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What would you tell a students in high school who is aspiring to pursue a medical career?

My objective is to get into the medical field and I plan to be a physician. I am asking this question because I am a high school student who is aspiring to become a physician. #doctor #medicine #physician

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Stephenie’s Answer

As a former medical and dental school student, I can recommend a few things that I strongly feel will help you with your current interest and aspiration. Shadow different physicians (different specialties) in your area for a few hours a day, observe and see what it's like day to day, and the different scenarios and challenges that doctors encounter. I recommend that if you are still in high school, see if there are hospitals in your area with a volunteer program. If not, do you know a specific surgeon, or physician who would allow you to observe/shadow him while he makes his rounds, perform surgery, etc. And of course, make sure your grades in school are good, especially in the sciences. You need to have a good GPA in high school (predictor for college). And then in college, make sure you have a good standing GPA in all the prerequisite courses for a pre-medical student; courses include English, Math, Sciences, etc. If you already are an outstanding high school student academically and set on the medical profession, consider applying to the early medical school programs during your high school.

Thank You so much for answering my question. This information is very helpful!! I will totally look for opportunities to shadow in local hospitals. RS P.

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Richard’s Answer

Take as many AP or IB courses in high school. You have a lot of years of education in front of you and getting college credit in high school can save you time and money.

Pick a college that suits your personality and a major that interests you. 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

During college study for and complete the MCAT. Apply to medical schools during your last year of college.

Medical school takes 4 years to complete.

After medical school physicians complete a residency for additional training. These can last 3-6 years depending on the specialty and are sometimes followed by an additional year or two of fellowship subspecialty training.

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Estelle’s Answer

It requires many years of hard work and dedication, but all the effort is definitely worth it for such a rewarding career.

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Rachel’s Answer

I would suggest keeping your grades as high as possible and looking for shadowing opportunities at any healthcare facility that will let you spend the day there.