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If I want to go into the medical field does it matter what college I go to?

I am a sophomore in high school and I am wondering If I am going to go into the medical field does it matter if I go to a college that is specifically known for medical things or would any college that offers the major work?

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Ann’s Answer

Hi Brady, this would really depend on what your major is. What area of the medical field are you considering? Many healthcare jobs require certification or licensure so it may be a good idea to research specific jobs and whether they require this. If they do, research those certifications and licenses that are required. They each have their own website which gives detailed information on obtaining the education and degrees needed. Some have specific schools that are accredited and you would need to attend an accredited school to earn that cert or license.

In any case you would need to attend an accredited school and meet educational requirements for the specific body that licenses or certifies the profession you choose.

Ann recommends the following next steps:

research the profession you are interested in (MD, nursing, radiology tech, medical coding, adminstration, etc)
Determine education requirements
Research which license or certification is needed and what the requirements are for that license or cert.
Based on these steps then research schools that are accredited for the specific license or certification you need to achieve in your chosen field
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Alyssa’s Answer

Hi.
I'm a medical doctor.
I think that if you are thinking of doing something like physician, physician associate (PA), or any type of medical research that requires a master's degree or PhD, etc., it is helpful to go to a college that has a fair number of other "premedical" type students. It doesn't have to be a "famous" school like Harvard or Yale, but going somewhere where you have some other students around you who are interested in similar courses of study, and professors who are used to teaching the subjects you will need to get ready, can be very helpful. I think it is helpful for many reasons but one of them is that these colleges tend to have both the classes you need to set you up for the entrance exams for these types of schools, and they also tend to have professors or even specific "premed advisors" in their career services/advising offices of those colleges. It's true that most colleges offer biology, chemistry, etc., but sometimes the classes are taught differently depending on what types of students are in the classes - a college or university that has a lot of students planning to become an MD, osteopathic doctor, nurse practitioner, optometrist , PhD, etc., may teach the class differently than a college where most of the students are just taking the class as a requirement or even taking it to get ready to become a high school teacher, or a lab technician, etc. If you want to go straight to work after college in a profession like physical therapy, nursing or optometry (optometrist = eye doctors who have their own 4 year colleges and don't do a surgical residency to learn eye surgery for 5 years like ophthalmologists), you may want to just go to a school that offers a straight pathway/major into those professions. There's a giant shortage of certain health care workers right now (nurses, doctors who are neurologists or rheumatologists or primary care doctors, etc.) so certainly from a career standpoint I think there will be a lot of opportunities for people your age. I went to a 4 year liberal arts college and I majored in biology (bachelor's of science). You don't have to major in a science to go to medical school/become a physician but I found it helpful...not coming from a family of doctors and nurses, etc., I think I would have found it difficult if I'd majored in something like English and then had to tackle 4 years of medical school with only the minimum required science credits in college/undergrad. I think that if you like school (particularly science) but aren't sure yet exactly which field you want to go into to start off with, this type of school can be very helpful. When I started I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a physical therapist, high school science teacher, physician (medical doctor) or maybe something like a science biology researcher (with a master's or PhD). I didn't get much advice from my high school counselor but these days most school have more counseling/advising for college selection, maybe you can set up a meeting of 15 minutes with yours, this year and see if he/she has any advice. Talking to local people who are in jobs you are considering (a physical therapist, or nurse or doctor, etc.) might be helpful too. Most counties have a local "medical society" and states have them, and if you were to telephone them they probably can give you the contact information for a local doctor(s) to talk to , if MD or DO (doctor of osteopathy) is something you are interested in.
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