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

chos

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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
 

kovalchuk

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chos said:
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
Well if you're in it for the coin, go CRNA. You easily bring in over $100,000 and I know people who make $150,000+, and could make more if they wanted to. For autonomy, see the various MDA/CRNA flame wars. When I was in the OR observing, the CRNAs were very well respected by the MDAs and surgeons. They stayed with the patient the entire time, while the MDAs popped in every once in a while... but it's a geographic thing. These programs are very competitive to get into, and you need several years of critical care experience after nursing school.
 

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kovalchuk said:
Well if you're in it for the coin, go CRNA. You easily bring in over $100,000 and I know people who make $150,000+, and could make more if they wanted to.
My dad has been a CRNA for 30 years and he makes > $250K in a small southern illinois town. (I've seen the tax returns)

He started in the 1970's at >$150K.

He hired a new grad for partnership to start at $150K and this guy (26) will probably be making over $200K by the time he's 30.

It's a great field to get into, and I am going to pursue nursing with that intention if I don't get into med school (after 2-3 tries). I'm already a speech-language pathologist and can't see myself doing this for much longer.
 

Beau Geste

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Oh yeah, and as far as autonomy goes, in the rural areas, it's typically the CRNAs providing general OR/ER services so it's *essentially* the same as being an MD/DO in a 50-bed hospital. Of course, there are always differences, but none that make much difference in rural areas.
 

kovalchuk

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megboo said:
My dad has been a CRNA for 30 years and he makes > $250K in a small southern illinois town. (I've seen the tax returns)

He started in the 1970's at >$150K.

He hired a new grad for partnership to start at $150K and this guy (26) will probably be making over $200K by the time he's 30.

It's a great field to get into, and I am going to pursue nursing with that intention if I don't get into med school (after 2-3 tries). I'm already a speech-language pathologist and can't see myself doing this for much longer.
No idea it went that high.

Nursing anesthesia is a very well kept secret.
 

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kovalchuk said:
No idea it went that high.

Nursing anesthesia is a very well kept secret.
Absolutely. It very well can be. I should make the caveat that until recently hiring a partner, my dad was a solo CRNA (no MDs/DOs) at the hospital for the past 3 years (since his other partner retired), so basically he was on call 24/7 unless he paid for coverage. But, he made a great living for those 3 years.

Right after his CRNA training in 1976 he had the opportunity to attend DMU to get a DO, but he could see the potential in working as a CRNA so found his current job. He's constantly trying to recruit people into the CRNA field (even me) but I want to try the MD/DO route first.
 

Guile

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Another vote for dentistry or orthodontics. My mom is a CPA and does my dentist's tax return. He makes $800K+! (And works three days a week.) And my orthodontist in high school drives a Ferrari, working 9-4 four days a week. :eek:
 
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chos

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kovalchuk said:
Well if you're in it for the coin, go CRNA. You easily bring in over $100,000 and I know people who make $150,000+, and could make more if they wanted to. For autonomy, see the various MDA/CRNA flame wars. When I was in the OR observing, the CRNAs were very well respected by the MDAs and surgeons. They stayed with the patient the entire time, while the MDAs popped in every once in a while... but it's a geographic thing. These programs are very competitive to get into, and you need several years of critical care experience after nursing school.

can you clarify what an MDA is? tia.
 

RRT2MD

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chos said:
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
An A.P.R.N. requires that one hold a BSN first with a significant amount of clinical exposure in their field as well as board certifications, (CCRN or CEN).

The same is true with a CRNA. Programs are very small and competitve to get into. One MUST have recorded very high NCLEX scores and have sterling LORs. Also CRNA programs are NEVER part-time like some FNP/PNP/APRN MSNs

I don't know what this 'MDA' stuff is? A physician assistant is just that, there is NO possesive on the end of physician. There are actually fewer PA-C graduate programs in the USA than MD/DO programs. Many programs now require the MCAT or GRE within 3 years of application.

Finally, if $$$ is your motivator please DO NOT go into healthcare!!! You WILL be misserable after a short period of time. If you are'nt familiar with the concept of being pissed on, crapped on, dealing with blood and green sputum then the route to becoming a CRNA/PA-C won't appeal to you. (Trust me!!!)

~~RRT, NREMT-P
 

NonTradMed

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If med school doesn't work out, and you're still interested in healthcare, dentistry or NP may be good options. As far as I know, NPs have some autonomy as individual practitioner. Dentists act like doctors in that they treat patients. Both would allow you to live comfortably and do many of the things physicians do. As far as I know, dentistry is, on average, not as competitive as med school. I don't know anything about competitiveness of NP programs.
 

MiesVanDerMom

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you could also do certified nurse midwife if youre into OB. some schools have programs where you don't have to be a nurse first, you can just go right into it. i LOVED my midwives and would do it instead of MD if i didn't have two little ones (crazy hours delivering babies ya know...)

ETA: my midwives had to work under doctors, technically, but had a lot of autonomy.