This is a lot but I'm in need of assistance so

Hi all! Please be kind, because I feel like I am being absolutely ridiculous. I’ll try to keep it as short and to the point as possible!

About 10 years ago, I decided I wanted to be a doctor. Specifically an ob-gyn or a pediatrician. I was a new mom and I thought the whole thing was so fascinating. For a lot of reasons (namely the time involved and how soon I’d be able to support my family if necessary), I decided to become a nurse with the goal of eventually becoming a nurse-midwife. Well fast-forward to 2020, I’m in a nurse-midwifery program, working as a nurse, and then a pandemic hits and I have to take care of covid patients and it does what it did to a lot of us - breaks my spirit and completely decimates my desire for direct patient care.

During all this time, I never stopped wishing I was a doctor instead, but as I’m very practical, I knew that it was financially a better choice due to the speed with which I’d be able to make money. Except now it isn’t. My kids are a bit older - 11 and 13 - and I hate being a nurse. I’ve changed my program from midwifery to public health and I have so much debt from nursing school that I may as well have gone to medical school.

None of my interactions with med students, residents, or attendings over the years have dissuaded me from wanting to be a physician, although the type of physician I want to be has changed a bit. The thought of starting over, though, is … well, daunting is an understatement. I can’t imagine the amount of debt I would be in and then what if I didn’t match? Not to mention, my husband is nice and supportive but we are likely going to be divorced for reasons unrelated to my career path.

I know nobody can make my decision for me. But I do wish someone would once and for all tell me that it’s a stupid idea and I should stop wishing for it and figure out some less ridiculous career option. OR that people would tell me so many ways that it’s difficult but absolutely doable. Because I’m in limbo. I can’t do what I’m doing anymore. I hate being a nurse. I love public health, but being an MD or DO who does public health seems like the best possible option. I can’t do what I’m doing, though. I have to make a change. And I’m hoping someone here could give me at least a little insight.

I’m sorry your going through such a dilemma and in all honesty, maybe instead of getting an MD you think about moving up from a general nurse to a purse practitioner. Nurse practitioners are similar to PA’s and are gaining lots of traction. They also have financial stability and better life styles. Because, this route will not put you in -150 to 400k in debt, you can focus on incorporating your nurse practitioner position with public health or administration. I know it all seems challenging now but hopefully in another 10 years you can look back and say you made a good decision.

-Team MedMogul

It’s doable. You also would have options for loan forgiveness depending on what settings you’d be willing to work in, so I don’t think debt should be the end-all. I don’t think you should discount your concerns, of course, but I also don’t think you should discount the toll that a miserable career and the regrets of not pursuing what you know is for you can take, nor the indirect effects of your burnout on loved ones. Just my 2 cents.

Hey there! I pop into this forum every few years or so. These days I am a mother of 2 and pediatrician (DO). I can only imagine that the experience you have had would be incredible in whatever area you chose you work. I knew several nurse–> physicians from when I was in med school & residency. Ultimatly it sounds like you want this or at the very least you would like to dip your toes in the water of this path (which is how I started).
Heck!! You have seen traniees at probably thier worst (clinically at least) and you still feel this way!
Personally I support you in that. The debt is crazy but there are options for repayment (though I cannot minamize it as the burdan hangs over a lot of us). That being said I personally believe that chasing after your dreams wether you land where you think you want to be or somewhere that calls to you along the way is worth it. Also, I know that far removed from everything saying “you’ll match” seems flippant but I still think that if you are a solid student and you keep an open mind about everything and can see youself happy in multiple roles and multiple places than the chances are very, very good.
Yes, of course it is difficult and I think for some non-trad career changers (especially the ones who know a lot of medicine) the early years can be tough as they are full of minutia with right and wrong answers and not so much clinical knowlage or judgement (not to mention endless hours of slogging through studding… not my favorite years haha).
Re: NPs… A lot of NPs are amazing and they are the best. You probably know/have worked along many & you probably have more intimate knowlage of why one path is better for you than another or why you would want MD/DO VS NP. No path is right or wrong here one is just what feels like thr right choice for you.