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Dec 8, 2016
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Hi everyone, I am currently a junior in high school. I have an interest to go into Emergency Medicine. I do understand the mental work pressure/ work ethic that specific field demands of. I'd like to have some advice or honest criticism through this :)
I have a boyfriend who is very intelligent, charismatic, and talented. He is a first year at a competitive college (0.8% acceptance rate), double majoring in both pre-med and a music degree. Throughout high school I've known him to always be studious, yet making time to be devoted in extracurricular and other programs. He's someone I could never be...
I do not have the best nor worse grades. I would say I'm an average student, but lacking in any talents whatsoever. Competitive colleges won't be happening for me :c. I have a passion for giving without receiving and have always dreamed of becoming an aid worker in disastrous situations. Being in Emergency Medicine would be beneficial for this type of volunteer work; specifically looking towards MSF (& I plan to work in hospitals, and later save for aid working). Being under pressure gives me the push to focus/work harder and a fast paced environment makes me more alert.
The thing is, my family and him, they perceive me through:
I love reading, fashion, plushies = As if I cannot be down to earth with subjects as sciences and math.
They probably never imagined me to consider becoming a doctor. I will be the first in my family to have an education in college. I don't share my doctor plans to anyone, because my studies aren't spectacular even though I do work my hardest.
I love them dearly, but I am afraid to share my plans and dreams. I am afraid of failing to reach it. And although they will be supportive of me no matter what. I not only want to prove something I can achieve, but to also show that one can be in the clouds with their feet still on the ground. My boyfriend, I know, he's fine with me picking up a laid back career and imagines me being the stay home mom ;P. But he doesn't know this side of me: Inspired and motivated because of his encouragements/ambitions and my wish to make an impact and be successful too.
I know dreams won't get me there, but I do need advice on what to focus on to be prepared for this.
And also if my dream sounds too far fetched?
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm grateful to finally be open about this :)


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7+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2012
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Everything always starts with a dream. Few dreams are too far fetched (if you said you wanted to be a dinosaur, I'd say that would be a little far fetched)

Your high school performance has little to no impact on your ability to be a physician (the only real impact it has is your high school work ethic tends to carryover to college, and your high school performance influences where you get into college as well). Honestly your choice of college gets factored in a bit for medical school admissions, but your overall college GPA, grades in pre-med courses, and your MCAT have far more impact, so even if you go to a community college then a 4-year university, medical school can very well still be on the table. But, and I say this from experience (I didn't care about grades in HS), you really do want to get your act together in college and get that really good GPA. Of course, extracurricular stuff like volunteering and other relevant experience is also extremely important for your application.

Any career you want to do right now is on the table--you just have to go to college and get the right degree (there's no "right" degree for medicine, like there is for being a mechanical engineer, pre-meds can, and should, major in whatever they want), and for medicine in particular, get very good grades (aim for 3.7 or higher ideally).

There's nothing wrong with liking fashion and plushies, particularly at your age. Many of my colleagues (all in their upper 20's, lower 30's) are into fashion. Plenty of people are still into fashion into old age. I actually don't really know what plushies are--I'm assuming fuzzy pillows/animals?

I think you may be surprised at how supportive your family will be if this is what you really want to do. Nothing bad comes out of you thinking about different careers and trying on different "hats" until you find the career that's right for you. You could very well decide you want to be a stay at home mom, or you may decide you want to be a rocket scientist.

Don't put too much thought into what your boyfriend thinks, one way or another--you may end up marrying him, but most people dating in high school don't stay together. This in in large part because you're still growing and changing, and sometimes people just drift apart or decide they have different needs/wants. That's ok and it's a normal part of growing up. It's how you figure out what you want in a future spouse. My HS girlfriend and I stayed together for most of college and I unfortunately cared a bit too much about the careers she had in mind for me. It worked out great in the end (we broke up, then I met my wife, and I pursued medicine), but you have to pursue what's right for you. If your boyfriend really cares for you, he'll support you doing what you want to do. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

I'd encourage you to shadow some ER physicians to get an idea of what they do. You could also consider shadowing some social workers, psychologists, and similar professions that could be a good fit for your personality.


Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell
5+ Year Member
Dec 3, 2015
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Like RangerBob said above, everything starts with a dream. I am also a high school student considering medicine and I consider myself not "incredibly intelligent" student; and I still think you should dream :) You still have junior year, senior year, and college to figure out if medicine is for you. Medicine requires dedication, but outside of medicine, I am sure doctors have their own hobbies and activities besides working. I consider myself pretty girly. I like fashion, cute things, and a little superficial ahaha. I don't think it hinders me from my dream at all, so I would encourage you to pursue your dream! It is really exciting to be a first generation student! You are going to be an adult soon. Defy gender stereotypes of women being home-makers if you are ambitious! Strive for success and personal satisfaction because at the end of the day, it is your life. Keep your grades up and good luck!


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2+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2017
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Except for making it as a pro athlete, there's no dream that's impossible with hard work and determination (you need genetics to be an athlete). The only piece of advice I wish I'd received at your age is that we follow our feelings for things we should think long and hard about (career, houses, cars), and tend to overthink in matters of the heart.

If you're passionate about helping people in a crisis, ER medicine might or might not be for you. But volunteering where you can is only a good thing, for your prospects, your perspective, your character, and the people who need help most.