Jan 5, 2014
2
0
Hi!
I'm currently in high school and am thinking about my career options. Although I am very interested in medicine and love the idea of helping people at a hospital, I really don't like too much lab work and research work.
I do like the idea of studying the human body and learning how it works as well as helping patients get better.

Is medicine a good choice for me?

Thanks!! :)
 

PapaGuava

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I'd say you cant fully decide based on our opinions, but if you have an interest in the sciences, try investing time in those types of classes possibly? You could also talk with various people involved in the medical field as well as volunteer to get some type of exposure. Fortunately, I was able to attend a high school that had a medical magnet program and I was able to be exposed to many things in medicine(careers, volunteering, etc). So, this helped me cement my decision on a major(Biology) for when I entered college, but things can change at any moment. Keep an open mind!

P.S. these are great forums, and hopefully you stick around!
 
May 10, 2013
302
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Pre-Medical
I think it would be beneficial to do some shadowing. You may find it's not the same as the 'idea of helping people at a hospital'. Or, it may reaffirm your interest and desire to pursue medicine. There's only one way to find out! Also keep in mind to shadow a few different specialties, as some of them are quite different. A lack of interest in a surgical specialty doesn't mean you're not cut out for medicine in general.

Lab work is not required... although it is beneficial and will enhance your medical school application. Have you done any research (I know you're quite young)?. I'd say try it out when you get to college. You may find that you enjoy it, and then you can continue. Or you may realize it's not for you, and you can at least say that you tried it. Most physicians in academia do some kind of research, although a lot of it is clinical and not lab based. Most physicians in private practice do not conduct research.

Lastly, keep in mind that you are not required to decide right now. You may discover a year or two into college that you'd rather pursue a different health profession, or perhaps something outside of healthcare altogether. For now, I'd say focus on getting into a college that you like and that will challenge you and provide opportunities to become involved in research and shadowing, etc. Good luck!
 

Funke

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Oct 29, 2012
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Of course medicine is a great option to do that, but you have plenty of time to look at med school, nursing, physical/occupational/speech therapy, etc. I'd recommend declaring something like "pre-health" at your college and be open to majoring in anything. Science majors don't necessarily have an upper hand above any other major; you just need your pre-requisites for whichever path you choose. Study what you fall in love with.

Make certain to shadow in these categories:
Both medical and surgical doctors in hospitals and in outpatient. (adult and pediatric)
A physical, speech, and occupational therapist.
Nurse.
Take a ride on an ambulance if you can find a company that will let you.
Shadow a dentist too. It's still a great field to get into.
Just shadow whatever else may interest you!

Some health care providers may not respond to requests, but it never hurts to call the secretary at a clinic or hospital and ask if the doctor would allow someone to shadow them. Within a few days, I got a badge for a pediatric hospital and was told I could follow any residents in the hospital that I wanted to. Most of them were very nice about it.
 

sonofva

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Aug 31, 2009
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Medicine will require you to study a lot of science. However, once you get finished with undergrad, you never have to do research again if you don't want (even in medical school).
 

MedMinded

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Jul 13, 2013
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Like others stated above, you won't know if medicine is for you until you get exposure in various fields of medicine.

1) Follow the shadowing advice that was stated previously. There are many careers in medicine that can be fulfilling and each one has its merits.

2) Take science courses to determine if you enjoy the sciences. I have a friend who realized they hated science courses and switched to business after sophomore year of college. You can't get into any type of medicine without taking various science courses, so this is always an important factor.

3) Continue hanging around these forums and read posts in the various medical fields. You can learn a lot from these forums by just reading what others discuss.
 

MedWonk

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May 13, 2010
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Hi!
I'm currently in high school and am thinking about my career options. Although I am very interested in medicine and love the idea of helping people at a hospital, I really don't like too much lab work and research work.
I do like the idea of studying the human body and learning how it works as well as helping patients get better.

Is medicine a good choice for me?

Thanks!! :)
Go volunteer at a hospital/hospice, try shadowing a physician. You'll get some idea that way. No one can answer this for you.
 

BioBeaver

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May 21, 2013
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Judging from what OP wrote; you said you like medicine and helping people, just not research or lab work. I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that you are imagining Scrubs or ER where the doctors do surgery or just diagnose patients based on symptoms. That's partly true once you actually become a physician, but the path to getting there is ALOT of research or lab work. And you really can't say you dislike research, because I'm assuming that in high school you've had no real research experience. BASICALLY, you're saying you like the idea of being a doctor, but not actual hard science (Bio, Chem, Physics, etc.)

Based on that, I'd suggest nursing or something else. Medicine is just a type of Biology, based onChemistry and Physics. You'll be miserable if you go that route.
 

mcloaf

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Jan 21, 2012
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That's partly true once you actually become a physician, but the path to getting there is ALOT of research or lab work.
The only lab work you have to do is that associated with the prereq classes. Doing research will definitely help your application to med school, but people get in without it all the time. Once you're in med school and beyond nobody is going to make you do research if you don't want to. There are plenty of med students and physicians who wouldn't be caught dead in a research lab.

I agree that if you don't find the underlying biology interesting then med school will suck, but I'm not sure OP wrote enough to conclude that about him/her yet. It's possible to dislike doing research and still like learning biology.
 

BioBeaver

Rah Virginia Mil.
May 21, 2013
402
40
IN -> VA
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The only lab work you have to do is that associated with the prereq classes. Doing research will definitely help your application to med school, but people get in without it all the time. Once you're in med school and beyond nobody is going to make you do research if you don't want to. There are plenty of med students and physicians who wouldn't be caught dead in a research lab.

I agree that if you don't find the underlying biology interesting then med school will suck, but I'm not sure OP wrote enough to conclude that about him/her yet. It's possible to dislike doing research and still like learning biology.
I'm just saying, since the OP is in high school, it's kind of impossible for him to say he hates research..... Odds are he's never experienced research.
 

mcloaf

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I'm just saying, since the OP is in high school, it's kind of impossible for him to say he hates research..... Odds are he's never experienced research.
I agree with this.
 

futuresurgeon00

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Oct 24, 2012
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Hi!
I'm currently in high school and am thinking about my career options. Although I am very interested in medicine and love the idea of helping people at a hospital, I really don't like too much lab work and research work.
I do like the idea of studying the human body and learning how it works as well as helping patients get better.

Is medicine a good choice for me?

Thanks!! :)
Speaking as someone who loves the practical aspect of medicine - make sure you are doing well with the theory as well. Do you see yourself putting in hours of work every day studying? Would you be willing to sacrifice some of your social activities to study? Are you currently getting good grades in your sciences? If you don't find you are getting good grades - do you have a plan that is able to be implemented? (Ex. tutor, extra credit, etc). I know it's a lot to think about - but liking medicine isn't the only thing. I learned that the hard way.

For me, right now - studying for sciences, isn't me. So, I volunteer at hospitals and am able to shadow surgeons and scrub in. However, during the day, I am studying business. Maybe one day, I will go back into medicine- when I am able to commit to the studying and be able to focus.

I hope this kinda helped - I noticed it went off into a "me" thing at the end..sorry :(
 
Apr 15, 2014
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How about me? My whole life I've wanted to become a doctor, I've attended presentations when I had the chance and read online or books I found in the library. I'm a Freshman in high school right now, and I don't know if I could bear the stress and work of Medical School, is it really that hard to deal with?
 

PapaGuava

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How about me? My whole life I've wanted to become a doctor, I've attended presentations when I had the chance and read online or books I found in the library. I'm a Freshman in high school right now, and I don't know if I could bear the stress and work of Medical School, is it really that hard to deal with?
You are still very early on in high school, so I wouldnt add that stress on to yourself. However, if its a small interest of yours, you can always learn more about certain careers and volunteer down the road to get a better feel for the medical field.
 

mmmcdowe

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How about me? My whole life I've wanted to become a doctor, I've attended presentations when I had the chance and read online or books I found in the library. I'm a Freshman in high school right now, and I don't know if I could bear the stress and work of Medical School, is it really that hard to deal with?
Medical school is definitely rigorous, and the best thing you can do to prepare for that is to experiment with different study strategies and try to nail down what works best for you. Some people completely flip study strategies in medical school, but the majority stick with what was good enough to get them into medical school (though modified for the structure of the educational system).
 

Mercurius

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Do you're best, general knowledge!
 
Last edited:

futuresurgeon00

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I know this thread was way back when in 2014 - but I'm currently back on the med train - or technically the dental train. I did business school for a couple of years, and now I'm heading off to dental school and hopefully seeing where that goes :)
 
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