THINKING OF BECOMING A DOCTOR?
I received three emails from young women interested in becoming doctors, so I am answering them together:
You both asked about schooling to become
a doctor. First you must apply to a college or university
that has strong science programs because premedical students
must complete undergraduate work in physics, biology, mathematics,
inorganic and organic chemistry. Most students take a four-year
undergraduate program before 4 years of medical school,
but some medical schools offer a 6 year combined program.
For more information about premed education, financial aid
and programs, contact the Association of American Medical
Colleges, Section for Student Services, 2450 N. St., NW,
Washington, DC 20037-1126 or www.aamc.org.
Dear Sue S:
You asked, "What is an outlook for pediatricians?"
Since I didn't know if you meant job outlook or psychological outlook,
I'll tell you both: As for job outlook, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics predicts that employment will grow about as fast as the
average of all occupations in the country. But the Bureau cautions
that demand is sensitive to changes in healthcare reimbursement – if
health insurance programs are cut or require higher out-of-pocket costs,
people come to doctors less.
Insurance programs also affect the psychological outlook
for pediatricians. These days pediatricians not only need
a supportive style for children and parents and a tolerance
for being on-call many nights, they must also be able to
cope with the bureaucracy of HMO's and insurance companies
that control most physicians' practices these days. The
American Academy of Pediatrics can offer more information
The Career Doctor