How to become a Paediatrician?(23 Posts)
My daughter is 10 and she would like to become a Paediatrician.
I know that she has a very long way to go but I would like to start coaching/tutoring her in the subjects that would lead her to studying Medicine.
Any ideas where to start!!
Just let her enjoy school at the moment!
To do medicine she will need sciences/maths so when it comes to GCSEs if she can do separate sciences rather than combined that will help when it comes to A-levels. Otherwise just encourage her dreams and let her lead the way. For medicine she will need lots of work experience but at 10 she is a bit young for that, just keep in mind once she hits 15ish and remember that she will need to do medicine and then specialise so her work experience will need to show that she wants to do medicine first and foremost although she can of course show that her interest is with children.
Is she home-educated? If so, then sciences at GCSE and then A-level would be useful. Confidence with Maths will also help.
If she is at school, then she will learn these subjects there.
Essentially she'll need to be good at science to get into medical school. Requirements vary, but essentially Chemistry and often Biology.
Here's a site that gives you an idea: www.medschoolsonline.co.uk/index.php?pageid=78
I am a paediatrician. It's great that your DC is interested in medicine. There are now a variety of routes into medicine, but university places are competitive and from A- level you are looking at top grades plus something extra. Most have at least 2 science A-levels- biology and chemistry are most useful.
It is hard work and expensive. 5 years of university without long summer breaks for most years makes having a summer job to help pay the bills impossible.
After university there are 2 foundation years where doctors work in a mixture of medical disciplines, then 8 years of specialist training to reach consultant level.
Many young people's aspirations change although mine didn't so you may find it changes.
I don't think tutoring at this stage will be particularly helpful but it is important to develop good self- discipline with regard to study habits.
Almost as important as getting good grades is looking at broadening the CB during mid-teenage years with volunteering etc
I love my job but not sure I would give it a wholehearted recommendation to my own children. Most starting out now will be looking at a very high chance of being resident on-call in a hospital until they retire at 68 years old.
FFS she's 10!!!! Next week/month/year she'll want to be a singer/nurse/footballer - what on earth are you doing trying to facilitate the current career whims of a 10 year old?!
Make sure she does her best at school/home/hobbies - please don't do any more than that, not for a few years anyway.
Thank you all for your advice. x
My DD2 who is 9 also wants to be a doctor too, and first decided this when she was aged about 3.
Fortunately she seems to be quite bright, so hopefully she will be of the right calibre. It is useful to know extra curricular activities etc. she will need to take up in her teens. Thank you.
Yes but let's be honest isn't it us parents who want them to be doctors? My dd has always said she wants to be one too (great I thought) but now she's 14 she's thinking of other careers as well ... though she is doing separate science for GCSE but that's obviously her choice ... who knows what she may do eventually ... keep an open mind - they chop and change!!!
Some chop and change as they grow, some don't. DD1 always wanted to be a teacher, from around age 7. Never changed her mind and in her early thirties became one of the youngest head teachers in our county.
DD2 had set her heart on becoming a SALT, at A level had a change of mind and went for something completely unrelated. Was happy for a few years then not long ago retrained for something else.
DD3 has never had a career plan, but has ended up in a field that she is happy with.
So let her go with the flow! If she still wants to do medicine when choosing GCSEs then help her make the right choices, but be prepared for a complete change of heart along the way.
IMO, you can't go wrong encouraging any child in maths and sciences, or supporting any inclination they hold or interests they have, but 10 seems a bit premature to start coaching a child towards a chosen profession.
Why not encourage a good relationship with maths and sciences for now?
I was a nurse and worked with Doctors for years and I wouldn't encourage my children to go into medicine, although I admire those that do. Years and years of training and then having to deal with general public day in and day out?. No, just no .
Crikey. Maybe take her to the park or something. Bat and ball?
That's not a bad idea, actually. Sport is excellent for the mind and team sport is terrific for all professions. Being a well-rounded candidate, as well as academic excellence, is always a good background.
All I wanted to find out about was the subjects involved in and would help with career in medicine... It was never my decision for her to become a paediatrician, from nursery age, she used to collect stones and say she would like to become an Archeologist but from the beginning of the year, she's been mentioning paediatrician and seems adamant.
Obviously, I can only encourage and support her in her decision.
MATHS. A really solid foundation in maths puts one in very good stead to study sciences. ALL of them. Just start with the maths. After studying calculus and physics for a while, I found subjects like uni-level chem, biology and anatomy not as difficult.
Just focus on the maths and support an interest in all sciences, including ones like botany and animal studies such as ornithology, entomology, ichthyology, physics, astronomy.
There's just no doors to any of these closed if you foster an enjoyment of and foundation in maths.
Okay, I do love maths! But I came to that love in my mid-20s after its not having been fostered in me.
Solid foundation in maths and interest in sciences helps, too, if one day medicine doesn't work out or she fancies a change.
I'm from the US, where this happens often enough because people don't enter medical school (except prodigies) until they are about 22 and often even much older.
I knew a lot of people who went in and then decided it wasn't for them, but had a good background in maths and sciences and were able to find other careers which suited them more, including veterinary medicine, physics, geophysics and chemical engineering.
My cousin wanted to do medicine at first but, her second year of uni, changed tack and is now a successful chemical engineer who loves her work, which is in medical research.
Without advances in engineering and even veterinary medicine, human medicine would not be as we know it now.
People diss space programmes, for example, as wastes of money. If they only knew the number of advances that have crossed over into many parts of life that came from aerospace engineering they would think twice.
TBH, I'd rather see one of mine go into engineering than medicine, but that's not my choice, of course.
There's another thread somewhere about a 6 year old who has decided he wants to go to Eton, and how to get him there. Bonkers.
At 8 years old I announced I wanted to be a solicitor. I am a solicitor. In between then and now I also flirted with investment banker, management consultant, headhunting and pilot. I did work experience for 2 of those things at the appropriate time (sixth form/university) but not law, but ended up becoming a solicitor. I'm happy in my job and it suits my nature but I'm glad I considered plenty of other things too.
Friends who have older children at med school have confirmed it is essential to get relevant work experience these days. A string of A*s is not enough. So I would ensure she gets work experience while in sixth form. For instance, one daughter of a friend managed to get some work experience at the Leonard Cheshire home when she was 17 where she met a doctor who invited her to do some at the local hospital too. That helped a lot with applications.
Do bear in mind a lot can change in the teenage years though.
Thank you for your valuable advices
When DD1 had her interviews at uni for Medicine all they talked about was why she had done Graphic Design for AS and how she enjoyed her time on a tall ship. All viable candidates will be excellent at maths and the sciences, to get in you need to be a rounded character. At one interview DS was asked what his favourite joke was!
BTW both DD1 and DS say the most difficult aspect of reading Medicine so far has been the role play so maybe GCSE Drama?!?
Do you think that what happens here with medicine and Eton is something like this?:
Child: "I want to be a hairdresser"
Parent (thinks: not good enough): "That's nice dear"
Child (a few weeks later): "I want to be an astronaut"
Parent (thinks: unobtainable): "That's nice dear"
Child (a few weeks later): "I want to be a doctor"
Parent (thinks: ooh yes): "What a good idea darling, that would be excellent, we would be so proud. So and so is a doctor, it is a great thing to do"
(child learns that a doctor is a good thing to be that gets praise and interest)
Child (a few weeks later): "I want to be a doctor"
I actually don't want my dcs to do medicine. Dd1 and ds won't be doing it. Although ds has "no clue" what he's going to do at 15 I can't imagine a change to medicine in the next year before he decides on subjects or AS. Dd2 is 3 and very interested in the body and loves Dr Ranj but I'm not too worried yet
It's more than just academic though. Kids have to write a big personal statement as part of their application and do an interview which is as said above looking at more than just school work.
At 10 I'd encourage broad interests, hobbies including sport and music help with the personal statement and to work well at school across the board. Plenty of time to be more specific than that
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