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I need guidance!

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by Emerica, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Emerica

    2+ Year Member

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    Hey guys (and girls),

    I am a new member on these forums and I am still in high school, I am a junior right now but I am 100% sure I want to be a doctor, a surgeon to be specific, and I have done a lot of research on what path to take and what to do but I want real-world anecdotes and advice from people that have been through the process.

    I know grades are a big deal so here they are as of now:
    Freshman year - 2 B's and I took 1 AP class, the rest honors
    Sophomore year - All A's and I took 2 AP classes, the rest honors
    First semester of Junior year - All A's with 5 AP classes (this semester just ended btw). I plan to get another set of straight A's in the upcoming semester as well.

    As a student I am extremely determined and rather competitive. I am number 1 in my class and will definitely be graduating valedictorian.

    Now that my background is out of the way, I would like for some direction. I have looked at BS/MD programs and traditional programs but I am at a loss as to what to choose. I like the idea of BS/MD because one does not have to take the MCAT which I hear is extremely hard. I do not plan on getting lazy when I go to college but the stress that is eliminated when the MCAT is taken out of the equation seems like it is well worth it. I am almost certain I want to be a surgeon and thus if I do choose the BS/MD route, which medical school would be best for a career in surgery?

    I would also like to add that I live in Florida and in Florida alone there are 3 BS/MD programs that I know of: University of South Florida, University of Florida, and University of Miami. By going to school in Florida I would save money but if the education is better elsewhere, I do not mind taking out loans because I am passionate about pursuing a medical career.

    Furthermore, I know BS/MD programs take volunteering into consideration and I will have over 125 volunteer hours by the end of this year but I would like to know where to volunteer for health-specific hours that will look good in the eyes of medical schools. Should I volunteer at the hospital closest to me over the summer? This volunteering would not just be for the hours, I really want to get experience and spend time in a medical environment.

    I would also like to mention that I would be the first doctor in my family, this is why I need guidance from people that actually have first-hand experience.

    I would like to thank you in advance for even reading this rather long post and for any help you can provide.


    -Travis
     
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  3. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
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    Keep up with volunteering. You should shadow a few physicians to confirm medicine is your calling. Also, you need to have a solid score on your SAT exams. So start studing, if you already haven't for that.

    You're on the right track, congrats on your accomplishments thus far!
     
  4. tennisball80

    tennisball80 Membership Revoked
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  5. Emerica

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    Thanks for the replies so far but how would I go about shadowing a physician? I know I want to be in the medical field but it would be awesome to shadow a surgeon, if that is even possible.
     
  6. Caesar

    Caesar In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Okay Emerica let me see what I can do to help.

    BS/MD programs are sometimes a polarizing issue on SDN. Some people love them, some people hate them. I never considered them so I can do my best to be objective. What I understand is that the number of them is decreasing which may say something. I know of a student who went through and loved it and one who dropped out. Both are still going to be doctors. I tend to feel that traditional 4+4 work best and allow you to enjoy college more. I think you still have to take the MCAT for some BS/MD programs and they have a min you have to get. I could be wrong there. We have a FAQ about BS/MD programs you may want to check out.

    Your grades and everything look great. so there isn't much to comment on there.

    Volunteering for high schoolers can be more difficult. I recommend nursing homes as they seem to be the most receptive. As far as shadowing you could ask your personal physician and if that doesn't work some hospitals have programs, you could try that too. Then if that doesn't work you just need to cold call physicians and tell them you are interested in medicine and would like to shadow them to see what it is like to be a doctor.

    It is possible to shadow a surgeon but being under 18 I am not sure if your state would allow you to observe any surgery, maybe just pre/post Op rounding.
     
  7. Emerica

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    Wow Caesar thanks for all of that information! I guess I will need to keep my eyes open and once I start applying I will be able to better narrow it down.
     
  8. CScull

    CScull Is Positive, O Positive
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    It's probably a good idea to ask about the BS/MD program when you go on school tours as well. You might want to check ahead and see if you can talk to some students in the program at the college also, and see what their take on the program is.
     
  9. Insulinshock

    Insulinshock Class of 2022
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    Hey Travis,

    Sounds like you got your **** together, good job. Just be cautious about the BS/MD programs, and make sure you know what you're doing when you sign up for it.

    Also, try and enjoy high school and college. Assuming you go through with it school will consume you for the next 15 or so years. Just make sure you get out and enjoy your years in high school and college as they arguably the best of your life. Don't let school ruin your social life.

    Take er easy. Good luck.

    IS
     
  10. Emerica

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    When you say "be cautious" do you think it would be a better idea to do it the traditional way?
     

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