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What You Wish You Knew

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by Carya, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Carya


    Apr 20, 2017
    Hi, I'm a current High School student, with an interest in medicine, who will be attending college by the end of this year. Although I did pretty alright in High School, I didn't do anything to prepare for a future career in medicine. So, now I'm wondering what I can do to prepare now that I'm almost out of High School.

    So really what I want to know, is what you, the college, med school, and doctoral students wished you knew or did before college, or even in college.

    Thank you for your time.
    gureum likes this.
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  3. mfrey28

    mfrey28 5+ Year Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    I wish that I had taken studying seriously.
    surprisedmed, Dr.Kat and freak7 like this.
  4. Turkishking

    Turkishking 2+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    hSDN Alumni
    Have time for yourself or else you will burn out.

    It is not fun. It is difficult to escape.
  5. rufflev


    Jun 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    Get involved early - whether it be working at a clinic, shadowing, volunteering, and/or researching.
  6. alkaidius

    alkaidius Rawr 2+ Year Member

    May 14, 2014
    Older students get first pick when selecting classes so plan your semester strategically. Research the professors whose classes you'll be taking and focus on their style of teaching. I would always read the negative comments on ratemyprofessor and consider whether I could get over it (ex: "he goes into way more detail than necessary!!!"). I'm not afraid of details and sometimes prefer them, so for me that's a plus. In my early undergrad I thought I could just muscle my way through some difficult courses and thought "how bad could it be?" Trust me. It can get bad. Some people should just not teach...
  7. Skydive Fox

    Skydive Fox Head Pilot, Star Fox Command

    Feb 20, 2016
    Get to know as many of your professors as you can. You never know what doors they can open for you.

    One of my professors invited me to work on a special research project with him, two hired me as TA's, another invited me to an event where I got to know my college's Dean and my university system's president on a personal level, and those I asked wrote me sweet LOR's whenever I needed them.

    On the other hand I know many people who didn't get to know any of their professors and were screwed over when they needed LOR's.
    surprisedmed likes this.
  8. Fyz


    Apr 20, 2017
    As a highschool student, I was more focused on ACT, SAT, PSAT and AP exams. I knew that I wanted to medicine, but really didn't do anything to specifically prepare for getting into a medical field of profession. I did do the shadowing of dentists and surgeons and doctors once in a while and Bi-Weekly volunteering at the hospital, but that was about it. Oh, I did take AP human anatomy and AP Psychology as well so that might have prepared me for the medical field.

    I attended Universi of Minnesota and majored in Cell Biology. When I wasn't in class or studying, I spent much time volunteering and shadowing. I also did research for years 2 & 3 with one of my classmates and handled to create a publishable paper, but didn't publish. Also prepare for MCAT or DAT. I did take both, but focused more so on DAT. Now that I look at it as a 3rd year Dental student, I feel that was very stupid. I got a mediocre score but also wasted a lot of money...

    Don't kill yourself overly trying to prepare for a medical field of profession. After all, you're only in high school. Have fun with friends and family. Try new things while you can. You will miss those days when you go off to college...

    Hope this helps!:)

  9. AttemptingScholar


    Apr 1, 2016
    Ask upperclassmen at your school this question, too. They'll have a lot of advice about what classes are good and which aren't. Have an idea going in of who you'd like to be--it was important to me that I could (infrequently, like once a month) spend a whole day just doing something random for fun.

    I like paper schedules. Computer schedules might work for you. Just put everything in one--no saying you'll remember it by yourself or having different schedules for different aspects of your life. It doesn't work.
  10. aformerstudent

    aformerstudent probationary status 4life Banned Account on Hold

    Mar 7, 2017
    HS provides you a cushion. The real world is very unforgiving. Develop a SOLID work ethic during those HS years and you will be set for life.
    surprisedmed likes this.
  11. gureum


    Mar 17, 2017
    how can i make my studying as efficient as possible?
  12. AttemptingScholar


    Apr 1, 2016
    Again, I swear by summarizing in whichever way works best for you without looking at the material and checking it later. Try and avoid cramming--a little bit each night reviewing, say, what you learned today and what you learned a week ago. Keep up a review. I've found my college studying involves group more than high school did, which is pretty common. It's difficult to just ask people to study, but it's great for college, so in HS it might benefit you to practice studying in groups without being distracted. In groups, I like attempting to explain things.
    gureum likes this.
  13. JustPlainBill

    JustPlainBill Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    Make sure you are doing this for the right reasons -- not because of family expectations or an uneducated idea of what being a doctor is like ("I just want to help people") or for any other reason. Right now most people in HS don't know what they really want to do and you should expect to change majors a few times in college. I have just gone through this with my college age son who wanted to be a surgeon since he was in 6th grade --- after some introspection he realized he was going into medicine for the wrong reasons and is now following his passion as a pre-law student. Don't lock yourself in but keep your options open and see if this is really what you want to do....
    surprisedmed likes this.
  14. Luka75

    Luka75 La logique, Fais-en ton seul outil Silver Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2015
    221 B Baker street
    If possible, make sure your professors know you well.
  15. Vitani

    Vitani 5+ Year Member

    May 18, 2012
    Pre-meds in real life aren't as neurotic as pre-meds here seem. Don't. Be. Neurotic.
    Also, no one likes a teachers pet, not even the professor. If you want to sit in the front row because you learn better from there or you have bad eyesight or something then fine, but don't sit there to be a gunner and make an impression. Seriously. My grades dramatically improved when I started sitting towards the middle of the room and gave up my neurotic tendencies.

    That said, do make friends with your professors. Ideally starting by being a respectful student, and take advantage of their office hours.

    Be in clubs, go out and get drunk, have fun. When you get into med school you will have less time.

    Finally, jump through hoops. This might be bad advice for some people, but I look at this whole undergrad and application process and such as a set of hoops to jump through to get to med school. Each test is just another hoop, each day of studying is another hoop. If you're willing to jump through hoops you arenthat much closer to your goal.
    This is advice from me because I don't get frustrated or annoyed at having to jump through hoops. I have absolutely no problems with jumping though hoops. Others abhor hoop jumping and should not look at it this way.

    Oh, and look up the pancake analogy to studying. It really resonates with me and made those long nights studying a lot of material easier. Just gotta eat those pancakes.
    AttemptingScholar likes this.
  16. AttemptingScholar


    Apr 1, 2016

    I will say, I tend to go on SDN once a year (the end of the school year). Too much time on this site, which can often be critical, dismissive, egotistical, and caught in perpetual one-upmanship and humblebragging, is not super great for mental health. I don't do the clubbing and drinking thing, but I do enjoy playing board games until past midnight and collecting wall posters that I have no clue what I'll do with over the summer as I live nowhere near my school.

    IRL Problems > Imaginary Online Successes
  17. Medic741


    Jan 18, 2017
    Do what you love. I discovered that my 'happy place' is in the back of an ambulance with a crashing vented patient. Chased that passion into research in the field of disaster medicine, and that lead to Army HPSP, and finally at a point that I'm happy with where my life went. All of that because I did what I loved, and I did my best to excel and be a professional.

    If you can follow this advice, you'll stand out from the pack. This was given to me by a mentor who was a USAF Col. who trained fighter jet pilots in air-air combat. Pretty amazing guy. His advice was:

    No matter what you're doing, do it well.

    Imagine a USAF fighter jet pilot picking up sticks around an airfield because someone asked him to, with the attitude of: someone asked me to pick up these sticks, so I'm going to be the best at picking up sticks. Guy lived his entire life with that humble attitude, and it really shows.

    So... when you're starting your academic career, and someone asks you to do something, you do it, and you be sure that you did it well.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
    Skydive Fox likes this.
  18. FlameBroiledDoc


    Feb 9, 2017
    You need to find out if you want to be a doctor before you worry about whether you have what it takes and how. As high a mountain to climb as admission to medical school is, it's the forty years afterwards that matter. Talk to doctors, talk to people in all kinds of professions, identify your interests and your skills. The world is your proverbial oyster.

    And remember, school is about learning the three R's, but college is about avoiding the three R's: risk, responsibility, and reality. Make friends with people from diverse backgrounds. Travel, live life, fall in and out of love.

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