I'd love to become a doctor and study science but don't know what the career path looks like. To achieve my ambition what are the skills required? While studying can I do to prepare beforehand? What books should I read in-order to achieve my ambition and which colleges should I apply to in-order to achieve my ambition?
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Heather Antanavica, MS PSY (IP)
Higher Education Professional | TEACHER | Student Counselor📚
What a wonderfully ambitious career choice. Let me start out by saying, YOU CAN DO IT. You're going to want to remind yourself of this very true and important slice of encouragement throughout your many years of schooling.
If you have yet to begin your undergraduate degree, choose a major in the sciences (biology, chemistry, nursing, psychology, etc.) Whatever major you choose, make sure you take at least 6-8 courses in physical and social sciences. Taking these courses in your undergrad will eliminate the need to take them as prerequisites during your masters program. Also, tell your academic advisor about your goal of going to medical school as soon as you meet him/her.
After you finish your 4-year undergraduate degree, you will need to complete a masters degree. There are some pre-med programs out there that essentially segue you into medical school, but if you can't find one near you, you can certainly major in a science for your masters. A lot of students who know they are applying to med school major in biology. If you choose to major in nursing for your undergraduate degree, you can complete an MSN (master of nursing) degree program. This will also allow you to apply as a nurse practitioner if you decide that full-on medical school is no longer your ultimate goal. Nurse practitioners make excellent money and are currently in high demand because of the shortage in primary care physicians (in the U.S.).
During the last several months of your masters program, start studying for the MCAT exam. This is the medical school entrance exam. Connect with med school admissions counselors and they will help walk you through the process. They will alert you to any prerequisites you may not have covered that you will need to take prior to being fully admitted.
Once you start medical school, your primary years will be semi-reflective of your previous education in the sense that there will be classes and textbooks and papers, etc. Then, you will move onto your rotations and residency. This is when you finally start practicing medicine on real patients. Do know that residencies last multiple years. After you successfully complete your residency, you finally become an attending medical doctor.
Despite the extensive education, we need people like yourself ready to take on the incredible task of saving lives! Good luck!