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My dream job is to be a paediatrician, but i don't know how to prepare as a teenager to achieve my dream job. Is there any advice for me to start preparing for my dream job?

I am currently a high school student, but trying to prepare my self so i can be successful when i grow up to earn my job. #jobs what tips can i use to achieve my dream job?

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Subject: Career question for you

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John’s Answer

Neha medical schools don't typically require a particular undergraduate degree for admission. However, medical schools do look for students who have successfully completed a college's pre-medical coursework, which can be completed through majors in math, chemistry, biology and physics. Students are also expected to have coursework in English and social sciences. A degree in biology is a common pathway for aspiring physicians, and some schools offer structured pre-medical programs that are designed to prepare students for medical school. Accredited medical schools require applicants to take the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT for short. Students are evaluated on their knowledge of physical science and biology, cognitive skills and verbal reasoning skills.

Your high school years are the perfect time to begin exploring your interests and preparing to attend a college that will prepare you for medical school. This means a competitive college or university that offers the science classes you will need for acceptance into medical school. You will need to take the appropriate classes in high school to increase your chances of being accepted at the undergraduate institution of your choice. Develop a strong background in science and prove that you can handle rigorous courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. Take AP and advanced courses as often as possible and maintain high grades. Meet with your guidance counselor to plot the appropriate high school courses. You want to get into a decent undergraduate institution, and maintain a high GPA, particularly in your Math and Science courses. You should maintain a GPA above a 3.5 through college. In addition to your coursework, undergraduate admissions and medical school admissions will consider your extracurricular activities. The more relevant experience you have, the stronger a candidate you will be. That experience will also help you figure out if you are sure that you are interested in a medical career because you will be exposed to what it's really like to be a doctor.

Good Luck Neha

John recommends the following next steps:

Visit your high school guidance office and ask about resources for learning about medical careers. Meet with medical practitioners in your area and through family and friends for informational interviews. Ask them what it takes to be a doctor and inquire about the challenges and satisfactions involved with their work.
Consider volunteering at a local hospital, nursing home, or other health-care establishment. Medical schools look for proof of your exposure to medical settings and commitment to serving others. Find a part-time or summer job at a health-care facility. The more experience you gain, the better equipped you will be for medical school.
Once you are 16 (age may vary in Australia), you may want to complete training during the summer to be a certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). Training takes anywhere from three weeks to three months. Once you have your certificate, you can earn good money and gain valuable experience prior to medical school.
Find a mentor, it's especially important when you’re younger because your mentor can guide you and prevent you from making stupid mistakes. Go find a mentor in whatever way possible. It’s even better if your mentor is a medical student or physician. Your mentor can be an older, wiser family member that you trust. Maybe you can be connected to a family friend. You can search for mentors online whether through a mentorship program or even through a medical school admissions consulting service.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your help. Neha
Thank you comment icon Your Welcome Neha. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. John Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Raquel. “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” – Erma Bombeck John Frick
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P’s Answer

Hi Neha!

I’m not sure about education in Australia (though I did some medical training there years ago it was well after my med school, residency and fellowship.) But I wouldn’t worry so much about a particular path.

Other than making sure your grades are excellent and that you do well in whatever uni you go to. Each uni will have a pre med track so make sure to take the proper courses for that. Then make sure you do some volunteering if you can in the medical field. (Indigent clinic or similar is a great option and they always need help). If you can shadow a doc that helps you but may not sway admissions groups.

Here’s what I mean: it’s important that you take time to make sure that’s actually the career you want. When I went to college doctor was my absolute last choice of career and then it’s what I ended up doing. So by working in a clinic it will also give you a glimpse into what medicine is like.

Medical schools will want to make sure you have excellent grades in college and that you’ve taken the pre-requisite courses but you don’t have to be a science major. One of my oldest friends is a family practice doc and she double majored in history and Spanish.

There are six year med programs in the US not sure if they have them in Australia. But the disadvantage of this type of program is its all just about the med school courses and you don’t get an opportunity to do other fun and interesting classes which will make you more well rounded.

I’d check at the Alfred or similar hospital since I see you’re in Melbourne to see if they have a volunteer program (after covid).

Showing a consistent commitment to healthcare from now will also look good on your application. And may give you insight into other possible fields of medicine you might like to go into.

Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank for your help! Neha
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Neha,

The best way that you can prepare for your dream job can be to start taking small steps in a few areas.

1 - I would say begin with doing research on your job just like you would with other subjects that you love. Find out what is good about the job and what is most challenging to people who do the job. You have already started that by joining this forum and asking this question. Think about and ask the questions that you have here. It can be anything from what challenges the job present to what subjects you might want to start focusing on.

2 - Identify the skills that you will need for the job and focus on volunteer or work opportunities that would let you start refining your skills. I would say volunteer with organizations focused on helping kids. I would imagine that one of the challenges that being a pediatrician would present is being able to interact with children, especially children who are not very happy to be there. You have to know if you are good with children since that will help you have a more satisfying career. Jobs with kids can be babysitting to working at places where kids like to go.

You have chosen what can be an incredibly rewarding career. Good luck with your preparation.

Gloria
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your help. Neha
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Lyndsay’s Answer

Volunteering in the field you want to work in is a great way to see if you even like the job. A job like a CNA (certified nursing assistant) is also a great start. You do medical training (in the US this job can be performed by minors) and get to make money while working in the field.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your help. Neha
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