Advice needed: more Info

I forgot to include in the post that I will not be able to take science classes until January 2015 because remedial math is needed. Then it will 3.5 years until the recommended course plan is completed. The adviser states that a 2year plan will not prepare me for the new MCAT exam. Is NP really the best choice?

I can’t speak to what will prepare you for the new MCAT exam, because I took the old one. As for what is the best choice–only YOU can know that. Don’t necessarily take the word of one advisor (although do think about his/her words, and what truth may be in them). This is, indeed, a very long and tough road. That’s not to discourage you, just to be realistic.

I have a couple of suggestions for you. First, do some soul searching and thinking about what you want. NP and MD are very different professions. (And the NP route is not a short one, either!) If you haven’t done this already, get some clinical experience, with both NPs and MDs if possible. Do some shadowing. Volunteer at a hospital or clinic. Anything that means you will be around both medical practitioners and patients. Maybe you will find that one attracts you more. Maybe you will find that you don’t want to do this at all. Any of those outcomes are fine. It’s really important to do this for the right reasons, and because you can’t imagine doing anything else.

My other suggestion is to take a look at the posts of some of our older OldPreMeds. I’m thinking especially of Kate429, who keeps a diary here on OPM. Kate is 57, and has just started her first year of residency in family medicine–a very similar age to you, in terms of when you would be finished. She is very realistic and honest about what things have been like for her, from post-bac through medical school and now up to the beginning of residency.

Hope that helps.

Hi there

I am in my first year of residency. I am 52 yrs old. In my prior life I was an RN first and then an NP for 10 years. The NP route is mucher shorter than medical school route and much easier and you can be out making a good salary without doing a residency. However, I was not content to stay at the NP level and so went back to Med school. It is a very personal decision and you really have to question yourself as to what will make you happy. Good luck : )

I was an NP for 10 years before I reached a point that I knew that in order to advance clinically and intellectually, I’d have to go to medical school. Aside from that it has usually been an interesting, fulfilling and often well-paid career.

I agree that shadowing with NPs/PAs and Docs is the best way to decide what you really want.

Good luck with the math - you will need it regardless of the path you choose.