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Is it too late for me to start studying to become a pediatrician in 10th grade?

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Suzanne’s Answer

No, Regina, it's NOT too late to start planning on becoming a pediatrician (or any other type of doctor) when you're in tenth grade. Whew!

The key is to let your guidance counselor and teachers know what your goals are. Be sure that these next three years of high school are preparing you well for college. Each year you should plan on taking English as well as science and math. Studying a second language, too, is a good idea. You should be sure to take both biology and chemistry and math through at least trigonometry. All classes should be college-prep level and if possible, honors or AP. (If your school doesn't offer these options, that's okay). If you can arrange to take classes at your local community college that is great! It's always important to remember to ask for help if you're struggling in any of your classes. Speak up and ask for help if you need it.

In college you can major in anything you are interested in as long as you take and do well in the required "pre-med classes" which you will need to apply to medical school. These are typically a year of biology with labs, inorganic and organic chemistry with labs, physics, and math through calculus. College is four years to get your bachelors degree and then medical school is another four years. At that point you are a doctor. Yay! Then if you are still interested in pediatrics you would do a three year residency in that to be a pediatrician.

It's a long road but by starting now and staying focused on your goal it is absolutely possible.



Suzanne recommends the following next steps:

Make an appointment with your guidance counselor and let them know what your career goals are. Be sure your classes are college-prep classes.
Once you have had your Covid vaccine, see if you can find a volunteer or paid position working with kids. Be sure that this is something you really enjoy. If at all possible while you're in high school try to find such a position in a health care setting.
Start to explore where you might like to go to college and what the entrance requirements are. Be sure you are on track for meeting these requirements. Maybe you can even get some free college credits from your local community college while you are still in high school.
Speak to as many people in health care as you can and see if you can "shadow" some of them to see what they do.
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Gerald’s Answer

No it is not too late. The average age of a first-year medical student is the late 20's. Lots of people start medical school after having had a career in another field. Right now, I would recommend focusing on getting into university with the SAT and your high school grades, and finding a university that would meet your needs in terms of having the right courses for you, but also look for opportunities to work in either healthcare, scientific research, or public health. It's important to think about and communicate why you want to be a doctor, and what kind of contribution you would like to make, and how your experiences have led you to this path.
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Steven’s Answer

Hi Regina: No, it is definitely NOT TO LATE. There are many successful physicians who first have careers in another fields (Teaching, Research, Software, etc.) and then go to medical school in their 30's. If you go the Primary Care Pediatrician route, that will require 4 years of Medical School followed by 3 Years of Residency. Many of the other Medical Doctor careers will have longer residencies and often require fellowship years after that.
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Mary Jane’s Answer

As others have said, it's not too late! You do not need to decide on becoming a physician or a nurse in high school, so you have time to explore both professions (check out physician assistants too!) before you commit.

Instead of repeating the good advice others have offered, I'll suggest something you can do to set yourself up for success in college classes: Get a good foundation in math and science while you are in high school. The more classes you take now, the easier your path will be in college -- plus if you don't enjoy those classes, you might want to rethink your career goals because degrees in healthcare require a lot of science courses. Think about taking more than the bare minimum you need to graduate so that you enter college with some experience in a variety of the sciences and you have an understanding of how to study for challenging science courses. Learn how to balance those courses with shadowing, volunteering, and leadership in sports, clubs, or the arts -- you'll be expected to do all of those things in college so the more practice you get balancing your activities, the better student you'll be in college.

Good luck!
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Arif’s Answer

I think its early decision. You have still time to re think. If you have passion and dedication, yes you can.
Lot of opportunities awaits. But for last two years paediatrics job is very less opening.
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Aishwarya’s Answer

Hi. You ae right on time for achieving your dreams. Its never too late to pursue a career which interests you. Don't limit yourself thinking about is it the right time. Every time is a right time as long as you are willing to give in the efforts needed. All the best:)
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