6 doctors weighed in:

Is it easier to get into medical school for anesthesia via undergraduate, or becoming a nurse anesthetist and applying later? Wh i'm a premed student.

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Hutchens
Anesthesiology
2 doctors agree

In brief: At

At the risk of sounding pompous, the most important thing you should know is there is nothing easy about either path.
If you are are looking for "easy" you should not be considering health care, which is arduous, requires sacrifice, and is currently less respected and less lucrative in the us than it once was. Nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists are very different kinds of health care providers with different lifestyles, career options, and training paths. A nurse anesthetist goes to nursing school, receives a ba or bs, then practices nursing for some time -- usually a few years, and almost always including some time as a nurse in the ICU -- and then returns to school for anesthesia training, graduating after 2 years with a masters' level degree and "crna" after their name. Crna's administer all types of anesthesia, sometimes with a physician supervising them, and sometimes independently. Some crnas also teach student nurse anesthetists. It is rare for crnas to do extensive medical research or science or teaching as part of their career however. Although crnas may concentrate on a particular area of anesthesia, there are no subspecialty training programs or formally designated subspecialties for crnas. An anesthesiologist is a physician, an md. Physicians of all types go to college and receive a ba or bs, then to medical school to receive the md (usually 4 years in each), and then train in a specialty after graduating from medical school, sometimes training in a subspecialty after that. An anesthesiologist trains for 4 years after graduating from medical school, and many train an additional year or two after that in a subspecialty (pain medicine, critical care medicine, obstetric anesthesiology, pediatric anesthesiology, palliative care, or sleep medicine). Although most anesthesiologists provide anesthesia to patients as the daily staple of their work, many also perform scientific research and or teach in order to define and advance the medicine which underpins the care of patients around the time of surgery. Also, anesthesiologists may be principally in charge of the care of patients in the icu, recovery room, hospital wards, preoperative clinics, or elsewhere. To become an anesthesiologist is to commit to being a physician dedicated to excellence in the care of individual patients, as well as advancing the science of care of surgical patients. In your question, you suggest going to nursing school, followed by nursing practice and nurse anesthesia school -- prior to going to medical school, followed by anesthesia training. Although some individuals might follow this path, it is more likely to be a path of discovery than a practical route to the destination you desire. All physicians have a set of techniques, a method of thinking and a common background which are taught in medical school. We end up doing different things during the day, but the nature of human illness is that every patient of a specialist will ultimately require skills outside that specialty, and anesthesiology is especially so. That is why all md's train the same way in medical school before specializing. I hope this answer is helpful to you. You have ample time to think about your choices -- i strongly suggest you get some practical experience as a volunteer in a hospital to help differentiate some of the issues for yourself.

In brief: At

At the risk of sounding pompous, the most important thing you should know is there is nothing easy about either path.
If you are are looking for "easy" you should not be considering health care, which is arduous, requires sacrifice, and is currently less respected and less lucrative in the us than it once was. Nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists are very different kinds of health care providers with different lifestyles, career options, and training paths. A nurse anesthetist goes to nursing school, receives a ba or bs, then practices nursing for some time -- usually a few years, and almost always including some time as a nurse in the ICU -- and then returns to school for anesthesia training, graduating after 2 years with a masters' level degree and "crna" after their name. Crna's administer all types of anesthesia, sometimes with a physician supervising them, and sometimes independently. Some crnas also teach student nurse anesthetists. It is rare for crnas to do extensive medical research or science or teaching as part of their career however. Although crnas may concentrate on a particular area of anesthesia, there are no subspecialty training programs or formally designated subspecialties for crnas. An anesthesiologist is a physician, an md. Physicians of all types go to college and receive a ba or bs, then to medical school to receive the md (usually 4 years in each), and then train in a specialty after graduating from medical school, sometimes training in a subspecialty after that. An anesthesiologist trains for 4 years after graduating from medical school, and many train an additional year or two after that in a subspecialty (pain medicine, critical care medicine, obstetric anesthesiology, pediatric anesthesiology, palliative care, or sleep medicine). Although most anesthesiologists provide anesthesia to patients as the daily staple of their work, many also perform scientific research and or teach in order to define and advance the medicine which underpins the care of patients around the time of surgery. Also, anesthesiologists may be principally in charge of the care of patients in the icu, recovery room, hospital wards, preoperative clinics, or elsewhere. To become an anesthesiologist is to commit to being a physician dedicated to excellence in the care of individual patients, as well as advancing the science of care of surgical patients. In your question, you suggest going to nursing school, followed by nursing practice and nurse anesthesia school -- prior to going to medical school, followed by anesthesia training. Although some individuals might follow this path, it is more likely to be a path of discovery than a practical route to the destination you desire. All physicians have a set of techniques, a method of thinking and a common background which are taught in medical school. We end up doing different things during the day, but the nature of human illness is that every patient of a specialist will ultimately require skills outside that specialty, and anesthesiology is especially so. That is why all md's train the same way in medical school before specializing. I hope this answer is helpful to you. You have ample time to think about your choices -- i strongly suggest you get some practical experience as a volunteer in a hospital to help differentiate some of the issues for yourself.
Dr. Michael Hutchens
Dr. Michael Hutchens
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Mark Gujer
Well said!
Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Medical School

Though it is easier to become a nurse anesthetist right now, if you decide to go on to become an anesthesiologist you will still need to get into medical school.
A career as a physician extender (pa, np crna) does show awareness of the conditions of a doctor, though on its own it will not help you. I would say go to medical school. Good luck!

In brief: Medical School

Though it is easier to become a nurse anesthetist right now, if you decide to go on to become an anesthesiologist you will still need to get into medical school.
A career as a physician extender (pa, np crna) does show awareness of the conditions of a doctor, though on its own it will not help you. I would say go to medical school. Good luck!
Dr. Richard Pollard
Dr. Richard Pollard
Thank
Dr. Larry Stewart
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Do it now

Better to get good undergrad grades and take the medical school "prerequisite" courses.
You don't need to be "premed" to get into medical school. Its mostly about gpa (ace the prerequisite courses - ie organic , ect) and your mcat scores !

In brief: Do it now

Better to get good undergrad grades and take the medical school "prerequisite" courses.
You don't need to be "premed" to get into medical school. Its mostly about gpa (ace the prerequisite courses - ie organic , ect) and your mcat scores !
Dr. Larry Stewart
Dr. Larry Stewart
Thank
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