× Thinking of a Becoming a Doctor

UCD grad with family concerns- NP or MD?

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16 years 1 month ago #58111 by marycc
I am a 22 year old recent University of California, Davis graduate in Managerial Economics. After years of internships, jobs, and volunteering, I know that my passion is working with patients. I am now faced with a decision I am very much struggling with- becoming an NP or MD? I love working with children and chronic illness and also women's health, and feel I can work with either both as an NP or MD. However, most people I know are pushing me toward the MD route simply because I do well in school and am capable of completing med school. My number one priority upon graduation I know will be family time however, and I'm wondering if it's worth going through med school if I'm going to end up part-time as soon as I am done with residency and fellowship (in order to have more time with my future family- I don't plan on children for another 8-10 years though). I don't want to do general practice and will likely specialize in Endocrinology or OBGYN, though I have a lot to learn before I can say for sure. My questions are:

1) How many hours/week would a part time doctor work and on what salary? (I was told at one point 40 hrs at 100,000 which I could make as an NP without the long med school commitment right?)
Do full-time doctors really work 60-80 hrs/wk?

2) Is it plausible to work part-time straight out of residency/fellowship? What are fellowships like in terms of stress/hours per week/salary etc.?

3) I have type 1 diabetes and am careful to have balance and as little stress as possible in my life. Is med school/residency/fellowship stressful the entire time? What are some things I should consider with regard to this.

Thank you so much for any advice you may have. This is a wonderful resource for me and I appreciate the help you've already given me with other forum topics. I apologize for the lengthy story.

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16 years 1 month ago #58112 by aspen
Any comments? I am also trying to decide between NP and MD, so I would like to hear about the possibility of working aprt time immediately following med school . Also, any MDs or med students who were once nurses? What made you want to go on to med school?

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16 years 1 month ago #58113 by marycc
I haven't had any replies yet. I searched for a long time through old forums and found some info- people have gone from RN to MD, though I can't tell if the courses taken as an RN satisfy pre-recs for med school or not. I also found that while difficult at times to find part-time work, it seems many have been able to find it if they search for awhile and/or approach their employers. What I really would like to know, however, is how many hrs/wk part time is and what the change in salary and benefits is (half salary, no benefits?) That's something I haven't been able to find anywhere, probably because it depends on your specialty and where you work.

As for why I started considering med school, I realized after various jobs, volunteer work, etc. that I really need to work with patients (I was going to do the business side of medicine and felt unfulfilled). It then became a question of which license to pursue. I know I desire more responsiblity and autonomy than an RN, but beyond that I'm not sure what's best. I enjoy school and do well in it, which is why I feel compelled to consider med school as an option. But family time will be more important to me than my career, so I need to consider what's best in terms of my future family.

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16 years 1 month ago #58114 by 2badr
Hi. :D I recently turned 30 and I am a NP. I have been struggling whether to be a doctor or take my master's to be a NP. So finally, I graduated at the of 29 with a master's degree in both adult and geri NP. I am happy with my current position . However, I continue to wonder "what if" :confused: "I just went to complete my pre-med". I am still thinking of going to pre-med but right now time is my enemy. I think I am toooo old and I recently got married and want to start a family. (It could be done but I think family and school may be a a very difficult comb).
My suggestion: :cool:
If you really want to be doctor GO FOR IT. Sure you may finish your NP and make money but you will always wonder "what if". Ask yourself what do you really want to achieve 10 years from now!!
All my doctor friends are thrilled I am considering it and they are encouraging me. It is really a tough decision but it is you who will really know what you want. I have other friends :crossfingers:
:crossfingers: :crossfingers: :crossfingers:

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16 years 1 month ago #58115 by PremedRN
Marycc,
Hello! I am a registered nurse, but am not a med student yet, I have 2 more prereqs to go after this for med school. Most of the classes you take as a nursing dont count toward the prereqs. Human Anatomy and Physiology will look good, also micro, nursing courses like pathophysiology, pharmacology although they dont meet prereqs. I have an ADN, the bio classes I was advised to take were cell biology and genetics. Topics covered will appear on the MCAT, also physiology too. I became a premed 4 years out of school. I did so because it was a long lost dream of mine, and working around hospital confirmed that my dreams were a reality, something I had to do. I could have chosen NP, but was afraid that I would not be satisfied, and figured, I might have well go for what I always wanted to be, not necessarily the path of least resistance. I hope I made the right choice. Like the above poster mentioned, I dont want any would haves or could haves.
Let me know if I can be of any more help.
---Dana

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16 years 1 month ago #58116 by efex101
I am not in medical school yet but will be starting next fall so I will give some insights that I have gained through the years. If you want to have a full family life being a physician will make this not impossible but much harder than if you become a NP. Residency years are quite grueling and there is a law now stating that residents should not work more than 80 hrs/week but some hospitals have yet to adhere to this new ruling. So you are looking at possibly working 80 hrs/week for whatever number of residency years your residency of choice will demand, I am not sure but I think that IM is 4 years, general surgery is 5, and so on. Medical school will probably be more family friendly during the first two years and then during years 3 and 4 it will depend on what clerkship you are in. I am not too sure about how the part time doctoring works but I would ask some other female physicians about this and see what they have to say. I would find it quite difficult to do medicine part time but this is just my personal opinion. I would find it hard to it, specially with a specialty such as OB/GYN were patients have no control when they will deliver a baby and they will want to have their physician deliver the baby regardless of the hour. If your heart is set on medicine than go for that making sure that you know all the advantages as well as the disadvantages of going this route. Most doctors do work a lot of hours anywhere from 60-80, yes some specialties like derm may have better hours but those are hard to get into, and it may not be what you like. If you think that you would be happy pursuing the NP route then research that some more and see what you think. Regardless it may be hard at times to have your cake and eat it too, we women tend to think that we can have it all. The perfect family and the perfect job but many times one or the other will take the backburner. Good luck.

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