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Can I become smart enough to become an OB/GYN

  1. Aug 12, 2009 #1
    I'm 16 years old and I'm starting my last year of high school in about 2.5 weeks. I've managed to get in all the courses I need to go on throughout this path in College and University. The only thing is I'm not getting 90's in those courses so it's making me nervous because I see people who are already getting those marks. So i'm wondering about something:

    Can I manage to get all my marks up to 90's within this last year so that I have an average over 90 by next June?

    It's just nerves because there's people around me who are already so smart and I'm wondering if I can make it to even pass their level because I want this so badly and the only thing that keeps pushing me every once in awhile is if it'll be worth it to study this because I might not be smart enough. Right now my overall average is 80-82%....Is there any hope?

    Thank You! :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2009 #2
    Here is the deal:

    Your goals are to:

    1.) Graduate high school and go to college
    2.) Graduate college
    3.) Do well on the MCAT
    4.) Go to med school
    5.) Specialize in ob/gyn

    Right now it sounds like you are well on your way to step 1. Grats :)
    To be completely honest, if you are struggling with high school, college will not be easy for you. The courses require more time, more focus and more studying; and there are a LOT of distractions. Drinking, partying, dating, sports, etc.

    Only 1/3 of high school grads go to college. At the university that I attend, only half of the people that start in the premed program stick with it. Of those that graduate, about 75% do well enough on the MCAT and have the grades to go to med school.

    Once in med most students will finish and go on to specialize. ob/gyn is one of the more competitive fields to go into, so you need to be top notch to get into a good program.

    So what does this mean for you? Am I saying there is no way you can be and ob/gyn?

    No, you most certainly can. I am saying that if you are struggling in high school, your road ahead is going to be arduous. There will be many obstacles that you will need to overcome, these are the same obstacles that all of the other ob/gyns overcame as well, but you may have a tougher time. Everyone is born with only so much intelligence, that never really goes up. What you can control is your dedication and ambition.

    I have seen some pretty smart people fail out of college (my neighbor my freshman year), and I have some very close friends now that are finishing their grad careers by shear power of will: 12 hours a day in the lab, reading lots of papers, constantly revisiting old material so they don't forget.

    Intelligence alone won't get you into med school, neither will dedication. You must have both, that and a HUGE student loan.

  4. Aug 12, 2009 #3

    Thank you very much for your reply! I think the reason why I struggled in the past is because I was not completely dedicated to my courses as I was pulled into many situations where social networking websites are concerned and just began procrastinating. This year I'm confident that this will no longer be an issue, so i'm assuming that this will also levitate some of the struggles as I will think better and stress less.

    Your information helped me greatly! I just have a few more questions as this path isn't all clear in my head yet:

    1. What does MCAT stand for?
    2. In college, I'm assuming that i'm taking the 2 yr program in Health Science, right?
    3. Is med school university and residency where I would specilize?

    Thank you once again! :)
  5. Aug 12, 2009 #4
    It depends on where you live. I think jpreed assumed you live in the US.

    If you do live in the US, then the following information is relevant:
    Medical doctors get a 4 year Bachelor's degree in anything. The only courses you NEED to take are something like a year of biology, a year of calculus, a year of physics, and a year each of general, organic, and inorganic chemistry (I may be slightly off on the requirements, but the point is that you can major in anything). The stereotypical med student is a biology or chemistry major. Then, after your 4-year degree you apply and go to med school, which is another 4 years. The MCAT is basically the SAT except that you take it to get into med school. After med school is over, you apply to residencies, and that is where you'd specialize in Ob/Gyn.

    If you live elsewhere - in most countries to apply to med school right out of whatever the equivalent of high school, and its a 6-8 year long program. You don't get a bachelor's degree first.
  6. Aug 12, 2009 #5
    thanks! yes, I live in Canada, so I'm assuming it should be quite alike. I wanted to live in California after I'm done school so I'm wondering if I should do residency here or there. Unless you have to be an American Citizen to do a residency there. :confused:
  7. Aug 12, 2009 #6


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    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    The first thing to really consider is your approach to studying. Everyone has different stresses and demands as well as different aptitudes. Part of doing well academically is figuring out what works for you. As you've mentioned your marks right now are in the low eighties. What do you need to do to get them into the nineties? For some people it's simply a matter of putting more time in. For others, it's a matter of developing study skills. (Although as a rule of thumb, the more time you devote to studying, the more efficient your study habits will become).

    For a lot of students academics can really change in university. For many the marks go down. For some the marks actually improve because they're finally focussing on something that interests them.

    The Canadian and American systems are reasonably similar. We don't write the SAT's usually. Most medical schools however require the Medical College Admissions Test.

    Being still in high school, it's a little early to worry about where you would do a residency. There are state-specific issues about requirements to legally practice medicine that you may have to address, but Canadian doctors go to the US quite regularly (which I find most unfortunate).
  8. Aug 12, 2009 #7
    Take it one step at a time and anticipate.

    If you find yourself struggling with homework after the third week, go to office hours! As a former TA (teaching assistant), nothing is worse than empty office hours. Helping students is rewarding for the TA and you get to really know your teachers better which can be a boon later on (need letters of rec, etc).
  9. Aug 12, 2009 #8


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    Gold Member

    What are "office hours"? Does this mean to arrange your day between 9 and 5?
  10. Aug 12, 2009 #9
    Office hours are one hour blocks typically set up once or twice per week per TA in which we make ourselves available to students to help them with any aspect of the course.
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