Parents 5 Tips to Help Your High School Physician Hopeful
As parents we love to encourage our kids to pursue their dreams, but sometimes we’re uncertain of the best way to do that. If you’re a parent whose child dreams of a career in medicine you might be interested in these five tips to help your high school physician hopeful.
1. 6-Year College-Medical School Combo: If your child is absolutely positive that he or she wants to attend medical school and pursue a career in medicine, one great option is a 6 year college/medical school combination. Such schools cut a full two years off of the process of becoming a doctor, which means that your child will have the opportunity to become a physician and begin earning a physician’s wage two years before similarly aged students taking a more traditional undergraduate-to-medical-school path.
2. Undergrad College Important: If finishing the degree in medicine in six years feels too rushed to you or your child, you might consider which medical schools your child is most interested in. Most medical schools will give preference to those students who have completed undergraduate work at that university. It is still important that the student earn a high grade point average and achieve a competitive score on the MCAT; however they will often be given preference over similarly qualified candidates who completed their undergraduate work at a different university.
3. Guaranteed Seat: Similarly, some colleges will guarantee premed students a seat in their medical school if those students meet certain criteria. Typically this includes earning a certain GPA and MCAT score, among other things. This is another good option for students looking to take a more traditional path, but who want to know that their undergrad work isn’t in vain and that they will indeed end up going to medical school.
4. Cooperative Program: This is a little like the guaranteed seat where some medical schools will guarantee a seat to those students who attended certain universities and who meet a specific set of criteria.
5. Keep Options Open: If you believe your high school student likes the idea of becoming a doctor, but isn’t necessarily determined to achieve this goal you can still support him or her in pursuing this dream by encouraging high school coursework focused on the sciences and higher math. Maintaining a high grade point average with these courses means your student will be a highly qualified candidate for a number of competitive universities. This helps your student continue to move toward the dream of a career in medicine, or shift the focus without too much difficulty.
Whenever teens express a desire to pursue medicine, or any lofty goal, it doesn’t hurt to encourage the dream and do what you can to support it; however, it is also important for your high school physician hopeful to enjoy these years without undue pressure. Help your student find a balance and help them pursue their goal by following the 5 tips above.
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“Dr. Toote, I really appreciated your presence here at UTA today. You have encouraged me. Thank you very much.” Jennifer A.