Taking the Plunge...

Hello everyone,

I’ve just joined after reviewing many of the posts on the site. I am seriously debating the path to becoming a physician. I am currently a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner. I love my interactions with my patients but I am having great difficulty in the limitations placed on both salary and authority because I am not a physician. I have been encouraged by several of my physician colleagues to go to Med school, however, for me this would entail re-taking all pre-req’s (mine are all over ten years ago) as well as finishing a nursing doctoral program I am currently working on (most schools I’m interested in will not accept without completing current program). I probably would not be able to begin Med school before Fall 2010. My question is, is it really worth the additional time and money to go to med school? Any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Hi, and welcome to OPM

To answer your question: I can’t answer your question I’ve worked with and extensively spoken with MDs and NPs about their career paths, and I’ve gotten all kinds of different feedback. One NP loves the path and believes it’s perfect for her; one really likes it, perhaps would have pursued an MD earlier in life, but isn’t interested in anything else now.

It seems like you’ve done your homework (re: pre-reqs and program completion). You presumably have a very solid understanding of medical and clinical needs. I imagine that ADCOMs will largely focus, then, on the “whys” of your change - why move from a high-level allied medical field to MD or DO? You mention autonomy and salary. I suppose that if, upon reflection, you are able to describe to yourself why those constitute sufficient motivation, you’ll be able to describe it to ADCOMs as well.

Enough of my rambling - good luck, and welcome!

Only you can answer the question of whether it is worth the time, money, sacrifices, etc. I would imagine that for you medical school will be easier than for someone with no medical background.

I wonder why the medical schools you have talked to insist that you spend another four years finishing your doctorate; why waste time if that’s not the career path you want to take anymore? If you were one or two years away from completing, it would make more sense. Maybe you need to talk to some more schools and see if this is a universal sentiment; it’s hard to fathom somehow.

Good luck,