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Old 06-22-2007, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to say that I really feel for all the people who have posted about negative or difficult experiences about medical training in their families.

I have already gone through the process of getting close to the terminal degree in a field and realizing, painfully, that it wasn't right for me after all and that the time had been essentially wasted. Once in a lifetime is once too many IMO and I will do everything in my power not to repeat that experience.

Just to clarify, I am not talking about doing this with really young kids; right now the timeline I have in mind is to start pre-reqs when youngest is a pre-teen and start residency when youngest is out of the houto se, or almost out of the house. The only problem with that is, it would make me one of those really older older students (late 40s/early 50s), which would limit my choice of specialty and how long I would ultimately be able to practice. DH thinks I am selling myself short by waiting so long to get started - but he doesn't realize it's not about me, it's about the kids.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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Just fyi, the docs I know (2 of them) who have been in other professions before and who started their careers as MD's "late" in life are excellent physicians. There's something about letting life season you a bit before that really does make a positive difference. One is an anesthesiologist, the other is a general surgeon.
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Old 06-23-2007, 02:04 AM
 
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I say go for it! I think we have somethings in common (homeschooling, etc).

I am 33 years old and for the time being I went ahead and got my BSN because it was the same pre-reqs for med school (minus a few like physics and ochem) and I wanted to get started doing something in the medical field.

I also homeschool my girls (they are 9 and 5). I took all my pre-reqs in the evening when dh was home (chem 2, microbiology, calc, etc etc). I was able to balance that fine with homeschooling, family time, etc. I don't see why you couldn't start by taking 1 class in the evenings. I think it is very doable and you would probably enjoy it very much.

I work in a critical care setting (ICU) and omg I love it! The nursing we do in the ICU at my hospital (which is a teaching university hospital) is completely different than a lot of other nursing areas. We are in a different world at times it seems and it is truly team work in the ICU. I have learned so much it is unreal. I love that I can work 3 days a week (I work nights by choice) and it is full time and I am off and at home with my girls 5 days a week. So for right now, it is a good choice and I am completely happy (mainly because I work in critical care, I personally couldn't do floor nursing or any other type...I like the traumas, the blood and guts, the heart patients, the vents, the codes, the decision making, etc RNs in the critical care areas work very autonomously).

To me they are still too young (even the 9 year old) to even think about applying to med school, but I didn't want to not do anything just waiting (make sense??). I feel at 33 I still have plenty of time to do what I want. I could change my mind and go to NP or PA school (I really can never tell the difference between either of those in our ER and ICU's and the physicians to be honest--they diagnose, do all the same procedures, prescribe medicines, etc) and with my BSN degree I could get into either my experience, grades, etc. I like having all those options and experience that my degree offers; it is truly like no other. Just offering my background.

My girls pediatrician went to medical school in her 40's (she was an RN before hand). Because of her experience she only had to apply to one school and was accepted right off the bat because of her experience in the cath lab. I talk to her off and on about medical school and she said even in her 40's she wasn't the oldest one. My husband was telling me the other day about the 55 year old Pharmacy student he was talking with

I think it's very doable but for women it can be harder than it is for men I have noticed, most of us don't have a SAHD, but a lot of men have SAHM to take care of the kids. I think you would be fortunate to have a husband who would be at home. My husband is going to law school so he can't stay at home with the kids.

I know some of the others said that medical school was the easy part (and I don't disagree) but I know a lot of medical students and they *are* gone all day long. Most are in school for most of the day mon-fri, come home to eat and then have to head right back up to school till midnight to study. I have a friend right now in her 2nd year and she is never ever home. I think that is one thing that stopped me from heading to medical school with my younger kids at home. My oldest is 9 and that is still just too young for me to be gone all the time. I'm already gone enough with my BSN program, clinicals, and my job in the ICU, I can't imagine at all being in med school or residency right now in my life.

Why do things have to be so hard!?

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:40 AM
 
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not to side-track the discussion but... this thread is pretty depressing. (my background is a few posts up) it's so frustrating to have intelligent, caring women and men who want to be attached parents as well as physicians not being able to accomplish both at the same time. What do we do???
Get a co-wife.
But that's a whole nutha topic............
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Old 06-23-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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Well, I pretty much know just how you feel. About two years ago I decided I was going to go to med school. I started looking into programs, took the MCAT last year, was getting ready to submit applications, and then suddenly put it all on hold. My kids are too young right now. Now, I'm not a SAHM, but I do WAH part time and WOH as a chemistry instructor part time. It's a very family-friendly set-up, but I don't feel like it's what I want to do for the rest of my life at all. I too have realized that the field I was studying (I was in a PhD program) was totally wrong for me. But since having left that program, I feel like I am incomplete in my education, and treading water, rather than reaching any sort of goal, career wise.

So I think you should go for it! It sounds like you know what you want and have the determination to make it work for you!
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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Hm...actually for all the cautions that have been voiced, I'm not sure where this not-worth-it sentiment that you're talking about is. People have actually been quite supportive.

I'm not looking for glory or "doctorness" (whatever that is).......if I was looking for glory I would never have been a SAHM in the first place. My mom is a nurse and I've been exposed to that profession my entire life, and I'm quite sure it's not for me. My motivation for medicine is the advanced technical details, the cognitive challenges of diagnosis and the personal challenges of independent decisionmaking...exactly the roles that are reserved to the MDs. I'm sure I would be perfectly miserable as a nurse, even an 'advanced' one....and I mean that as no offense to nurses. But I would shoot myself if I had to spend my days within arm's reach of people who were doing what I really wanted to do in the first place, and never able to take on that role myself...it would be better, for me personally, to stay away from health care altogether.

Sorry for being touchy but I hope you realize that historically, "why don't you just be a nurse instead?" is kind of a sore spot for women seeking careers in medicine.
I agree. I have dreamed of being a doctor for years. Since I was in health occ. in high school and got real, hands on experience in the field. But after 3 years of pre-med (still need the calculus and physics!), and now awaiting baby #4, I just can't do it.

The calculus is daunting and with how stressed I am right now, it almost doesn't seem worth it. I spent a lot of time on mommd and working in healthcare, and I know being an actual "Doctor" is the only way I would really be happy.

Unfortunately, I just know with my family situation, that nursing may be as close as I get. I hate moving, and we would have to uproot again...and again...and again. I know I will not be 100% happy as a nurse or NP, but right now I am at least trying to get my foot back in the door. But it does annoy me when people continually ask "Why not nursing", though people tell my dh he should or any other man I know who is interested in healthcare that they should be doctors.:

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Old 06-25-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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But it does annoy me when people continually ask "Why not nursing", though people tell my dh he should or any other man I know who is interested in healthcare that they should be doctors.:
It works both ways though. I am asked all the time because I am smart "why not be a doctor, why are you in nursing school?" which is like a slap in the face....as if you can't be smart and a nurse, the nurses are dumb or something or are beneath Dr's (some nurses have advanced degrees and as much experience/education as an MD and many make just as much money as an MD or have their own offices, etc). Most smart women who are nurses get asked that question ALL THE TIME. The men in my nursing class get asked all the time why in the world they are not in medical school and are nurses. Why would a man want to be a nurse in the first place because men are supposed to be doctors, people can't understand that. Because they must be either gay or stupid to want to be nurses.

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Old 06-25-2007, 11:56 PM
 
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It works both ways though. I am asked all the time because I am smart "why not be a doctor, why are you in nursing school?"....as if you can't be smart and a nurse, the nurses are dumb or something or are beneath Dr's. Most smart women who are nurses get asked that question ALL THE TIME. The men in my nursing class get asked all the time why in the world they are not in medical school and are nurses. Why would a man want to be a nurse in the first place because men are supposed to be doctors, people can't understand that.
I agree, it goes both ways to a point. Though when I worked med/surg, none of the nurses I worked with had been asked "Why not become a doctor" except for 2 male nurses. It is sexist both ways.

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Old 06-26-2007, 01:19 AM
 
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I think a lot of the comments about becoming an advanced practice nurse were not meant in the way some people took them. In the original post she talked about wanting to be able to work and homeschool and not wanting to be away from her kids too much and all that....which you really can't do while in medical school (she didn't mention till later on about waiting till her kids were out of the house....that makes a big difference). MOST of the premed types I work with that come on my floor (I work in the ICU) go back and forth between medical school and PA or NP and especially CRNA school, both males and females because each of those really does have very appealing aspects to it.

Advanced practice nursing and PA school is a job where you can 'have it all' so to say (prescription authority, procedures, autonomy, etc), and that is the reason so many people (both male and female; in fact medical school admissions have gone down) are going the NP or CNS or PA route because you can practice medicine and still have a family life. If you have ever worked in a critical care setting you will have seen all of those (I'm mentioning that because around here that is where they are primarily used), and you would never have known they were not a MD--just look at the CRNAs. I know the first time I worked with a cardiac CNS in the ER I was SHOCKED she was not a physician, I really had no idea and she opened my eyes to opportunities besides just a RN or a MD/DO. So a job as a NP, CNS, or PA or especially CRNA is very appealing to many people for those reasons and they are being used more and more and of course the $100K starting salary (CRNA) would be nice (though anesthesia bores me to death! lol). Most people though really have no CLUE what advanced practice nurses do though or even that they are out there. So ya, I do encourage those looking into the medical field to look also into advanced practice nursing and PA school. I prefer advanced practice nursing because they don't work under a doctor, but under their own license. Those working in my hospital are highly highly highly respected by both the nursing and medical staff.

I only mention this because there are a lot of opportunities out there for those interested in medicine but maybe want a family life as well (that would be me). It has nothing to do with "your a women you can't be a MD/DO" at all--I work with way to many female Dr's that I love to even think that. There are just so many doors and opportunities in the medical field I think anyone seriously exploring it and interested in medicine should consider all their options before commiting to anything.

This is a really good site from a CRNA: http://www.gaspasser.com/

http://www.mayo.edu/mshs/np-career.html

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:22 AM
 
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I agree, it goes both ways to a point. Though when I worked med/surg, none of the nurses I worked with had been asked "Why not become a doctor" except for 2 male nurses. It is sexist both ways.

Well I think part of those goes with working in Med/Surg. Those nurses are freaking awesome and work like dogs yet don't get a lot of respect from anyone (even other nurses). You work in other specialties (I work in the ICU and the smart RNs hear it) and you WILL hear that a lot actually, "oh your so smart, why are you a nurse and not a doctor?".

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:50 AM
 
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I have a friend who has gone through the whole track, and is now a doctor, and she wishes she was one of the ICU nurses she works. They have a great contract with their union, they have a lot more flexibility, and they don't work as many hours for difference in pay that isn't that great. They do have a tremendous amount of decision-making power as well. Now that she wants kids, she's really regretting the decision to go to medical school. SAH is not an option for them both for financial and personal reasons, but she's just not sure how she is going to manage.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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Marilyn, very true about the med/surg thing. We were kind of the catch-all for patients and we got a lot of snobbery from other departments.

And I do agree about being a NP or PA as being great fields. I worked with NPs when I worked in RE and they were incredible. Definitely a good field to look into, but at the same time, some of us just like pain, apparently and love the thought of being totally in charge and slaving away over years of advanced medical research. I know I do.

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Old 06-27-2007, 12:56 AM
 
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Great thread. I skimmed through it, but I wanted to add that I, too, would love to be a physician. I've wanted to be a medical doctor for a long time. However, I'm 24, the mother of one 22 month old. I want a couple more kids. I also don't want to put my child (and future children) in day care. I want to homeschool. I want to breastfeed on cue. I don't want to be insanely stressed. So... I'm looking to do something else. Maybe I'll go back to school when I'm older to be a physician when my children aren't yound and in need of a lot of my attention.

DH is in his last year of vet school, which has to be pretty much equal to med school (only he had 2.5 years of classes, 1.5 of clinics). The classes seemed okay. He had lecture for a couple hours every day and then he had a few hours of studying. Clinics is the rough part. Most days he has been gone for 12 hours or more and depending on how many patients he has, he will often have paperwork at night, and he has to go in to check his patients (if he has any patients in the hospital) on weekends. It isn't something I'd want to do with young kids. The the vet residents have it even worse. He talked to one resident in equine who hadn't been home in a few days and had only gotten maybe 5 hours of sleep over those days. Luckily, residencies in vet med are optional.

I talked to a human medical resident once who said at the beginning of her family medicine residency, she was working about 80 hours a week (and she had a baby). A friend is a psychiatry resident and she regrets it. DD's doctor has a child and said she would never go through med school with a young child.

It's rough when you want to do something, but you know it will be at the expense of something else.

Here are a couple other options that I've been considering myself. ND school is an intense 4 year program just like med school, but there is no residency and you can only practice as a primary care physician in certain states. I've thought about getting a Master's in a science and then going to med school down the line when I'm done having kids and they're older (though, if I have 4 kids and I have the last in my early to mid thirties, then wait until the youngest is a teenager, that's getting close to 50... but there's a vet student with dh who is in his 50's so it isn't totally a bad thing. You could work for a good 15 years or more if you choose). I know you're not interested in nursing, but I've been thinking about becoming a nurse pratitioner. Or becoming a nurse and then getting a master's in nutrition so I could have versatility a good deal of knowledge in two health-related areas. Then I could write health books on natural medicine. Who knows.

I've been thinking in my mind, wouldn't it be great if med school and the residency could be done on an extremely part-time basis with a year, year and a half off for new babies? I'd totally do it. 15-20 hour a week residencies, 2 classes at a time in med school. That would be great.

I posted about my career confusion in "personal growth" because I really like medicine and that's what I would love to do, but I can NOT devote that much time away from my child (and future children). Ah, life's dilemmas. PM me when you find the true answer to this problem
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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I've been thinking in my mind, wouldn't it be great if med school and the residency could be done on an extremely part-time basis with a year, year and a half off for new babies? I'd totally do it. 15-20 hour a week residencies, 2 classes at a time in med school. That would be great.
It's pretty rare, but some residencies will allow two people to share one spot. They each work half the amount (so 40 hrs or so). . .but obviously are in residency twice as long. But like I said, those positions are rare.

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