Medical School

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Touch of Grey, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Touch of Grey

    Touch of Grey New User

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    Hello to all. I am currently a sophomore in high school, at a very solid public school. I want to go to a medical school after a 4-year university (obviously). I just want to know what it takes to make it into medical school. (I know it is very difficult). At this point in time I have a 3.7 (hoping to make it a 4.0 by the end of semester). Next year I am taking a solid work load, Honors English, AP US history, Pre-calc, AP stats, AP art history, Chemistry. My extra curricular activities are pretty solid in my opinion. Did a leadership thing where I helped incoming students in my middle school learn the school. Also over spring break I'm going to Mexico to help build houses for the impoverished. I'm working on a garden and I will give the crops to a local food shelter near me, and I'm doing various other activities like that to help the less fortunate.

    Is there anything else I can do to improve my chances in getting into a good college/ anything I should do in the future to help my chances with med. school.

    Oh, and my tennis will also help me to get into a good college, I am between 150-200 nationally for my class.

    Thank you.
     
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  2. tennisnoob3

    tennisnoob3 Professional

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    med school= grad school, you're quite far away.

    if you want a college admissions forum, go to college confidential
     
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  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Stay away from Mexico or you may not have a chance to go to college.

    Find out the easiest undergrad degree you can have to get into med school. It worked for a buddy of mine. Another girl I went to school with who was valedictorian picked a super hard undergrad degree and did not have high enough grades to get into med school, so she ended up going to law school.
     
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  4. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    First- you'll have to stop playing tennis and concentrate on school only. Get your grades up so you can get into a good pre-med school. That will determine if you have a chance of medical school. You can play tennis after you're a physician. A 3.7 isn't going to get you noticed.
     
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  5. 8F93W5

    8F93W5 Rookie

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    Is this the best place you know to ask that question?
     
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  6. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Our #1 is double-majoring in Biology and Chemistry, and he's pre-med with a 4.0. :neutral:
     
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  7. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    That's great news. I wish him all the luck in his future. Sounds like a smart guy. We need more like him going into the medical field. However, if his grades start to suffer and he needs more time to study he'd be a fool to keep playing tennis to perhaps ruin his chance for his medical future. His tennis career will be done if he he goes into medical school unless he doesn't go to medical school and goes and plays tennis instead. Of course there are exceptions to every situation or statement. My statement to Touch of Gray was simple- don't sacrifice your chances of your future job/profession/ career on playing tennis for a school when your grades need to be as high as possible. Sacrificing your grades to play tennis isn't worth it in the long run. I don't think you can disagree with me on that statement.
    Also pre med isn't a guarantee you'll get into the medical school you want or even any medical school for that matter. Where he is at ( your #1) is a step towards his goal but he has a lot more road to go before getting into medical school. I hope you realize that also.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
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  8. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    I do realize that, but the things that kids don't tend to realize (although the OP seems to be on the right track) is that you need to start these things early. Amongst other things, our #1 has been studying for the MCAT since the summer after he graduated. He's become one of the best examples of time-management I can find, and I feel that (especially since he's given me a lot of tips) a lot of us college/high school students have no idea A) How to study AND B) When to study. It's obviously more of a personal preference, but if you figure out the optimum way to study for you, what you do in your free time shouldn't matter.
     
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  9. Touch of Grey

    Touch of Grey New User

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    Obviously not, I was on the website at the time so I decided to see what some people here have to say. I'm sure there's a decent amount of people with a great deal of knowledge on here, and I decided to get some people's opinion.
     
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  10. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Nice, i like your volunteer work. That should be a definite plus. It shows where your heart is and you aren't interested in the career in medicine for the money. Have you thought of doing internships in Congress over summer( this is good because healthcare reform is a critical topic in capital hill currently) ? or doing volunteer work at the local hospital over summer ? Large county hospitals or VA hospitals have some good programs that is aspiring to become a physician.
     
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  11. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Playing varsity tennis in college takes up a great deal of time, time you'd, at that point, want to expend on your studies, etc.

    Find ways to get your foot into the door to see and learn more about the medical field; there are plenty of ways to do so.
     
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  12. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    This sounds like well intentioned but inaccurate advice. Based on your description you are not going to get into Medical School based on your pure academic prowess. However plenty of current docs didn't either, so it is totally possible.

    As time goes on, my read is that the value of having more on your resume beyond the ability to answer multiple choice questions correctly, is increasing.

    Certainly pursuing tennis to the exclusion of your studies, is a fool's plan. By the same token, you should be able to do lots of extracurricular stuff (like tennis) and still pull down great grades. Face it, if you can't then maybe you shouldn't be in Medical school.

    Also I wouldn't get overly concerned about getting this or that University for the purpose of getting into Med school. It is better in the long run to get into a school where your best attributes are displayed to their maximum, which for many isn't Harvard.

    Good luck.
     
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  13. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    LuckyR is right -- make sure "your best attributes are displayed to their maxiumum," but just not sent to anyone in an email.
     
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  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yet another student doing "social service" in a "poor" country to boost his chances of getting into college (and no doubt he "passionately" believes in it as he will surely write in his college app).

    I think colleges should just stop considering this and stem the charade.
     
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  15. Touch of Grey

    Touch of Grey New User

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    Yeah it's true that some kids may just do that to beef up their app, but not all do. It's not fair to assume that everybody who does volunteer work is doing it to simply put it on a college app. Plenty of kids I know do it out of the goodness of their heart, not because it may help them get into college. You can't just say to somebody you don't know and say that they are doing this solely for their app. I'm sure that when I'm out of college, med school, or whatever that I will continue to volunteer for people in need because that who I am, and how I was raised.
     
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  16. angharad

    angharad Semi-Pro

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    Try to get some volunteer work in the medical field. See if local medical-based charities (think Visiting Nurse Associations, blood drives, etc) need volunteers for anything. Most do, even if it's only doing office work. My local hospital has teenagers volunteer in the ER, helping to check people in and show people to their rooms.

    Once you're old enough, and if it's okay with your family, see about being certified as an EMT.

    When you start looking at colleges, ask which have a lot of undergraduate research opportunities. Being involved in research can be a huge plus.
     
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  17. NickC

    NickC Professional

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    Agreed. If the kids were passionate about helping others out, they'd do what I did and actually go live there for a while, help the local economy as much as possible, attend a university down there, and volunteer at an orphanage or school.

    The 5 day thing over spring break is complete horseshit, IMO. I know tons of kids who did it, and they didn't learn anything at all. They kept to themselves and built a house. That was it.
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Sorry to pick on you, but it has become an industry out here. Private companies are approaching private schools with tours to "poor countries" - complete package deals with food, accomodation, etc, and a custom book for every student with photographs capturing the charitable activities. A girl I know suddenly discovered her life's calling of "helping children" in the summer before 9th grade when her mother discovered that her daughter could volunteer at the school she works part time. A guy I know discovered his leadership skills just in time in 11th grade and shows up with sunglasses and smart phone to lead a team of younger volunteers (and told my son it is great for your college app). Yup, my son has also entered the field. He has started off small with a 4 hour assignment at a community event. This summer he will probably be helping out at the public library.
     
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  19. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    #19
  20. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Not everyone has the luxury to go out of the country and stay there for extended period of time. If you are on track to get into a good college and pursue your career, you can't take extended time off and go to another country to help out.
    It is an experience for most high school and college students. We are not going there because we think we will have a long term impact in this 3rd world country. and hopefully, the experiece will make you into a better human being for the rest of your life.
    and when he is a doctor, years from now, perhaps then he will take 3 month off and go to these poor countries and make a real difference to few people. Even then, it will be a tremendous sacrifice since you have families that depend on you.
     
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  21. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Good point, but he's still only in high school :)
     
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  22. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    I typically have 1st year medical students shadow me at work. I will ask one 2/17/11 how he got into med school, & that of his peers.
     
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  23. Touch of Grey

    Touch of Grey New User

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    Thank you very much!
     
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  24. retlod

    retlod Professional

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    High school only matters in that it can get you into a decent college. It doesn't even have to be a good college, just not a bad one. State universities are usually just fine. In college, keep a 3.5 or above, do some volunteering work, get jobs as an RA in a res hall or TA for a class, and try some shadowing. Then rock the hell out of the MCAT. Select the best school you can get into, then crank it up. If you do well in med school, you can get a great residency and from there a fellowship. Work really hard in those and you can write your ticket. Bottom line--the farther you get in training, the more hard work will pay off.

    As others have said, don't do it for the money. If money is the reward you seek, it's not worth all the work you'll put in. There are lots of easier ways to make a living.
     
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  25. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    This is about right.

    The med student I talked with today. Grades were nothing special in high school. Went to Michigan=Pre-Med 3.7 GPA, no extra curricular activites. Got his second choice for Med school. He believes, there is a "who you know" aspect with residency, but not med school admission.
     
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  26. Claudius

    Claudius Professional

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    In terms of your major, don't limit yourself to chemistry or biology. Take the necessary prerequisites of courses, but majoring in a social science like economics or psychology may not be a bad idea.
     
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  27. get it in

    get it in Rookie

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    You are a long way from medical school. Get good grades and rock the MCAT like someone mentioned earlier. Lots of people take the MCAT, few do very well. Extracurricular activity is just that-extracurricular. Schools will sit up and notice your grades and test scores first, then use the rest to separate the wheat from the chaff. Everyone who applies to med school is good, there aren't many bad applicants. If you do well on the MCAT, that says a lot. I didn't go to med school but 9 of my friends did (including 1 @ Harvard med). Don't think I wasn't watching and learning. BTW, the one who went to Harvard med absolutely rocked the MCAT 15-15-14=44 out of 45! Needless to say, that person is very, very successful.
    You may find out in a few years that medical school isn't for you. Don't be disappointed. There are a lot of good careers out there that do not require an M.D.
     
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  28. get it in

    get it in Rookie

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    For those of you curious about MCAT score distributions, here it is:

    https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/admissionsadvisors/mcat_stats/

    50% of the test takers score 26/45 or lower. If you can score 30 or higher, you're in pretty good shape although ideally you will want 33 or higher for a top flight school. Yeah, it's a really hard test. I like it that way because it ensures you get the most qualified applicants becoming your future physician. If I'm going to get surgery you better believe I want the best qualified person around doing that job!
     
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  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Why? What is the point in taking other courses?
     
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  30. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Become a more well-rounded person? If you only take one type of course all through college, most people will get burnt out easily. Taking a course that you're interested in rather than one that you need to take is refreshing, and can alleviate a little of the stress that you get in college.
     
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  31. tennisnoob3

    tennisnoob3 Professional

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    michigan has a pretty good rep, not an easy state school to get into
     
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  32. T1000

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    You're not going to med school right after college, you need work experience. My sister just graduated from nova with a 4.0 gpa with a major in biochem and she didn't get in anywhere. They are looking for kids with work experience now, so strive towards that
     
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  33. Touch of Grey

    Touch of Grey New User

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    Okay thank you. I was also wondering something, does it look better if you have say a master's in something like chemistry(or anything like that).
     
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  34. retlod

    retlod Professional

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    Medical schools are accepting more and more diverse applicants every year. Some have experience working in the health industry, some other careers altogether. Some are older, but most are still right out of college. I don't have a sister who applied--I'm a physician who has met hundreds, if not thousands of medical students.
     
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  35. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    Not to be rude I guess your sister did something wrong because that is not the general trend at all. 4.0 GPA in biochem ... im sure she could have gotten in somewhere even with a pitiful MCAT.

    Im in the waiting / hearing process right now. So far I have gotten into 2 MD schools and 3 DO's. Still have interviews to do as well. My GPA is pretty low but I do have a solid MCAT.


    If you have a +3.2 GPA at a decent school / +28 MCAT you will get in somewhere. If not MD then DO which today really is the same thing.

    I read somewhere that the average 1st year med student in the US was 24. Many kids fresh out of college, many who worked for a few years, and many nurses / PA / dentists who decide to go to med school.
     
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  36. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    I'm not in college, but I plan on going the medical route, and I support what you say as that's EXACTLY what my teachers have told me.

    It separates you from the other chem and bio majors. Med schools like that, especially now.
     
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  37. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Michigan, as in University of Michigan? It has a very good rep. Don't be fooled by the state school moniker, it has some very, very talented people there. It is ranked 19 in the world by US news last I checked. (Not just a public school ranking)
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Sounds strange. So they would rather have someone study a dilute course like economics than a real serious one like biology - to become a DOCTOR?
     
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  39. Rippy

    Rippy Hall of Fame

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    Well surely if they want to go to medical school, it wouldn't be too surprisingly if they were interested in Biology/Chemistry lol.
     
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  40. retlod

    retlod Professional

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    A lot of college biology focuses on non-human life forms. There is a lot of it that's not pertinent to medicine at all. College chemistry and physics are much the same (although you need to master them to do well on the MCAT). Liberal arts courses are encouraged because they teach students to be well-rounded and experienced in areas of study other than science. I've met doctors who majored in everything from biology to physics to mathematics to history to economics to finance to English to art history.

    Years later, as physicians, that experience and education helps us relate to patients from different demographics and really enriches our lives. We live in the same world as everyone else and need to know how and why it operates the way it does. I liked economics in college and have never regretted taking two econ courses. Careers in medicine can *consume* people. We need more in our lives than just our jobs.
     
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  41. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    I'm interested in Exercise Physiology, and am required to take a Biomechanics course. Do I like Biomechanics? No. Is it an integral part of my major? Yes.

    My point is, even within your major, you will take many classes that you hate, and most people have deep interests outside their major.
     
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  42. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I see your point, but well-rounded education should end with high school and the first 2 years of college, no?
     
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  43. CoachingMastery

    CoachingMastery Professional

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    Since I'm a tennis professional and my wife is a doctor, I thought I would share a few life-experiences with the OP.

    Dedication to your goal is the key. Just as if one wanted to become a professional tennis player, you will want to look at medicine as the most important thing in your life. Study should never be felt like a sacrifice...it should be thought of as opportunity. Desire to seek all you can know about the profession should be a premium. Steady growth in your profession should be sought.

    But, you should also be organized to the point that you can achieve other skills; sports, musical instruments, hobbies, are all VERY common among those in medical school. (You should have seen my wife's "Talent Show" every year at her medical school...I thought I was at the finals for America's Got Talent!)

    If you feel you can't do these things, then you will have difficulty in successfully pursuing any high-level profession.

    It is a little like writing a book: most people look at writing a novel as something that is just unattainable, something that will take so long or that they lose interest along the way. But, many people write many novels, (I'm on my third along with my two tennis books), and once you believe you can do it, you will.

    What courses you take now and in your next few years of college are helpful, of course. But, this is a no-brainer: every school has counsolers and pathways that spell out for you what the best classes to take for a career in medicine. (I wouldn't just go by what is offered by those here!) Ask other doctors, (my wife majored in zoology and physiology and minored in chemistry). She is a pediatrician.

    Good luck...but, more importantly, Good WORK. You will succeed if you wish to succeed. Sincere goal-setting is critical. If they are not sincere, you will meet difficulty.
     
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  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    There is no evidence of this. It is a self-fulfilling statement, in the sense that those who who had all kinds of other skills and are successful are the proof, and those who don't have these skills but are successful can always be shown to have some skills, by using a little flexibility of imagination.

    Many scientists whose contributions are legendary were very unsocial and one-dimensional people. Newton is a good example. He shut himself up in his home for a year and a half to write a book.

    I have been playing tennis for 7 years now. It has neither been harmful or beneficial to my professional life. I have colleagues who do nothing but work and they are quite successful.

    Take Nadal as an example. Or for that matter Federer. They do not fulfil your criteria. Now, as I said, you can always contradict me, because surely Federer has enjoyed some music and Nadal has played soccer and modeled for underwear? See what I mean? Once successful, people will diverge out, and all kinds of good things will be said about them.

    I also don't think CEOs like Bill Gates were multi-dimensional people.
     
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  45. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    I think Mastery actually makes good points and I understand the point highlighted above. Being organized and being able to juggle many cognitive tasks at once is absolutely vital to medical practice, if for nothing more than the calls and problems one has that interrupt office hours and force you to manage numerous situations simultaneously. This ability MIGHT be reflected in having other interests, or perhaps not, but it's completely different from the sort of singlemindedness that is not only not a liability but may be in asset in the sort of research pursuits sureshs describes. One need not be brilliant to practice medicine well, but you'd better be organized.
     
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  46. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I see. But I think one needs to be at least way above average in intelligence to get in and make it through medical school.

    What about tech CEOs like Gates or Jobs? They do intense multitasking and interact a whole lot with people, but I don't think they were good at "other things" necessarily.

    I see a cosmetic surgeon around here who is on the courts every weekend morning till lunch (at a local resort) and I hear other times too. I have heard he is a top guy in his field and rolling with money. I have hit with him a couple of times. I always think - where is he getting the time? Shouldn't he be brushing up on new stuff or something? Should I be suspicious of surgeons who play golf all weekend?
     
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  47. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    CEOs don't need to multitask very much. Tell the secretary you don't want to be interrupted -- and you won't be. They can focus on one thing. And the notion that CEOs are not multidimensional is an unproven fantasy. As for your surgeon friend, don't worry that he has time for tennis. Things don't change quite that quickly in medicine and it's not hard to keep up in your spare time, especially now that numerous online services send us new articles and review material every day.
     
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  48. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I was talking about particular CEOs, not in general. I have not heard of Gates' sporting or musical abilities, for example, only that he was always a nerd. A different matter that he has become an art connoisseur and philanthropist, but that is after the fact.

    As for the surgeon, I am worried about something else, now that you bring it up! He might only be a 3.5 player considering that I could beat him. His hand-eye coordination in tennis is, shall we say, not spectacular, and he seems unable to brush up on the ball. Should I be worried about his surgical skills :)
     
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  49. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    No, not at all. Medical school, like all grad schools, requires a certain set of prerequisites. If you're an English or mathematics major and you still had good enough grades in your prerequisite science courses, you're in! (Note: This is barring bad MCATs, etc.)
     
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  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    OK so there are pre-requisite science courses, that is good to know.
     
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