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What High School Subjects Should You Take to Be an Emergency Room Doctor?

by Evie Sellers, Demand Media

    To become an emergency room doctor, also called an ER physician, you need to complete at least three years of college, four years of medical school and a two- to seven-year residency. Prospective ER physicians have to take many tests along the way, including the Medical College Admissions Test and licensing and certification exams. High school students who are interested in being ER physicians can take the right classes and participate in community service.

    Science Courses

    To get into medical school after college, you must perform well on the MCAT. This test focuses on biological and physical sciences, so taking as many science courses as possible in high school and college will start preparing you for medical school. Take advantage of any science electives that may be offered, such as anatomy and physiology. Some high schools partner with local colleges and universities to give students the opportunity to earn college credit while they are still in high school. Taking advantage of dual-enrollment programs can give you the opportunity to take advanced science courses.

    Math Courses

    Math and science go hand in hand. To perform well in many science classes, it is essential for you to have a strong mathematics background. High school students who are interested in the field of medicine should take the most challenging math classes that their school offers, which may include trigonometry, statistics or calculus. Given the advanced math and science skills that will be required in medical school, begin building a strong math foundation early.

    Honors and AP Classes

    To get into a good medical school, you need to have excellent high school and college grades. Taking advantage of honors and AP classes in high school provides you with a more robust educational background, but many colleges give special consideration if your high school transcripts demonstrate that you have taken challenging courses. It is also possible to exempt some college prerequisite courses by taking and performing well on AP exams, which would allow you to accelerate your college education.

    Community Service

    Begin engaging in a community service. Some high schools may offer service-learning courses or field experience courses that allow you to engage in your local community while you earn high school course credit. Participate in medical-based community service, which can include volunteering at hospitals, clinics, disaster relief organizations or blood banks. Nonmedical community service and work with underserved populations are also important extracurricular activities if you are interested in being ER physician, according to PreMedLife Magazine.

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    About the Author

    Evie Sellers is an educator based in Georgia. She has taught in public high schools, colleges and universities. Sellers holds a Ph.D., with primary research interests including teacher training issues, social justice and health issues.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

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