3 answers

If you are an aspiring medical student, should you be preparing for what you're going to learn as early as high school? Is there any way to become more familiar with these type of feilds while being at such an early stage of education?

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I am currently a Sophmore in High School, and I have heard a lot about how stressful medical school can be, so I was wondering if becoming more familiar now with the material that I would be studying in medical school would make it any easier in the long run, or if there was any other way of preparing for these type of rigerous courses throughout college and medical school. #college #medical-school #college-prep

3 answers

Ken’s Answer


Hi Alicia!

Congratulations on wanting to become a doctor. You are beginning a very long and challenging and interesting journey.

Many doctors got their start a community college because it was a good economical way to complete the first two years. Also many community colleges have great coop and intern programs. To learn more, contact the head of alumni relations at your local community college to arrange to talk to graduates of that school who have become doctors and learn about their journey.



Send thank you notes to those who help you. Please keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress!

Thank you!!! This was very helpful!!! Alicia L.
You are welcome. I would like to follow your progress! Please keep me informed! Ken Simmons

Sharon’s Answer


Yes, there are multiple ways to prepare:
- Education:
- look up a medical school and see what it takes to get into it.
- then look at an undergraduate pre-med program, and what does it take to get into that. Make sure you have the background (high school science & math) to get into a program.
- can you get an internship to shadow a doctor in the summer?

  • Personal:
    - "Doctor" is a pretty broad term. What intrigues you? You need to get way beyond, "I want to help people." Are you interested in - the brain, surgery, rehabilitation, working with children, curing diseases? These things become very specialized, the more you can look into them - online, as well as talking with your doctors - the more you will understand about your journey, your skill set, and your curiosity. Curing disease requires a doctor who does research. Surgery requires fine eyesight, eye-hand coordination, and coolness under pressure. Working with children requires the ability to communicate at their age level. Rehabilitation can be chemical (like drug addiction) or it can be physical (like an athlete coming off of an injury.) So much to think about. This is a good time to do THIS homework.

Good luck!!

James’s Answer


hi alicia,

i graduated med school in 1993 and have been a family physician for 20 years.

i hear that you're anxious about the medical curriculum and you're absolutely correct that it can be stressful.

here are some possible avenues.

1) education. the more biology and chemistry courses the better. learn how to use a microscope well. look into taking some online courses. edX.org is a good site. when you're in college the health professions counselor can provide you with a list of all of the medical school prerequisite courses. there will also be some "recommended" courses. take as many of those recommended courses as you can.

2) communication skills. learn a foreign language or sign language. also, try to find a course on "medical terminology." that was by far the most useful pre-med course i ever took.

3) history. read biographies on famous doctors. or books by doctors about their experiences with medical education or their careers. google can give you some titles. or visit your local library.

4) customer service work. a job interacting with customers will prepare you to interact with patients.

5) medical experience. write letters to hometown physicians requesting to interview them after work. ask their experiences and advice about college, med school, residency, the medical field in general. if things go well ask them if you can shadow them for a day. if possible do this with docs in several different specialties. try to speak with a med student and a medical resident if you can.

6) specialty knowledge. skim online articles about current happenings in medicine. especially ones about specialties that interested you.

7) optional: health care policy. nowadays in the US it's not a bad idea to know something about medicare, medicaid, insurance, and how those things came to be what they are. by extension you'll learn something about medical ethics.

good luck!