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If I have a good college in my hometown (MSU of Texas), should I get my bachelors degree there . And then try to go to my dream college for medical school , or should I do all of school at my hometown college. Or should I just try to go straight to my dream college , which is either Texas Tech or Baylor.

I want to be an orthopedic surgeon and my parents have been asking me about my plan for college a lot recently. And I am just not sure which route would be best for me and my future career.
#college #medicine #college-selection #doctor #medical #orthopedic #collegeadvice

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8 answers

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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Alyssa and all!

I would say to do your research and find out all that is offered for the field of study you are going into. Definitely keep your options open and apply to both. Ask lots of questions- internships- residency’s-scholarships- clubs- support groups and mentors.

Everyone’s situation is different so pray, be diligent and follow through. Communicate with your parents or guardians what you would like to do. This requires both sides to hear each other out without interruption. Remember that they are there to support you emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially.

My prayers to all of you as you embark on a new journey. Stay focused, study hard and keep God as your head and you will have good success!

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Richard’s Answer

In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.

Pick a school that fits your personality and a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.

Aside from this, any major is acceptable as long as you complete the prerequisite courses.

Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters

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Kim’s Answer

Assuming finances are not an issue (?) you would want to do your undergrad at whatever school will best prepare you to be successful in medical school, AND, whichever one has the best track record of having students accepted into medical school (in general), AND, whichever school has the best track record of getting students accepted into the top two medical schools of your choice. (these stats should be available, you might need to do some digging around/asking to get them)

Start now to find out what it REALLY takes to get into the medical schools you want to go to. Grades, extracurriculars, volunteerism, recommendations, etc., and start working on building up those credentials.

If finances factor in, if you can go to MSU and commute, it would help a lot. I remember as a kid not wanting to pry into my parents finances. I wish I had. They were not well-off, but, I do believe I could have gone away to college. That experience would have helped me a lot, as I took forever to mature and never learned to get along with others the way I would have had to in a dorm!

Medical school is crazy intense! You want to develop your study habits, social habits, etc before you get there. Once you get there you will jump in with both feet! (so, in that regard, I guess getting your undergrad at your dream med school will give you the advantage of already being situated and knowing your way around. . . assuming you are accepted into their med school - no guarantees!)

(hope this helps!)

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Brian’s Answer

I wouldn't worry about medical school yet. Going to a given school doesn't guarantee you admission to the corresponding medical school, unless you get into a BS/MD program (Baylor and TTU both have one). You'll also have 4 years of college to confirm medical school is right for you, as well as to research, prepare for, apply to, and select the best medical school for you. For now, keep your focus on getting into the college that's right for you. If you haven't talked to him / her already, the college counselor at your high school should be able to help you get started. Work with him / her to determine what's important to you in a school, and to research which schools are the best fit. Pick a list of colleges that balances applying to your dream school with making sure you gain admission to college, and take the time to put together a compelling application for each.

Your question seems primarily focused on deciding which college is right for you. While there are many factors to consider, I'd prioritize fit, academics, likelihood of admission, and finances. In particular, deciding whether or not you want to go to college in the same city as your parents seems to be an important factor. College is a critical time of personal growth; some would argue that physical distance from family is necessary to create the independent space needed for that growth, while others value the comfort and familiarity of a hometown setting. Ultimately, it's a decision only you can make.

Best of luck!

Brian recommends the following next steps:

Talk to your college counselor
Determine what you want in a college
Research colleges to determine best fit
Select a list of schools to apply to, ensuring balance of
Apply to schools

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Rachel’s Answer

Hi Alyssa, Congrats for thinking this through! Yes, you will definitely save money by going to a college near home. This can be very valuable when considering the added cost of medical school. However, I would caution you that the medical school experience is very different from the college experience. I don't know that you'll be able to have your dream college experience at a school just by going to medical school there. If you have your heart set on a college, think hard about attending for your undergraduate degree. Medical school can be much more stressful and time-consuming than college is for many students.

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Brittney’s Answer

Coming from someone who is also located in the area of MSU, I would say to do your research. Find out which school has more pro's for the profession that you are wanting to go into including the success rate of obtaining a job after graduation. Take into account, the distance from your support system, courses available, financial expenses, housing, etc.

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Scott’s Answer

Personally, I would take advantage of the ability to go to MSU. You can always transfer when you are certain that you are ready to attend TTU or BU.

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Angela D.’s Answer

Hi Nicole,
It is so interesting how serendipity works! My son has been on the path that you seek. He is a little non-traditional, especially because he’s gifted and a little bit older than his peers. He attended a great community college for his prerequisites and also attained his certification to be an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). He worked part time as an EMT/Lab Tech while getting his BA degrees in Biology and Genetics (pre-med) at a University of California school. Your GPA, MCATs, essays, service, and other application materials will be crucial. It’s a process to get into medical school while attaining your four-year degree, you need to take the MCAT, apply, travel to interview, and then decide. Just so you know, the interviews can be in a variety of formats…one-on-one, a panel comprised of faculty/students/staff/etc., and even follow-ups. Again, my son is non-traditional…he wants to be a rural general practitioner because of the great need in this area. He’s finishing up his residency in 2020 and then he’ll fly with his wife and Queen Penny (their doggie, my grand-doggie) to their next adventure. Oh, and also consider the Army Reserves and National Guard as a way of giving back and paying for medical school. My son is an officer and field surgeon with the National Guard. Other options are to be a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) or a PA (Physician Assistant). Please keep your mind open on where to go to medical school after attaining your pre-med four-year degree…it’s really competitive and you may need to leave your home state. My son went from California (undergrad) to Virginia (medical school) to Colorado (residency)…and who knows where he and his little family will land next.
This is a laudable profession…I wish you the best in your endeavors! Please keep researching and asking for advice. Interviewing/shadowing a doctor or two about their schooling and current experiences would also be helpful, Dr. B

Angela D. recommends the following next steps:

Apply to a variety of universities for pre-med
Research & ask for advice
Interview/shadow a doctor or two