RN for 36 years want to be M.D.

I have always wanted to be a physician. Matter of fact I went back to school as a non-traditional student 1984, was accepted to University of Boston - early admit affirmative action; due to family commitment I could not continue. First in my family to ever go to college and would have certainly been the first physician. I am seriously thinking about doing this again. Especially with the baby-boomers on the rise. Seeking information to find out if there are any med schools taking RN’s with my years of experience with a BS in Healthcare Management and MS in Healthcare Administration? Just want to see what opportunities are available; if any.

I’ve definitely heard of nurses being accepted into medical school.


36 years? Wow! I think with experience like that you will most likely be called in for a lot of interviews just for the curiousity aspect.


Even with that amount of experience, when had you last taken classes…you may have to retake the prereqs if it has been greater than 10 years. I think if you do well with those and do well on your MCAT, you should have ample opportunities.


Best of luck!

  • lhorsley Said:
Seeking information to find out if there are any med schools taking RN's with my years of experience with a BS in Healthcare Management and MS in Healthcare Administration? Just want to see what opportunities are available; if any.



Quite honestly, I don't think that medical schools are more or less interested in RNs with many years of experience, than they are in other people with varied experiences. Experience as an RN does not give you a leg up in med school. The focus is different, and the academic pace is completely different from anything you've ever encountered. Except for those who've completed a Special Masters Program where they take med school classes alongside the M-1s, I don't think there is ANY background that would cause an AdCom to say, "Oh, s/he would definitely be able to hit the ground running here, because s/he is a _________."

So in one way I guess the answer to your question is "no." But let me hasten to add that if YOU present an interesting and well-qualified application that stands up well in comparison to the other applications received, your experience will certainly pique their interest and you'll get a fair hearing at many schools.

Something that I think isn't understood well is how intensely personal the med school application is. You write a personal statement and some essays. You must come in personally for an interview. Following that, more people scrutinize your application and consider it. Even at the high-volume schools, a thousand or fewer applications may get this kind of careful consideration. That's a far cry from the undergrad model where points may be assigned for extracurrics, volunteering, etc. etc.

So there isn't a checkbox for "nurse" or "lawyer" that gains you extra "points." It's your whole presentation/application that gets evaluated.

I don't say this to discourage you at all, but rather to invite you to reframe your thinking about how YOU can present yourself as an interesting and well-qualified candidate.

Med school and residency is not for the faint of heart. I gotta tell you that at 53 years old, I look back to med school and residency - only just completed two years ago! and wonder how the hell I did it.

Good luck!

Mary

You did not state your age, but a little estimation and math puts you in late 50’s at least.


I must ask first: Why do you want to be an MD? Is is so important to you that you want to spend the next 7 - 8 years pursuing this? (well you can get the initials after 4 - but to do much with it takes a few more years). Are you after the initials after your name? or do you really want to do MD/DO stuff? We are all pushing the age barriers here, but unless you are in truly superior health and with a rather large bank account it sounds like you are setting up for a lot of debt and not much career either for financial or career satisfaction pay off.


Is Nurse Practitioner an option you would consider? - It does not give you the top dog initials, but you can do a lot of the same stuff and it builds well on your existing background

Wow!!! First let me say “Hello everyone”. I haven’t visited the site or posted anything here in quite some time. It is nice to be back.


If you want to be an M.D. after 36 years of nursing, then GO FOR IT!!!. I recently saw a news feature about a woman who became a doctor even though she didn’t start med school until 50! Sure, it will be mentally challenging and physically tough. However , so is nursing. If you could do such a demanding job that long, you are strong, smart and determined. Also, I work with a surgeon that is well into his seventies. Finally, when you are too old to “do”, you can always “teach”. If you think you might like to be a doctor, then think long and hard about this undertaking. If you know you were meant to be a physician, follow your heart. At least you won’t have “would have,should have, could have” regrets.

  • swy55 Said:
You did not state your age, but a little estimation and math puts you in late 50's at least.

I must ask first: Why do you want to be an MD? Is is so important to you that you want to spend the next 7 - 8 years pursuing this? (well you can get the initials after 4 - but to do much with it takes a few more years). Are you after the initials after your name? or do you really want to do MD/DO stuff? We are all pushing the age barriers here, but unless you are in truly superior health and with a rather large bank account it sounds like you are setting up for a lot of debt and not much career either for financial or career satisfaction pay off.

Is Nurse Practitioner an option you would consider? - It does not give you the top dog initials, but you can do a lot of the same stuff and it builds well on your existing background



Steve and I are the old farts of this group, both just getting into the swing of private practice as family docs in our early 50s. I will tell you right now that I love what I do and I don't THINK I have any regrets. But oh my gosh, I work so very hard... I don't have any time to myself... I never get to the gym; my health is actually suffering.... when my family needs more from me it comes at the expense of something else. It's even harder than I thought it would be, and I knew it would be hard.

No medical practice is easy, but the volume required to make ends meet in primary care means it is a particularly grueling lifestyle. Employed full-time, I get 15 days vacation per year. Most folks my age have earned seniority such that they can take off weeks or months! Not only do I not have the leave time, but if I am to be successful in practice, I kinda have to be in the office as much as I can, ya know?

At 53, I have diagnosed women younger than me with serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses. This is sobering. I wonder, what would I do if I got diagnosed with something Bad? (Well, for starters, I'd need to keep my job because *I* am the one who has the health insurance, but aside from that....) You know that trite saying about "No one dies wishing that they'd spent more time in the office." I think about it sometimes, I truly do.

I am rambling (very tired) but wanted to endorse Steve's words of caution. I don't know what the "break point" is, but to me there IS a point at which the time invested in becoming a doc would not be a good trade for the time available to enjoy life.

I LOVE what I do. It amazes me what a difference I make in some people's lives. It's sobering, exhilarating, humbling. And just really, really, really hard.

Mary