Help! High School Student in Need of Advice

Hey guys. I’m a new member, I just signed up. It’s great to be here. My dad recommended this website as a great informational tool to prepare me for the coming years ahead, as I make my way towards my goal of becoming a physician.

I’m sixteen years old, and I’m a sophomore in high school. I need some advice about the next two years of high school, and what sort of courses I should take. My transcript so far is as follows:

Eighth Grade (high school classes only):

  1. French I

  2. Earth Space Science (Honors)

  3. Algebra I (Honors)


  4. Geometry I (Regular)

  5. Health I(a prep class for the medical science program)

  6. English I (Honors)

  7. French II

  8. AP Human Geography

  9. Biology Honors

  10. Mind Body Fitness

    Tenth (current):

  11. Chemistry I K (Honors)

  12. Algebra II Regular

  13. Latin I

  14. English II K (Honors)

  15. AP World History

  16. ART I

  17. Restaurant Management

    I’m hoping to take the following during junior year:

  18. English III AP/Dual

  19. US History AP/Dual

  20. Latin II

  21. Psychics (regular)

  22. AP Biology

  23. Principles of Health Science

  24. COllege Algebra

    Do you think my courses for next year are appropriate for someone who wants to become a doctor? I want to exhibit in my transcript that life science is my major strength.

    So my questions are: Is it wise to take AP Biology now? I know Biology is a requirement for introductory college classes, but would it help me? I just need to be absolutely sure.

    What sort of grades/qualifications/etc do I need to get into a school like Baylor College of Medicine, in Texas? This type of school has both undergrad and grad programs in the medical field. I want to be able to get into such a school because I feel I would have the advantage over someone who did their undergrad at another school.

    How high should my SAT score be? How can I prepare for the SAT?

    What are the best undergrads right now? (in terms of the probability of increasing my chances of acceptance into med school/financial security)

    My major priority is making sure I meet the requirements needed to get into an undergrad program in the medical field in high school.

    Can you guys help me out?

This is a little outside my wheelhouse, but I’ll give it a go.

I think it’s great that you’re so dedicated to a future profession now, but don’t let it blind you from exploring other interests. Medical schools don’t just want the smart applicants nowadays and look for people who have diverse experiences that they can share with classmates and future patients. So find a balance between academics and extracurricular activities, especially those that provide you health care related experiences and/or leadership opportunities (sports, student govt, etc). It’s all about the whole person concept these days, which I think is good.

Instead of worrying what grades you think you need, focus on doing as well as you can in everything and let the cards fall where they fall. Take classes that interest and challenge you, and it’s a double bonus if those classes align with course work in the basic or advanced sciences. Take a look at med school prereq course requirements and topics that will be included on the MCAT 2015. Psych and social sciences are gaining traction. You DO NOT have to be a health studies/biology major to get into med school, as long as you can still get all the prereqs done prior to application/matriculation .

You’ll probably need to get with a high school advisor or do your own research into what undergrad programs have a large number of med school matriculants. You’ll read contradictory advice on different forums: “go to Harvard, but Harvard is known for grade inflation and it won’t look good if you don’t get straight A’s.” In the end, go to a school that has a strong program in whatever field interests you, and do as well as you can without becoming miserable and neurotic.

If you know, without any doubt, that you want to be a doc, you should look into schools with BS-MD programs that will either make it “easier” to get into a specific med school or actually shortens the 8 year process into about 6. This is risky because a lot of them tie you into a specific school, and you’re still young to be locking yourself into a decision that takes up 1/3 of your life thus far.

Sorry I probably didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear. It’s impossible to tell someone exactly what to do because no one knows you and there are countless ways to get to where you’re trying to get.

Wow, that is a really ambitious schedule. I think I’d actually suggest fewer AP classes because you want to do well in the science classes and not kill yourself learning minutia in AP History classes.

I don’t know the content of the college Algebra class but if they have a trigonometry/analytical geometry class I might suggest taking that in high school. Also if you are planning on taking calculus at some point, a high school level calculus course can make college calculus more easily passable.

If you are interested in Theatre or Music, you’ve really got the bases covered with bio, chem, and physics so feel free to explore some other stuff!

Sleeping is important to both health and learning so try to pace yourself --in other words, don’t take ALL killer classes now. The fact that med school is really hard is no excuse for trying to make high school impossible! You work your way up to the med school level. There is a reason it is AFTER college.

Best wishes in your endeavors!!


This schedule while ambitious, is actually quite normal for the high school students I regularly work with.

I’d only add that ALL of the science and math classes should be honors/AP level classes.

Good luck!