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if med school doesn't happen...which career is best?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by chos, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. chos

    chos Member
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    hi folks:

    just wondering what people think of the following careers in the event that med school doesn't work out for whatever reason....

    nurse practitioner
    nurse anesthetist
    physician assistant

    which one is the best choice with respect to autonomy, salary, program length, cost, job availability.....

    tia
     
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  3. cee

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    honestly, i'd go carribean before i'd do any of those. and i know i have as good a shot going carribean as those programs you've mentioned.

    but to answer ur question, i'd probably say PA. it's the closest thing to being the real deal holyfield.
     
  4. strawberryfield

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    PA is not as independent as an NP, but becoming an NP requires RN, and a few years of experience, then Masters, in which case, if you've already done pre-med pre-reqs, would be easier to go PA, although they have slightly different requirements from DO/MD progs, including some required experience.

    You're the one that has to ultimatley decide what's best for you OP :luck:
     
  5. CuttinEmUp

    CuttinEmUp Senior Member
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    You might consider getting into an MHA program somewhere. Healthcare admininstrators with masters degrees are fetching top dollar right now..HUGE increase in future stability as health care demands change. I am currently enrolled at USC's MHA program as a back up in case all of the schools I applied to decide not to make a doctor out of me ;)
     
  6. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    You left out one: Walmart Greeter.

    Practically no one tells you how to do the job. There's really no training needed, so it doesn't cost you anything and you won't be wasting years of your valuable time in school. The best part is that there are thousands of Walmarts, coast to coast and in many foreign countries. You can get a job anywhere! Plus, with a little on-the-job training, you might be able to round up shopping carts in the parking lot or yell, "Stop!!!!" at people who set off the alarm and check their receipts. OK, salary isn't great, but I don't think that that should really be a factor when choosing between PA, NP, or CRNA either.
     
  7. Kuba

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    honestly, out of those three, CRNA is probably best.
     
  8. spo01

    spo01 Member
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    Don't do anything with the nursing route if you were passionate about being a doctor but didn't make it. No disrespect to nurses but it is a whole other field and one I personally couldn't stand doing. Granted CRNA and NP are good salaries and jobs, it's not a MD/DO. Also, if you are a man, it is much more difficult [mentally] to be a nurse.
    I would go PA route or even PT. If you want nothing with the hospital you could go into teaching at a college or high school, or Teach for America.
     
  9. OSUdoc08

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    CRNA = highest paid

    NP/PA = closest to a physician (both jobs are equal)

    The CRNA and NP requires that you already have a BSN. The PA only requires a BS/BA in anything.

    ALL 3 are more competitive than med school, so reapply.
     
  10. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    I suggest shadowing a CRNA or NP to everyone so they can get their own opinions of the jobs.

    I, for one have spent a LOT of time shadowing my dad (CRNA) and would be just fine with his job. I don't really see myself as a nurse sitting behind a station in a nursing home, though. Just as there are different areas of medicine, there are different nursing positions (ER, ICU, CRNA, NP, etc.).

    If I didn't get into med school, after trying my hardest, I know I definitely want to stay in the medical field. So - PA is my only choice? Not.

    And I'm taking several of my pre-reqs alongside nursing students, a few of which are male. They are pretty manly men, too, and don't seem to care about the "stigma" of male nurses. I think it's great that men want to be nurses. I know my husband would rather have male physicians and nurses if he were getting a rectal exam ;) Besides, it's a good job, and I think more men are aware that they can make a decent living that way.
     
  11. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    Yup. And all three require master's degrees to practice.
     
  12. PublicEnemy

    PublicEnemy Senior Member
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    what kind of talk is that? "if med school doesn't happen" ...ha. med school happens. it can and will happen.

    every time an application is filed, an acceptance is made.

    either the school accepts you, or you accept that you need to do more to make yourself more competetive and get accepted, or you accept that you don't really want to go to med school. the latter is the only acceptable reason not to go. if you really want it, keep fighting.

    there's no crying in premed!

    now if you realize that you really don't want to be a doctor, then all of those are excellent careers as well.
     
  13. Doc Martins

    Doc Martins Senior Member
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    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  14. Luv2Dance

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    i heard that many premeds make excellent law students. ;)
     
  15. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    :laugh: Will you be my bodyguard???
     
  16. dtrain5

    dtrain5 Member
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    If you want to be in a hospital setting, only go two years after under grad, no mal practice insurance, and a job that pays very well. Look at becoming an anesthesiology assistant. My undergrad degree is strictly a pre-professional degree, so we had to do tons of research on possible jobs after under grad for our senior seminar.
     
  17. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl
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    I agree with OSUDoc and megboo these are more competitive than med school. You should figure out what is going on with your application/interviewing and reapply.
     
  18. mshheaddoc

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    I also have considered the field of getting a masters then going into the clinical side of medicine. There are positions for clinical immunologists for instance. As well as I've considered just going for clinical research.
     
  19. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    Except there are only 2 states (maybe 3 or 4) that allow AAs to practice.
     
  20. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl
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    There are an awful lot of people that are miserable with an MS and doing clinical or basic research. Here, you reach the top of the pay scale really fast and often have very little responsibility....just something to consider. There's not a big chance for advancement and there's a lot of competition for the jobs, since there are loads of people who plan to get a PhD and don't complete it, or planned to go to med school and end up getting an MS/MA. Then the pay is fairly crappy on top of it all.

    I'd just be careful before going this route, Mushy.
     
  21. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    Oh med school is first choice. But if it doesn't work out, its an aspect I'd like to be involved in. We'll see what happens. :D Most likely med school will work out though :D
     
  22. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    Yeah I think med school is everyone's first choice here. Unfortunately statistics show that med schools sometimes reject applicants, so it's good to have a back-up plan ;)
     
  23. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    Let's just say, I'm persistent and have a few years to kill :D

    I'd always consider PA or Nursing as well.
     
  24. Hardbody

    Hardbody Senior Member
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    Come on now.
     
  25. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    Technically, it's true. The number of programs and available positions vs. applicants makes it way more competetive than med school.
     
  26. dtrain5

    dtrain5 Member
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    Practice? You mean you cannot assist an anesthesiologist in all 50 states. When one of my classmates did a presentation on this profession, she did not say anything about that fact. :eek:
     
  27. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    There is a website for the AA Association. They can tell you more about it. I believe Wisconsin and Florida allow them to practice.
     
  28. dtrain5

    dtrain5 Member
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    Okay I did my own research:
    The states in which AAs work by a license, regulation, and/or certification are:
    · Alabama
    · District of Columbia
    · Florida
    · Georgia
    · Kentucky
    · Missouri
    · New Mexico (university hospital settings)
    · Ohio
    · South Carolina
    · Vermont

    The states in which AAs are granted practice privileges through physician delegation:
    · Colorado
    · Michigan
    · New Hampshire
    · Texas
    · West Virginia
    · Wisconsin
     
  29. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    I don't know why I was thinking 2 states. Anyway, if you live in one of these states, great, otherwise you'd have to move. Oh, and there are only 4 programs.
     
  30. Testy McAterson

    Testy McAterson Bermuda Triangulated.
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    pa is ranked really high in the top 50s on a few lists (if that means anything to u-- i.e. money mag )
    i think it's a pretty solid choice--you are technically working under a doctor, but they're gaining more respect and freedom (they can prescribe meds--not heavy ones--but most others). at county hospital in phx they work the 'fast track' e.d. on their own--similar to the n.p.'s running the fast track at phx children's hospital. most people i talk to consider n.p.s and p.a.s to be 'on the same level' but with your prereqs it'd probably be easier to go p.a. in phx, though, our p.a. school averages like a 26 mcat and has a huge number of competitive applicats, though--so as much as you might be looking for a 'fallback'--it isn't a piece of cake to get in.
     
  31. Vox Animo

    Vox Animo Runs with Scissors
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    There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    It is statistically true, but not actually. The applicant pool for med students are more competive on the whole.

    To answer your question, i would go PA probably. Or get a teacher's cert.

    And if you have a bio degree, there are many programs that will get you an RN in 12 months.
     
  32. CatsandCradles

    CatsandCradles SDN Donor
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    Have you considered dental school?

    Also very hard to get into as well...and they tend to make a whole lot more money than doctors too. :laugh:

    Dentistry is a good field too.
     
  33. Vox Animo

    Vox Animo Runs with Scissors
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    Podiatrists and optometrists don't seem to be starving either.

    At my school there was an eye guy that worked for wal-mart, make 80K his first 4 months out of school.
     
  34. mastamark

    mastamark Senior Member
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    Actually PA school has somewhere in the 60% acceptance rate neighborhood. Med school is down in the 40% range.

    FNP is even higher than PA at around 63%. The GPA requirements are much lower for both and the test required are either GRE or GMAT(latter not so much), which are nowhere near the difficulty level of the MCAT. Med school has been and will continue to be the most competitive post graduate program(civilian at least) to get into.
     
  35. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    No doubt. My mom and dad's neighbor is an optometrist and he just built a huge house. He makes some serious cash.
     
  36. Soccer885

    Soccer885 Senior Member
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    If med school doesn't work for me, I will try pharmacy school (I love chemistry) or get a teaching license. Both of those professions I have always thought of doing besides being a doctor and I have my own reasons for why I choose both of them.

    But I really want to be a doctor...
     
  37. OSUdoc08

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    Due to the sheer number of medical schools vs. PA schools and the range of accepted students for DO schools, it is far more likely for you to be accepted to a medical school than a PA school.
     
  38. mastamark

    mastamark Senior Member
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    Well, due to the high proportion of prospective medical school applicants vs. PA applicants I think that we can see why Medical school is still more difficult. PA schools are less popular and more obscure than Medical school as well.

    The thing is you also need medical experience for most PA schools, which narrows the number of qualified applicants, therefore making it even easier for those applicants to make it in.

    I am saying this based on stas provided to me by Midwestern Universitys counselors. They have a Ostepathic program as well as PA. I know exactly 6 people that I have worked with on the ambulance that have made it into PA schools in illinois. 2 of them rejected by all of their medical school choices. In fact one girl was rejected from CCOM but accepted into Midwestern's PA program with ease. :oops:
     
  39. MD2b20004

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    PA school is not that competitive, there are plenty of PA schools opening up and it is WAYYYYYYYY easier to get into, i think even easier than nursing with the demand on the nursing field now-a-days. Go PA!
     
  40. OSUdoc08

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    I bet if I applied to a CRNA program, however, I wouldn't get accepted.
     
  41. Beau Geste

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    Those are VERY competetive programs. There aren't as many as PA/MD/DO schools, you have to have a BSN and RN licensure and have at least 1 year of experience in critical care/ER. Plus the classes themselves aren't very big.

    But really, it's nice to know there are other professions besides physician that can lead to working in medicine.
     
  42. Hardbody

    Hardbody Senior Member
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    If you don't have the pre req requirements of course you would, but if you did have the pre reqs I highly doubt you wouldn't get accepted. People apply to PA schools and the like largely due to self selection (weren't competitive for med school).
     
  43. OSUdoc08

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    There aren't as many PA schools as MD/DO schools, by the way...
     
  44. OSUdoc08

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    You don't know what my undergrad grades were.....
     
  45. IDFTIGER

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    That's not true. I know people who were accepted to both PA and Allopathic schools, and chose PA over MD (for various reasons). Never judge a person's credentials, or ability based on what career he or she has chosen.

    And by the way CRNA is one of the most competitive programs after MED school. My ex-girlfriend tried to for CRNA several times and could not get in. She had several years experience, as an RN, in trauma care, and a 3.8 GPA from nursing school. CRNA courses are extremely fast paced and tough. If CRNA programs were so easy to get into, and so easy to get through, I doubt these CRNA's would get paid 175K and more.
     
  46. emtji

    emtji Senior Member
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    I'd honestly have a hard time signing up for the PA/NP route. 90% of the misery for 50% of the pay.

    The CRNA/AA route is not a bad one and you can expect AA's to be able to practice in all 50 states within a decade or so. That said, this route isn't as intellectually stimulating as being an anesthesiologist would be. But if you're interested in a paycheck, this is a good route. Just remember that being a CRNA involves nursing school (eh) and at least a year (often more) of critical care nursing (double blech).

    Also take a good look at lifestyle in these fields. Sometimes making 150K a year isn't worth it if you don't enjoy it.
     
  47. Hardbody

    Hardbody Senior Member
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    1. The vast majority of people would pick med school over PA school, bottom line. Sure, you may have a few that will pick PA (because of the time commitment & family situation), but those people are in the minority. Most people that apply to PA school don't have a prayer for getting into a medical school.

    2. I knew a brother and sister that were in my O-Chem 1 class that are now in the process of becoming CRNA's. They were both B students and I am pretty sure that they got into the same school.
     
  48. OSUdoc08

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    WOW, this is a huge and incorrect generalization.

    People who are RN's, NP's, PA's, etc. aren't a bunch of people who couldn't get into medical school. Your perception that these "lesser" health professions are only in existence because of their failures is disturbing. Believe it or not, the majority of people in these professions never wanted to go to med school in the first place.
     
  49. Kuba

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    I agree with OSUdoc 100%. PA schools is at least as competitive as MD/DO. Most people have amazing credentials but do not want to do all the education and work as many hours as med schools students need to. It is a pure lifestyle preference.
     
  50. Hardbody

    Hardbody Senior Member
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    I know a kid that had a 2.9GPA get accepted to PA school no problem on the first try. I highly doubt he would have gained admission to medical school
     
  51. Hardbody

    Hardbody Senior Member
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    Your right about the RN's and NP's, they never intended on medical school. Maybe some have what it takes, and I am sure many do not. PA applicants generally don't have the stats to back up an application to medical school, that is why they are applying to PA schools. I am sure there is a small percentage that simply just didn't want to go through medical school.
     

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