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I am interested in become either a neurosurgeon or anesthesiologist.

I am a high school senior, and am planning on being a nursing major with a focus in pre-med. Am I on a good path as of now? If so, what else can I do?

Note: I am also planning on becoming an EMT, and working as one while I go to college. #college #nursing #medicine #pre-med #medicine-school #medicine-field


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Jared’s Answer

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Agree with the last post about shadowing. It is also good that your EMT job aspiration can build skills for both nursing and medical careers. EMT jobs have odd hours and long shifts at a lot of facilities (24 hour shifts where you go where you're called to) but every place is different. Also, you don't have to major in a medical field or even a science field necessarily in order to apply for medical school. There are physicians who have undergraduate degrees in English who met requirements to apply for medical school. You only have to take the required science classes and jump through a few more hoops and get a good grade on the MCAT. In any medical field you will find, when you enter college, it is a lot of hoop jumping in order to meet requirements to be included in an applicant pool. Nursing school is not easy and, though it would benefit you as a physician in the future if that is truly what you continue to want to do through your academic career, it is in no way necessary in order to become a physician. Look at any medical school website and you will find a list of several calsses (two semesters of general biology, two semesters of physics, two semesters of organic chemistry, etc.), 90 some-odd hours of electives, and display commitment to community service (volunteering) etc, on top of good GPA and good MCAT scores and it is this format you will mostly find. However, a nursing degree will look good on a medical school application but I have never heard of a student majoring in Chemistry with a 4.0, a good MCAT score, and appears to be a decent human being who did not get into a med school. I hope I gave you useful information and good luck! You have great goals!


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Katelyn’s Answer

Get involved if you can at your school with maybe a society or organization! Working while going to school is impressive and it is even better that your work is relevant to what you are interested in as a career! Transferable skills are a big thing to gain in college through academics and work experience. Use your time wisely to help figure out what career path you might wish to follow, and look in it! Shadow someone, volunteer when you have time, take those steps to help you reach your goal.


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Richard’s Answer

You are quite busy with school and your job. It is impressive that you are still looking to do more!

Medical schools like to see
1) volunteer experience
2) direct patient care -- which you will have in excess as a nursing student and working EMT
3) shadowing -- find an anesthesiologist or neurosurgeon to follow and find out what their daily life is like
4) research.

Good luck in your pursuits!

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Estelle’s Answer

Anesthesiologists often deal with routine healthy patients undergoing uncomplicated procedures, but when they are called for emergencies, they are placed in very stressful situations. If you are considering anesthesiology as a profession, make sure that you do well making decisions under pressure. Even though most of their time is spent performing the same procedures over and over, they are absolutely critical doctors in life saving emergencies. They need to be very knowledgeable about medications and how they interact with anesthetics as well as how underlying illnesses impact response to medications.

Many anesthesiologists are in group practices, so they have scheduled hours and established call schedules. They are employees so do not have to run a practice or hire/fire employees. They can focus on practicing their specialty instead of running the business of the office.

Neurosurgery is very different, They are routinely faced with very difficult medical dilemmas. They deal with emergencies constantly because they treat closed head injuries sustained during car accidents and back injuries from falls, etc. Their lives are very stressful, and they have to deal with improving quality of life instead of "cures." They operate on brain tumors, and their complications can be devastating. However, they are critical care givers and provide amazing service. You need to have great emotional strength and calm. I hope this helps.
Good luck

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Rachel’s Answer

Hi, I may add one small bit of advice, and that is to focus your goals. Nurses, EMT's, and physicians have all taken different paths to their professions. You may make it much harder on yourself by trying to do all three at once. Try shadowing each of the different professionals and decide where you want to concentrate your efforts.

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