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Biology High School Biology Difficulties and my Future Career Plans as a Doctor

  1. Nov 10, 2017 #1
    Hello. I plan on being a doctor when I finish high school, but I’ve had some trouble with science. My grades aren’t bad or anything but right now, I find biology dull and boring. We’re learning about cells, mitosis, and similar stuff and I just can’t get into it. Does this mean life sciences isn’t for me?
     
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  3. Nov 10, 2017 #2

    berkeman

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    Yes, what you have posted does not bode well for a career in the life sciences. What makes you want to be a doctor? That's a great goal. What patient contacts do you have so far? Do you volunteer with the Red Cross? Do you volunteer at your local hospital or clinic? Are you currently certified in First Aid, CPR and AED use?
     
  4. Nov 10, 2017 #3
    I'm currently training to be an EMT in HOSA. I plan on volunteering at the local hospital over the summer. I can't just yet because of my part time job. I like learning about the anatomy and all but I find mitochondrias, cytoplasms, and ribosomes really boring. Learning about DNA wasn't bad though
     
  5. Nov 10, 2017 #4

    berkeman

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    That's outstanding! I did not expect that response. Good for you earning your EMT and starting to get some patient contacts to see if you like them before continuing on your pre-med path.

    I'm a full-time EE, but earned my EMT license 10 years ago and started working part-time medical shifts. I discovered that I really enjoy the patient contacts (even with difficult patients and patients who are very severely injured), and I wish I'd known that back in undergrad. I probably would have gone to medical school instead of pursuing engineering.

    Anyway, back on-topic for the question you asked to start the thread. you pretty much need to be able to learn the material well, even if it is boring and uninteresting for you. You need the underlying knowledge to be good at the top level parts of being a doctor or nurse or medic.

    So you need to figure out ways to study and memorize the material that work well for you, and that help you retain the knowledge for a long time so you can pull the info back up years later to apply the information to what you are dealing with at that moment. Like in your studying for your EMT cert, you are learning a basic level of anatomy, and you are also memorizing the Skill Sheets for patient evaluation and dealing with a number of emergency situations. The memorization techniques you use for learning those things can also be applied to the subjects that you don't enjoy as much. I know that I learned a number of good memorization techniques in my EMT studies that have helped me in other subjects. What memorization skills do you use now in your EMT studies?

    Also, you may be able to use your ultimate goal of medicine to help motivate your studies of the more basic subjects like chemistry. Just keep reminding yourself that you are studying this material for a reason. The first time you save the life of a critical patient, you will start to feel a connection to all of the hard work you put in to get the knowledge and skills it took to make that happen. Trust me, it will be worth it. :smile:
     
  6. Nov 10, 2017 #5

    symbolipoint

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    MAYBE; and maybe not.

    You do not need a Biology degree to be eligible for Medical School. You need a bachelor (minimum) degree in ANYTHING, and include the premedical program of courses. Regarding biological sci courses, some of them later, in college may become better; for example, you might like the way Microbiology works since it may seem more organized to you.
     
  7. Nov 11, 2017 #6

    ZapperZ

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    So, if you do not like biology, why would you want to be a doctor in the first place? Isn't this similar to wanting to be a computer programmer, but hates writing computer codes?

    Zz.
     
  8. Nov 11, 2017 #7
    If you didn't like biology at all, then medicine probably would not be the right career for you. But biology, like all branches of science and engineering, covers a wide scope; and I think it's normal for some topics to excite you and some topics to bore you. You just need to persevere and do well to satisfy the requirements to meet your end goal (becoming a doctor). I'm a physicist. My concentration was solid-state. But for my PhD requirement, I had to take a grad semester course in high-energy physics. Had no interest in it, had no intuition in it, bored the hell out of me, and sapped up a lot of time. Similarly, in chemistry, I really enjoyed physical chemistry, but carbon-ring diagrams were a real snoozer for me.
     
  9. Nov 11, 2017 #8

    symbolipoint

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    ZapperZ makes a good point. The trouble someone might find with Biology is the need to look at a specimen which is so visually disorganized and figure out what you see. With further study, this might never get any better for some people, and therefore Medicine may be a very bad fit for him. Physical sciences usually allow for ways to put numbers to things which are counted and observed.
     
  10. Nov 11, 2017 #9
    Again, the OP said there are some topics in biology that he finds boring, but other topics that he likes. That's important. Biology covers a wide scope. There are biologists who like working on the micro level with cells in a test tube or culture dish and don't like working with live animals, and then there are biologists who prefer working on the macro level with live animals. The OP at least is interested in anatomy; that's a good sign for a potential doctor.

    As for ZapperZ's analogy, I think a better one would be: You can pursue a career as a computer scientist (not specifically a computer programmer) even if you're not particularly thrilled with coding. Coding would probably be a required part of the curriculum that a CS major would need to take, even if he were mainly interested in higher-level algorithms and software architectures.
     
  11. Nov 11, 2017 #10

    Choppy

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    It's difficult to make a career decision based on a single course. Obviously, you'll need to know this stuff if you want to pursue medicine, if for nothing else than getting a good grade on the MCAT exam.

    But a lot can have to do with how a course is taught, particularly if you're just being introduced to it. Sometimes it's not the material itself, but the fact that you're just memorizing a bunch of chemical pathways or the respiration cycle and the person teaching the course is just reading it out of a book and doesn't have a lot of additional insight to offer. Or there's not much of a challenge to you from the course. Or... well, you get the idea.

    One flag though is something that's implied by the question itself...
    In order to be successful in medicine, you WILL need the ability to work through course material that you find boring, and learn it well regardless. Ideally this won't be all of your courses, and hopefully the majority of them will be interesting. But if you can't get through something because it's not entertaining you're going to have a tough time, because no one ends up liking everything they do. I suspect that's not really the case here, that you're just more concerned about whether everything you do to get into medicine and everything you'll study once you get into it will look a lot like this course and you're just re-evaluating your path.
     
  12. Nov 15, 2017 #11

    StatGuy2000

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    To the OP:

    @Choppy raises many good points in post #10. I would only add that one should not judge whether or not a field like medicine is for you based on what is necessarily taught in one high school biology course. Often times, it is not necessarily the content of a course but the way the course is taught can make a major difference in whether the material seems to be interesting or not (I would suspect that the OP's biology teacher may simply be a boring instructor).

    Biology does indeed cover a wide scope, and certain subjects within biology may indeed be more interesting to the OP. So I would keep an open mind and wait to take these courses while in college/university before making any major decisions.
     
  13. Nov 15, 2017 #12

    StatGuy2000

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    The OP didn't say she did not like biology, only that she finds the course boring as taught by her high school biology teacher.

    That is an important distinction -- she may simply have a boring or otherwise less than competent instructor. It may well be the case that the material covered in biology at the college or university level may well be fascinating for her.
     
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