Are you a high-school student who wants to learn how to become a doctor?
If so, you probably are interested in learning how to develop your interest, how to become competitive and how to make sure this field is for you.
Well then, you are in the right place!
In this post, I’m going to tell you all of the things you should know if you’re in high school and you want to become a doctor.
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Helpful Tips for High School Students On How To Become A Doctor
This post is dedicated for all of you youngins who want to become a practicing medical doctor but are still far away from achieving it.
If you want to know what you should do now to get to this point and how to build interest in medicine, I’m going to bring the process down into several steps.
Let’s get right into it!
Step #1: Stop Trying To Be Impressive
If you are a high school student who wants to become a doctor, get away from this idea of trying to be impressive!
One of the most detrimental qualities for anyone trying to go into medicine is being too focused on trying to make sure your test is sticking out the whole time.
You may want to make sure people know of your academic and research prowess and community service, and that’s fine.
It’s okay to be impressive, but you have to make sure you’re not trying to work very hard to look impressive.
If you’re asking how you can look impressive for med school, I’d say it’s a little too early to ask for that and it’s also sort of the wrong idea.
You need to ask what to do to be a competitive applicant and not just about being impressive. That’s where your focus should be.
So get out of that mindset! It’s really about gaining experience and making sure you’re doing the right things now.
That way, when you eventually go to college as well as medical school, you have the right habits and the right systems in place.
Again, the first tip on how to become a doctor is getting out of this mode of being impressive.
Tip #2: Perfect Your Long-Term Study System
The second tip is probably one of the things that you should really focus on. That is, to perfect your study system so you can focus on long-term retention.
In high school, you can probably get away with cramming the night before and still ace your exams. Your classmates may not be able to do it, but you probably can.
Even in college, you may be able to do the same. But in med school, there’s not a chance!
Once or twice it may happen, but eventually, it’s going to get to you. There’s just way too much information!
The best way for you to help your future self out is to make sure you now perfect your study system.
That doesn’t mean studying for an excessive amount of hours! The idea is to study as efficiently now to have long-term retention in the material you’re learning.
One of the best ways to ensure retention is to make use of study methods that have already been proven effective.
If you’re in biology, make sure you’re asking yourself questions like “How am I studying? What’s working and what’s not? How can I make adjustments?”
Make sure you think of what you’re studying because you should be focused on long-term retention. After all, that’s what’s being a doctor is about!
You want to remember what medications to give your patients or the important diagnosis and that’s not something that you just cram for.
Simply put, the second tip on how to become a doctor is to focus on long-term retention and create a system to help yourself study better.
Pro Tip: If you want to start working on your study methods now, look up the5 Proven Study Methods For Med School that can work wonders for you as they do for med school students.
Tip #3: Get Exposure
The third thing you need to do on your quest on how to become a doctor is to get experience and some exposure.
A lot of you are probably interested, but I’ll be the first to admit, shadowing is tough!
But let’s talk about some unique ways on how you can get some exposure.
Shadowing is definitely one of them although sometimes it’s a numbers game.
You have to contact a lot of people or at least know somebody in that field to get some shadowing opportunities.
Another thing you can do is to find some unique experiences around you that can get you the same kind of exposure.
For example, there are a lot of free health care clinics in prominent cities where free health care is provided and the doctors come on their own time to volunteer.
You may be able to volunteer yourself as well. You can help at the reception or assist in checking new vitals and blood pressure.
Through all that, you can understand if you like the environment, if you can see yourself working as a doctor, or if it’s something that is cool to you.
Health fairs are also another one where people are sometimes providing free healthcare like blood draws and help with phlebotomy.
You can introduce yourself to the doctors there and ask them if you could shadow them.
Another really interesting way to get some healthcare experience is through summer camps.
Whether you’re still in high school or is graduating in college and you have some summers off, try to see if there are summer camps nearby that are particularly designed towards a certain medical group.
For instance, there are summer camps on kids with diabetes or cancer diagnosis where you can work as a counselor or a staff member and get to interact with these patients.
You may not be able to directly work in the medical setting, but you get to work with patients who have a significant medical disease.
This should help you decide whether it’s a population you would want to serve one day in the future.
A lot of people who I’ve mentored have taken advantage of these summer camps. These are great opportunities but are rather underappreciated ways of getting a lot of exposure on a very short span of time.
Finally, another great way to get some exposure without even having to be anywhere is just to check out videos on certain fields that you may want to pursue.
For example, if you want to be an orthopedic surgeon, there are some great videos of people making days in the life of an orthopedic surgeon.
Once you watch them, then you can decide if it’s something interesting and, most importantly, if you could see yourself doing it in the future.
Those are great and unique ways to get some experience without the traditional shadowing.
Of course, you should still try shadowing, but that’s a trickier one especially if you’re still in high school.
Just remember that there are some other things you could do to develop your interests.
Tip #4: Explore Other Medical Fields
One thing you should really understand is that it’s important to explore and consider other fields.
Being a doctor is not by any means the best field of medicine. More importantly, it may not be the best field for you.
You may want to check out other fields such as being a nurse where there are a lot of brilliant people. I honestly couldn’t do my job without them.
Other great fields include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work, respiratory therapy, and physician assistant.
There are so many fields in the healthcare industry that you should definitely take some time to explore.
Being a doctor may sound nice and your family and friends may be influencing or pressuring you, but you can’t just stop there.
Give appreciation, time and due diligence to other fields as well, because there’s plenty of brilliant and smart people doing other interesting things.
Certain qualities are more prominent in other fields too.
For example, if you want to become a people person, you may provide bedside care or interact with the patients. The doctor doesn’t always do that!
I spent a few hours with my patients today, but the nurse who took care of them spent several hours more! She sat right outside the room and provided for anything the patient needed.
Thus, understand what you value and explore different career paths.
Tip #5: Keep Reading The Field
To best prepare on how to become a doctor, make sure you’re engrossing yourself in the health care field.
You can simply start reading about it in the New York Times or Daily News articles. See what healthcare-related news shows up!
Then go back to evaluating whether it’s something interesting to you and if you can see yourself reading about that on a regular basis.
Being in a medical field is a lifelong learning kind of career path. So, if you can’t see yourself educating yourself on whatever you may be reading about, it may not be the field for you.
Keeping yourself engrossed with health news is one great way to get some exposure and also build your interests.
I hope this post on how to become a doctor will be helpful in your future medical journey. If you enjoyed reading it, you may also enjoy the following posts:
Thank you for reading!
Take care my friends…