View Full Version : Why did you choose to become a CRNA?
08-31-2007, 09:46 AM
More specifically, why did you choose to become a CRNA compared to becoming an MD?
08-31-2007, 01:14 PM
Well thats an interesting question.
Im sure the answer is different for everyone but here is mine.
For the longest time I thought I wanted to goto medical school I jumped through all the hoops (which i hated) and actually got accepted. At the time I didnt know what a 'CRNA' was. I did know what an NP was and i had no interest in being a 1st year resident for my whole career or working as a family practitioner. So i knew NP was not for me.
So as I was getting everything done for medical school I learned about CRNAs. At first I thought they were just "helpers", you know, another type of NP. However, it became clear as I shadowed them that this was not the case. I spent time with a CRNA in an ACT practice (a very collegiate one) and in an independent practice.
In the ACT practice I found the MDAs & CRNA to have a great relationship. They truly worked as a 'team' without attitude malice or "im the doctor your the nurse" attitude. I was impressed with how autonomous the job was and when i went to see Jan in her OR i realized it could be 100% autonomous.
Really, the only reason I left flight Nursing is because I could not see myself doing that forever and it was never going to change. However, i was used to the 100% autonomy that flight nursing affords and I could not take a 'step back'. I perceived NP roles to be exactly that, a step back from the autonomy I was already used to. I had assumed there was only one way to have that autonomy and it was medical school. Turns out that isnt the case.
So, as a 33 year old guy I made a very easy decision to go CRNA instead of MD or DO. I would get everything I wanted as a CRNA; autonomy, critical patients, advanced practice and a field that is continually advancing.
Probably one of the biggest factors in my decision was advice from friends of mine who were physicians and some MDAs. They all, to the last, said they would not become a physician again if they knew then what they knew now. The two MDAs said that they would become a CRNA as opposed to an MDA in retrospect. While they all encouraged me to goto medical school it was obviously half hearted. When i made the decision to goto CRNA school they were all very relieved and said they really felt I made the right decision.
Having said all of that if you really WANT to be a physician do not become a CRNA as a 'second choice'. If you do that it is likely you will always regret the decision and be bitter about it. These individuals often are the ones who anger our physician colleagues the most as they take out their own disappointment on them.
So thats my story. I hope it helps others in their quest!
09-09-2007, 02:20 PM
For me I had wanted to become a CRNA from the beginning of my undergraduate Nursing Degree. I had and affinity to Critical Care, and Technology. I had and A+P Teacher in Nursing school who was full of stories as a CRNA, and I was always intrigued. After Nursing school, I got into Critical Care, and after a few years I had actually thought about going into MD education. I asked a few Doctors as well who said they would not do it again if they could. A couple of them stated they might like to do something like CRNA school as well. That was a clincher for me, and I also was proud of being a Nurse, and wanted to keep that in my title. I have always wanted to increase my Nursing Education, and CRNA was a naturaly aquired aspiration. I am still in school, and all I can say is there is more work than you can even anticipate. It is a Goal of mine that when I finish will be something that i can truly be proud of. MD would not be a good fit for me, or my family.
Hope that helps.
09-10-2007, 03:59 AM
I second the previous statements.
Additionally, I would have needed a year to polish my prerequisites, a year for applications and interviews, four years for med school, and minimally three years for residency. I had the pre-reqs for CRNA school, took the year for apps and interviews, and I am in the middle of the 28 month program. At 38 years old, med school just didn't make sense for me or my family.
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