Preparation for becoming a pediatrician often starts long before it's time to take the MCATs. Though the requirements for high school graduation tend to be fairly standard across the board, taking certain classes can help a student look good in the college admissions process, get a head start on completing college courses or give students some insight into the development of children. Plan your high school career wisely to get on the right track.
College Prep Classes
High schools typically set a minimum standard for graduation, but students planning on attending college -- particularly those who wish to be doctors -- would be wise to go above and beyond those requirements. Typically, this means additional math and science classes. A student should aim to take pre-calculus at the very least, and take calculus if she's been advanced in mathematics. Courses in chemistry and physics also build the foundation for what's likely to be a rigorous science program in college.
Take as many AP classes as your school offers and you think you can handle. The best colleges like to see that you challenged yourself academically in high school. Furthermore, a high enough score on the final examination may count toward college credits, allowing you to pass out of pre-requisite classes or complete college graduation requirements that are not within your main area of interest.
Gaining fluency in a foreign language can help you speak with young patients as a pediatrician, especially if you hope to work in a major city. Many colleges also have a foreign language requirement you must meet in order to graduate. If you gain enough proficiency in high school, you may be able to test out of the college language requirement, freeing up your schedule for more relevant classes.
Outside of the traditional college prep program offered by most high schools, certain elective classes can help you become a pediatrician, if they are offered in your school. A psychology or child development class, for example, might give you insight into children that you can tuck away for the future.
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