field with a graduate-level+ degree, and have some semblance of autonomy.



My gpa overall is a 3.5, and my science gpa is 3.3. Both are uncomfortably low, which is also why I'm worrying about my chances at PA school.

I'm being tantalized by these fast track nursing programs at the moment. Can someone please give me advice? Hell, you can even give me suggestions outside of any of these careers!

It's unlikely all the various directions you could go in the healthcare field are equally acceptable to you (by your own admission). If one of the most important criteria is "a semblance of autonomy" (also by your own admission), and you have the ability to compete for the md/do route, this would seem the most logical choice. If I were in your circumstances, I'd prep hard for mcat and see what unfolds.


Apologies if grammatical errors are present. Phone typing.
 
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Sep 11, 2017
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What's your end-game?

PA and NPs have some autonomy but financial cap is low-mid $100K. You would even get to NP level until you finish your nursing degree and get at least 3-5 years of ward experience.

MDs have much more autonomy than mid-levels but won't get you a full salary paycheck for at least 10 years on your plan but the floor is $200K and the ceiling is $500k+. Everyone says don't go into medicine for the money, but if you ignore the financial obligations and outcomes of career choices, you're just as foolish.

I know this doesn't really tell you much, but we all have our different goals and desires for our lives and careers. I was in the same boat as you and did my due diligence by volunteering with all 3 and seeing which lifestyle I felt was worth the time and effort. For me that was MD.
PA salary is greatly dependent upon location/specialty/experience. I busted my hump for 12 yrs in primary care (as a PA) in TX before changing specialty and location and the MOST I ever pulled down was $117/yr....and I knew plenty of PAs making well under 100K. I've more than doubled my income since then...but admittedly I work an average of 52.5 hours per week, working 10 hr/shift night shifts, where the primary care gig was 8-5 M-F for the most part. EM jobs in non-coastal areas of California (not the most desirable places to live) are very high-paying. The site I'm working at now is hiring NEW GRADS well above 150K annually for 40 hrs/week. And if you're willing to work nights and more than 40 hrs/wk, a new grad can easily pull in more than 200K after bonuses, OT, night shift diff, etc, all with excellent benefits.

That being said, you'll never make what an MD/DO makes as a PA/NP unless you open a bunch of clinics in a state which allows mid-levels to own clinics AND you're a savvy entrepreneur....overhead is high and making a big profit is difficult unless you're in a group practice with others sharing the financial burdens.

Also, Id urge the OP to be sure he/she don't want to be a physician deep down. Once you graduate, marry, have kids and house payments, going back to allopathic/osteopathic school will be a herculean effort to say the least.
 
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workaholic181

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PA salary is greatly dependent upon location/specialty/experience. I busted my hump for 12 yrs in primary care (as a PA) in TX before changing specialty and location and the MOST I ever pulled down was $117/yr....and I knew plenty of PAs making well under 100K. I've more than doubled my income since then...but admittedly I work an average of 52.5 hours per week, working 10 hr/shift night shifts, where the primary care gig was 8-5 M-F for the most part. EM jobs in non-coastal areas of California (not the most desirable places to live) are very high-paying. The site I'm working at now is hiring NEW GRADS well above 150K annually for 40 hrs/week. And if you're willing to work nights and more than 40 hrs/wk, a new grad can easily pull in more than 200K after bonuses, OT, night shift diff, etc, all with excellent benefits.

That being said, you'll never make what an MD/DO makes as a PA/NP unless you open a bunch of clinics in a state which allows mid-levels to own clinics AND you're a savvy entrepreneur....overhead is high and making a big profit is difficult unless you're in a group practice with others sharing the financial burdens.

Also, Id urge the OP to be sure he/she don't want to be a physician deep down. Once you graduate, marry, have kids and house payments, going back to allopathic/osteopathic school will be a herculean effort to say the least.
Totally agree with the last line here. Mid level provider careers pay well and offer tons of job satisfaction, but if you even have an inkling you'd always wonder what if you'd pursued an MD/DO, you should shoot for that now before settling down with wife/kids.
 
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Evisju7
Feb 3, 2014
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At some
Very few good stories begin with the main character taking the easy way out.
At some point I have to be realistic. I'm not entirely sure I can afford that risk at this point in my life. Nursing isn't what I set out to do, but I might do pretty well there.
PA salary is greatly dependent upon location/specialty/experience. I busted my hump for 12 yrs in primary care (as a PA) in TX before changing specialty and location and the MOST I ever pulled down was $117/yr....and I knew plenty of PAs making well under 100K. I've more than doubled my income since then...but admittedly I work an average of 52.5 hours per week, working 10 hr/shift night shifts, where the primary care gig was 8-5 M-F for the most part. EM jobs in non-coastal areas of California (not the most desirable places to live) are very high-paying. The site I'm working at now is hiring NEW GRADS well above 150K annually for 40 hrs/week. And if you're willing to work nights and more than 40 hrs/wk, a new grad can easily pull in more than 200K after bonuses, OT, night shift diff, etc, all with excellent benefits.

That being said, you'll never make what an MD/DO makes as a PA/NP unless you open a bunch of clinics in a state which allows mid-levels to own clinics AND you're a savvy entrepreneur....overhead is high and making a big profit is difficult unless you're in a group practice with others sharing the financial burdens.

Also, Id urge the OP to be sure he/she don't want to be a physician deep down. Once you graduate, marry, have kids and house payments, going back to allopathic/osteopathic school will be a herculean effort to say the least.

With respect to an MD/DO salary, a PA/NP salary is low. But in the whole scheme of salaries, it's pretty darn good.

I would eventually like to have a family, and if I chose the MD route, it would be difficult to balance everything. I wouldn't get in until I was 26, wouldn't graduate until I was 30, and would be in residency during my baby rearing years.

Maybe I'm waaay off with this, but it seems that a PA route is better for balancing being a mom and work. I could be working at a stable position by 28.

Deep down, yeah, I probably want to be a physician. But I'm not sure it's practical at this point.

And, sorry.. sexism up there. I wish I had more progressive beliefs.
 

workaholic181

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At some


At some point I have to be realistic. I'm not entirely sure I can afford that risk at this point in my life. Nursing isn't what I set out to do, but I might do pretty well there.



With respect to an MD/DO salary, a PA/NP salary is low. But in the whole scheme of salaries, it's pretty darn good.

I would eventually like to have a family, and if I chose the MD route, it would be difficult to balance everything. I wouldn't get in until I was 26, wouldn't graduate until I was 30, and would be in residency during my baby rearing years.

Maybe I'm waaay off with this, but it seems that a PA route is better for balancing being a mom and work. I could be working at a stable position by 28.

Deep down, yeah, I probably want to be a physician. But I'm not sure it's practical at this point.

And, sorry.. sexism up there. I wish I had more progressive beliefs.
I'll have just turned 25 when I (hopefully) matriculate next fall. You're not old for this path at all.

A lot of MD/DOs who are women (or men for that matter) and prioritize their family over career work part time now a days. I know several female doctors doing this. Obviously, then the huge salary difference between your options goes out the window, but you're still a physician.
 
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Evisju7
Feb 3, 2014
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Pre-Medical
I'll have just turned 25 when I (hopefully) matriculate next fall. You're not old for this path at all.

A lot of MD/DOs who are women (or men for that matter) and prioritize their family over career work part time now a days. I know several female doctors doing this. Obviously, then the huge salary difference between your options goes out the window, but you're still a physician.
You all are just making my decisions so much harder!!

Okay, I think I'm going to stick with my original plan of trying for PA school, but holding the med school option open. I'll just take a few extra pre-reqs and work an extra year as an EMT if I do that route.

Nursing is such a tempting option, but I think I'd be betraying what I really want to do.
 

AkGrown84

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Jun 26, 2013
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FYI-I am a married, 30-something, mom of FOUR kids and in my 4th year of medical school. Is it easy? Of course not. But my childless classmates don't exactly have it easy, either. You do what you have to do to make it through. If you really want to do MD/DO, then shoot for it. The nursing-->NP route (especially straight through) SEEMS like a decent option, but I am telling you----it's getting saturated, and fast. NP programs have a tough time getting physicians to precept for NP students due primarily to NP politics and lobbying in congress. There's a LOT of pushback from physicians. And to put it bluntly-NPs don't know what they don't know. And that's frankly dangerous for patient care. A WELL supervised NP can be an asset, but the fact that they're lobbying for independent practice is downright scary. I wouldn't want myself or a family member cared for by a solo/independent NP in the ICU. I want a physician who has a 4 year doctorate (not online!) and is residency trained. The schooling is simply too different to compare the two.
 

murfettie

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Sep 27, 2008
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At some


At some point I have to be realistic. I'm not entirely sure I can afford that risk at this point in my life. Nursing isn't what I set out to do, but I might do pretty well there.



With respect to an MD/DO salary, a PA/NP salary is low. But in the whole scheme of salaries, it's pretty darn good.

I would eventually like to have a family, and if I chose the MD route, it would be difficult to balance everything. I wouldn't get in until I was 26, wouldn't graduate until I was 30, and would be in residency during my baby rearing years.

Maybe I'm waaay off with this, but it seems that a PA route is better for balancing being a mom and work. I could be working at a stable position by 28.

Deep down, yeah, I probably want to be a physician. But I'm not sure it's practical at this point.

And, sorry.. sexism up there. I wish I had more progressive beliefs.

I started med school at 26 - a fancy place too. 6 years later I graduated, with a MD and two babies. Some people in my class had babies but they are high performing, they graduated from ivy from undergrad, worked at the most prestigious firms int he world..they went onto very fanyc residencies. I am pretty sucky performing in comparison, a little bit lazy. I have a friend from my year in the same boat. We are both seriously considering forgoing residency. There was a 40 year old dude in my class who dropped out after 2nd year. He was an airline pilot - so he had a good paying job lined up. He had two kids first two years of med school - in the end, not worth it for him.

This is to note, that all of our husbands have very well paid jobs. >200k in law, medicine, finance, and tech etc. We throw away a lot of money on childcare to do able to do this, often a daycare AND a nanny.

PA is definitely better for being a mom. And honestly, being a doctor is maybe worth it to some people, and maybe not worth it for some.
This forum has a lot of rar raw raw cheering even when I was applying in 2010 - and it hasn't changed, but having been through it, and realizing how motherhood changes your priorities, all my ego, pride are honestly gone at this point. I just want a job that pays okay

I feel almost having kids before med school and having older children is easier than having toddlers in residency. Or having babies in med school early, so the kids are a bit older for residency.

On the other, if you want to do clinical medicine, I really feel medicine is the only way to do it. The stuff you know is just way more than PA/NP and the field is getting saturated. I would just much rather my mom to be on a resident service than a PA service. However, there are careers in healthcare that I haven't really heard of before med school that people enjoy a lot, and you are not forever stuck under doctors in the hierchy like a mid-level is - just by the nature of a midlevel
- Prosthetics: Masters degree.
- Occupational therapy: Masters
- Genetic counseling: Masters
- Audiology: PhD
- Some careers in nursing in digital health, clinical research are really really nice too.


I feel a little bit complicated because I leaned in, and now feel kind of stuck with half of a terminal degree - undergraduate medicine but no gradate medicine. But if you never lean in... you are not going to get everywhere. I had an inkling I might have kids during med school before med school, but I also have friends older than me who are still single at this point at early to mid 30's and an intern.
 
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