LadiiKay

7+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2010
128
23
Queens, NY
Status
Medical Student
I've been looking around on here, hoping for some recent advice on this topic and I haven't really found anything from the last couple of years, so here's a new thread. Sorry in advance!!

I have the opportunity to take a paramedic course EMT-P from Sept. 2011-Aug.2012 or Sept. 2012-Aug.2013. I'm currently an EMT and a sophmore in undergrad. As of May 2011 I will be done with all my pre-req's for med school and I plan on spending the summer studying for the MCAT and doing some research. I plan to take the MCAT in Jan. 2012 and again in April or June depending on how I score, and I plan to graduate in May 2013.
My question is, should I take the medic classes? Either way I won't be able to get much experience in the field before med school (assuming I get in). I think a huge driving factor in my wanting to become a medic (aside from the usual reasons) is that, from what I've seen and been told by countless people, doctors can't start IV's or draw blood for s***. A few of my friends who've been through med school reply by saying that's what Tech's and nurses are for, but still, can I get some advice please?
 

ucladoc2b

10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2008
355
4
Status
Medical Student
I've been looking around on here, hoping for some recent advice on this topic and I haven't really found anything from the last couple of years, so here's a new thread. Sorry in advance!!

I have the opportunity to take a paramedic course EMT-P from Sept. 2011-Aug.2012 or Sept. 2012-Aug.2013. I'm currently an EMT and a sophmore in undergrad. As of May 2011 I will be done with all my pre-req's for med school and I plan on spending the summer studying for the MCAT and doing some research. I plan to take the MCAT in Jan. 2012 and again in April or June depending on how I score, and I plan to graduate in May 2013.
My question is, should I take the medic classes? Either way I won't be able to get much experience in the field before med school (assuming I get in). I think a huge driving factor in my wanting to become a medic (aside from the usual reasons) is that, from what I've seen and been told by countless people, doctors can't start IV's or draw blood for s***. A few of my friends who've been through med school reply by saying that's what Tech's and nurses are for, but still, can I get some advice please?
Take the MCAT. Get field experience as and EMT (or ER experience, or clinic experience, or whatever). Do well in your courses. Skip medic school.

Physicians are likely out of practice drawing blood because that really isn't the focus of their job. If you want to learn to start IVs and draw blood, you will find several opportunities in medical school. Personally, I wouldn't go through medic school to learn to draw blood.
 

gravitywave

fourth year
Dec 19, 2009
2,078
9
s/p ERAS
Status
Medical Student
your friends who have been to med school are right. MDs don't do much blood drawing because there ought to be ancillary staff to do that for you. In fact, if you get stuck doing a lot of that sort of thing in clerkship/residency, it's called "scut" and it's a bad thing, because you aren't spending that time learning to practice medicine.

Take it from someone who used to work in EMS: don't go to medic school unless you have definite plans to work as a medic. it's a waste of time otherwise, and med school admissions committees are not very impressed with EMT-P status in comparision to the amount of time it will take you.

you'll learn to do the things you need in order to be a doctor. that's what medical school is for! :)
 

45408

aw buddy
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
16,976
47
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I also was an EMT, and going to medic school would be a big waste of your time, unless you plan to do it for at least 1-2 years full time.
 
OP
LadiiKay

LadiiKay

7+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2010
128
23
Queens, NY
Status
Medical Student
Makes sense, I really love working in EMS, but I definitely don't want to make a career out of it. Thank you!
 

TarHeelEMT

Converted Truck Surfer
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2008
457
25
The Chocolate Factory
Status
Attending Physician
Are you currently working for an EMS agency?

I was about 3/4 through medic class when I dropped out to start medical school. I went into medic class knowing that I might not finish if I got into med school, but it's a different matter in North Carolina where the state pays for your class so long as you work for an EMS agency or fire department, and tuition is only a couple hundred bucks anyway.

Do I wish I could have finished medic class? Absolutely. It would have been an awesome clinical and personal experience to work as a medic instead of just as a BLS provider.

Just taking the medic class for the sake of taking it is a questionable decision - especially if you're having to pay thousands of dollars for it (I'm told it's pricey in New York) and you have no real expectation of working as a medic. I at least had the reasonable thought in my head that I wouldn't get into medical school or might defer admission for one reason or another, so I went into medic class assuming I would work as a medic. I had also been working EMS for a long time at that point and continued to work as a BLS provider for the first two years of medical school.

You make it sound as though you're not currently working as an EMT. Given the choice between the two, for a future doctor EMT-B with real experience trumps EMT-P with no real experience.
 
OP
LadiiKay

LadiiKay

7+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2010
128
23
Queens, NY
Status
Medical Student
Sorry if I came off like that. I got my cert. in April of this year and have been a volee ever since. In nyc, its a bit difficult to get a job right off the bat that pays esp. if you can only do part time or per diem and because I already have a job, I love the freedom of being a volee. I've banked about 300 hours (possibly more) since march and I love every moment of it.
In all honesty, the only reason I don't see myself being able to practice as a medic for too long is because med school has always been my first choice.The medic class I'm looking at is about $6800 so yes its a bit pricey, but the biggest drawback is that there's no ALS on the Volees unless I go out to LI and I don't know if I'd be allowed to do so since I'm a resident of nyc.
In an ideal world, I'd become a doctor and ride as a medic on weekends =)
 

TarHeelEMT

Converted Truck Surfer
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2008
457
25
The Chocolate Factory
Status
Attending Physician
Sorry if I came off like that. I got my cert. in April of this year and have been a volee ever since. In nyc, its a bit difficult to get a job right off the bat that pays esp. if you can only do part time or per diem and because I already have a job, I love the freedom of being a volee. I've banked about 300 hours (possibly more) since march and I love every moment of it.
In all honesty, the only reason I don't see myself being able to practice as a medic for too long is because med school has always been my first choice.The medic class I'm looking at is about $6800 so yes its a bit pricey, but the biggest drawback is that there's no ALS on the Volees unless I go out to LI and I don't know if I'd be allowed to do so since I'm a resident of nyc.
In an ideal world, I'd become a doctor and ride as a medic on weekends =)

Honestly, the class itself is a heck of a learning experience. You'll get hundreds of hours of ALS ride time from it alone. If you've got experience under your belt and think there's a reasonable chance that you'll work, I say go for it.

Obviously that's only if the money is worth it to you, but the experience is invaluable.