Think I made a mistake - also hello again!

I was posting on here a couple of years ago, but decided for a variety of reasons to go into nursing instead of medicine … none of those reasons included a preference for nursing. Well now I’m in nursing school and I won’t say I hate it, but it’s definitely not for me. I’m here. I’m going to finish. I’m not going to waste the money I took out in loans by not completing the program, but I keep wondering about medicine.

The thing is, though, if I’m not into nursing, is it possible I won’t like medicine? I don’t think that’s the case. The biggest problem I have so far is that I can’t do anything except what a doctor allows me to do. I can’t diagnose - which, of course, I already knew, but it bothers me more than I anticipated. And the patient interaction… Ok, this might sound awful, but having to interact with patients on such a personal level isn’t something I’m comfortable with. I want to help people … by treating their disease, or by delivering their baby, or something like that. The thing they keep pounding into us is that doctors treat diseases and nurses treat people. Well, sue me. I’d rather treat the disease.

It’s not that I’m not compassionate. I certainly am. I just know what I’m capable of. And this doesn’t feel like it’s that.

Ultimately I want to deliver babies, so maybe becoming a certified nurse-midwife is the answer. But I have to work as a nurse in an L&D ward for at least a year before I can even apply to such a program. Which I get! But I don’t like it.

Maybe I’ll end up liking nursing. I’ve only been in nursing school for two months, after all. But so far it’s just made me want to be a doctor even more.

Sorry you’re not enjoying yourself thus far.

Not to throw another wrench in your plan, but I think it’s unfair to say that doctors don’t treat people. My first 2 months of school (outside of anatomy) thus far has focused on how to interact with patients to build trust/rapport, elicit information that may not be the most comfortable for them to talk about, and to understand them to find the best course of treatment that both the doc and the patient can agree on. Sure, docs treat the disease. But it seems the trend is going towards better patient interaction leading to better outcomes, leading to (in a way) better pay for docs/hospitals. Not sure which is driving which, but that’s the reality of it.

Sure, there are still specialties that don’t have as much interaction with patients (rad, path), but those folks can still have time when they have to/want to interact with patients to help with the diagnosis. OBs deliver babies, but they also have responsibilities to the patient during the pregnancy and after the birth. I can’t think of a primary care specialty that you can avoid interacting with people on a level deeper than “what’s wrong with you, here’s your meds.” I know there are still those types of doctors out there, but the societal expectation is changing. (As an aside, we actually had a same-day appt with a pediatrician that called the next day to follow up!) Maybe a high volume ER would be good? Less time for the touchy feely side of medicine?

I hope you’ll become happier with your decision as you progress in school/work or find something that works better for you!

I think I may have come across a little more harshly than I anticipated. I have no problem getting to know patients and interacting with them. I don’t care to get to know them at the level that nurses typically have to, though. For example, in clinicals, we go in and bathe patients and help our nurse preceptor with medication administration and come up with really detailed nursing diagnoses and care plans for the patients. That’s too much for me. It’s too personal. Too involved, I guess. Being involved with patients and knowing their needs is GOOD, absolutely. But I think I’d prefer the overall, bigger picture care as opposed to the day-to-day things that nurses tend to do. I don’t even know if this makes sense. :slight_smile:

Makes sense to me. Take care of people but not necessarily be their “caretaker” if you will.


Before you make the time and financial commitment to becoming a physician, you should take the time to shadow a physician both in the office and in the hospital. They are completely different environments. In addition, if you are in nursing school and want to be involved in more patient care, you can continue on this path and become a nurse practitioner. You will have a good amount of autonomy and be able to diagnose patients, however you will be under the auspices of a physician.

I’ve done all that, actually. I’m certain of what I want. I just don’t think it’s possible. I’ll probably end up going the practitioner route, but it’s still frustrating to me that it’s not exactly what I want to be.

I am still very confused. What is the your ultimate goal?

I wanted to be an OB-GYN. That was my ultimate goal. I decided to go the nursing route instead because it became necessary to consider making money sooner than becoming a doctor would be possible. I figured I could become a nurse-midwife. But I’m not enjoying nursing … because it’s not really what I want. And so now I’m wondering if I’m wasting my time. Not that I could change it at this point, but it’s discouraging to say the least. I was hoping that I could find a bit of joy from nursing, but it’s just not there.

It sounds like you’re in a difficult spot. Give yourself time and try to keep an open mind given that you have only been in the program for a couple of months. If you’ve already made up your mind that you don’t like where you are, it may be hard for you to think otherwise. Do you think you would want to use your nursing degree in an academic setting? Your nursing degree can be used in ways other than direct patient care.

However, if you feel that it’s really not for you and you won’t be satisfied until you are an OB/GYN, then the path is clear - go for OB/GYN! I understand that loans and finances aren’t to be taken lightly, but think about how much they matter in regards to your life’s happiness and feelings of fulfillment.

You need to focus on your studies for now. Since you are in nursing school, any other health care field will want to see that you were not only successful but had good grades to boot. It is important to change your outlook on your current situation not for the sake of loving nursing, and once you start your clinicals you may come to realize that you do, but also a positive attitude portends a good academic performance because you will look forward to studying and doing well.

If you ultimately want to be involved in the delivery of babies there are many ways to do this and I am sure that you have already explored your options. However, since you are already in school, unless you want to stop, I would suggest that you make sure that you do very well.

Keep us updated.

There’s absolutely no way I’m going to do anything except finish nursing school and finish it with good grades. I just don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m done.