Pre-med considering NP instead

steffy123

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    I am a current pre-med sophomore. Lately I have been reconsidering my decision to go to med school in favor of becoming an nurse practitioner. I am getting a degree in Public Health, I am an EMT, and right now I have a 3.8 gpa. I am really interested in medicine to help patients, and as corny as it sounds, making a difference. Making diagnostic decisions is important to me but I'm worried about the issues of malpractice insurance, dealing with managed care etc. In addition, the physicians I've spoken with sounded quite bitter about the short amount of time they now spend with patients and how it hurts the doctor-patient relationship. I am interested in primary care, the money and time spent in school aren't really factors for me. I don't want to be a doctor for the money, and I'm weird and enjoy school. Help!! I need advice about what you guys think I should do. MD or NP?? Thanks!
     
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    Ypo.

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      Harrie said:
      What about PA? I think to be an NP you need to first be a nurse, then work in a critical care setting for a period of time before going to school to be an NP.

      This is a good point. You would have to switch majors to nursing. I think NP is often an option that nurses take who have been in the nursing field for a few years and want more responsibility/pay/autonomy...
       

      DCM

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        There are alot of programs that offer the RN and NP all within one M.S. in Nursing degree. Ex: Yale, Columbia, Hopkins. I have friends who did each of those programs and now have great primary care jobs. One is doing pediatric psych.

        They take about 2.5 to 3 years to complete and you go straight to work afterwards. Salary range 80 - 150K, with a great job market, (not bad for a 25 year old). The prereqs are similar but I believe also require Anat + Phys, and I've heard that the admissions places more emphasis on prior clinical experience than med schools do. Also you get the RN after the first year and so can work during the rest of school in that capacity. Also the NP schedule options seem more flexible with as much or as little hours as you want.

        A great option if you want medicine but aren't sure about 7-11 years of training and debt. But if you are dying to be a surgeon or radiologist or some other subspecialty than it obviously isn't a good idea.

        PA programs are similar and there are options to specialize afterwards. For example, at the hospital I am at, PAs see patients in the ER, and run the Cardiac ICU, they also harvest veins for CABGs before the surgeon arrives.

        You can't go wrong with med school, PA or NP. just depends on what you are looking for.
         

        DCM

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          also add Boston college to that list.

          And to clarify...these masters programs are set up for people that have bachelors degrees in any field. A pre-med would be fine. No need to switch majors or work as a nurse first.
           

          captbadass

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            liverotcod said:
            They're doing surgery, then? Wow.

            the poster was a little off by saying the PA havests the vein and then the surgeon arrives and finishes up. the surgeon performs the bypass and is in the room the entire time. yes, the PA harvests the vein, but i have never seen or heard of a place that commences surgery without the ct surgeon present. this would not be safe, nor would it be efficient.
             

            doc05

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              DCM said:
              that's true now that I think about it, the surgeon is present. but the PA is independently harvesting the vein which is impressive, then he/she moves up to assist with the heart.

              not really all that impressive, when that's pretty much all they do. they are technicians in this respect, not surgeons, and are hired to do this part of the case because it is technically less-demanding. This can speed things up for the CT surgeon who can in turn finish the case sooner and make his tee time.
               

              Benzo4every1

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                nurses and doctors think differently. If you still want to be in healthcare, consider PA? I think if you are already enrolled in a undergraduate program, you can probably do the accelerated nursing degree or maybe even combined.
                 

                KatieJune

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                  hey,
                  I had the exact same doubts about medicine when I was in undergrad. I chose to start a combined RN/NP program (about 2.5 years long) after I got my B.S. in Bio. I had exactly the same aspirations as you...wanting to do primary care, not caring about the $, wanting to spend more time with patients.

                  However, after 2 semesters in the program I stopped and now will be starting med school this fall. The thing is that nursing has such a different philosophy about medicine. As much as I truly love patient care, I was so frustrated by the lack of science emphasis in nursing. In my pharmacology class, I really wanted to know how drugs worked, but was told that I didn't need to know that, just the doseage. For me, autonomy is also really important and I found that to be very frustrating. Also, I've (since) shadowed a NP (OB/GYN) and she has a lot of frustrations as well.... So, REALLY make sure you research this decision first...let me know if you have any other specific questions. .
                   
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