In today’s episode, I talk with Hanaan, a nurse practitioner who is now going to medical school. Hanaan is also married with three kids in medical school
Hanaan initially wanted to become a doctor but along with family obligations, the lack of mentorship during her premed years somehow caused her to sidestep and follow the NP route. Not finding full satisfaction from it, she finally decided to pursue her lifelong dream to become a physician.
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
Hanaan’s Journey to Becoming a Nurse
- Initially a premed in undergrad
- Becoming the primary caretaker of her younger siblings and her mom when her mom got sick
- Considering applying to medical school
- Struggling with the stigma around women in medicine and pursuing medicine as a mom
- Losing her confidence in pursuing medicine without a role model or mentor
- Not having a lot of support considering nobody in her family was in the medical field
- Deciding to enter the nurse practitioner field and getting into a highly rated, competitive program
[Related episode: How Will Being a Nurse Affect My Application to Medical School?]
Her Experience as a Nurse Practitioner
- Her NP program: The first half was an RN/BSN program, and the second half was an MSN Nurse Practitioner program.
- Working as an EMT through the RN part and working as an RN through the NP part
- Realizing at the end of her education that she still did not have a good enough background to be treating patients of high acuity, which was what she wanted to do
- Her job as an NP at an academic hospital for three years
The Next Steps She Took Toward Medical School
- Realizing how closed-minded she was about the possibilities of being a nontraditional medical student
- Being married with two kids at this point
- Having a discussion with her husband about wanting to go to medical school
- Redoing a couple of prerequisite courses so she could get refreshed for the MCAT
- Taking the MCAT once
- Considerations for choosing medical schools:
- Proximity to family
[Related episode: From Nursing to Accepted Premed, a Story of Lost Confidence.]
Comparing the MD Curriculum versus NP Curriculum
- Different pace: Much more information in a shorter amount of time
- A lot more details in medical school
The Importance of a Support System in Medical School
- Getting a ton of support from her husband
- Her mom living two hours away from them
- Hiring a nanny
- Having friends in medical school and also a friend in medical school who is a mom
[Related episode: Medical School Mom: Prioritizing Family, School, and More.]
Choosing Between Doctor and NP
- Talk to as many people as you can.
- Talk to NPs, medical students, interns, residents, attending physicians, new and old attending physicians, and anybody you can.
- Everybody will have a different outlook.
- Gather as many perspectives as possible to allow yourself to make the most informed decision.
- Ultimately, it’s your decision.
Her Advice to Any NPs Considering Going to Medical School
- You already know the struggles of being in health care, so it’s an easier transition, but you still need to talk to people.
- Look into yourself and understand why you want to be a doctor.
- Figure out your real reason for wanting to go into medicine. If you’re doing this for the money and prestige, you’re in the wrong field.
[Related episode: This Nurse Practitioner Is on His Way to Medical School.]
Hanaan’s Advice to Premed Students
Find out what it is that you really want to do. If you have your heart set on medicine and being a physician—and if you’ve talked to people and done your research, and it’s still what you want to do—then go for it! Sidestepping into something else will only take you longer as you will have to start all over again like I did.If you have your heart set on medicine and being a physician—and if you've talked to people and done your research, and it's still what you want to do—then go for it! Click To Tweet
Links and Other Resources
- Check out my Premed Playbook series of books (available on Amazon), with installments on the personal statement, the medical school interview, and the MCAT.
- Related episode: Interview with Dr. Hala Sabry of Physician Moms Group.
- Related episode: Do I Have Enough Time to Be a Premed and a Mom?
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!
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