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I want to be a physicist but my parents want me to be a doctor.

  1. Jun 18, 2013 #1
    I am really interested in physics and mathematics and I want to continue in that way. I want to be a physicist but my parents want me to a doctor or programmer or something like that(to make a lot of money). I am only 15 years old and I have already mastered calculus. I am one of the best students in my country(in physics). I really like physics and mathematics and that is why i want to study that. By the way I live in Bosnia and Herzegovina and if I want to study physics I will have to move. So what do you suggest? How will I convince my parents to let me do physics?
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  3. Jun 18, 2013 #2


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    Physicists can do a lot of programming as part of their research, and programming-related jobs (even without physics) are common for physicists.
  4. Jun 18, 2013 #3


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  5. Jun 18, 2013 #4


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    Do you have any medical experience? Can you volunteer at a local clinic for a while, to see how you feel about medicine and treating patients?

    You may find that you really enjoy the patient contacts, and that may influence your decisions. Or, you may find that you really do not enjoy dealing with patients. Personally, I think that should be the biggest part of your (and your parents') decision, IMO. After I started working part-time as an EMT a few years ago, I found that I really enjoy the patient contacts (even with difficult patients). If I had it all to do over again, I probably would have gone into emergency medicine back in my college days, instead of engineering.

    If you volunteer at a clinic or hospital for a while, your parents will see that you are giving medicine a shot. And if you come away from those experiences and tell them that you really did not enjoy some parts of it, I think that will help to convince them that your true calling is physics.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  6. Jun 19, 2013 #5


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    Not everyone can be a doctor. It sounds like you would be a good doctor, perhaps a heart surgeon or something like that, something pretty important. I don't know if I'd pass that up.
  7. Jun 19, 2013 #6
    This is very good advice. You're young enough that you don't want to commit to anything without testing the waters some more. In the end, I'd encourage you to make your own decision, regardless of your parents' opinions. It's your life, live it as you like. But if you can convince them that you're doing the right thing, even better.
  8. Jun 20, 2013 #7
    I'd give two bits of advice here. The first is, don't choose your career based on considerations of money, or on what your parents think you should do. Choose based on what makes you happy.

    The second is, don't discount the role that money and cordial relations with your parents can have on making you happy.
  9. Jun 20, 2013 #8


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    I'd like to add something here, if it's OK. Do your parents want to pay for years of college in pre-med, years of medical school, and perhaps years of helping you out here and there during your residency? Maybe physics or programming seem like a "cleaner" way for you to get into a career on a shorter time-frame. You might mention it to them.

    I don't know your family's financial situation, so you'll have to to parse this off-the cuff advice in those terms. I had to work my way through college on earnings from playing weekend gigs and buying and selling musical instruments and amplifiers. My parents couldn't have afforded my college education on their own. Medical school? No way.

    Good luck, no matter which way you go.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  10. Jun 21, 2013 #9
    Hah, I love that.

    Very true.
  11. Jun 22, 2013 #10


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    Maybe you can combine the two fields and be a physicist doing medical research. then you may get the big bucks and do what you like. (Inspired by Choppy's salary surveys.)
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