Senior in High School...want a headstart.

Alucinor

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As the title may have hinted, I'm a HS Senior, interested in becoming a doctor. =P

To make this short and sweet, I want to know what I should be reading. I have a lot of free time in this small, rural town and I figure I may as well be doing something worthwhile with it. So, I'm interested in some good books to start me on my way to med-school and becoming a doctor.

Thanks. =]
 

psipsina

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Go to the science section of your bookstore or library and find some books about biology, chemistry and physics that interest you. There are tons of interesting books out there and it will give you a bit of a background for you pre-med classes.
 

Docere

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Yes, you should get a head start on the science and knowledge it takes to get into med school.

But if you want to look even further ahead, I'd recommend you read some books about med students and doctors, just so you know what to expect. I highly recommend The Soul of a Doctor.

Educate yourself on the topics that plague healthcare systems today. Insurance, healthcare policies, ethical issues, etc.
 

aebvd97

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While it won't hurt to make sure you read and understand "what it takes to get into med school," I would take your free time and do things you enjoy. If you like Harry Potter, well by God read Harry Potter and the like. You have several years, and though it's nice to get a head start...you may be looking too far ahead! Enjoy your time off now! Cheers!
 

pharm B

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If you have the time, I'd start reading some light books for your sciences. Pick up "Chemistry for Dummies" for example. Just go through it and start making those memories.

You're going to use basic chemistry in high school and again in college, so it doesn't hurt to be a step ahead of your classmates.
 

phospho

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While it won't hurt to make sure you read and understand "what it takes to get into med school," I would take your free time and do things you enjoy. If you like Harry Potter, well by God read Harry Potter and the like. You have several years, and though it's nice to get a head start...you may be looking too far ahead! Enjoy your time off now! Cheers!

:thumbup:
 
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kdburton

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That'd sure be tough before taking the pre-req's... :eek:

I took physics, chemistry and biology in high school. Chem/Phys were both on par with the difficulty of the MCAT in my opinion, and Bio maybe a little less.
 

XiL

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I took some AP courses. Would I be able to go through EK and MCAT exam prep. without the actual classes?
 

MilkmanAl

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I agree with that. You've learned a very small percentage of the material the MCAT tests on, at best. What I would do if I were you is buy the big honkin' all-in-one MCAT study guide by Examkrackers and study the material as you take it in college. An overall review won't do you a lot of good until you've taken almost all of the pre-reqs.
 

KempDrumsalot

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I agree with that. You've learned a very small percentage of the material the MCAT tests on, at best. What I would do if I were you is buy the big honkin' all-in-one MCAT study guide by Examkrackers and study the material as you take it in college. An overall review won't do you a lot of good until you've taken almost all of the pre-reqs.

I actually was going to do the same thing you are suggesting. :thumbup:
 

MilkmanAl

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That's the one! Everyone seems to think that's the best all-in-one book. I used Princeton Review and did well, but I guess there are lots of problems with it. Go figure.
 

KempDrumsalot

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That's the one! Everyone seems to think that's the best all-in-one book. I used Princeton Review and did well, but I guess there are lots of problems with it. Go figure.

There are some really negative reviews on this book. Are they just bitter?
 

MilkmanAl

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I'm not sure, for I've never used it. That's just the one that gets recommended most often. I read a few of the reviews, and most of them are totally opinion-based and factually useless, written from a skewed perspective, or both. I particularly enjoyed the "WTF? The author was a history major. He only got a 34 on the MCAT while I got a 37! What could he possibly teach me?!!!" review. Granted, the positive reviews are equally insubstantial, but with 95 reviews and a 4-star rating, you should be okay. The Princeton Review book I used barely cracked 2 stars, and I did quite well. The fact is that a book of that size is going to have some mistakes and possibly some misleading information. It happens. As long as you have a solid grasp on the high points of the material - things that almost certainly won't be screwed up - you should be in great shape.
 

kdburton

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I'm not sure, for I've never used it. That's just the one that gets recommended most often. I read a few of the reviews, and most of them are totally opinion-based and factually useless, written from a skewed perspective, or both. I particularly enjoyed the "WTF? The author was a history major. He only got a 34 on the MCAT while I got a 37! What could he possibly teach me?!!!" review. Granted, the positive reviews are equally insubstantial, but with 95 reviews and a 4-star rating, you should be okay. The Princeton Review book I used barely cracked 2 stars, and I did quite well. The fact is that a book of that size is going to have some mistakes and possibly some misleading information. It happens. As long as you have a solid grasp on the high points of the material - things that almost certainly won't be screwed up - you should be in great shape.

I loved Exam Krackers personally. I also bought the Audio Osmosis CDs that go hand-in-hand with it (listened to them while running, etc) and the Verbal 101 book by the same people (because that was my weakest subject). It was highly recommended by other people personally to me and I've always recommended it to people who in turn did well enough on the MCAT to get into med school
 

Depakote

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I wouldn't look at MCAT review materials until you've actually taken the coursework.

The idea behind the books is to help highlight key concepts in material you've already mastered through college level coursework (hence review). You can't teach yourself from these books. It would be a waste to try.

I'd recommend taking things one step at a time. Focus on getting into college and then mastering your college coursework. If you get a good foundation there, you'll do just fine on the MCAT.
 

gopher22

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I've always enjoyed reading the Annals of Medicine section of the New Yorker.

The Annals of Medicine articles are good. I'd recommend going to Barnes and Noble to the science section and picking out some interesting books that have a mixed historical and academic perspective.

It's probably not beneficial to start memorizing equations and studying for the MCAT. You'll have six straight years of science thrown at you--much of which you will not remember verbatim--so you will have to learn to take in information as it comes.

Use your last months of high school to get some broader perspective!
 

CScull

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Quick slightly random almost on topic question... we've been doing a lot of the medical terminology in school (tarso-ankle, megal-enlarged kind of stuff) is that something I should keep handy and filed somewhere (in my head and on paper) or something not to worry about?

I'm a HS Junior by the way.
 

phorun

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Honestly. I promise. Any stuff they want you to know in medical school they will teach you in medical school. Remember that people get into medical school with arts degrees, engineering degrees, and biology degrees so in terms of what sort of background reading in that sense, I wouldn't worry too much at all.

Now, if you want to get ahead for undergrad, read your high school textbooks. Know them well so that when a prof builds on a high school concept you can go "oh, okay that makes sense.":idea: I promise you, a solid high school base will help your undergrad GPA.

Other reading? Whatever interests you. There's lots of books out there about doctors, which are fun to read. Vincent Lam's Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures is probably my favourite. Also check out some books by Atul Gawande, Complications or Better, which are also fascinating.

One other suggestion for all that free time... make friends with the doctors in your town so that you can get some shadowing done!:D
 

GZA

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The mega prefix does not always have an attached l. I did not know "medical" jargon until medical school, and did just fine. If it interests you though, by all means. If you shadow a physician you perhaps can impress with your superior communication abilities (compared to peers).
 

CScull

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The mega prefix does not always have an attached l. I did not know "medical" jargon until medical school, and did just fine. If it interests you though, by all means. If you shadow a physician you perhaps can impress with your superior communication abilities (compared to peers).

Thanks, good to know.
 

Turtle01

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Whatever you do, don't look at MCAT prep books. Jesus. All you would be doing is scaring the crap out of yourself when you realize it all looks like jibberish. Go fishing, play some football, and if you are feeling particularly nerdy get a college intro biology book and read a few chapters. Otherwise you will be doing yourself a disservice.
 
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