I would love to hear the perspectives of anyone who has career-changed later in life, that is currently working as a family physician, FNP, or CNM. Also, if you considered all/some of those paths and took another--what was your deciding factor?
I am a career changer who is 28, I graduated cum laude with a BA in a non-science major
I was initially drawn to midwifery and planned to completed an accelerated BSN at a state school and then pursue an MSN. However, after working with Family Medicine physicians over the course of a year as a health educator I found I really enjoyed primary care. I really like that FM docs can provide prenatal care and deliver (though I have heard this is more common in the midwest).
My main hesitation regarding midwifery (or Family Nurse Practitioner) is the extent and scope of the medical and scientific training you receive in comparison to medical school. I noticed that the curriculum in MSN programs has a large focus on nursing theory. I believe this important, though I do wish there was more time dedicated to the hard sciences. I don't want to feel as if I don't understand the full picture, or that my knowledge scratches the surface.
My biggest concern about medical school is timing, the cost, and oddly enough my personality. I have had people in my life comment that I may not be aggressive enough to be a doctor. I think they envision the type-A, extrovert, natural born leader. I am friendly and not shy, though definitely don't have those qualities.
I have taken pre-reqs at a community college for the past two years while working and have completed Gen Chem I and II, Organic Chem I, Bio I, and Physics I. My GPA for these classes is 3.91. To pursue medicine I need to complete a few more courses. For nursing I would need to take a year of A&P, and microbiology. I would most likely be starting nursing or medical school at 30/31.
I am not a career changer, but I just want to say that you don't have to be aggressive to be a doctor! There is room for all personality types in medicine.
Cost and timing are real issues, as medical education and training are way longer and more expensive than training to become a mid-level provider. Everybody has to decide for themselves if the costs and benefits are worth it to them. It sounds like getting a complete education is important to you, so maybe the additional costs in time and money would be worth it to you.