I’m 29 y/o who graduated in 2001 from undergrad w/ overall GPA of 3.4. I then worked for 4 years as an RN. Two years ago I went to UPENN for a Master’s in Women’s Health (3.97 gpa)and I am now a women’s health NP (working for past two years). My ultimate goal has always been to go to med school but I never thought I was “smart” enough. I love my job as NP but I can’t deny the fact that I long to learn more and ultimately be able to do more. Am I crazy for thinking about going to med school? I know I will have to take pre req courses such as physics/calc/more chem…as I only had 27 undergrad science credits (approx 3.2 science gpa).
I’m going to meet with an admissions advisor next week at one of the local med schools just to see what kind of path I would need to take.
Also, I’ve read some of the posts re: nursing professional trying to go to med school… seems kind of negative.
Any advice, comments?
I am an NP as well, so I can completely relate to the desire for professional advancement. I think it is great that you are considering medical school and it seems reasonable to believe that a background in health sciences would give one an edge in clinicals and residency.
I am not sure why there are disparaging comments about nurse practitioners or RNs who wish to go to medical school. I don’t subscribe to the belief that admissions comittees frown upon applicants with a BSN or MSN. I know more than a handful of nurses who became physicians. Actually I think those from such professions should be seen as quite sincere applicants - after all, the opportunity cost is much greater when you consider the salary lost and money spent on a decade-long endeavor!
You don’t have anything to lose by applying; at the very least, the coursework will provide knowledge that can be used in aspects of practice.
Good luck to you!
The negative comments aren’t really directed towards those who have worked for a time and nurses, decided that they wanted more and then decided to pursue medical school.
What is generally frowned upon by medical schools is people doing a nursing degree with no real intention of working as a nurse.
Thank you for your response! I’m feeling nervous, overwhelmed, excited etc… Luckily, my husband is incredibly supportive. I went back and read many of your posts and you are an inspiration. I noticed you quit a teaching position that you held for 10 years… that takes guts. I also couldn’t help but notice the cute baby on your profile picture, did you have your baby in med school? That’s the other hurdle I’m trying to figure out… my husband keeps saying that life is too short and you have to go for your dreams and if I get pregnant… which we want, he thinks we can make it work. Any advice on juggling family, school etc?
Thanks for the words of encouragement. Have you applied or are you still in the planning stages? Are you currently employed? If so, have you told anybody that you work with of your plans? I’m a bit nervous about disclosing this to my employer for obvious reasons. I know I’m still in the earliest planning stages. I’ve really just begun to even think about making it a reality. It’s always been what I wanted but I feel I’m at a point in my life where I want to make it a reality and stop “thinkink and dreaming” anout it!
- trose Said:
Sorry for not replying sooner - been a brutal couple of weeks. Having a baby in med school isn't ideal, but it's not as impossible as people make it out to be, especially if you have an incredibly supportive spouse (which I do). I had my baby in January of 2nd year. There are lots of different options in medical school, so how easy it is to work things out varies from school to school. In our case, we have an independent study program, so I was actually able to take two months off after my daughter was born. I was originally going to do delayed entry into Med 3 (start one rotation late) and then make up the two months during 4th year. 4th year is pretty light for the most part, plus at most schools, you have two to three months of vacation for interviewing and etc. I ended up doing a MPH degree this year and will be starting med 3 in July.
I have known a few med students who had their babies between 1st and 2nd years, some who have had theirs sometime during second. Some have taken a year off, others haven't. Many schools now make their lectures available either via mp3s or streaming video/audio and have note-taking services, so you can often get away without having to be in lecture. Honestly, I could have done a whole heck of a lot more studying in the first couple of months after my daughter was born than I did.
So, babies are doable. I would probably avoid having a baby late in 2nd year unless you plan on taking a year off, because the 3rd year of med school is pretty tough in terms of hours. I start on surgery and I will, in all likelilhood, not see my daughter much at all. We will be expected to pre-round at 4:30, and will routinely be in the hospital until 7 or later. On my second month, I hear it's not uncommon to be in the operating room until 11pm or midnight.
In terms of general juggling, you just have to set your priorities, be organized, and stick to them. Set aside certain times for your husband/children. This week, I haven't been getting home until 5 or 5:30, and my daughter goes to bed at 7ish, so that time is reserved for them. I study after she goes to bed. You may decide that you are willing to accept lower grades because you aren't willing to give up a certain amount of time with your family. It varies from person to person how much studying they put in.
- trose Said:
This was exactly how I felt when I considered med school versus advanced-practice nursing. I looked at the curricula for MSN programs and just didn't feel that they would meet my thirst to **know more.** In my interviews, I pretty much just said it like that.
As for the nurses going to med school thing: I did have some nurse friends jokingly tell me that I was "going to the dark side." You know that there is this whole nursing theory thing about The Medical Model; I remember from my nursing school days that it was spoken of as a bad thing that explained why doctors treated patients so cavalierly. And so I think that there are *some* nurses who view a colleague going into medicine as a "sellout" - "we'll still be here doing the hard work and you'll be playing golf." (Yeah, right.) In every profession, there are people who can only pump themselves up by trying to bring others down. Hopefully you won't encounter it.
I think that nurses "in the trenches" may sometimes be resentful / jealous / envious of a colleague who is aspiring to med school because they project onto him/her an attitude of "holier than thou." This can happen even if the nurse-to-doctor doesn't have that attitude; others assume s/he does. Certainly I would not ever advise a nurse in that situation to try and bug out of work early "because I have an o-chem lab to finish" or in any other way trumpet his/her work toward med school; it can't go over well and it certainly *would* have the potential to breed resentment. But I think that someone who works well with others, who shares his/her enthusiasm for the current job as well as the future, can do just fine with colleagues. It doesn't *have* to be uncomfortable.
Sorry for a rambling reply.... brain is out to lunch today!
one more thing:
My experience with nurses as a med student, intern and resident was almost universally positive. When nurses found out I’d been a nurse previously, I usually got some version of “You go, girl!” I was unfailingly polite and appreciative in working with nurses - and it was no act, I know how hard their job is and how thankless it sometimes feels. But I think they appreciated it that I appreciated them, if you know what I mean.
I also made sure my orders were legible
Thanks for your response. I truly appreciate your input. I am nervous about discussing my future plans with my current employer for some of the previous reasons discussed, but now mostly I can’t help but feel I will be making their lives more difficult by reducing my hours. I know that if I really want to proceed with my plans than this is the only way to do it. I had the perfect “in” the other day, but I missed my opportunity. My “lead ARNP”…as they call her said to meâ€ are you sure you don’t want to be a doctor"… and I jokingly (actually not so jokingly) replied to her “I think about it every day :-)”. I know she will be supportive but I can’t help but feel some guilt about reducing my hours to take pre-reqs for something that is not a guarantee. I know I need to change my attitude to a more positive one. Moreover, my husband is my biggest cheerleader and he tells me that if I don’t at least try I will never forgive myself, and he is without a doubt correct. So, here it goes
From the perspective of a “junior partner” with my group (I’m actually an employee, haven’t even had my one year anniversary yet), let me say that you need to give your employer a LOT of lead time to plan for your reduction in hours. The more notice you can give them, the better. I don’t know what sort of recruitment experience you had prior to getting your current position, but filling provider positions is a royal PITA for the practice … the calculus of staffing, expenses, scheduling, etc. is much more complicated than I initially appreciated. So… jump in! The water’s fine!
Thanks for the advise. I just feel like I’m at such a crossroads right now. I feel so strongly about both going to med school and starting a family… I just feel like at this point I need to take one day at a time. Neither is guaranteed, so I’m going to try my best at both and see where life takes me. I met with an admissions counsellor last week and I got a lot of great info. Basically, as she put it, I need to get As in both ochem and physics and a pretty fantastic MCAT score, 27 or above… at least. I’m going to try my hardest, we’ll see what happens. thanks for all of the advise thus far.