Becoming a Doctor
It seems like every parent wants their kid to grow up to be a doctor... but, maybe you really want to! Being a doctor is all about helping sick people get healthy, and if this sounds like somethin' you wanna do, then find out what it takes to follow your dream!
Doctors - What Do Doctors Do?
If you have the flu, you go see the doctor. If you break your leg from falling down the stairs, you go see the doctor. If you get sick with something serious like mono or the measles, you go see the doctor. As you can see, medical doctors do a lot more then wear white coats and carry around stethoscopes. They help sick people by figuring out what's wrong with them and giving them the right medicine to get better.
Doctors - School, School and More School!
In order to be a doctor, you have to get accepted to medical school - but not just anybody can get in. It takes a lot of hard work to learn about the human body and its functions, so you're going to have to study a lot and get good grades, starting in high school. Take every math and science class, including biology, physics, chemistry and calculus. You should also volunteer at a clinic or hospital while you're in high school to help you figure out if you really want a life-long career in medicine.
In college, you have to major in pre-med, which means more math and science courses, and get a 3.5 to 4.0 GPA (grade point average). Once you graduate, you have to take the MCAT (Medical College of Admission Test), which is a standardized, multiple-choice test that has four sections - biological sciences, physical sciences, verbal reasoning and essay writing. Your MCAT score and college transcript will determine whether or not you get accepted to medical school.
Now comes med school... for four years, you'll learn about the human body, diseases and treatment, as well as learn how to take a patient's medical history and perform physical exams. You also have to figure out if you want to go into family medicine, or specialize in a field like neurology (the brain), internal medicine (the organs), or general surgery. After med school, you'll do 3+ years of residency in your chosen specialty. Then after that, you'll get a medical license, which allows you to work in a hospital, clinic, group practice, or private practice. Now you're done - whew!
Doctors - The Good Stuff About Being a Doctor
Doctors - The Bad Stuff About Being a Doctor
Most doctors don't work nine to five jobs. They may have to work on evenings and weekends too, and be on call. That means you have to wear a pager 24/7 and if you get paged, you'll have to go into work, even if it's your birthday or a holiday, cuz a sick person needs your help. Oh, and that's another downside - you're always around sick people, which can be pretty depressing.
Doctors - Did U Know?
Medical school is extremely expensive, but you won't be in debt for long. Family doctors make up to $200,000 US, ER doctors make up to $250,000 US, and plastic surgeons and cardiologists (heart doctors) make $450,000 uS or more!