Advice for a High School Student Senior

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by grapp, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    Intro/Plan:

    I am senior in high school and am graduating one year early, I will be 17 when I graduate. I have always had a fascination with medicine and currently have a 3.1 GPA in high school, and I hoping to get a better one by the time I graduate with a few college classes. I do understand in college you need to have excellent grades.

    I recently shadowed paramedics and had an amazing time, I did a total of 30 hours for my senior project.
    I enjoy being a part of the paramedics crew very much so I had decided to pursue my bachelor's degree and get a dual major of emergency management and french, becoming a paramedic part time after I receive my associates. While I am in college I will do part-time shifts as a paramedic (2) 12-hour shifts a week.

    This will help me pay off college and give me some pre-hospital care requisites that I believe will make me a better-qualified candidate for medical school. I chose a dual major in French because becoming a doctor will involve patients from the surrounding countries, Mexico, and Canada. I personally do not enjoy learning Spanish so I have chosen French as it interests me and have dual major will make me better qualified.

    I have seen how I react during life-threatening situations with paramedics and assisted in any way I possibly could including bedside transfers. At first I thought it may deter me from furthering medicine but it actually made me want to do it even more. I plan on shadowing physicians as early as this year to show my active involvement in the medical community and I am trying to get my EMT-B before I graduate so I can volunteer until I have my associates.

    If I do not get into medical school my first time, I will re-apply to all 15 of the same schools I apply to next year, most of them are not top notch schools, however, they are good schools (top 25). My time if I do not make it in I will continue my career as a paramedic for 3 years and re-evaluate my MCAT scores and retake if need be. If all fails the second time, I will re-apply a third time after 10 years of being a paramedic.

    If it were to get this far, I would be a paramedic for the remainder of my years on the job or potentially become a flight medic depending on my interest at the time.

    Let me know if you guys think this is a suitable plan, do pre-med students have lives in college as well?
    I am little nervous about that, but I realize it's part of the process, I have considered everything else besides medicine and this is what I am dedicated to. My final goal is to become an emergency room physician.
     
    #1 grapp, Jul 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  2. md-2020

    md-2020 The Immaculate Catch
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    I've had a long day and am not at the top of my reading game right now but this is a troll post, right?
     
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  3. WedgeDawg

    WedgeDawg not actually a dog
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    Hi there. First, I would remove your name from your post. Second, it's great you have an interest in medicine, but you're still a long ways off from applying. Your high school grades will have little to no relevance to your performance in college.

    That sounds cool if that's what you're interested in doing.

    Experience as a paramedic is interesting, but is by no means necessary to get into medical school and probably will not be an enormous bonus to your application unless it is your profession for several years (ie not every now and then during college). Additionally, paramedics require much more stringent qualifications than EMTs, and it has been said that being an EMT is not a huge application booster; however, if that's what you're interested in doing, by all means do so. Having a dual major will not help your med school application.

    You have to do more than shadow - you have to also work or volunteer in a healthcare setting (meaning in a hospital or other care facility such as hospice or free clinic) to demonstrate that you're willing to work around patients for the rest of your life.

    Additionally, you need more than an associate's degree to apply to medical school - most medical schools require a 4-year bachelor's.

    You're in way too early of a stage of your application (as in, you haven't even started college) to be thinking this far out. There are too many variables to account for all of them in a "plan" at this time.

    Again, too far in advance for this to have any value as a plan right now, sorry!

    As I said, you're thinking too far in advance. For now, just keep your GPA up, and, if you're in a 2-year institution, plan on transferring to a 4 year college at some point. Pre-med students can absolutely have lives in college - it's all about time management and prioritizing. Again, I'm glad you're interested in medicine, but you have a long journey ahead of you, and you will need to adjust or reevaluate your plan as you go.
     
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  4. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    Don't worry, I am not asking from you. Someone who's been through it. I am asking if anyone has taken a similar path and thinks it's ideal for become a doctor versus another major I haven't considered.
     
  5. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    Yeah I agree with volunteering completely, getting my EMT-B will allow me to do so before I get my associates, I need to shadow some more. I will be getting my bachelor's degree as noted above, bachelor's dual major in emergency management and french.
     
  6. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm.
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    I concur with @WedgeDawg . I'll reiterate that you're planning to far out with too many specifics. You're not even certain that you'll stick to your major, much less which path you'll be taking a decade from now. Making plans is fine, but I'm not certain that what you've put together is particularly useful right now.

    Please make time to have fun in college. It's an opportunity to learn and do a great deal and it shouldn't be wasted gunning for medical school.
     
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  7. WonderGrill

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    Can we just ban anyone who says stuff like this? Maybe the OP really wants to get into medical school and is trying to maximize his/her chances. OP obviously didn't do that great in high school and wants to make sure that he/she has the best plan for going into college. What's wrong with that? If you don't have anything constructive to say, just close your mouth. Nobody cares about your attempts to be funny/witty on an internet forum lol.
     
  8. md-2020

    md-2020 The Immaculate Catch
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    I see that I'm the only one regarding the OP's post with incredulity. Best of luck to you all.
     
  9. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    Thank you, I really appreciate that comment towards him. Just trying to maximize my chances, appreciate bud, thanks.
     
  10. WedgeDawg

    WedgeDawg not actually a dog
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    We do get a lot of troll/spam posts on this forum for whatever reason, so I don't blame @md-2020 for being skeptical, particularly when there are noticeable lapses in grammar. However, sometimes it's better to give posters the benefit of the doubt, especially if future readers may serve to benefit.
     
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  11. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    Not to disrespect you at all and this out of the most respectful way possible. But why not gun for medical school when I have the rest of my life to get drunk at bars and pick up girls and still have a good time? Why not do my best for 12 years and then have an amazing life?
     
  12. Mr. Beefy Lion

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    Wedge you are a saint for typing all of that out
     
  13. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    I concur, he went above and beyond my expectations of a post.
     
  14. DoctorSynthesis

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    You can go to bars/ pick up girls and get into medical school. But honestly keep and open mind at this point. To early to worry about med school now
     
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  15. WedgeDawg

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    Thanks guys, always glad to help out!
     
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  16. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    Alright, if you like being a paramedic, that's fine. Just keep in mind that determining the whole course of the rest of your life based on thirty hours of shadowing may not be the best idea. Being a paramedic is very different than being a physician, and being a paramedic for a while will give you a different perspective on medicine than watching one for 30 hours. Working two twelve hour shifts may make getting good grades more difficult, just so you're aware, so be careful, as the experience you get as a paramedic will not balance out poor academic performance in any way.
    If you need money, that's fair. I had to work my way through school. It sucked, and it wasn't easy. I also worked in allied health, my associates was in respiratory therapy and I worked as an ED tech for a while while earning my AA. I'd have done a bit better if I weren't working, but more importantly, I would have had better opportunities to connect with my professors to earn the necessary LoRs later on, as well as maybe getting some time in for community service and other activities that would boost my app. French, for the record, isn't really going to help much in medicine. The number of people that speak French but not English that you come across in medicine will be very, very few. The number that you come across that speak Spanish and no English will be more than you can count. If you enjoy French, by all means, learn French, but understand that it will be of minimal to no benefit in both your application and in practicing medicine.
    Here's the thing- you know that these situations don't freak you out when you're watching, but you need to understand that it's very different when you're the one on the provider side. Not freaking out while you watch someone code and not freaking out while you're a part of the code are very different things. It is a good sign that it doesn't freak you out, but don't think that it will be the same the first time you're the one doing compressions or pushing meds. I say this more to warn you against sounding overly confident when applying for EMT jobs, and, down the line, medical school- it won't do you any favors to your potential employer or adcoms.
    Everything from this point forward is just planning too far in advance. For one, you shouldn't be thinking your top medical school material when you haven't even finished a semester of undergrad yet. Next up, you should apply with shorter gaps- your MCAT will expire after 2-3 years at most schools, meaning you'll have to do a retake (or several on your ten year plan). Finally, you've yet to shadow an emergency room physician, and really have no idea what the job or lifestyle is like, so putting all your eggs in the "rotate days/nights/weekends/evenings until I die, deal with pain seekers/drunks/druggies 24/7, keep my Press-Ganey scores up" basket is a bit farfetched. Give that some time- shadow some specialties in college and see what works.

    Finally, many premeds have plenty of time for a life in school. I wouldn't worry about being the zombie premed drone many complain about, I had a hell of a time in undergrad and ended with an excellent GPA (3.8ish) and had a great MCAT score. It's all about managing your time.

    Finally, I'd be careful going to CC for a full two years- it will substantially limit your opportunities to do research and build relationships with certain professors that will later be writing your LoRs. I went to community college and made it to medical school, but I had a lot of catching up to do since I had to try and get in bonding with science professors, research, studying for the MCAT, etc in basically a year (since you apply a year before you attend medical school). Ended up having to do it all in two years, which pushed my app back further. Go to a university as soon as possible if you can.
     
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  17. Stagg737

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    If you really think you'll have the time to go out and get drunk at bars regularly when you're a physician, you'll be in for a rude awakening when you get there. Not saying physicians don't have a life, but most of them will work somewhere between 50-60 hours per week, some will work much more. The burnout rate for physicians is through the roof compared to almost any other field. So you need to do what you can now to manage that stress and minimize your burnout. Even if you do, it'll likely happen at some point if you go into medicine.

    Plus you have to keep your professional image in mind. There's plenty of evidence out there showing that patients are less trusting of physicians who party or engage in 'high-risk' activities. Especially if a physician posts about their social life on social media (of any form). It might not be fair, but physicians are held to far higher standards of integrity and maturity than the rest of society. Living the lifestyle of a college student will not help your professionalism or how you are viewed by both patients and peers.
     
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  18. NewHorizons

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    As much as I know it seemed hurtful... you won't go far without a thick skin. You want to prove people wrong? Act like the bigger man.

    That said, rarely in life does things go according to plan. You have to acknowledge obstacles and face them when the time comes. Furthermore, you need to have the flexibility to pursue other options (maybe you don't get in after undergrad, maybe you need a post-bacc, maybe you don't get into a school you originally planned for, you may run out of money, etc......). Continue to be proactive in your future, but have some contingencies ready. I know for me things didn't follow a set plan, but my experiences helped shape who I am today and I'm thankful.

    Lastly, this journey is longer than you'll ever know until you reach that point. If you don't take some time for yourself and do things to relax, you will struggle with your mental well-being.
     
  19. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    Because you will most likely have commitments and responsibilities in your 30s that didn't exist in your 20s. There are advantages to either path, but the advantage to going to medical school right away is largely one of security for your future career and family. If you want to party hard and have a good time, do it now, don't wait, because it is nowhere near as fun nor as easy when you are older. Enjoy undergrad little dude, don't put your life on hold for the future.
     
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  20. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    I see what you mean, but I also think there are physicians out there that do have lives and have enjoyable times without it being high risk.
     
  21. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    Thank you, well explained.
     
  22. NewHorizons

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    Well of course... his point is you have to exercise discretion ... which may be hard to predict and judge into the future.
     
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  23. Stagg737

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    This^^^

    That's very true. You have to keep perception in mind though. At the level of physician or resident, going out to get drunk and pick up girls is not seen as acceptable behavior by society or oftentimes colleagues. However, those actions are seen as acceptable and sometimes encouraged for students.

    The other point is that burnout is very, very real and unfortunately very, very common. I'll be starting my second year Monday and I already felt a certain amount of burnout in the spring. It happens to almost everyone at some point, and if all you do is work for 12 years and don't take any time to enjoy yourself at all points along the way, burnout will likely hit sooner and harder. I'm not trying to tell you not to bust your butt. I'm just saying you should balance it and take time to have fun and maybe be dumb while it's still acceptable. It will most likely help you far more than it will hurt in the long run.
     
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  24. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    I will take that into consideration, thank you.
     
  25. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    ;) Ill show you haha.... I can relax when I am dead. Just kidding, I understand the point.
     
  26. TL DR: "I'm going to plan out the next half decade of my life, because everything always goes to plan."
     
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  27. NotASerialKiller

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    To be fair, some people NEED to have a long-term plan. I wouldn't discourage the OP from planning things out, just to not go off the rails if things don't go according to his plan. Don't be afraid to adapt your goals based on what you experience in your first year of college.

    I'm less sympathetic towards people who post "Hi I'm 16 and I'm going to Johns Hopkins to become a paediatric neurosurgeon who can fly, when do you think I should take the MCAT to get my 46?"
     
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  28. PREDOCSIMP

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    You are pathetic and need to stop. Your post is a troll post.
     
  29. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    No sir, it's more of a rough structure and personally, to reach long-term goals in my mind I need to set things up. Not everything has gone according to plan in high school, but my doing so and putting where I want to be and how I get there is why I believe I will become successful at this someday.
     
  30. PREDOCSIMP

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    Are you considering both MD and DO?
     
  31. md-2020

    md-2020 The Immaculate Catch
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  32. PREDOCSIMP

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  33. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    Thank you, I apperciate your response. It's how I decided to graduate high school early, not everything has fallen directly into place, but it's how I keep on track to do what I want to do. But placing myself where I am now, and where I want to be. The middle may change, but it's the ideology for me.
     
  34. md-2020

    md-2020 The Immaculate Catch
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    You reported me for trolling? That's hilarious....

    How's that handsome, successful Carib grad of yours doing?
     
  35. PREDOCSIMP

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    Last I checked, that thread had nothing to do with this thread.
    You clearly have an agenda to cause trouble.
    In fact, I removed my posts.
     
  36. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    My question to you, is on my Friday night, why would I compose a 500 character thread just as a joke.... Couldn't I have just went around on the forums asking the same thing you did? Don't apologize to me, I really don't care. Lol, it's the other people you ticked off.
     
  37. NotASerialKiller

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    Trolling is posting something you're not serious about for the specific purpose of getting others in a tizzy. He's not trolling. To be fair (I'm being like, totally super fair today!) we were hard on you in that other thread, but it REALLY seemed like a troll. I'm sure we can all move on without reporting each other :D
     
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  38. PREDOCSIMP

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    Ignore him. He should be kicked. Obvious #trollforlife.
     
  39. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    No harm done here haha, I don't care. xD
     
  40. PREDOCSIMP

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    This is a professional forum. Demeaning the legitimate concerns or questions of fellow posters is not professional.
     
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  41. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    There's nothing wrong with trolling.... but on a student doctor medical forum? Lol.... This isn't targetted towards that specific one person, but who wants to troll on a forum like this?
     
  42. PREDOCSIMP

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    It is against the rules.
     
  43. grapp

    grapp Premed 1
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    Yeah, I know. I mean.... Who has a life to go do it on a forum like this? At least go do it on a forum that's not dedicated towards prepping future/potential doctors. I strongly agree when you mention it being professional.
     
  44. NotASerialKiller

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    This is probably the best (most susceptible) place to troll. A bunch of over-wound neurotic premeds are the easiest group to bait if you wanted to. But regardless, good luck in college @grapp !
     
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  45. PREDOCSIMP

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    You don't understand. IT IS AGAINST THE RULES TO TROLL.
    STOP before the HAMMER COMES. You just made my report so much more easier. You confessed.
     
    #45 PREDOCSIMP, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
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  46. ElCapone

    ElCapone Don't Lawyer Me
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    Get a girlfriend
     
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  47. NewHorizons

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    Everyone just stop....... this bickering is against the entire purpose of this thread which is a high school student looking for some guidance. @md-2020 we don't need to resort to personal attacks and bring up the past. @PREDOCSIMP there is no point in debating technicalities or semantics, while md-2020 may have crossed a blurry line we don't need to suddenly derail an entire thread for an argument that goes nowhere. None of us need to be so sensitive with one another.

    This actually does bring up an interesting point I hope @grapp can think about. There may be a possibility that your life doesn't go according to plan and you have to consider being an IMG (Caribbean or elsewhere). Don't let stigma stop you from achieving your goals, but don't be blinded by the risks either. It's good to have a plan in that context.

    Good luck.
     
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  48. Winged Scapula

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    1) Please remain on topic

    2) Trolling (amongst other things is against the TOS). However, users are expected to be civil and professional. In fact, the moderation standards are higher in hSDN due to the expected youth of the members. Therefore, comments that might "fly" in other forums are moderated here. Keep in mind that you're dealing with sensitive, emotional teenagers here when responding.

    Moving to hSDN.
     
    WedgeDawg likes this.
  49. doc05

    doc05 2K Member
    15+ Year Member

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    don't take this the wrong way... if you can only manage a 3.1 in high school, you're probably not going to get into med school.
     
    IndieRock and Hillo like this.
  50. NewHorizons

    Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    Lots of people turn their act around or acquire skill-sets to help them succeed despite weaknesses in high school. That statement is neither fair nor correct.

    The only thing you are right about is that 3.1 isn't very impressive. @grapp you will definitely have to prove yourself in the future.
     

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