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When pursuing a career in medicine, what are things that one can do in high school (as a junior) to better prepare for this career?

I want to pursue a career as a cardiologist. I also want to be prepared for college and pre med school. What are internships that I should research? Are there certain classes I should take as a high school student? #medicine #pre-med #surgery #medical-education #general-surgery

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Elizabeth’s Answer

As long as you complete the required courses to be considered for medical school, you can major in anything. Most students will major in biology, chemistry, or something similar so they can start getting an understanding of the field and start taking upper level biology courses but I have also seen students major in history, English, etc. so they are more well rounded or have other interests.
Typically medical schools require a year of chemistry, biology, and English plus courses in physics, organic chemistry, math, and biochemistry.
In order to be the best applicant you can be, you will want to volunteer in the field - whether it is a hospital, private practice, clinic, etc. This will allow you to understand a day-in-the-life of the professionals, determine what kind of medicine you are most interested in, and speak with the doctors about their own academic and professional journeys. This will also give you more to talk about should you be asked to interview in support of your candidacy.

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James’s Answer

hi danielle,

my recommendation would be for you to try to place out of as many college courses as possible. usually that means taking an advanced placement test, usually at your chosen college. some of the medical school prerequisites that you could potentially place out of are chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus. that means that you'll need to ace those courses in high school. i would enlist the aid of your science/math teachers to find appropriate extra credit assignments to prepare you for those tests. those teachers won't hesitate to give you recommendations as well.

as far as internships, what i'd recommend is that you schedule numerous information interviews with local cardiologists or other physicians. find out as much as possible about where they went to college, medical school, and residency. ask them about their experiences and advice. if you're lucky one or more will offer to let you shadow them for a time to see what they do on a daily basis.

lastly, i would strongly recommend that you consider taking Spanish classes. a communication barrier is the last thing you need when trying to assess a seriously ill patient.

good luck!