Using your senior year to prepare for a medical career

March 23, 2016

medical school studying

Your senior year in high school is a time to enjoy friendships and have fun. It’s typical to have feelings of excitement about the possibilities ahead. But you may also feel a little apprehension about leaving your childhood behind.

While your main focus may be on earning your high school diploma, it’s also time to think about your future and consider the type of career you what to pursue. If you are considering a career in medicine, it can be a good idea to use your senior year to prepare. Although you do not have to map out every move of your medical career, there are some steps you can take, which will help you on the road to working in healthcare.

Gain experience

Although you may have a lot going on your senior year of high school, try to carve out a little time to get some work experience in healthcare. Volunteer at a hospital, clinic or with an ambulance company, or sign up for a medical shadowing program overseas. Getting experience will strengthen your college applications, and help you decide what area of healthcare you’re interested in pursuing.

Develop time management skills

Whether you work as a nurse, doctor or other allied healthcare worker, you need to have good time management skills. It’s never too early to start developing ways to use your time wisely. Find a system to stay organized.

Stay academically challenged

Senior year means high school is winding down. But it is not a time to slack off and take the easiest classes you can. It is important to stay challenged academically, so you are well prepared for college. Different levels of education are required for various healthcare careers. But most programs require students to be well developed in math, science, computer skills, and English. Consider taking a few college prep classes in some of the subjects listed above.

Research your options

During your senior year, it’s a good idea to consider your career options. Although you want to keep an open mind, gather as much information as possible about different careers in healthcare. Consider how long you are willing to attend school, how much responsibility you want and what interests you most about healthcare. In addition to volunteering, shadowing a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, is also helpful to get a good understanding of the responsibilities involved.

Take science classes

Regardless of whether you end up choosing medicine, nursing, physical therapy or working as a physician assistant, science classes will be part of your curriculum. Consider taking certain science classes during your senior year to get a good foundation. Classes, such as anatomy, biology and chemistry are good options.

Don’t go overboard

While using your senior year to prepare for your future is great, don’t go overboard trying to figure everything out. You have plenty of time to work out all the details. If you put too much pressure on yourself, it may cause you to feel overwhelmed and miss out on the excitement of your last year of high school.

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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and physician assistants – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.