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Why would anyone become a doctor when you can become a PA?

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10 years 9 months ago #15839 by rnmd?
The difference in education is what really got me - that, and the fact that I think I would ultimately regret not going for the highest level of education. For the record, I am a BSN prepared RN and started a semester of a DNP program. I haven't started pre-reqs yet, but I am very happy with my decision.

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10 years 9 months ago #15840 by alkatz
i wanted a complete education. i feel that the education you get as a PA or NP is insufficient to handle many situations, and have had the worst care by NPs practicing as primary care. They have their uses, but be sure to know your boundaries. It is difficult when you are not fully trained to know when to ask for help.
Medical school is long, hours can be much at times, but you GET the education you need to practice well.
WOrk-life balances should not be a problem once you get to where you want to be, but a MD or DO degree takes a long time. If you want balance in short term, then it may not be for you.

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority. - Ralph W. Sockman

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10 years 9 months ago #15841 by zola
I'm going to weigh in on the other side to give some balance to the questioners (asking this question in forum directed at MDs is going to get you a biased sample) - I am about to start residency, have had 2 kids during med school (now both under 3) and I am still wondering/half-wishing I had gone the NP route.

Maybe I'll feel differently after residency, but right now I am looking forward to 4 years of barely enough time to see my husband let alone two children that I could spend all my time with and it would not be enough. My daughter will be 6 when I am done and I am sad thinking about what I will miss over the next 4 years.

Yes, I am sure I will tell myself that I did not miss any milestones, and I spent all my free time with my family, etc etc, what you always here from people in this position, but honestly, I do not just want to be there for milestones, I want to be there to pick up from daycare and stop at the park because we have time and be able to go in to school at 4 for the valentine's day party and have breakfast together more than once a week. It is not just getting through however many years, it IS life, not just waiting for it.

That all being said, I think having kids in medical school is much more do-able then people like to make it out to be but that is mostly because the schedule varies so much, with a few intense months, but mostly very family friendly hours. Maybe I have less of an ego (I do not mean that in a derogatory way at all) than others who say they would never be satisfied to not be in charge, but I think it would be nice to gentler hours and a little less responsibility.

Finally, in my experiences working with PAs and NPs in the ED and on the floors, they really get a ton of respect because they often have so much experience and are really experts at what they do. This might not be representative since I am at a big academic med center and all of the PAs and NPs I have met are older and more experienced, maybe it would be more challenging when you are first starting out.

I am rambling here, but hope these thoughts are helpful!

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10 years 9 months ago #15842 by Doc201X

Originally posted by zola:
Maybe I have less of an ego (I do not mean that in a derogatory way at all) than others who say they would never be satisfied to not be in charge................

This is a very valid point. I certainly don't feel like 1/2 of a Pathologist as a PA. :rolleyes: :laughing:

Nor is "being in charge" dictating my desire to become an MD. Maybe my 20 something, insecure self probably felt that way, but after working for 20+ years you realize that being in charge isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

My Scientist/Physician Journey
www.Doc201X.blogspot.com

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10 years 9 months ago #15843 by rnmd?
Coming from a nurse, I would say that part of my reason for not going the NP route is that I am so frustrated with nursing in general, the direction nursing leadership and education is taking, etc.

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10 years 9 months ago #15844 by Doc201X
Opps, I forgot to answer the question in the original post!

PA's (pathologist assistants) do NOT Dx disease or speak directly with other Physicians to determine the care a patient is going to receive and that is why I'm going for the MD.

OTOH, if I were intersted in anything other than pathology, I probably would have become a PA (physician's assistant).

My Scientist/Physician Journey
www.Doc201X.blogspot.com

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