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Is it smart to pursue a career in medicine if you aren't good at math?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Ken’s Answer

The area of medicine is very broad with many opportunities to make a contribution even though you might not be good at math. It all starts with getting to know yourself to learn what career areas are best suited for you based on how your personality traits are aligned with people who are successfully working in those career areas and then confirming that by doing face to face interpersonal networking to meet and talk with people who are doing what might be a suitable match to determine if there is a feeling of comfort and suitability which would allow you to realize satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .



Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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Edgar’s Answer

Adding to Ken's excellent response: Do you want to be a Doctor of Pharmacy? That is a career in medicine... and you have to know how to compound which means you have to know mathematical formulas for medicinal dosages and get them correct everytime.

You really can't escape math. Its everywhere in every degree to a certain extent. To be good at math, it takes practice. Just like anything else... you have to learn the rules, memorize them, and practice them over and over and over for hours until you get good at it. There is no such thing as "not good at math". There is such a thing as "have not really practiced or done math enough". Trust me on this... I grew up throughout elementary, middle school and half of high school thinking I would never be good at math and never have a career with math until someone challenged me to actually sit and do the work to become good. I put in lots and lots of time, got my grades up, and became "good" at math. Today I am an engineer. You can do it too; make the decision to put in the time and go to it! Also get the right help when you need it... no one succeeds alone.
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