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I live on a hospital ship in Africa! Well, that's how I'm spending my senior year anyways. I'm in a weird "practicum/prepping for college" situation. I'm an American citizen and have grown up in Texas. I've always wanted to go into "medicine" but after seeing it in action here on the ship, I have decided I want to be an MD. It's just such a daunting road...

So, I'm planning on attending a private Liberal Arts College which doesn't give any degree except for "Liberal Arts" and possibly transferring out after a year to a school where I can get a Bachelors of Science. However I have these concerns about the first school:

-It is a VERY rigorous school, and it's virtually impossible to get a 4.0. The teachers just don't give out perfect scores. I am pretty sure if toss my social life in the trash can I could get a little bit higher then a 3.5. Would it be wise to attend a state school which I am pretty confident I could get higher grades in..? I could also graduate with a Bachelors of Science if I do that.

There's a short version of my anxiety, please help me out with whatever advice YOU wish you had been given as a high school senior (Med School Admissions, Interviews, Shadowing, Undergrad, MCAT, Literally Anything.)
 

TwoHighways

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What is your reason for wanting to attend a private, liberal arts college over a state school? Assuming your parents aren't paying for your education, why accumulate any more debt than necessary to obtain your BA/BS? My advice would be to stop worrying so much and choose your major based on what you love learning about. Whatever piques your intellectual curiousity. Don't look too far ahead. Take care of what you need to be doing today. It's glib to say this, but the time will pass. Obsessing/ruminating/worrying over distant things is counterproductive. And honestly, you don't need the best academic pedigree in the world to become a pediatrician.
 
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LizzyM

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And honestly, you don't need the best academic pedigree in the world to become a pediatrician.

But you do need a good GPA to get into medical school. And the rigor of the school counts for something but doesn't always make up for the hit that one's GPA will take at a place like UChicago.
 
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TwoHighways

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But you do need a good GPA to get into medical school. And the rigor of the school counts for something but doesn't always make up for the hit that one's GPA will take at a place like UChicago.

The better you do, the more options you'll have, and I didn't mean to offend any pediatricians out there by my comment (I'm strongly considering a pediatric subspecialty myself, the patient population is awesome). If I were in this kid's shoes, I'd toss out the private liberal arts school by the debt incurred alone and go to a state university. Texas has a lot of relatively affordable options. You just don't need to gun for a 4.0 and 520+ MCAT to become a pediatrician. If the kid isn't hung up on the MD/DO thing, a 3.5 and 505 with good EC's would almost assure him a DO acceptance somewhere.
 

LizzyM

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The better you do, the more options you'll have, and I didn't mean to offend any pediatricians out there by my comment (I'm strongly considering a pediatric subspecialty myself, the patient population is awesome). If I were in this kid's shoes, I'd toss out the private liberal arts school by the debt incurred alone and go to a state university. Texas has a lot of relatively affordable options. You just don't need to gun for a 4.0 and 520+ MCAT to become a pediatrician. If the kid isn't hung up on the MD/DO thing, a 3.5 and 505 with good EC's would almost assure him a DO acceptance somewhere.

Don't assume that a kid has money problems. Also don't assume that the tuition is huge. If the school is the one I'm thinking of with no grades, no majors, etc. the tuition is $7K for in-state and <$26K for out-of-state.
 

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- You don't need a BS to get into medical school. Nor do you need a fancy schmancy liberal arts degree. Choose a major that interests you (and will provide a fall back plan) and go from there
- All else being equal, minimizing debt is a good thing
- Regardless of what major you choose and where you go, you will need good grades to be competitive for medical school. So avoid overloading your schedule with classes and ECs (especially initially) to give yourself the best chance of succeeding
- While tentatively pursuing medicine, keep an open mind about other careers as well.
- Approach college as yet another opportunity to grow
- Have some fun and experience life, but not so much that you vomit in your dorm's hallway, get caught awkwardly cleaning it up (and realistically just making it worse by spreading and smoothing out the vomitus), and then wondering for the next few years about whether it constitutes an IA.

All general advice of course.
 
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- Have some fun and experience life, but not so much that you vomit in your dorm's hallway, get caught awkwardly cleaning it up (and realistically just making it worse by spreading and smoothing out the vomitus), and then wondering for the next few years about whether it constitutes an IA.

All general advice of course.

I feel like there is a back story to this one. ;)
 
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Medstart108

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I live on a hospital ship in Africa! Well, that's how I'm spending my senior year anyways. I'm in a weird "practicum/prepping for college" situation. I'm an American citizen and have grown up in Texas. I've always wanted to go into "medicine" but after seeing it in action here on the ship, I have decided I want to be an MD. It's just such a daunting road...

So, I'm planning on attending a private Liberal Arts College which doesn't give any degree except for "Liberal Arts" and possibly transferring out after a year to a school where I can get a Bachelors of Science. However I have these concerns about the first school:

-It is a VERY rigorous school, and it's virtually impossible to get a 4.0. The teachers just don't give out perfect scores. I am pretty sure if toss my social life in the trash can I could get a little bit higher then a 3.5. Would it be wise to attend a state school which I am pretty confident I could get higher grades in..? I could also graduate with a Bachelors of Science if I do that.

There's a short version of my anxiety, please help me out with whatever advice YOU wish you had been given as a high school senior (Med School Admissions, Interviews, Shadowing, Undergrad, MCAT, Literally Anything.)

I would attend whatever school you were planning on attending originally. Nothing about a LAC is going to stop you from getting into medical school if you choose. At worst it could delay you, or it could mean you get into a less competitive medical school, but none of that is a serious detriment either. You still don't know if you want to become a doctor yet, so keep things open and explore in college. Study hard, have some social life but don't go overboard. Transferring to a state school with the intention of having an easier time rarely turns out well. I actually rarely see anyone who has transferred into an easier school or program in medical school. You are still in high school, don't worry about the finer details of setting yourself up for medical school just yet.
 
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There's a short version of my anxiety, please help me out with whatever advice YOU wish you had been given as a high school senior (Med School Admissions, Interviews, Shadowing, Undergrad, MCAT, Literally Anything.)

Basically, my motivation for going to the Liberal Arts School is that my parents want me to go there, and they are paying tuition. That's something I simply can't take lightly. They might be willing to help me out at another school, but I'd have to like "convince them" and I don't know if you guys remember high school but that doesn't usually work? (It's also one of the least expensive private colleges in the US)

I'm just high key stressing, guys. Did any of you feel like you had to have it all figured out beforehand, or you'd fail???
 
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