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Careers in science for the undecided?

  1. Oct 14, 2014 #1
    As of now I'm a high school junior, and for most of my life I had the mindset that I would work towards becoming a doctor. More recently, that decision has been faltering and I've become very unsure of this. I was going to become a pre-med, but I don't want to jump in when I'm having so many doubts. The medical school debt weighs heavier on me than the many years of training does. I know for sure that I want a career in a science field, I'm just not sure becoming a pre-med is right anymore, but I can always test the waters and maybe change my major if I have to. Biology and anatomy have always been my favorite/best subjects and I guess what I'm asking is, are there any other people out there who have been in the same boat as me and have found a solution? Thank you so much.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Find your passion, don't worry about the money. Keep things simple and clear, don't complicate it with financing. You have four years of college to decide what you want to do when you graduate. Sometimes what we think now is totally relevant to what actually windup doing.

    Premeds major in biology first which means you might decide to becom a vet instead or a biologist. There are still many avenues to travel that relate to medicine but aren't being a physician.
  4. Oct 14, 2014 #3


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    You're smart to think twice about the debt burden of a medical education, but be sure to also consider the considerable salary medical doctors earn.

    You don't have to make any changes in your studies right now, since many STEM fields require the same courses in the first year or two of college. So use this time to investigate careers that interest you. Contact local chapters of professional organizations (such as the American Chemical Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Society for Microbiology, etc.) and ask if you can job shadow someone for a few hours.
  5. Oct 14, 2014 #4
  6. Oct 15, 2014 #5


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    Good point. At least in the US, you can choose any undergraduate major and still be qualified for medical school, *if* you take the required pre-med courses.
  7. Oct 16, 2014 #6
    (True story)
    When I was an engineering student at Johns Hopkins, (this was about 25 years ago) we were having problems with some slacker idiot calling in bomb threats to the library. The library had campus guards there and they were checking everyone who entered the library for faculty or student ID cards. One student apparently forgot his wallet in the dorm. He was being denied entry in to the library.

    His response? "Sir, I tell you, I AM a Hopkins student! Who else BUT a Hopkins student would be trying to get in to the library on a Friday Evening?" The guard let him in.

    Just know that pre-med students carry a heavy course load. They always have. Personally, I look at this sort of load as a kind of educational hazing in an attempt to limit the unmotivated slackers from becoming medical doctors. I have my doubts about the efficacy of this approach, but I don't have any better suggestions. Unfortunately, I have known and dealt with a number of very well educated idiots, and this includes a few quack "doctors."

    Just remember that a medical education is supposed to lead you toward an ultimate application. The education is not an end in itself. Many get lost in the educational part of this endeavor and forget that they actually have to do something with it.
  8. Oct 20, 2014 #7
    Thank you for this.
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