I am a 34 year old male RN, just finishing up my BSN and soon to take post-bacc classes to satisfy the science pre-req’s for med school. I have all sorts of feelings about the issue: I’ve vacillated between being an ARNP and an MD, settling on MD because I don’t think I will ever be truly satisfied as an ARNP. I am nervous to tell any of my colleagues, for fear of being judged or worried that they wouldn’t approve. I am hoping that OPM will be a valuable resource during my journey.
Hi soulrider and welcome! I’m also a nurse working on some pre-reqs. I’ve had the same feelings going back and for between NP and MD. Keep us updated on your journey.
Welcome, welcome!! I’m sure you’ll find all sorts of colorful characters with different career histories, healthcare included.
Ask of us anything, and know that we’re all here to help each other.
Thanks everyone! I feel like all of the RNs to MDs should have some sort of subgroup to comiserate and help figure this thing out.
- soulrider Said:
I 100% agree!! I am an RN/BSN type too and am working on my pre-meds as well.
I think all us RN's have the similar reasons why we want to become physicians. For me, I was tired of seeing treatable illnesses come into the ED that became so acute that I "knew" I needed to take the step and go into primary care. I remember doing patient teaching (something we RN's do ALOT) and the patient told me, "No one has ever taken the time to tell me that". Sealed the deal for me.
I, for one, am tired of playing the part of damage control for the impersonal physicians that I work with.
Ironically, medical school is supposed to screen those that have no interpersonal patient relationship skills. Ah well, se la vie!
On another note, I, very much like to meet and mix with the other professionals. Be it engineers, artist, Ph.D’s of whatever. I love getting to know the breath of knowledge that comes with all these fields and I believe that it can only strength us to become better well rounded physicians too!
Of course this could be just me and my late blooming ideological ideas run amuck!
I was also a nurse ( LPN ) and worked for few years in long term care. I was also thinking about doing PA or NP but in the end I ended up in DO school and I love it. Just five more weeks and I will be OMS-2.
I am 33. To be honest sometimes I still think at times that maybe I should switch to PA but this only happens when I have to study really hard for few days and physically my body gives up. But later after the exam ( and few beers ) I get my motivation back. Being a nurse will really help U. for example right now we have pharmacology and microbiology and in pharm so far (ANS and CNS) I saw ( was giving to patients ) 90% of drugs. so I do not have to learn the names, only side effects , and some other actions. Also, when interacting with patients (actors) I do not get so nervous because I used to do many assessments before. Right now it is more detailed and there is more time pressure. So take Ur time and make sure U have good grades in the post back and U can definitely do it . Good luck. and if U have nay questions I ( or many other former nurses) will for sure answer it.
I’ve heard something similar on every rotation I’ve been on, I think…“I’ve never had a doctor explain that before…no one ever told me… I’ve never had someone take the time to make sure I understood before…”
I do think the training we get as nurses in patient education is a real strength in working with patients as a physician (or in my case, soon-to-be physician).
It seems to be a more and more popular thing to do with nontrads, but just be able to answer the question, “why med school, why now?” and why you chose to cross the bridge of treatment modalities
Maybe I am crazy, but I never understood why going from an RN to an MD seems like such a major change. RNs have to be well versed in a lot of areas and moving to an MD just requires a more detailed understanding of those areas. My answer to the “why” has always been because I want to know more so I can do more for my patients. Not really sure if this is a sufficient answer, but it’s the truth. Anyone on here been on/currently on any admissions boards that would provide some feedback please? Thanks!
I haven’t been on any interviews as I have yet to apply to medical school - next year . However, I have been doing some research as I prepare for the “change” question and the answer of wanting more knowledge to do more is not sufficient. If you’re not already an Advanced Practice Nurse, It’s usually followed by - then why not become an NP, or CRNA, or CNM? And if you are already an APN, then it’s well you can always get more certifications, take more courses, etc, to increase your knowledge and enhance your skills. So refine your answer to address these questions before they even come up. Hope that helps.
Welcome. I have helped many a RN who wanted to become a MD. I can and will happen if you want it to. Don’t hesitate to keep the questions coming!
Welcome to soulrider and good luck on your journey to med school!
InHiswill wrote something very perceptive:
- InHiswill Said:
As the former director of two post-bac programs for career changers, I have a lot of experience with nontraditional students changing focus. Be able to articulate in your personal statement and med school interviews why you've decided to pursue medicine and not nursing. I would focus more on what you'll be able to DO as a doctor that you can't currently do as a nurse; it's about more than knowledge.
Good luck, and enjoy the journey!
Thank you for the advice Liza! I have started to brainstorm ideas for my answers, I just want to make sure that the admissions people don’t see me as vacillating and that I can convey that choosing to be an MD is a direct reflection of my work as an RN. I really want an advisor to help guide me, but I have received a less than an enthusiastic response when I’ve approached the ones at school. I’ve thought about hiring one from one of the agencies I’ve seen, but don’t know if it’s more of a scam. I appreciate any thoughts you may have. Thanks!
Thanks Dr. Miller!
Great advice! Thanks Liza
I’m sorry to hear that your advisors haven’t been that helpful. That’s disappointing, I’m sure.
I’d be happy to help you. If you’d like to set up a time to chat briefly by phone (no cost) please email me and we’ll set a time. I can at least guide you in the right direction and I would be interested in learning more about your background, as well.
Another RN wanting to make the jump to MD/DO who’s clocking on here and ready to take report. Since it’s fresh in my mind, another reason to become a doctor is to help out the rural people who suffer from bad doctors. Just a few hours ago we flew to a band aid box and rescued (transferred) a patient the doctor and staff were trying to kill. Without going into details just picture a resp/cardiac hot mess. This “ER Doc” if I could call him that, was in way over his head.
- soulrider Said:
I'm an RN who was once at that same place...wondering whether to go NP or MD. I had a discussion about this with one of my professors after I got to the end of my BSN program. Her advice to me was to go to medical school, but I didn't listen. I went the NP route because it seemed a shorter, easier, and less expensive way to go. I regret that decision now. I'm on the back end of my NP program now so it makes sense for me to just finish it, but if I could go back and do things over I wouldn't do NP. I may never use my NP degree because I'm also finishing up pre reqs to apply to med school next year.
Since I've been working as a critical care bedside RN, I've lost count of how many times I've called physicians for orders at night...only to have the NP call me back to ask what's going on with the patient, then tell me that he/she has to call the doctor and get the doctor to call me back with the orders I need for the patient (i.e. narcotics), or depending on the physician, the NP may not even be allowed to make even routine decisions without conferring with him/her first (i.e. downgrading a patient from ICU status so we can move them out to take a more critical patient). I'm sure it must be very frustrating for NPs to have to go thought that.
The answer to why isn't merely wanting to do more for your patients, its just as much about having the autonomy to make independent clinical decisions. It isn't going to be possible to do much more of anything for your patients without that autonomy.
I was an RN that really wanted to become a physician but instead went the NP route because it was faster and guaranteed. I regret this only because there has not been a day during my NP practice that goes by without me wishing I had become a physician. It has become a mentally agonizing ordeal for the past 2 years as an NP because I am daily reminded that I had not even “tried” to become a physician. Patients I see during practice remind me of this by asking me " why didn’t you become a doctor?". Or there are other occasions when patients don’t want to see me because I am not a doctor. These rare situations may not have phased most nurse practitioners, but since it meant a lot to me to become a doctor, it hurts to hear these statements. I thought for a while during my NP practice that I could forgot about my dream of being a doc and just settle. I still agonize over the years I spent contemplating on going to med school and not staring on pre-reqs. So finally at the age of 29 after my birthday I decided that I have to take the risk and GO FOR IT! I cant imagine being 60 one day and not be able to achieve this dream. I have started prerequisites for sciences and hope to do well. Its a work in progress emotionally and mentally for me. Its hard giving up a full time NP job and taking this risk. It feels good though as I know I am making the best decision for my sake and for my sanity, lol.