Okay, so i am a freshman in high school and i want to figure out what to do with my life. I know i want to help others and the human body interests me, and so do eyes especially. I know medical school is required for dermatology and radiology, and optometry school is for optometrists. I have a 4.0 in high school and go to one of the top 10 high schools in the U.S. I also am very social. so my question is a few things. first off, it medical school worth it? it is a lot of schooling and would i just be wasting my twenties studying? also at my school there is running start, where i can cut off two years of undergrad getting high school and college credits at the community college for Junior and Senior year. So I would get two years ahead and not have to pay for that. my parents will cover 4 years and im on my own for the rest. so i would have less dept then a regular medical student. So would it be worth it to do that? i would not have a social life really because you lose your friends and i dont know if it would be worth it to do that. So that is another thing i dont know what to do. also in medical school you have to cut into dead bodies, which creeps me out. would i get used to it? or would i be unfit for being a doctor if i dont know if i could handle it? I know dermatology and radiology pay a lot, but i am more interested in helping others and possibly saving their life. it would be interesting looking at X-rays figuring out what is wrong with the patient, also i think i would like helping others with their acne and skin problems because i have empathy for those people because i have acne. also in optometry it is less school, 8 years, and my dad sells eye equipment to eye doctors and has connections and could help me set up my own practice because he knows the ropes. So should i do that? he said he supports whatever i do and would be happy to help me out. I have bad eyesight so i would like helping others with theirs and i want my own buisness. also eyes dont have much blood, and i dont think i could handle slicing into people and things like that. also i want flexible hours and to have a family. I dont know what to choose! please help me and answer all my questions. thank you.
MavistheMaven Answered:You're just in your first year of high school, so you have plenty of time to reach a decision! All of your choices mean that you should take math, biology, chemistry and physics, so it'll be the same path for you in high school and college.
First, to straighten you out about optometry: Optometrists are not doctors. They basically fit people for glasses and contact lenses. They screen for a few common diseases, but they don't treat them. At that point, they refer the patient to an eye doctor, an ophthalmologist. Definitely being an optometrist takes fewer years of school and won't cost as much, but you also won't earn nearly as much in your career. you may want to consider being an ophthalmologist instead, although this does mean looking at eye diseases and doing eye surgery for things like cataracts.
Radiologists and dermatologists both go to medical school, then do internships and residencies. Radiologists work more with the x-ray (or CT scan or MRI scan) films than with patients. Dermatologists do more than treat acne. They may treat psoriasis, they may treat burn patients. some do cosmetic surgery.
About dissecting dead bodies in medical school. almost all med students are frightened of this, but they get through it together. there are a lot of memoirs written by doctors of their experiences going through medical school. you should read some of them – all of them start out worried about the dissecting.
You will not be unfit to be a doctor just because you're worried that you can't handle certain things. you would learn to cope. One way to ease into this is by working or volunteering at a hospital during high school and/or college (and if you do, it looks great on a med school application to have hospital experience). you could work as a unhit clerk, a patient transporter, a lab assistant or whatever. the important thing is that you'd get to meet patients with all kinds of conditions and get used to a hospital. however gross or frightening a patient's condition is, you learn to face it. you remind yourself that there's a person in there and the person is counting on your to help. Realize that many people start out needing to work on this. it doesn't make you unfit to be a doctor.
Is med school worth it? if you want to be a doctor, it is. Yes, it's a huge commitment of time, yes it costs a lot, but in the end, you're a doctor. you will never lack for work, you will always be respected and you will earn a very good living. you can still have a social life, but you won't be partying every week.
But there are a couple of other options. you could be a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner. Both practice medicine under the supervision of a doctor. you can of course work for a specialist in dermatology. There's a lot less schooling. Both of these are growing fields. Read up on them to understand the differences and see if either occupation appeals to you.
Donald B Answered:Very few future doctors make the decision of what they will specialize in while they are just barely in high school.you have many years of education before you make your decision.you have 4 years of high school, 4 years of college and 4 years of medical school before you must decide.the other students that you will competing against for a spot in medical school may not take the fast path that you are envisioning.Those extra years in school may make it easier for them to get higher grades in their pre med courses and the MCAT.Fastest is not necessarily the best.Got a better answer? Share it below!
Optometry vs. Dermatology vs. Radiology? Please help me?