RN to Physicians Assistant or Med School?

Career and education discussion for nurses and nursing students. LPN/LVN, BSN, RN, MSN, Doctor of Nursing.

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nenew
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RN to Physicians Assistant or Med School?

Post by nenew »

I still cannot afford a car and am a pre-nursing fin. aid student with a 3.5 GPA. Getting around without a car is extremely difficult now, much less when I am accepted to nursing school (after I pass the TEAS, for which I am studying in addition to my regular full-time coursework- (10 credits currently, 'full time' this summer) . I was working (this winter, outdoors) and doing a 5.5 HOUR commute while in school .

Is it way out there to think of becoming a physician's assistant? Working full time while doing school full time is near-impossible, and certainly impossible for med students. I don't have the luxury of assistance like meals,laundry, etc. I do all the cleaning cooking and laundry, which requires my WALKING 2 miles, including in this winter, on top of schoolwork since there is no reliable ride. Not complaining, just stating what it is.

I need to get into the work field immediately; that is why I am doing the two-year RN program, a pre-req of which is STNA certification (nursing assistant). That is one of the classes I am taking this summer.

So I am uncertain of what to do.. get an RN degree (bachelors), work in the field while attending physician assistant school, or apply to medschool instead once I have the bachelor's? I am over 40 years old, and would love to go to med school, but at this age, the physician's asst. seems to make more sense. Thanks.
Last edited by nenew on Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

Brady Kinesia
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Re: RN to Physicians Assistant?

Post by Brady Kinesia »

I have a question: on the one hand you said "need to go into the work field immediately", which I assume is for financial reasons? But on the other hand considering applying to medical schools (which is a 7-year commitment). So the idea would be to live on medical school loans and solve the financial aspect that way?

nenew
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Re: RN to Physicians Assistant?

Post by nenew »

No. It would be to either work (as an RN) for awhile before applying to med school, most likely, since most if not all med schools and PA programs require a Bachelor's, anyway. Meanwhile, having taken none of the coursework (other than one intro to chem. course over 7 years ago) and having not had a bio or science class in 26 years, I still got 18% correct out of 39 questions on the MCAT sample online test. I don't want to argue over which is 'harder', just saying. It will also be a lot harder to work as an RN while getting the bachelor's. The way clinicals are scheduled, work is just about impossible. And yes, I worked 11 pm-7 am shifts briefly while in college, which is like being 'on call'. And I was supposed to be at a 10 am class that morning! Getting to work and school by bus at that point.


EVERYone needs to get into the workforce immediately, including med students; unless they have someone financially supporting them. I

Yes, I heard some do work , at least during summers, in med school because they can't afford not to. Or do they all live on loans? My cousin worked while her husband was in med school. I am single.
Last edited by nenew on Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:45 am, edited 3 times in total.

nenew
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Re: RN to Physicians Assistant?

Post by nenew »

No. It would be to either work (as an RN) for awhile before applying to med school, most likely, since most if not all med schools or PA programs require a Bachelor's, anyway. Meanwhile, having taken none of the coursework (other than one intro to chem. course over 7 years ago) and having not had a bio or science class in 26 years, I still got 18% correct out of 39 questions on the MCAT sample online test. Just wanted to see how I would do. I don't want to argue over which is 'harder', just saying.


EVERYone needs to get into the workforce immediately, including med students. Yes, I heard some do work , at least during summers, in med school because they can't afford not to. Or do you all live on loans?
Last edited by nenew on Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

nenew
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Re: RN to Physicians Assistant?

Post by nenew »

A bit off topic, but I have seen this issue on other forums (not studentdoc) and wanted to provide some reality for doctors and med students: Med students (my cousin in law is a doctor) who say they are missing out on 10 years of wages and retirement; look at it this way: I missed out on over 10 years of retirement savings because the wages at work were so low for so long. They did NOT get health insurance through any of these employers, because the jobs were often part time due to company cutting hours .

And most of you are young, right? Even though you don't know it. Getting finished with school at 30 might seem old, but it's not. It took me about that long to get a management position of maybe $30k a year without a degree.

My father was with GAO and in D.C. every two weeks throughout my entire childhood . That was like being 'on call', and he still spent a lot of time with family and at family events, and my doctor cousin-in-law also does. Hang in there!

Add to that the people that say they have been unemployed 3 years at a stretch, unable to find any work, and med school is still the better investment. You would lose income and retirement anyway, being unemployed or grossly underemployed for the last ten years in a low-wage job (which is when 'the recession' hit our area, 2005 or earlier) and still be struggling, or you could be graduating med school, working 120 hrs at minimum wage in residency, and still coming out ahead at the end of that, even with the debt. Many have worked 80+ hours at low (certainly lower) wages for many years. By living frugally, you will be able to make up that 10 years of 'lost' income, savings, and retirement funds rather quickly with even a $60k (after all deductions) to 6- figure income as a physician; whereas the person who was underemployed for the last ten years, can't, even with their masters degree (depending on the field, of course. There are exceptions).

Without the benefit of living at home with meals cooked, laundry done, etc.

Work outdoors in the polar vortex winter, as I have,WHILE in pre-nursing school, for 6-8 hour shifts for a little better than minimum wage and a 5.5 hour work day commute, and then tell me about hard work. YES, doctors work hard. So do interns. So do nurses. But walking through an accumulated 15 inches of unshoveled snow on the sidewalks for several hours a day, without a car!, as part of your job, after doing a 5.5 hour commute (mostly outdoors in the winter waiting for public transport) is still harder, because the compensation is not there. Harder than performing surgery, no. Except for the standing-outside-eight-hours-in-7-degree-temperatures part.

My cousin in law told me he paid off his med school debt in 10 years with 2 kids, and he graduated in 2000, with a specialty.

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