What are my options in becoming a consultant psychiatrist? Switching from nursing. Watch

Lizzipth_Floyd
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Hi all,

A bit of background: I am currently doing an Access to Nursing course and have applied for Mental Health Nursing. However, after much thought and discussion I have decided I want to follow medicine, to eventually go into psychiatry. I am aware it takes 13 years training. I do not have science-related A levels, although other academic qualifications are strong. I need quite urgent advice as I have interviews in January for nursing.

Having looked into alternative options/routes, these seem to be what I have:
- After this course, apply for a two year A level programme at my college in biology, chemistry and physics; then apply directly for medicine. I have been informed funding would be available for this as it is a different 'type' of course. The downside of this is that it is another two years, and it would be alongside 16-18 year olds.
- Complete nursing degree and explore post-grad entry to medicine. I believe if I decided to try for post-grad entry to medicine from nursing I would still need a chemistry A level?
- Withdraw current nursing application and apply through clearing for a biochemistry degree then go into post-grad medicine, although I am not sure how realistic/viable this option would be without relevant A levels.

My reasons for a change of heart are as follows (something I posted in another thread).

Something that attracts me to psychiatry is that, unlike physiological medicine (although I know there is an inexorable link) there is no standard protocol for treatment. Each patient is unique, and my formulations to help them would be individual to them, holistically. I am becoming disillusioned by the idea of being a mental health nurse and the impact I could have, bearing in the mind NHS pressures and cut backs. I have experienced the 'system' myself and it is shocking, the lack of empathy from qualified nurses is often stark, and I wonder if, after a while, most nurses end up like that - 'compassion fatigued' and drained of empathy by the failing mental health system. I have always been interested in psychiatry, but never believed I could pursue after a lengthy illness myself. A large part of me still believes I can't do it, and am too old now to pursue, but I don't want to chase a career that ultimately I won't love doing. Salary is honestly insignificant to me; if I could make as much as an impact as a nurse than as a psychiatrist I would become the first. I also enjoy research and would love to be at the forefront of that. I have enjoyed the biological aspects of the access course more than I ever thought I would, in fact I find it fascinating. The 'professional healthcare practice' modules I find dull and uninspiring, and a bit like common sense. If I follow the nursing path, that it what I will be doing for 3 more years with a tiny bit of anatomy and physiology thrown in, but nowhere near the detail I would like to go into, as would be with medicine/science.

Any advice is really appreciated.
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CutieTootsie
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Biomedical science would be better than biochemistry! Lots of university courses if you do well in you first year, you can transfer to the 1st year medicine course.
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rnv
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I am doing the nursing to medicine route sure it is a lot of hard work, but I believe it will be worth it! some GEM courses require A Levels i.e. Chemistry in most cases but not all of them do. I am planning to do Chemistry and Biology as well possibly.
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InArduisFouette
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OP if you think Nurses get 'compassion fatigue' what makes you think that being a Psychiatrist would be any different ?

you also appear to have a romanticised idea of what being a Medical practitioner is and a further romanticisied idea of psychiatric practice.

I would also question your understanding of empathy in the effective clinical relationship
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