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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by nish209, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. nish209

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    Hi,
    From reading numerous posts, I know I am about to ask is a sensitive question, but i am really in a tight situation.

    I am about to start medical school in the fall. Recently I met some residents & 4th year medical students my fiancé works with (she is a dietitian) they were like you shouldn’t go to med school, since it’s not been your childhood dream and it’s really tough and other discouraging things. They told her (and she told me) that I should go to CRNA school instead since it is cheaper/faster and pay is almost similar.



    My questions are:
    1. What does the future hold for CRNA degree holders?
    2. I know medical school is hard, but why would they discourage:mad:?
    3. Any advice on how to handle this? Unlike some people i did not grow up thinking about being a doctor, instead I really enjoy patient care and wanted to further my education. Thank you for the great feedback.
    PS: I have a BS in nursing.
     
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  3. ChemGrad08

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    This is really one of those soul searching personal things, but I would caution you that 4th yr meds and residents are doing the grunt work of doctors and making little to no money, so their feelings might be a little skewed. And it's possible that they just had a miserable day the day they were talking to you.

    As to your questions:
    1. Do you want to be an Anesthesiologist because if so that might make sense, but I know nothing about future prospects, I just did a google search
    2.They had a bad day, are poor, haven't seen the sun in a long time etc.
    3. Being a doctor makes you more important in patient care but likely less direct contact with the patient, so it depends on what satisfies you best. I might talk to some actual doctors too before I followed to advice of MS4s and Residents.
     
  4. Mobius1985

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    !) Spectulation on this topic would best be sought on a nursing forum.
    2) Consider that these people might be trolls, deliberately saying something outrageous to a vulnerable person in order to get a reaction.
    3) Pursuing the more difficult academic program and succeeding will be personally rewarding and provide a deeper level of understanding of disease processes. Solving and managing medical mysteries, besides helping others, will be deeply satisfying.

    FWIW I doubt most premeds have wanted to be docs from the womb. You are with the majority who explored the option with a more adult perspective. Surely, you weighed the pros and cons of other career moves before going through the arduous process of applying to med school.

    And congrats on your acceptance! If you are going to med school, why is your status saying Pre-Dent?
     
    #3 Mobius1985, Jun 14, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  5. nish209

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    Thank you for the replies. After the "chat" with the resident and student my fiancé is giving me a really hard time. She is really supportive and helpful, but due to them i am research CRNA School instead of enjoying getting into med school and going on vacation.

    If only I could see the future! Nah…I think I would look up the lottery numbers instead :oops:) Good luck!
     
  6. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    Here's the deal man, CRNA is a good option. If you want to look at it in terms of making decent scratch and having alot of personal time it beats the pants off almost any field in medicine. It's a career with high job satisfaction and high portability -- it has much to reccomend it.

    If you are not that sold on becoming and MD and you are one of these people that has extreme trepidation about working hard and making sacrifices then definitely check it out. That's not meant as a dig in any way. You do have to be a little bit crazy to become a doctor.

    Be careful, though, about taking the opinion of small sample too seriously. You could have just as easily fallen in with a bunch of cardiologists or ENTs who think their lives are awesomely fun, rewarding, and well-compensated.


    FYI: It does take awhile to become a CRNA. You essentially need to get an RN and then work for at least a year (probably more like 2-3) in a critical care setting. I don't think anyone goes directly from nursing school to a CRNA program.
     
  7. lesubversif

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    I don't buy the idea that you have to have wanted to become a doctor since childhood to be able to "make it". I'm a pre-med now, but that wasn't until finishing about 1 and a half semesters at college and exploring a lot of different things. I think I'm better off that way... But that's just my opinion though.
     
  8. 194342

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    Just to help out a bit, plenty of people don't decide to try medical school until late in college or even late in life.

    Also, being a CRNA and a Anthesiologist(sp) are SUPER different. For one, CRNA's have TONS of patient contact. The Anthesiologist(sp), in most cases, have very minimal contact with patients. Pay is very different and so is vacation. Both jobs have tons of responsibility and immediate positive outcomes of doing a good job. I know plenty of CRNA's who are super satisfied with their occupations. I hold neither of these titles but my uncle is a CRNA and he tried to convince me to do the CRNA path instead of medical school, so I know a little about it. Hope this helps.
     
  9. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    Except in situations where there are not CRNAs.
     
  10. galaxie

    galaxie "visualize success"
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    Honestly, this is a situation in which you just need to follow your heart. If you really want to be a physician, then do it. Don't let other people change your mind. If you're unsure, maybe you need more time. If you've already been accepted for Fall 08, maybe you could consider deferring for a year?
     
  11. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
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    Well, you're already about to start medical school so what they think about you starting is completely irrelevant. Anyhow, I would never take the advice of someone that tells you not to medical school because of something as absurd as "it wasn't your childhood dream". Its somewhat ironic, since most youngsters (high schoolers, in particular) routinely get ridiculed by pre-meds in this forum (which is JUST as obnoxious) for saying they've always wanted to go into medicine.

    You should look into anesthesia and CRNA forums to get better information about this. As a 4th year that spent several months with anesthesiologists and CRNA's, I think the CRNA future looks bright albeit somewhat contentious. Theres an uneasy truce going on between the two factions right now, but the bottom line is both sides believe they can effectively exist without the other. And that isn't even considering anesthesiology assistants. (Interestingly enough, from a historical perspective CRNA's effectively "came first". Anesthesia was routinely administered by nurses during the civil war decades before anesthesiology was an established medical specialty.)

    Well, assuming they weren't being facetious, its possible that they may be projecting their own second thoughts about pursuing medicine. I think its hogwash. Its your life. If you want to be a physician, then don't let anyone discourage you. Its up to you to find people that will provide you with advice that best helps you achieve your goals.

    No offense to the nurses out there, but you couldn't pay me enough money to be a full-time nurse. That said, if I HAD to go into nursing, CRNA is the only thing I'd pursue (there are quite a few nursing students that have this exact same mindset). CRNA is a pretty nice deal. You already have your BSN, so all you'd need to do is 1 year of critical care/ICU and then start your CRNA training (I believe 2 1/2 year masters). CRNA salary is very good at $130,000-150,000. This isn't a secret any longer, I've heard that CRNA school has become very competitive to get into (potentially even more difficult than getting into medical school... this based on the relative number of applicants).


    Well, with regard to your fiance... I would tell her that one of the reasons why you want to pursue medical school and not CRNA school... is maybe JUST MAYBE you'll find that you don't want to do anesthesia. Believe it or not, but MOST people in medical school don't want to have anything to do with anesthesia.

    There are plenty of negatives with anesthesiology...
    1. Its boring
    2. You feel like a technician, not a doctor
    3. You have to put up with some high maintenance a-hole surgeons on a daily basis (even more so as a CRNA).
    4. Dealing with the constant turf-war that is anesthsiology vs CRNA vs AA.
     
  12. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering
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    LOL yea if you weren't born gunning for med school you shouldn't bother going. :thumbdown: I decided when I was 24 to pursue medicine. Of course it is tough and there are a lot of scarifices to be made. Were you not already aware of this when you chose to apply to medical school?
     
  13. DenaliView

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    While I would not nessesarily discourage you from becoming a CRNA I would highly recommend you shadowing one prior to making this huge descion. It is probably not what you think... Many people relate them to being just like a physician with less time in school but it not not the same. As far as being able to make good money without having to bein in school for 8years + residency this is ompletly true! I went through nursing school thinking I wanted to be an NP or a CRNA. After more exposure to the profession I came away with feeling that while they had a degree to practice highly acute care they did not have the knowldge to really manage the patients. Their are some really intelligent CRNs' and NPs but they are in now way playing in the same leauge as MD's when it comes to the amount of working knowlege/technical skill. That really bothered me and I felt that I would either need to take the less acute patients, or I needed a better degree.
     
  14. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
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    My general take on CRNA's is that they do pretty much the same things that anesthesiologists do:

    Give anesthetic
    Intubate
    Squeak some valves
    Inject some white stuff (aka propofol) per request of the surgeon
    Extubate
    Lather, Rinse, Repeat :oops:

    Every once in a while you give an epidural or take an ABG.
     
  15. DenaliView

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    In the hospital that I worked at our CRNA's can work independently (w/o an anesthesiologist) in the OR. No big deal just putting the patient to sleep and waking them up but what happens if the patient starts to code or receives too much anesthetic, has a poor reaction mid way through the surgery. While you have a surgeon right there to resuscitate, I personally would not feel comfortable not having another MD (the anesthesiologist) giving me the needed drugs to fix the situation in my IV it really is not always that fool proof.
     
  16. wisconsindoctor

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    At first it sounnds like these are students that were in it for the money.
     
  17. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    Which highlights another important issue in the CRNA vs. MD debate. Once you go to med school your options are pretty wide open (assuming you do well). You can go into Psych and spend your whole career talking to people or you can do Neurosurg and hack tumors out of people's posterior fossa's.

    An RN (even a BSN) is a much more limiting degree. While you can choose what to go into most jobs are going to be one of three things: inpatient medicine or outpatient medicine with a few scrub nurses thrown in there.

    Sure, you can go for the NP and get some more autonomy, but once again your options are relatively limited compared to med school. You can do primary care, work in Wal Mart, or join an inpatient team and become an extremely well-paid social worker.
     
  18. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D
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    wow, never knew about crna's. they make a heck of a lot of money! good for them..(sry im no help to your questions OP)
     
    #17 redlight, Jun 15, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  19. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
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    Believe it or not, CRNA's are actually trained to deal with that too. :rolleyes: And frankly, the training between a CRNA and an anesthesiologist isn't all too different.

    CRNA's have to have at least 1 year of critical care experience (most have several) and 2 1/2 years of full-time anesthesia training.

    Anesthesiologists have 1 year of internship (which varies tremendously in content from one place to the next... during a transitional year, at most you'd have 1 month of surgery and 1 month of ICU) and 3 years of full time anesthesia training. The only real difference that I've seen is the volume of cases that an anesthesia resident handles versus a CRNA student (but even this is very program dependant).

    But wait, you say. What about medical school? Well, the truth of the matter is medical school won't adequately prepare you to deal with many of those situations either. Certainly (imo) not to the degree that an ICU experienced nurse would.
     
  20. DenaliView

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    Not at all the same (in my opinion), I think the simple fact that a CRNA can earn their degree primarily online makes me question the intensity of the program…. I can’t imagine that a residency program is at all equivalent to that of a Masters degree in Nursing….Any current residents want to comment on their experience with this??? (I could be wrong but this is my own observation). Honestly though it probably doesn’t sound like, it I do not want to discourage anyone from this profession. As far as I am concerned it is a very good job, pays extremely well and does have increased flexibility. But for those trying to decide between a MD and a CRNA I really do not believe they are quite as similar as some people want you to believe……….. Shadow a CRNA and shadow and anesthesiologist….asks lots of questions and see what ya think:)
     
  21. wmp2424

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    its a great option... if you wanna be a nurse
     
  22. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
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    What?? What ghetto anesthetist program are you talking about?

    Not equivalent, but certainly similar. The only real difference is volume of cases (which I assume is mostly because CRNA's do not come close to the 80 hour workweek that most residents do).

    I don't think it makes sense to choose between CRNA and any MD. Rather CRNA versus specifically anesthesiology. I certainly recommend shadowing both (not too difficult, they work in the same place). Like most other medical students, I spent two months with them during general surgery and a day with a small team of CRNA's at an ECT-equiped psychiatric treatment facility.
     
  23. copingmethods

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    I don't understand this - if CRNA's are qualified to handle most of what anesthesiologists do, then why would hospitals pay so much more to have anesthesiologists when they could pay a CRNA half the salary?
     
  24. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    CRNA's are not allowed to supervise themselves. There must be a BC anesthesiologist attending on the case.

    BTW someone said CRNA school was mostly online -- hogwash.
     
  25. copingmethods

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    Right, but what I'm saying is that if CRNAs were qualified to do everything an anethesiologist does, why would they need to be supervised?
     
  26. 194342

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    You could make the same argument for giving NP's more autonomy(they already have tons in some states..) and allow them to do family medicine without supervision of an M.D.
    Basically, CRNA's are the equivalent of a surgical PA(I'm sure this analogy is totally wrong, the resident viewing this will correct me, I'm just guessing. :rolleyes: ) in position. While your average surgical PA might be able to diagnose or even operate( I hear you can teach a monkey to operate...) that is not what a PA went to school for. The same thing goes for a vet tech. While a vet tech might be able to do 80% of a vets jobs, the other 20% is not coverable but the vet techs education.

    That is a broad stereotype, sorry if it offends/ is blatantly wrong.
     
  27. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
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    Can't speak about the vet techs. :rolleyes:

    I suppose you could sort of see CRNA's as being similar to surgical PA's. However, a significant difference is that CRNA's routinely take on all the procedures that anesthesiologists do. Surgical PA's (at least the ones that I've seen) only take on certain tasks in an OR. For example: during a CABG, a surgical PA may be responsible for dissecting out the venous graft from a patient's leg, while the CT surgeon performs the actual bypass of the coronary arteries. Now, for minor procedures like an appendectomy or lap chole, I don't think it would be too unusual for the PA to handle the entire case (under the observation of an attending surgeon, of course).

    I'm going to try to ignore your monkey comment, for now.
     
  28. wanttogohome

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    Maybe irrelevant, but I think the romantic idea of "wanting to be a doctor since i was young" is completely absurd. Maybe....maybe if you are from a family of doctors it's somewhat significant, but otherwise....pleeease. Not to sound like a cynic, but i've never ever met anyone even in high school who had legit reasons for wanting to go into medicine. I know the thread has evolved from the OP's initial concern, but questioning your current mindset and ambition based on not having the same ambition as a youngster is ridiculous...i mean just in my opinion.
     
  29. DenaliView

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    Not Hogwash check out some of the programs. And I said primarily online.... they do no doubt have time in the clinical setting but many of thier classes are available in the online formatt. While I have never taken a CRNA class online I have taken nursing courses online and they are not equivalent.
     
  30. DenaliView

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    Great question like I said previously I have sat in on a surgery where the CRNA was not being physically supervised by anyone, she was flying solo on the case from start to finish, and because she is a Certified Registered Nurse anestheiologist they do not nessesarly need a doctor to supervise/sign off like a PA does..... differences: probably they type of cases they take on. I sat in on a total hysterectomy but I would not think the CRNA is doing heart transplants on their own.... not totally sure though
     
  31. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
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    It could be a coincidence, but the two CABG's I watched both had an anesthesiologist standing behind the drape the entire time.

    On the flipside, I have seen intracranial procedures with CRNA's by themselves along with just about every abdominal procedure short of transplants (eg colectomy, gastric bypass).
     

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