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What courses should I take in High School in order to get into Medical School? What Advice would you give to an 10th grader that wants to get into the medical field? Could I get a Volunteer Job at a Pharmacy, Medical Office, or a Hospital at 14-15?

I am M/15
I recently got into high school and gets good grades as I achieved high honors. I have been consistent at math, getting 100 in geometry, 93 and above in science and over 93s in all classes including the 5 100s I have. My GPA is a 96-98 average, and I would say I am one of the smartest in the class if not the smartest in Geometry. I study Chemistry in my free time, and I am taking Living Enviromint, but my teacher teaches Biology. Some of the smartest kids in Senior classes come back to my science teacher and thank him. I take chemistry next year and my schedule is full, I don't have any lunch breaks nor any free periods. I have 2 options currently, I used to want to be an engineer and I am actually really good, I fix electronics for a living and help my school with problems. I got offered to be an Intern too at my high school, but since technology changes quick and new certificates come out fast, I don't think it would be good. The medical field is still and barely changes.
I Really want to volunteer but have no clue how at 15.
Also, What is some procedures/ Classes I should take in Highschool to make it into medical or pharmacy school faster?
Thank you!

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Subject: Career question for you

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Kendra’s Answer

Hi-

I think it's fantastic you want to become a medical doctor! I would just advise you consider looking into Physician Assistant, and Nurse Practioner degrees as well.

They do most of the same functions as doctors, get paid really well, can work independently within a clinic or hospital, and their schooling is a *LOT* shorter (by 4+ years).

For either of these paths - what matters most is your grades in college. Your grades in high school will help mostly with scholarships for undergrad and early acceptance into med school if your lucky (some universities offer this to graduating seniors from high school, but not many).

You will be required to have hundreds/thousands of hours of healthcare exposure hours to get into a program, usually as a medical scribe, EMT, or CNA.

I would recommend the following steps before taking on such a commitment:
1. Job shadow a doctors or at the hospital of a NP, MD, and PA.
2.determine which profession you like the most, research pros and cons of all 3, and which path you like most
3. Try to get the best grades you can (at least top 10%), but to help get scholarships- not because it determines if you'll get into a great college
4. Get your CNA or try to become a medical scribe, or EMT by the time your 18, and star logging hours for med school/these other programs
5. Take lots of science classes in high school- most medical profession programs require tons of biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, etc for prerequisites. They are also super competitive, so having a good understanding when you go to college will hopefully help you.

6. And MOST importantly- enjoy the ride, enjoy bring a teen/high schooler while you can! Don't live too much for the future that you miss the present. You're only at this age once and stressing out *every* *single* *step* is hurtful to your stress levels, your mental health, everything. I know several people that *had it all figures out* when I was a college freshman, 2 of them were even granted early entry into med school and they turned them down to become an officer and public health specialist instead because they realized it wasn't what they really wanted.

Hardly anything ever works out the way you plan, and that's okay 👌 do you're best in school, have fun, and stay away from stupid life-altering decisions (drugs, wrong crowd mix up, etc) and you'll get to where you want to be one day!

Best of luck!!
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Karen’s Answer

Volunteers are needed at hospital and medical centers. You can be in high school or older. No previous medical training experience is required. The need includes tasks like taking patients to procedures in a wheelchair or transporting lab samples to the lab. This may not sound like much but it gets you familiar with the hospital and you will see the many different jobs people have there in healthcare .
Volunteering in a hospital looks great on college applications too.
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Alexa’s Answer

Hey there,
It may be difficult to volunteer at a pharmacy, but you could volunteer at other events or places. For example you could volunteer at charity walks for cancer, and when you are a bit older ( I think you have to be 16) you can help out at clinics. As far as classes I recommend taking AP classes in chemistry, biology, etc. However there is no way to speed up medical school regardless of what classes you take in college or high school. But you can take college credits at some high schools (speed up college) so you should talk to your advisor to see if that is an option for you.
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Caroline’s Answer

Hello! I love your passion for medicine.

Be well rounded. Volunteer, grow your own interest outside of medicine. Having a hobby that allows you to destress and relax is necessary for a good work or school life balance.

If you want to start volunteering call your local hospital and ask what the process is like. It never hurts to get a foot in the door. Your local library may also have volunteer opportunities you can pursue as well.

Starting or joining clubs in high school and college are great networking events and look positive on your resume.

My grandfather was a surgeon and gave me a piece of advice when I was in grad school.
“What do you call a person who graduates last in medical school…. A doctor.” Study hard, work hard but also work on yourself to grow into a well rounded individual. Best of luck!
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Vanessa’s Answer

You will want to get as much experience as possible before college. Think "what will impress the college". Instead of working in fast food or babysitting, think what will look good on your resume or application. For healthcare look for things you can do after school, weekends, spring/summer/winter vacations. You will want to take as many math and science classes as you can and you want the best grades. An A student will be looked at more closely than a B student. Besides classes, look into as many extracurricular activities you can manage over the course of high school. Leadership activities are great as are volunteer hours. Look at Student Council, newspaper, science clubs, etc. Call around your area to ask about shadowing professionals then make sure you keep track of everything. You will need names, addresses and phone numbers so keep a log. Finally, when you do start taking college classes (even in high school) make sure those credits will transfer to the college you are wanting to attend.
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Christine’s Answer

In high school you are sometimes limited. Be careful about overloading yourself, and remember to have fun times with friends as well as working hard in school. Work/life balance makes a huge difference in overall life satisfaction and you are developing habits now that will become automatic the older you get.
Volunteering is best for now because your schooling and classes are on target. Ask around at places you might eventually want to work to see if they have volunteer opportunities.

Christine recommends the following next steps:

Work AND play
Volunteer locally
Continue getting good grades
Practice making networking connections both in and out of school.
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Maria’s Answer

I think volunteering or shadowing in a healthcare setting such as a hospital , doctor’s office or The American Red Cross exposes you to a lot of different areas of healthcare.
These opportunities can help you to determine if this is what you really want to do before you invest time and money in classes you don’t like or don’t have the aptitude for .
I would also like to describe my profession. I am a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. My major in college was Clinical Laboratory Science. I work in a hospital laboratory. I test blood and body fluids using a variety of complex instruments. I also use a microscope. If you are interested in medicine but don’t want to work directly with patients, this could be the field for you. It is interesting and fast paced and there are different areas in the lab that you can rotate through. Since most hospital labs are open 24 hrs/ 7 days a week , you will most likely have to work weekends and holidays. You may have to work evening or night shifts but you get paid more for these hours.As a Clinical Lab Scientist you can also work as a researcher, medical salesperson, lab instructor / at a college or in a blood donor center to name a few.
Pay is decent; not as much as a nurse but more than many starting pays. Benefits are excellent : paid time off , medical insurance, 401 savings plan , tuition reimbursement if pursuing more schooling and always opportunity for overtime pay .
Talk to different professionals . Don’t be afraid to ask questions!!!
Good luck!
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Renea’s Answer

You definitely need to take as many biology classes and calculus and trigonometry...any medical related courses you should take those and make good grades so you can qualify for scholarships. Once you graduate investigate which schools have medical programs and which kind. Eastern VA medical school has a physician assistant program but I'm not sure of a doctorate program! Whatever you decide pls finish college and grad school.its WAY BETTER than just high school or a trade school!
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Mary’s Answer

If you are interested in pursuing a career in medicine, there are several courses you can take in high school that will prepare you for medical school. Some of the recommended courses include:

Biology: This course will introduce you to the basics of living organisms, including their structure, function, and interactions with the environment.

Chemistry: Chemistry is a fundamental science that underpins many aspects of medicine, including drug development and metabolism.

Physics: Physics provides a foundation for understanding the principles of medical imaging, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI.

Math: Medical school requires a strong foundation in math, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.

English: Good communication skills are essential in medicine, and English classes can help you develop strong writing and speaking skills.

In addition to taking these courses, it's also important to participate in extracurricular activities that demonstrate your commitment to the medical field. This can include volunteering at hospitals or clinics, shadowing physicians or other healthcare professionals, and participating in science clubs or competitions.

My advice to a 10th grader who wants to get into the medical field is to focus on building a strong foundation in science and math, participating in extracurricular activities that demonstrate your interest in medicine, and exploring different career paths in the medical field through shadowing, volunteering, and internships. Keep in mind that pursuing a career in medicine is a long and challenging journey, but with dedication, hard work, and a passion for helping others, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Nooralmustafa,

High School Curriculum for Aspiring Medical Students

Boosting your chances of admission into medical school hinges on a rigorous high school curriculum, showcasing your academic prowess and preparing you for the demanding coursework that lies ahead. Here are some suggested courses:

Science Courses: Opt for advanced science subjects like biology, chemistry, and physics to build a robust foundation in sciences, a prerequisite for medical school. Courses such as anatomy and physiology could also prove useful.

Math Courses: Medical school success often relies on solid math skills, so consider taking classes like calculus and statistics.

English Courses: As a healthcare professional, effective communication is key. English or writing classes can help hone these skills.

Social Sciences Courses: Subjects like psychology, sociology, and ethics can aid in understanding human behavior and societal issues, both integral to healthcare.

Extracurricular Activities: Show your dedication to the field by participating in healthcare or community service-related extracurricular activities.

Guidance for a 10th Grader Eyeing the Medical Field

Experience Healthcare: Seize opportunities to shadow healthcare professionals, volunteer at hospitals or clinics, or join healthcare-related clubs for a firsthand experience of the field.

Academic Excellence: Strive for excellence in your coursework and embrace challenging classes to ready yourself for medical school.

Foster Relationships: Build connections with teachers, mentors, and medical professionals who can offer guidance and support in your journey.

Research Medical Schools: Begin researching various medical schools to comprehend their requirements and identify the qualities they seek in applicants.

Volunteering for 14-15 Year Olds

Despite age restrictions at some hospitals, pharmacies, or medical offices due to liability issues, younger students can still find volunteer opportunities in the healthcare sector. Consider volunteering at community health fairs, nursing homes, or local nonprofits focusing on health-related issues. You could also approach organizations like the Red Cross or local clinics to explore volunteer opportunities for those under 16.

Top 3 Reliable Sources Used:

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC): The AAMC offers valuable resources and information on the requirements and admissions process for US medical schools.

Khan Academy: Khan Academy provides free online resources on various subjects, including science and math, beneficial for high school students eyeing a medical career.

American Red Cross: The American Red Cross is renowned for its healthcare-related volunteer opportunities and community service initiatives, beneficial for young aspiring medical professionals.

May God Bless You!
James Constantine Frangos.
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Kim’s Answer

Your passion for medicine and drive to do well in school are awesome! Keep it up! I would echo some of the things others have said:
1. Volunteering is often something you can do at a local hospital. You'll have to fill out some paperwork and ensure you have transportation, but often as a high schooler, you can volunteer to help with various tasks around the hospital.
2. It's important to shadow! When you have time, like in the summer or on breaks, shadow doctors, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, dentists, physician assistants, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, social workers, any healthcare professional! Be discerning in seeing what you like! There are many fields in healthcare, and knowing earlier will be in your best interest because that can help you tailor your college experience!
3. Do well in school so you can get into a good college. Often, the limiting factor for you getting into medical school is having ample resources to develop a good medical school application - and that's all dependent on where you go for college. You want to be sure to do well in high school - good grades, strong letters of recommendation, extracurricular involvement. I don't think you particularly need to take a specific class, but maybe taking AP or IB classes to get college credit in high school may expedite the process in college.
4. Have fun! Don't stress too much. High school should be a time where you learn about yourself, make friends, and try new things. Please, in your quest to be successful, don't forget to be young and enjoy life. There are many pathways to medicine, but you only get to do high school once!

Good luck, work hard, and don't forget to have fun!
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