Doctor Schmoctor

For some people Medical School is just completely out of reach.

Even with student loans, government assistance, scholarship and other incentives and aids, Medical School may not be in the cards. Well, how is one supposed to attain the high level of academic luster that comes along with being an "M.D."? The options are actually quite limitless. Being a "Doctor" doesn't always mean you have to wear the white lab coat and make people wait in a little room 45 minutes after their scheduled appointment time before you come in, talk to them for a minute and charge them for their time. Nope, being a "Doctor" could turn into other avenues in medicine or it could mean being a completely different "Doctor" altogether.

Though the process is still lengthy and tedious many folks choose to become Psychologists (Therapists) instead of M.D.'s. Please remember that being a Psychiatrist is different. Basically, a Psychiatrist has worked a regular hospital rotation and is an M.D. (which means a lot of Med School type stuff) but a Psychologist simply has a Doctorate in Psychology. Kinda nice, huh? This avoids all of the tedious Med School Rotations and Internships and it graduates you directly into the profession instead of putting you into an internship where you have so much more to learn.

You know if you REALLY wanted to be a Psychologist you could work as a Therapist with just a Master's Degree in many places. This cuts back on the schooling you have to get (and the cost of that schooling) but it still allows you to reach fairly high "academic" heights without being crushed by Med School.

Many people also don't associate "lower" level medical jobs with the ranks of "Doctor". For example, say you became a registered nurse because Medical School was out of reach. You get to work with patients and you only had to be in school for 4 years (as opposed to 8 or more) and then you really want to reach higher? Why don't you get your Master's Degree in Nursing? Better yet, you can get your Doctorate in Nursing Practice! (Who do you think is going to teach those nursing classes anyways!?) So, you can reach really high academically instead of sitting on the sidelines lamenting you inability to go to Med School. Plus, doing something like this opens a new path of earning because you can work as a nurse AND teach as well. Not a bad deal.

There are some folks who work in what would seem like "non-doctor" fields, but in fact, they can also became different kinds of "doctors". Say you were a Physical Therapist and you already had a Master's Degree, but you knew you wanted more. Why not go back to school and get your Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Once again, you won't be an M.D., but you won't have to slave through Med School either.

You see, there are ways to become a Doctor without doing what everyone watches on T.V. You can work your way through the educational system at your own pace when you aren't attempting to get through medical school (because Med School is a one-shot deal and if you don't do it early you can't just finish on your own time.) You can get your Master's here and your Doctorate there without sacrificing so much in the way of free time, family time, or work time. You can't really work and go to medical school, but you CAN work and finish up your Doctorate in Psychology, or Physical Therapy, or Nursing. So, if the "traditional doctor route" isn't for you try these "paths less taken" so you can reach the academic goals you have for yourself, but not be strapped down to a Med School dream that isn't coming true.

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Medical Careers Mentioned

  • Psychiatrists
    Salary: $154,200
    Job Prospects: A-
    Education After HS: 12 years
    # Employed: 22,140
    Part Time: 8%
  • Registered Nurses
    Salary: $62,450
    Job Prospects: A+
    Education After HS: 2 years
    # Employed: 2,542,760
    Part Time: 21%
  • Physical Therapists
    Salary: $72,790
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 6 years
    # Employed: 167,300
    Part Time: 20%

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