Thursday, April 3, 2014

Career - Medical Doctor

In continuing the discussion of this effective youth career day model with content provided by professionals, today's post focuses upon one Oklahoma doctor, a minority student and graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She is board certified in emergency medicine. 

She decided to become a doctor in second grade. Initially, she was inspired because one of her friends’ parents, a doctor, owned a luxury. As a young adult, however, she realized that helping people was her real motivation.

Career exploration, networking, and resume-building began early. In sixth grade, she volunteered as a Candy Stripper. In ninth grade, she was in summer programs and looking for internships "to let me see if I liked the career and to make connections.”

A medical doctor mentored her. When she received her letter of acceptance to medical school, she said she was “screaming.” She received a second letter announcing she had a free ride, and she had not even applied for one.

She added that hard work and connections were the keys. She also did job shadowing.

The rewards originally were about money, but now she sees how hard it is to be an emergency doctor, who must work with a team and make critical decisions. For example, determining whether symptoms are heart burn or a heart attack is an enormous responsibility based upon knowledge and reasoning.  For her, emergency healthcare is not about money. “Every day is different and interesting,” she told the audience. 

As a child, she was always reading a book. Her reading helped her process information fast. That fast-processing skill helped her with testing.

Participating on selection committees, this doctor sees things that shut doors, e.g., grammar and outward appearance. The committee sees you before they hear you.

  •  A four-year college has certain prerequisites. Learn them and take the required courses.               

  • The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT): No one can get into medical school without a good MCAT score—no matter how smart you are. Later doctors take a medical licensing examination. Every ten years, doctors take a board certification test. 

  • Welders, teachers, doctors, nurses, and others must take tests. Always take course reviews. The MCAT review course costs $1,000 but was worth it. Review courses can be found at Princeton Review, Kaplan and others. Always go in with the same preparation as those ahead of you.

  • In four years of medical school, fifteen hours a day is spent studying. Half of a medical student’s time is spent living in books and half in clinical years, in which rotations follow different specialties. [For example, medicine, 12 weeks; neurology clerkship, 4 weeks; obstetrics & gynecology clerkship, 6 weeks; primary care clerkship, 4 weeks; psychiatry, 4 weeks; surgery clerkship, 12 weeks...                         ]

After an interview, a medical student is invited to complete a residency in a hospital. Depending upon the specialty, residency may be from three to seven to ten years. Usually, the longer the training, the more money a doctor makes, but that is not always the case. Her residency was in Chicago, where people waited an average of twelve hours to see an emergency room doctor. 

She started as a grocery store bagger and then rose to cashier. She emphasized, "To be a good leader, you must be a good servant."

Supply and Demand
Emergency care is really expensive compared to scheduled care so it is limited. The Affordable Healthcare Act introduces 27 million patients into the healthcare system. Physicians' assistants, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and other health-related occupations of all levels will increase. 

 More Advice

“It’s not what you know but whom you know.”

“Find something so interesting you would do it for free.”

“Education is freedom.”

“Do well in school.”

“At your stage, read! Don’t worry about anatomy.

“Practice to be good.”  [not just for tests]

“In ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades, practice for standardized tests. These tests are the tickets to get into a good school.”

“Online, practice standardized tests. If you do well, doors open. If you do badly, doors close.”  

"Educate yourself to find resources available."

Updated 3-20-15

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