SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

very confused?

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by skent2, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. skent2


    Apr 10, 2007
    Hello, I am currently pre-med and I am recently in a dilemma. I love health care, I have always wanted to help people out. i love the contact and interaction with people, and I want to do something to help them out. I love the feel of it. I shadow two doctors and volunteer with three nurses. And overall any of it would make me happy. But while I love it I do not want it to be my entire life. I want to be able to go to my job enjoy and love it and then be able to go home and do what I please. I want to do this comfortably and this is why I am beginning to think medical school is not for me. The matter is (from what I understand) although PA's follow underneath physicians that there are an increasing amount of PA's that are being offered partnerships. Is this true? Has anyone else dealt with this dilemma and what are the pros and cons to MD and PA? Has anyone that has done this regret it? I also want to be able to have the freedom in my health care career to travel to other countries and do doctors w/o borders, red cross (whatever the programs are) with this being said which would be the better direction to go? And last, my advsor told me that you need at least 2000+ hours of experience (which could be volunteering or shadowing) is this true? If so how in the heck do I do this? I mean that is a full time job almost if I only have (or am getting) a degree in biomed science? Sorry for all the long questions.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc 10+ Year Member

    Aug 25, 2001
    Taking an Away team....
    most applicants to pa prorams have prior experience from another medical career. the typical pa school applicant is an emt/paramedic, medical assistant, nurse, resp. therapist, etc so the question usually isn't "how can I get the required clincal hrs?" but "when can I take all these prereqs?". there are programs that will take you with min or no experience. I wouldn't go to one of these schools.
    if you want to leave all your options open suck it up and go the medschool route. there are international and volunteering opportunities for pa's but they are limited compared to the options you have as an md/do.
    also don't think that pa's have an easier lifestyle than physicians. yes we put in less time up front (6ish yrs vs 11 or so) but many pa's work as much if not MORE than the docs they work with. the pa's in my group work 16-18 ten hr shifts/month. the docs work 12 eight hr shifts/month. who do you think has more time for family, etc
    as a part time doc you can make as much as a full time pa so if you are young and inexperienced md is the way to go. pa school is really intended as a second medical career not an entry level career, although as I said there are several less reputable programs that are trying to change this.
  4. qwerty1

    qwerty1 2+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    You said... "Hello, I am currently pre-med and I am recently in a dilemma. I love health care, I have always wanted to help people out. i love the contact and interaction with people, and I want to do something to help them out. I love the feel of it."

    If the above is accurate, you might be more pleased in the role of the R.N.

    Physicians, and mid-levels, in most cases simply are not permitted the TIME required to "help people out". They don't have the time to enjoy "the contact and interaction with people" that you seem interested in.

    I'm a 38 year man and an R.N.... and I really enjoy my job... but as a married man and father of 2 (with one on the way), I have to consider the future. A time will come when I get tired of stand-up 12 hour shifts... and a time will come when I can't perform the job as well as I can now.

    So, I'm planning on P.A. training (not N.P. training, but that's another discussion entirely).

    After P.A. school and passing the cert exam, I'll of course be very happy.... but I'll also know that I won't be able to affect my patients lives in the way that I did as an R.N.
  5. melrose84


    Apr 29, 2007
    I'm in a similar situation...

    I feel very confused. I want to go into international health/tropical medicine but am not sure about the best route.

    Last May I got my BA. Immediately after that I started prereqs for nursing. I have just finished my first semester of an accelerated nursing program, and have realized that I am more interested in medicine.

    I am trying to decide if I should continue w/ nursing school and finish in May 2008 or begin premed coursework this summer so I can take the MCAT in May 2008. Or, I could finish nursing school and then go to school to become a nurse practitioner or PA, or I could stop nursing school and get a job as a tech and take prereqs for PA school.

    My questions:
    -Will I feel limited if I become an NP or PA? Will I always wish I had gone to med school?
    -How much free time does a medical student have?
    -Is the time and effort required for medical school really worth it?
    -How do NP's and PA's feel about their jobs?
    -What is the best career path for my goals?
    -If I go to med school, will I feel like I have no time in my life for other things that are very important to me, such as family, friends, or travel?
    -Should I continue w/ nursing school?

    My goals for 10 years from now:
    -Have time to relax, hike, see friends, have kids
    -have a medical job that is challenging but not too time consuming in the US
    -have my MPH
    -learn various foreign languages
    -have a job that sends me overseas to do international health/tropical medicine.

    What advice do people have??? How do you feel about the education/career choices you have made? Thanks!!!! I would really appreciate any insight.
  6. maisuree

    maisuree Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    It's very hard to have others answer the question if you should be a NP, RN, PA, MD, or DO. In my opinion, if you go to med school, you have to be very devoted. You might have less free time than other professions while in school or even after graduated, but the profession itself is self-rewarding. It is best to see what each of your interested profession does from yourself. Because a lot of my free time might be too little for yours, or vice versa.
  7. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate 2+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2007
    First off, the differences between NP and PA can be large, as they are based on different models (nursing vs medicine), the difference between those and the MD/DO are much greater. If you are not interested in your current nursing program that seems it would rule out NP for you. If you want to be at the so called top of the ladder, to be the final decision maker in a patient's care then go MD, you will not get that with PA. If you don't mind (or if you appreciate) having oversight and backup and don't want to go through the torture of medical school+residency then there is the shorter torture of PA school. As an aside, it will be a bit tougher for you going the MD route straight from nursing school.

    Most PAs I've met are very happy with their decisions to become PAs, with the exception of those who did it because they thought it would be "just like a doctor", in which case they either are dissatisfied or get a big chip on their shoulder...thankfully I don't think this is that common.

    Medical students generally have very little free time. It is generally considered the most rigorous training out there. PA training is also difficult, but also much shorter (2 years vs 4 years + 3-7 year residency). Med school is not designed for you to have time to do much of anything other than study medicine, and residency can be even worse.

    As for your goals, I think the "10 years from now" part rules out MD, you won't likely be done with your training and if you are you'll be just beginning your career. I don't see how any of that would be incompatible with a PA though, or an MD if you change it to "in 15 years". Best of luck.
  8. Nano

    Nano 5+ Year Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    Well, i can tell you about my cousine who's a PA now for about 3 years. She actually studied back home and came to the U.S when she was 27. She didn't want to medical i'm guessing cuz of her age and the fact that she needs to study english for 2yrs, bachelors for 4 yrs, and then medical. And so that wasn't gonna work out for her because she was married and needed to get on with her life. But she wasn't also going to not do anything. So she liked the PA over nursing or any of that cuz she felt you would be like a doctor but not a doctor of course. And when she went through her last rotation the doctor loved her and told her to work for him and his wife ( he's family, and wife is pediatrician) so she accepted. So here is how she works. 5 days a week: monday, tuesday, thrusday, friday and saturday. Tuesday and thursday she works in one of his urgent care offices from 9-8pm and other days she is in his regular clinic working from 9-5. The family doctor is one office that she is not in, so my cousine works with pediatrician.. therefore she takes care of the adults... but MOST of the time she works alone in the office!! so she is almost like a doctor. Alot of the patients prefer her over the doctor, and they call her DOCTOR. She tells them not too, but they don't care! 3 of my friends have my cousine as their primary care and they told me, "oh your Dr. Fella's cousine!" and i am like "she doesn't like to be called Dr. , cuz she's a PA!" and they all replied the same thing: "Well, she knows too much for her own good, she's a doctor to me. Plus, i never seen the actualy doctors! i thought it was her practice!".

    So, she likes being a PA. Because she feels like she is a doctor, but she doesn't have the stress of being a doctor. She bought a nice townhouse in a beautiful area, has a nice 7 year old daughter and is happy! I am even considering PA myself from how i see her. Cuz i work with a pediatrician since she opened her practice.. and i still am working for her. So i know if i was a PA she will hire me, cuz sh'e like my sister! we're in good relations... but i have this ego thing, lol, i like to be my own boss! i dunno what i'm doing if u ask me... i'm confused myself! But good luck to u, and i hope that helps!

    oh yeah... i should mention, she can take vacations whenever she wants to! because doctors are always on vacation... so it works that way u know. They are very flexible with eachother... but this all depends who u work for!

Share This Page