Doctors Return to School for Nursing Degrees

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A new report from STAT shows some medical students who fail to match with a residency program are heading to nursing school.

The article highlights Heidi Schmidt, MD, a graduate of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in 2010 who did not match with a residency program in the United States. STAT wrote about Schmidt in March 2016, when more than 29,000 applicants matched to a residency program in the United States but 8,640 applicants did not receive an offer through the main matching process.

While the majority of failed applicants reapply to a residency program after conducting research of spending a fifth year in medical school, other people join the “Dropout Club,” a group of doctors and scientists who leave the professions they intended to pursue and go after alternate careers, according to STAT.

Schmidt plans to attend the Marian University School of Nursing in Indianapolis and become a nurse practitioner. She initially had hoped to take advantage of a 2014 Missouri law that will enabled unmatched medical school graduates to work with a collaborating in medically underserved areas; however, applications aren’t being accepted until early 2017, STAT notes.

Kansas and Arkansas offer similar laws, but groups such as the Association of American Medical Colleges oppose this legislation, believing it is unsafe to let physicians bypass traditional residency, STAT reports.

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