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Are there any ways I can 'fast-forward' college and spend less time there?

Aspire to be a Pediatrician ASAP :)

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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Anita S. Thanks for this very important question.

Just to be clear, I am not a pediatrician...but I do know that value of a good pediatrician and I do know the important role that a good education can play in the making of a good pediatrician.

The concept of "fast-forwarding" college..makes me say "hmm" and makes me wonder if maybe you could do a bit more research into what a pediatrician actually does? I make that suggestion because the role of a pediatrician, in my view, is priceless. They take care of really sick kids, sometimes kids with terminal illnesses. I suspect that in order for pediatricians to do that successfully, they have to have lots and lots of training. I also imagine that the training they have to receive doesn't really have an endpoint. In general, it is my understanding that doctors have to recertify themselves every couple of years to ensure they have the skill set to continue to serve their patient communities.

And beyond any required certification rules, I would imagine that the parent of a child that his being cared for by a pediatrician, seeks comfort in knowing that their pediatrician is well-trained so that they can give the best care and recommendations.

I bet you could be an awesome pediatrician! I also think you may want to do a bit more research in the field. Some suggestions include volunteering at a children's hospital, talking to at least three actual pediatricians and talking to at least three "pediatricians in the making", specifically medical students who are seeking to become pediatricians. These three research steps could go a long way to helping you understand the time commitment that would take to be a great pediatrician.

Hope you find this answer helpful. Best of luck to you!
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Troy’s Answer

Taking summer or winter classes can definitely help you get ahead on credits.
Thank you comment icon sounds good, thanks1 Anita
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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Anita:

As others have shared some great suggestions without repeating, I'd like to let you know what the requirements are for this long journey. Below are the steps my son took to become a Pediatrician. He's now in the final phase, a Pediatric fellowship program for the next 3 years. The pediatric journey is long and expensive but quite rewarding. I hope you find these steps helpful.

• Get your Bachelor's Degree (4 years)
• Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT Exam) and score well. Retake it if necessary
• Medical School (4 years)
• Begin the Licensure process
• Residency in Pediatrics (3 years)
• Become Board Certified
• Fellowship Program (3 years)

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

Steps to Become a Pediatrician • https://www.sgu.edu/blog/medical/how-to-become-a-pediatrician-a-step-by-step-guide/
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Anita
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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Anita! While I can't talk about medical school and those requirements, I can give you some advice that might help shave off a year or two of your bachelor's degree. I have a friend who graduated 1 year early and another friend who graduated two years early both in the same medical school track as you. They were able to graduate early because they had lots of AP credits coming into college, they took summer courses, and they took advantage of the college in high school program our state offers (this program allows high school students to take college courses and receive college credit as well as completing requirements for a high school degree). I would also look into BS/MD programs because a lot of those programs offer a 3 year/4year track. Hope this helps!! Good Luck on your journey!
Thank you comment icon This is great, thank so much! Anita
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Samantha’s Answer

Hi Anita! It may be possible to graduate from college early, but it depends on the structure of your major(s) and whether or not you have any credits from high school (potentially from AP exams) that will transfer over to college. I was able to graduate with 2 majors in only 3 years instead of 4 years, as some of my AP classes in high school gave me college credit or allowed me to skip certain prerequisite classes, and I was approved to take a higher course load than normal. While most students take 4 or 5 classes per semester in college, I took 6 classes for most of my semesters. However, I tried to be very strategic about which classes I took at the same time, to ensure my workload was not too high. I would recommend you map out which classes you would plan to take when to see if you can determine how many classes/credits you would need to take per semester to graduate early, keeping in mind any major requirements or school specific requirements on the types of classes you just take to graduate. Graduating in 3 years may not be possible at every university due to requirements or restrictions on the number of credits you can take, but graduating in 3.5 years is much more common, and tends to be possible at most universities. I’d recommend talking to an advisor at your university to help you figure out what may be possible for you. Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon I see, thank you! Anita
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Given that you are already asking this question, I think you are going to be very efficient in college. You're ahead of the game because you're going to have a plan. Great job!
1. Use high school AP classes as college credits. Scoring well on the AP exam, ie getting a 4 or 5 will get you more credits.
You may be able to eliminate up to a year and a half of college and start as a 2nd year college student. My stepson started as a 2nd semester sophomore. (Check with your high school about which colleges accept AP classes as credits now)
2. Take required classes and get the MCAT out if the way as soon as you've taken the classes required for it and also a prep class.
3. Get your applications into med schools so you can go immediately following college.
4. Look into med schools that have a combined undergrad / MD program.
I think having a plan is key.
Good luck to you.
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Anita
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