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Advice for high school senior interested in pediatrics?

Discussion in 'Pediatrics' started by doglover21, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. doglover21

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    I was just wondering if I could get y'alls opinion on something. I am about to start my senior year of high school, and have been thinking about going down the pre-med path to become a pediatrician. I am most likely going to end up attending Baylor University in the fall of 2016. I also have the minimum requirements to be apart of the Honors Program and have been invited to attend the "Distinguished Honors Day". They do not have pre-med as a major, but they have many options for you to get the required courses for medical school. During high school I realized that my passion is young children, and helping others. I have looked into many job titles but pediatrics just seems right for me, but I am open to other jobs as well that I may not know about. I am a pretty dedicated student and currently have a GPA of around 3.88/4.0 at a very competitive public school in Texas. I have always tried very hard in most of all my classes. I wouldn't say I was a genius, I just make good grades because I try very hard. I made a 30/36 on my ACT, and a 1220 on my SAT with just the two scores (I focused more on the ACT). I have volunteered many times with kids so I'm certain I would love that about the job. The only thing is I don't have much experience in the medical field. I have always been very interested in hospitals, and all of the medical terminology for as long as I can remember. I have the stomach to witness the goriness of the surgeries and procedures, I just don't feel I would be able to actually hold the scalpel, and I believe being a pediatrician is not so much about needles? I could be wrong. I was wondering if you think this would be a good path for me to go down (pre-med), and if there is any advice you would give me? I was also curious how people balance family/friends with pre-med/medical school ect. Thank you so much for your time!
     
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  3. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
    Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    It's great that you think you want to go to medical school, and maybe even be a pediatrician :)

    That being said, keep an open mind all along the way. There are a lot of ways in the world to work with kids and a lot of ways to "help people"--not to be over-dramatic, but there's a huge difference between volunteering with kids and telling a kid's parents that their child is dying, so you need to make sure that's really the job you want. To that end, most schools will have a pre-med interest group which generally will set up some volunteering or shadowing opportunities for their students, and I would try and use those opportunities in the first couple of years of college to give you an idea of what working in medicine is really about (plus this medical experience is essentially a requirement for admission). If you do decide to go to medical school, again keep an open mind, as plenty of people found that they fell in love with a specialty that they did not expect.

    Your major really doesn't matter in college--what does matter is your grades. You're going to need to find a way to balance getting medical experience with doing as well as you can in your classes in college. While extracurriculars are important for building a compelling application, it's very easy to overload yourself, tank a semester of classes, and wind up in a big hole as far as your GPA, so you need to be careful about overextending yourself.

    I think a lot of your other questions (like how to balance family/friends and college, and more information about getting medical experience) have probably been answered in the pre-allopathic forum, and it should be fairly easy to search for some threads that can help you. Good luck.
     
  4. Obnoxious Dad

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    Let me give you some heartfelt advice. Based on previous studies I've seen, your ACT and SAT scores indicate that you can obtain an MCAT score that will get a Texas resident into med school. The trick is to get grades that are high enough. Unfortunately, medical school admissions officers do not adjust, normalize or handicap college transcripts to account for the varying rigor of undergraduate colleges or majors. It is almost entirely a numbers game with a little fluff thrown in. You need to be shrewd about this.

    Find out what the 75th percentile ACT and SAT scores are at Baylor. If your scores aren't in the top quartile, you need to avoid Baylor. You have to curb stomp your competition in science classes. You want to be the most talented kid in every class. Furthermore, if you have to borrow a lot of money to go to a private undergraduate college like Baylor, you'll hate yourself later. How about Texas Tech?

    Take as many tough science classes as you can as a high school senior but don't take them for advance placement credit. You want your freshman year of college to be as easy as possible. It should be a repeat of high school so that you can get a 4.0 out of the chute.

    As you progress play "pick a prof" and avoid the tough graders. Don't schedule for convenience. Schedule for your GPA. Get in some research and community activities. They might be stupid, but they won't be a waste of time.
     
  5. mvenus929

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    1. Don't major in pre-med. Even if you go to a school with that as an option. It's the worst degree ever. If you're interested, do biology like most other pre-meds. Or do something else, like English, Psychology, Archeology, whatever.

    2. Explore other interests. Look at being a nurse, a lab tech, a child life specialist, a physical therapist (or occupational, or speech), a PA, etc. There are plenty of other jobs in the medical field that allow you exposure to children... or not. The worst thing is having your mind so wrapped around being a physician that you don't see the other routes until you pass them by.

    3. Study hard. Medical school is hard, residency is hard, and college is hard to try to make it to the next step. You need to be at the top of your class to move on to medical school, which will require some sacrifices. You just have to figure out if you're willing to make them. People who become physicians are wonderful at delayed gratification. You might not have it so bad if you stick it out in Texas, but if you go to a private school...
     

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