I am a junior in high school looking to become a surgeon. What would be the best way to get to Hopkins for their MD/PhD program, and from there to CHOP for residency?
Thanks so much.
Wow. That is a specific plan you have there. I think the only thing I was sure of when I was your age was a) I wanted to go to college, b) I wanted to be a doctor. Or maybe a writer. Or maybe some kind of unspecified star...., and c) I wanted to wear my hair in an updo for the junior prom.
I guess my first piece of advice is to be open-minded about your future. There are so many fantastic places to train --all which can help you become a wonderful physician. Having your heart set on one specific place could lead to disappointment.
You say you want to become a surgeon. That's wonderful if you know now that is what you are meant to do for a career for the rest of your life, but also be open to other possible career options. Speaking about myself, looking back at myself while in high school, to college, to medical school and now, it's hard to believe how much I've changed in every dimension. I went to medical school thinking I would most certainly become a neurologist (neuroscience major in undergrad), then it was most certainly a neonatologist, and then it was a general pediatrician, before finally settling on internal medicine. The important thing is to always stay true to yourself and follow your heart. It's too easy to get trapped in a path that we think we should be on.
I think it's probably too early to be thinking residency strategy at this point, but if you're looking ahead to MD-PhD programs, good grades and strong research experience in undergrad probably goes without saying. But, in speaking of what makes a good med student applicant versus a so-so one, is less about the perfect 4.0 or MCATs, it's the entire package of the individual - what makes someone standout is what makes you unique.
I happened to go to Hopkins for med school. As a student there, I served as a student member of the admissions committee. What came up time and time again was that we wanted to find multi-dimensional applicants - those who clearly had outside interests and talents, unique prior experiences, and, importantly, showed a clear commitment for medicine through their application. We had the chance to mingle and talk with all of the applicants on interview day and advocated for those who were interpersonally engaging (as opposed to the clearly insincere / egomaniacs / gunners / robots / Mr.Spocks).
I'll close with this piece of advice: becoming a physician is a long road - you need to have fun and live life to its fullest on that journey. It is so not just about the destination.Your experiences outside of the classroom or lab are just as important in shaping you as the physician you will become. Live, play, love, listen. Don't let a singular focus for the future make you miss smelling the roses. The roses are key.