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What are your tips for a rising high school senior who wants to go to medical school?

I’m a junior soon to be senior
I’m interested in anesthesiology

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Sridhar’s Answer

As a high school student, it's crucial to start preparing for your future medical career right away. Enroll in as many AP and Honors courses as you can, especially those focused on Biology, Chemistry, Statistics, and Psychology. These subjects will equip you with the foundational knowledge necessary for the challenges of medical school.

Next, let's discuss the prerequisites for becoming a doctor. First, choose a premedical track for your undergraduate studies. Strive to maintain a GPA of at least 3.6 throughout your college years. Then, you'll need to take and excel in the MCAT exam. Additionally, it's recommended to accumulate around 100 hours of shadowing experience and to engage in some form of hospital volunteering or research work.

Some colleges offer BSMD programs, providing a conditional offer of a medical seat upon your undergraduate admission. However, these programs are highly competitive, and a bit of luck is involved in securing a spot. Regardless of the path you choose, it's essential to maintain a strong GPA throughout your academic journey.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must possess a genuine passion for becoming a doctor. The desire to help those in need should be at the core of your motivation. Remember, a career in medicine is not just about academic excellence, but also about compassion and commitment to serving others.
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Rafael’s Answer

Hi Adama! As a high school senior, prioritize maintaining strong grades. Additionally, consider volunteering at hospitals or clinics to gain valuable experience. Joining relevant clubs or organizations can also demonstrate your commitment. Start preparing for admission tests, research strong undergraduate majors that can lead to medical schools with good anesthesiology programs. Seek mentorship from professionals or doctors in the field, and stay updated on advancements in anesthesiology. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve your goal of attending medical school and pursuing a rewarding career in anesthesiology! Enjoy your senior year!
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Karissa’s Answer

Take as many AP classes as possible. Right now that is all you can do.
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Alyssa’s Answer

In high school, strive to build a strong foundation in science, such as at least 2 years in biology, a year in chemistry, and ideally, a year in physics. Also, focus on math and aim for good grades. You don't need to be flawless or take every AP course available, which can be overwhelming in some schools. However, taking AP or advanced classes is important and will show your dedication to academics.

One thing that significantly benefited me was attending a college with other premed and pre-graduate students, for instance, those aiming for med school as well as some aiming for a master's or PhD in biology or chemistry. If your college lacks a strong science focus or students considering medical school, you might not find professors or guidance counselors well-versed in advising on the right courses and volunteer opportunities to prepare for medical school applications.

So, when applying to colleges, try to gather basic information like the popular, well-known, or strong majors at that college. Find out if they have a premed advisor or advisors, and if they offer mentoring or internship programs that provide experience in a hospital or laboratory setting. Ask about the 2-year acceptance rate to medical school from that college, meaning the percentage of students who get into med school within 1-2 tries or 1-2 years.

If you're certain about wanting to go to medical school, some colleges offer guaranteed early admission programs to their associated medical schools, provided you maintain a certain GPA and meet other criteria. I didn't attend such a college, but it can be a good strategy to boost your chances of admission, particularly if you plan to live in a specific city or state long term.
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Kess’s Answer

Hello, Adama! Great question!

Here's a general guideline for getting to medical school with some tips and tricks thrown in:

1. Complete high school and make sure to relish your summer break! Consider volunteering or working in the medical field after high school and into college. Many hospitals have volunteering opportunities.

2. Begin exploring which college you would like to attend for your bachelor's degree. Medical schools generally accept any degree as long as you've fulfilled the prerequisite courses. Don't forget to indulge in some subjects that truly interest you! Medical schools appreciate applicants who are diverse and have interests beyond medicine, not just those who've checked the necessary boxes.
(I hold a bachelor's degree in biomedical science with minors in chemistry and sociology, and my med school buddies have degrees in English, Russian history, and Psychology.)
If not required by the medical school, I highly suggest taking medical ethics, microbiology, statistics, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, and molecular biology during undergrad.

3. Take as many courses as possible at your local community college to save on costs (ensure they're transferable to a university though)! Apply for financial aid via FAFSA. Some community colleges even offer programs that can help you transition to a nearby university.

4. Aim for and secure at least a bachelor's degree. Some individuals choose to pursue a Master's degree, such as in Public Health, but it's not mandatory.

5. Gear up for and take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Your college might be able to assist you with test preparation! This is usually done after the junior or senior year of college. You might also want to invest in a test prep program for the MCAT but it's not required.

6. Get ready for and apply to medical schools [both MD (Medical Doctor) and DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) pathways lead to becoming a physician].

7. Complete 4 years of medical school (the first 2 years consist of textbook learning, while the last two years involve clinical rotations). Licensing exams are taken after the 2nd and 3rd years of medical school, with a final one during residency.

8. Apply for and participate in a residency program - this involves a few more years of training depending on your chosen specialty. (Take your 3rd major exam here.) On the bright side, residency is a paid position. Keep in mind, that you may change your mind on what specialty you want to pursue, and that's ok!

BEST OF LUCK! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, YOU'VE GOT THIS!!!
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