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What paths can a high school student if they want to pursue a career in the medical field?

What paths can a high school student take if they want to pursue a career in the medical field?

Most of my extra-curricular activities are geared towards advocacy, public health, arts and medicine. What are some tips that you can give me as I aspire to be a pediatrician?

Thank you comment icon You should see if you have the ability to shadow some pediatricians in your local area! Brandon Akuoko
Thank you comment icon MD here. I’d say it depends on your countries criteria for acceptance to medical school. If I could go back I’d get a minor in business. Susan Brunner
Thank you comment icon A lot of doctors are open to allowing students to shadow, this is a great way to see how the flow in an office looks like. Kruti Patel

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Sabrina’s Answer

Hello, this is a great question. I do a lot of volunteering myself. As a high school student, you have an abundance of opportunities! Have you ever thought about the military? In the Navy, you can become a Corpsman which aids the doctor in medicine and health. While you start as an enlisted corpsman, you can also go to school at the same time and earn your degree for free if you would like to grow into a doctor in the Navy and become an officer. You could also pursue college first and become a Navy doctor immediately, and they would pay back your schooling! The military is an excellent opportunity to pursue your degree in the health and medicine field while getting your education paid for! I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Erica
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Tarsis’s Answer

Hi Erica! I suggest talking with your school counselor and ask if they offer internship programs possibly with a school nurse at your local elementary school. Also, check with local hospital regarding volunteer programs during the summer.
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Ashley’s Answer

Hello Erica! I would recommend looking into volunteer options maybe at a local hospital in your area. This may help in exposing you to different departments and allow you to see what it would really be like to work out on the field. I would also suggest looking into what colleges have to offer in reference to becoming a pediatrician.
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Joanna’s Answer

Hi Erica!

Asides from medical opportunities, I also recommend doing things you're interested in outside of medicine! Nowadays, many medical schools and health professional schools are interested in getting to know who you are as a human being and what you're passionate about. I recommended you try out doing activities you really enjoy! For example, if you love reading and kids, you could try reading to kids at the local library during your free time. If you love animals, maybe you could volunteer at an animal shelter! When it comes to medicine, most schools nowadays value diverse experiences, so I recommend finding enjoyable clinical and non-clinical experiences!
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Erica
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Arthera’s Answer

I would suggest taking classes on child development, infant and toddler seminars or classes, particularly relevant to children 0-5 with special needs, at some point. Many young doctors are ill prepared to deal with issues that face parents of young children with disabilities. It is always good to be well prepared in your discipline.
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Anna’s Answer

Hi Erica,

As many have said volunteering in a hospital or healthcare setting would be great! Another thing you can also look into is receiving certifications such as becoming a medical assistant or a nursing assistant. I find that having one of the licenses and working with them helps you prepare for working in a healthcare environment and gives you excellent hands-on patient care experience. It also looks great on college applications too for the field you are going into. These programs may vary in price; however, you can also research if any programs offer scholarships in your area.
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Raegan’s Answer

Hi Erica!

A great resource is VolunterMatch.org. I love volunteering and I have used this for the past 7 years. Great places to volunteer at are nursing homes, homeless shelters, and hospice centers. I was a pre-med student all four years of my undergrad, and now I am getting my masters of science in medical sciences. I’m actually applying to the next round of medical applications in May 2023. Some places require you to be 18 years or older, but a lot of places don’t. I do recommend volunteering in other areas other than just healthcare. I’ve been reading a lot of medical school admissions and they all say that they like their applicants to be well-rounded individuals who really sought out to help their community rather than only getting clinical experience. You are already doing a great job! Many museums love volunteers, and usually don’t have an age requirement. That could be another fun way to volunteer in the arts area!
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Priya’s Answer

Hi Erica,
It sounds like you are already doing a lot to gear yourself to the field! Volunteering at a hospital or practice can also help you gain more information. Good luck!
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Kess’s Answer

Hi Erica!

Great question! You'll need to complete medical school to become a pediatrician. Here is the general breakdown:

1. Complete high school with good grades but try to get some volunteering in. Since you are interested in pediatrics, I would suggest the local Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, after-school tutoring programs, sports programs for underserved youth, Boys or Girls Scouts, etc.

2. Research what college you want to go to for your bachelor's degree. Most medical schools will consider any degree as long as you've completed the prerequisites for the med school.

3. Take as many classes as you can for your degree at your community college to save money (but make sure they transfer to a university)!

5. Prepare for and take the MCAT (medical college admissions test).

6. Prepare for and apply to medical schools (both MD (medical doctor) and DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) can become pediatricians).

7. Complete 4 years of medical school then residency!

8. Don't give up! You can do it!!
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