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Courses I want to become an Abdominal surgeon

  1. Dec 20, 2016 #1
    I don't know much about surgery, let alone how to become a surgeon, but in the past year I've been thinking about what to become. I know it's very hard to become either an ocular or abdominal surgeon, which are the two things I've been looking at. I'm a 13 year old 9th grade highschool and my grades are, Honors Literature:88% Honors Biology: 84% Spanish 2: 85% Ap Human Geography: 85% Bible:86% Algebra 2:83%. My grades are very low at the moment because in the beginning of this year I got caught off guard the first year and missed the first 3 assingments for all my classes which none of my teachers let me remake for full credit. I was wondering if I this would severely affect my chances at getting a scholarship.

    Second I was wondering what I need to do to get to accepted into a good college and make it easier for me ahead. Could you list out a few of the major classes I should take and shouldn't throughout high school to help me reach my goal of becoming a surgeon. I also have done piano for 6 years and can speak fluent Russian along with English I was wondering if this would help at all because my parents, being Russian, say that the only thing that matters is me doing good in grades.

    Money isn't the biggest problem my mom owning a dentistry, but I would love to save them a decent amount of money :).

    Thank you very much.
    (Sorry about my grammar, I was never the best)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 20, 2016 #2


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    You need to talk to your school counselors, they will know what you will need where you live to achieve your goals, we would not know. They can help develop a curriculum for you with your goals in mind. I don't think you will have much choice in subjects you can take in High School, but they will know, also you should tell them which Universities you intend to apply for.
  4. Dec 20, 2016 #3
    My School is really bad at communicating that stuff, I don't even know who my counselor is.
    It might be the baseball coach, who doesn't care about anything.
  5. Dec 20, 2016 #4
    Is there a way to get a new counselor
  6. Dec 20, 2016 #5


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    Then you need to go with your parents and speak to the Principal, you should know who your guidance counselor is. It should not be the basketball coach. If it is, your parents need to see about getting you into a better school. That doesn't mean a private school, most Public schools have choices within the public school system. If your school is inferior, then you need to search for a better option within the free school system. Based on where you live, you should have a number of options. But you need to be proactive and look online, go to the district's website for where you live and search on education offers they have.

    Remember, YOU have to ask the questions, YOU have to go into the office and ask who your counselor is, you cannot just sit there and wait for them to come to you.
  7. Dec 20, 2016 #6


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    If you're in the US, then medical school (where you actually learn to become a surgeon) comes after you finish a bachelor's degree in something. Usually that "something" is biology, although it doesn't have to be. At the college where I taught for many years, we had biology majors, chemistry majors, physics majors, even an English major or two go on to medical school. We didn't have a "pre-med" major. Instead, we had a faculty committee that recommended courses that students interested in med school should take (regardless of their actual major) and wrote letters of recommendation for students applying to med school. At the undergraduate level, the main thing is to get a strong science background that includes certain courses that med schools look for in applicants' records.

    At the high school level, the main thing is to do well in in the basic science courses (biology, chemistry, physics) so that you're prepared for college/university level science courses.

    It also helps a lot if you can get experience working or "shadowing" in a medical office during the summer, either during high school or during college. Med schools want students who already have some experience with what medical work is actually like.
  8. Dec 20, 2016 #7
    hey thanks man, this will help
    Do you know where I can "shadow" and if my age: will be 14 over summer, will affect this.
    My mom is a dentist I was wondering if she could get one of her friends to let me do it. I don't know if it would help.
  9. Dec 21, 2016 #8


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    The age of 13 is too young but in maybe a couple of years, you may be able to enroll in some occupational program, maybe something which you could attend part-time, so that as a high school student, you would attend some occupational training and later in that training do some field work, non-paid activity. The program would be through your school district. Check with your high school at that time.
  10. Dec 21, 2016 #9
    Your mom is your best bet! I would definitely tell her your ambitions and ask about this. One of our pediatricians (the gastroenterologist) sometimes brought her daughter along to work. She asked us if we would mind her daughter being there while she worked with us (my wife and baby...it wasn't anything serious, just a check up). We didn't mind at all.

    If not, possibly even just volunteering to work in a doctors office or hospital would be good, but keep in mind that the work won't be directly medical related. But you'll be around patients, hear the terminology, and see how things work.

    I did find this, which you might not be ready for yet: https://www.teenlife.com/category/stem/stem-premed/ but you can maybe request the information. If the flyers start coming in the mail then your parents will get the idea. haha

    -Dave K
  11. Dec 21, 2016 #10


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    This is good advice. It is very important for you to find out if you enjoy "patient contacts" way before you go to medical school, IMO. Have you gotten your First Aid and CPR/AED certifications yet? You can take a class from the Red Cross or AHA (I'm assuming you are in the US) to get and maintain those certifications. They give you a little bit of an idea of some kinds of patient contacts.

    Also, shadowing or volunteering at the dentist office will give you some patient contacts, but mostly they are pretty mellow contacts. It would be good for you to also volunteer at a hospital, especially near the Emergency Department or Urgent Care Facility. That's where you start to encounter patients who are not happy about their conditions, and need a lot of help.

    You can also check your local Fire Department's website to see if they offer any CERT (community emergency response team) classes. That's where they offer free training to community members for how to prepare for disasters (earthquakes, tornados, etc.), and how to help out in the community when disasters strike. The FEMA curriculum includes a couple units on Disaster Medicine and Triage, which will also expose you to more patient contact information. In most cities you need to be 14 years old to take the CERT classes, but it sounds like you are close to qualifying.


    It's important to find out early how you feel about working with lots of different kinds of patients in lots of situations (even difficult patients), IMO. You may find out (like I did) that you really enjoy the patient contacts, and find helping patients rewarding. Or you may find that you end up not liking the contacts, or there are some kinds of patients that you really do not like dealing with. If that is the case, pursuing your MD may not be the best path for you. Or you could consider pursuing a DDS instead, where the patients tend to be more low-key (except for root canal surgery...). :smile:
  12. Dec 21, 2016 #11


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    {ZapperZ smacks his forehead in disbelief}

  13. Jan 2, 2017 #12
    Sitting with my roommate who is an RN, she says in her experience teenagers don't get to shadow in the OR, or even very often unless they know people. She advises that you contact some medical schools for advice. She also says she works with a lot of ER techs (they have to be emts at her hospital), who are headed towards medical school, and that volunteering at a hospital or getting a job as a scribe are great ways to get experience and pad your resume. She says there aren't really just abdominal surgeons, some surgeons are GI doctors and do abdominal surgeon and many general surgeons do GI surgery but not just GI surgery. She also said if you want to be a Doctor you should go into medical school with an open mind, she works at a university hospital with residents and interns and a lot of MDs she knows ended up realizing what they loved wasn't what they expected. Also once you pick a specialty you are stuck with it unless you want to go through another multi year residency, so chose when you have a little more experience. Good luck

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