High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

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High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Anonymous8 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:19 am

hello, my name is <removed> and i am a sophomore in high school. i stumbled upon this website today and i found it extremely interesting. i am planning on pursuing a career as a psychiatrist, but i have no idea where to start. my parents don't know anything about psychiatry or the schooling required to be a psychiartist, seeing as how they never went to medical school or anything of the sort. i would give up, but i am so interested in psychiatry that i cannot. whenever you have spare time, is there any way that you could email me back with anything that you think is important to know in order to be successful in having this career? please include what classes i need to take. so far in my high school career i have taken honors science I, chemistry, and science II, but not many math classes...i really hate math. please email me back at:
<removed>. thank you in advance so much for your time and effort.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:19 am

Glad you like the site. Sophomore year in high school is a long way before you need to make a decision on what you want to do with your life. While being a psychiatrist is a great career in many ways, there are many other great careers out there. Most people don't choose their career until some point in college. Most doctors don't choose their specialty until their 3 year of medical school.

In high school, your specific courses won't make that much difference. If you take AP biology and AP chemistry, you still may want to take those courses in college - as they will be more intense than the high school AP course. I did take AP chemistry, and still took an honors version of chemistry in college. However, I took AP physics and did not have to take any physics in college.

In general though, high school grades and test scores are going to be more important than the classes you take. Your goal should be to get into the best college for YOU. A great reputation plus the size / social life / strong departments that best fits you is the way to go. In college, take the classes that interest you, but you'll also need to take the standard pre-med courses.

You need to do well enough in college and on your MCAT in order to get into medical school. The whole process includes 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and 4 years of a psychiatry residency.

I wish you luck with things, and feel free to post your questions in the forum. I'm going to cut and paste this to the forum for other people who may have similar questions.

Rick
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby L-Wood » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:21 am

thank you very much!
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby lorianwoods » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:21 am

hi,my name is yadana phyo and i am a high school graduate in Myanmar.i know the Myanmar education would not help me much to attend the med school in abroad but i am trying really hard to join the med school.so far in my career i am good at chemistry,maths,biology and English and i hate physics.do i need to good at physics to attend the med school?please email me back at lorian.woods@gmail.com and include what subjects i need to specialize.thank you so much for your time and effort.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:24 am

I would suggest you attend college in the US if you want to get into a US medical school. You obviously would still need to do very well in the US college, but it would seem your chances otherwise are extremely low. I also posted a message in the new forum here:

<link removed as post has since been removed>
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Maritza » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:25 am

hi!!!!!!! well i hope you're doing very good.

i really need your advice. Well I'm a sophomore in high school, and i am very interested in studying the human brain and behaviors and all kind of stuff related to that. At first i had an extreme interest in psychology and i am actually taking that class this year and i am going to take AP psychology next year, but I've always had an interest in medicine so i now have been thinking i would be interested in PSYCHIATRY, it involves medicine so I'm considering that. I think its very interesting to understand the mentall illnesses humans can have and i have this weird thing that i would like to talk to someone that sees the world at a different view. But den again i like psychology so I'm not so sure. It would be fantastic if you could email me at mari_socorro51@yahoo.com PLEASE AND THANKYOU!!
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:25 am

Maritza,

You have a lot of time to decide on a career. I'd say continue taking the classes that you enjoy for now.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Dustin » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:42 am

Hi everyone im realy looking for some advice. Im in my third yoear of hi school and the pressure is on but i think i would really like to become a phyciatrist. I do quite well in school and im always improving but im still not sure what requirements are needed for collage? What does it mean when people say they major in chemestry or physics or biology? does it change what kind of phyciatrist you can be? I also wanted to know what a minimum of marks you should be getting to be accepted to a collage?
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:46 pm

Dustin,

I would suggest you speak to your school counselor about college plans to figure out what schools would be a good fit for you. GPA needed to get accepted into college can vary significantly. I think less than 2.0 out of 4.0 would make it difficult to get into college. Many colleges actually post their average high school GPA for accepted applicants on their web sites.

If you think that your grades may not be good enough to get into college, you should also talk to the school counselor about whether plans for medical school are realistic. You will need excellent grades in college in order to get into medical school, and most people are not able to get the kinds of grades required to get into medical school.

In college, you will need to select an area of study that you will focus on - this focus area is known as a "major". You can major in any field and still get into medical school. You usually don't need to select your major until your sophomore or junior year of college.

The courses you take in college and even medical school have no impact on becoming a psychiatrist. During medical school, you would apply to psychiatry residency programs. A psychiatry residency is a 4 year program after your 4 years of medical school, after your 4 years of college.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Dustin » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:07 pm

Ok, thank you for your advice, it sounds like a good idea. I do think that if i work hard then i can get the grades need for collage, i just sometimes find it hard to get motivated to do my schoolwork. When i work at my homework, i understand everything but sometimes its a real strungle to force my self to do the work.
Thank you for you advice
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby ClassicalArtLov » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:55 pm

Hi, I am in eighth grade and I am looking to pursue a career in psychiatry. I know I am way to young to be thinking about what I want to d with my life but we have finally gotten registration forms for high school today and I'm having what you could call an "information overload". I don't know what classes to take for this job. Should I take a lot of science and math classes? What kind of courses should I take to make sure I'm good with people? I just don't understand it. And then what should be my major in college to get a good like psychiatry thing. It's just so confusing, but the one thing I am sure about is that I am taking all Honors classes freshman year, or at least I hope so if my teachers this year recommend me. Please help!
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:18 am

ClassicalArtLov,

I'm glad you are taking things so seriously after 8th grade, but don't let all of the information bother you at this point. If you are taking all honors classes, you'll be in great shape when you graduate high school. As long as you take at least the typical required high school classes you'll be okay.

As for math classes, you probably won't be given much of a choice. Most pre-med college students have taken at least pre-calculus by the time they graduate high school, and I would guess many have taken calculus. Calculus is actually not a requirement for medical school (even while you are in college), so just take whatever math classes are recommended to you.

As for science classes, your school probably has a set curriculum. I know mine, at least for honors level students, had biology freshman year, chemistry sophomore year, and physics junior year. Many pre-med bound kids then took an AP science course their senior year.

As for non-science classes, I'd again suggest taking what is recommended to you.

The high school curriculum really won't impact your career choice that much. The academic goal is to get into the best college (for you). You also want to make sure you are able to have at least some enjoyment - so be involved in extra-curriculars that interest you.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Erica-Lynn » Wed May 20, 2009 7:50 pm

Hello,
I am about to enter my sophomore year in high school and I have been planning on becoming a psychiatrist for over two years now. I'm not sure what would be better to take between AP Chemistry or Honors Chemistry. My freshman year I took honors Biology and passed with flying colors. I'm nervous on taking AP Chemistry with AP World History, Junior Lang. Arts, Accelerated Math and playing two sports. What would you suggest?
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri May 22, 2009 1:22 am

Erica-Lynn,

It sounds like you have been an excellent student to be able to take those classes as a sophomore. When I went to High School, we had to take regular chemistry (in my case honors) before we could take AP chemistry. Make sure that you can take AP chemistry without taking regular chemistry first. I know that my AP chemistry class (which I took junior year, along with honors physics), would have been very challenging if I hadn't already taken regular chemistry.

In the end, only you know what you can handle. I didn't start taking AP classes until Junior year, but that was pretty much the earliest we could at my high school at that time. I also played two sports. I was plenty busy, but I never felt overwhelmed.

In the end it probably won't make that much difference what classes you take in high school (AP vs honors), unless you want to try to skip a year of college. I was able to skip a year of college because of all of my AP credit combined with taking one extra college course each semester in college. Getting good grades in AP classes probably will help you with getting into a better college, which will help you get into a better medical school.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby William » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:45 pm

Hello. My name is William. I'm a sophomore and I've already decided to become a psychiatrist. When I was going to one, they said that it was a good career for me to persue because I have the traits to be one and the interest and will. I would like to know what courses I should take in high school and in college. This is also for a boy scout merit badge, I just made life rank.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:59 am

William,

As I said in my earlier posts in this thread, courses you take in high school don't matter too much. One goal in high school should be to get into the best college possible (for you). In college, you'll need to take the required pre-med courses: 1 year general chem, 1 year organic chem, 1 year physics, 1 year biology.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby caelinnn » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:02 pm

Hi, I also want to be a psychiatrist when I grow up. I am going to be a sophmore this following fall, and I took regular courses. I took Biology and Algebra 1, and this upcoming school year I am taking Chemistry and Geometry. Should I be taking different classes also? For electives I can take a half year of psychology, would that help me?
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:08 am

Caelinnn,

Your classes sound fine to me. Taking psychology classes in high school (or college for that matter) won't impact your ability to get accepted into medical school. It may be helpful to find out if you find the material interesting. It is possible you may take the psychology class and then realize that you absolutely hate psychology. I doubt that would happen, but in that case, it would be better to know sooner rather than later.

If you are interested in the topic and there is no other elective you would rather take in high school, I'd say go for it. You should also factor in whether the teacher is any good. If you have a lousy teacher, you may have a bad experience in the class when you actually may like the material if it were taught properly. I did take one semester of psychology in high school. The teacher wasn't a great teacher, but he was decent and it was a good experience. Keep in mind that psychology is a very broad subject, much broader than the clinical field of psychiatry. You will learn about many theories that don't relate to the work of a psychiatrists. I find all of the theories very interesting, but I know some psychiatrists who actually aren't that interested in the theories of psychology, yet they are good at the work they do as a psychiatrist.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Americanista_10 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:29 pm

hi, i wanted to be a psychiatrist since i was in 7th grade, but I've learned you got to take advanced math & science classes. I like math & science but I have a hard time keeping my grades .I'm goingto be a freshmen next month &I'm taking english honors, but I'm doing algebra again and Ag. science. Its hard to believe it takes more than 10 years to be a psychiatrist. I really want to be one, but I don't want to take such a long time. In the side lines, I have soccer which really matters to me & helping out at the church.I really like to help out other people. Yet, what kind of classes should i take next year as a sophmore?
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:51 am

Americanista,

Take the usual classes that sophomores take. The most important thing (regarding getting into medical school) is getting good grades so that you can get into a good college.

There is no real shortcut to becoming a psychiatrist. If you do extremely well in high school and get great SAT scores, you could get into a 7 year program combining college and medical school, which will reduce your education time one year. You'd still have the 4 years of residency after that.

I think as a sophomore in high school, it is too early to be sure what you want to do for a career, but it is good to make sure you don't do anything that would keep you from pursuing a career you may want to do down the road.

Focus on your school work as that will help you get into a good college. Getting into a good college will be helpful no matter what career path you choose.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm

Anonymous8 wrote:hello, my name is <removed> and i am a sophomore in high school. i stumbled upon this website today and i found it extremely interesting. i am planning on pursuing a career as a psychiatrist, but i have no idea where to start. my parents don't know anything about psychiatry or the schooling required to be a psychiartist, seeing as how they never went to medical school or anything of the sort. i would give up, but i am so interested in psychiatry that i cannot. whenever you have spare time, is there any way that you could email me back with anything that you think is important to know in order to be successful in having this career? please include what classes i need to take. so far in my high school career i have taken honors science I, chemistry, and science II, but not many math classes...i really hate math. please email me back at:
<removed>. thank you in advance so much for your time and effort.

i dont no either help me
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Guest » Fri May 07, 2010 9:01 am

uhm hey i really need your help....i wanna be a psychistrist when i finish high. so plese tell me what subjects do i have to take?
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Mon May 10, 2010 12:29 am

Guest wrote:uhm hey i really need your help....i wanna be a psychistrist when i finish high. so plese tell me what subjects do i have to take?


As I said in my earlier posts in this thread, courses you take in high school don't matter too much. One goal in high school should be to get into the best college possible (for you). In college, you'll need to take the required pre-med courses: 1 year general chem, 1 year organic chem, 1 year physics, 1 year biology.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Ria » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:23 am

Hi,

I'm not one to repeat the same question as many ppl have done on this site. So I seek clarity not an actual question, if that is okay.

So from what I've read, high school has no impact on becoming a psychiatrist AT ALL? I am about to be a sophmore and I'm scouting out different careers I wish to follow through with. Psychiatry is the one I have chosen but that may change. So it takes a long time to become a psychiatrist. I read that while doing a residency you are paid. Is that true? I
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:27 pm

Ria wrote:Hi,

I'm not one to repeat the same question as many ppl have done on this site. So I seek clarity not an actual question, if that is okay.

So from what I've read, high school has no impact on becoming a psychiatrist AT ALL? I am about to be a sophmore and I'm scouting out different careers I wish to follow through with. Psychiatry is the one I have chosen but that may change. So it takes a long time to become a psychiatrist. I read that while doing a residency you are paid. Is that true? I


The only impact high school has on becoming a psychiatrist is making sure you did well enough to get into a good college. You'll want to have taken the basic science courses offered in high school at the high school level (you don't need to take AP courses, although those don't hurt) - biology, chemistry and physics. You just want to make sure you are prepared to take the pre-med level college courses when you start college. The high school courses are not necessarily a requirement, but you do want to make sure you are prepared for college.

Residency is paid. Not a lot given the amount of debt most people are in after college and medical school, but enough to support yourself. I am guessing residents are currently starting at around $45k / year.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby asiaa » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:42 am

heey, my name is asia and im going into grade ten, ive always loved helping people and i want to become a criminal psychiatrist, i have minor dsylexia for numbers so i m not the besst in math, so i dont think i should take physics, but i will hopefullly be taking ap bio and chem. my question iss, do i have to take sports/medical studies, med 20 and med 30 to get into a good college? or can i skip out on that and take art instead. i also have ocd so i absolutly need to plan things or i completely panic so if anyone can heelp mee :) thank would be terrific. thankyouuuu :)
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:50 am

Asia,

I'm not familiar with high schools offering medicine courses, so I'm not sure what you mean by med 20 and med 30. I've never heard of a high school offering a medical studies course. Your goal should be to get into the best college for you, and preferably one that has decent biology and chemistry courses for pre-med. It's been a while since I've been in high school, but when I attended, most students going to college took one year of biology, one year of chemistry, one year of physics, and then advanced students also took an AP science class their senior year.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby tashafougere » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:02 am

Hi there!
My name is Tasha and I'm a senior in high school. Now ever since I entered high school I was always interested in the field of psychology, and have been very interested in becoming a psychiatrist (or a social worker). Now, I realize the jump between being a social worker or a psychiatrist is a huge one, but I just can't decide. I was wondering what high school credits you would need to become either a psychiatrist OR a social worker. My grades through grade 10 and up haven't been that great, health problems making me struggle and fall behind. But I'm willing to go back and boost my grades in certain classes if I have too, but I haven't quite figured out what classes I need yet, and how high my grade has to be in that class. So if you could please help me out, could you please explain to me what I would need to do to attempt either, what classes I would need, and how high my grade in that class would have to be?
Thank you SO much!
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:57 am

Tashafougere,

As a senior in high school, you don't need to make any major commitments to a career yet. Also, the courses you take in high school probably don't matter too much other than to help you get into a good college. You should take the typical science classes that are offered in high school so that you will be prepared to take college level biology, chemistry, and physics. You should have taken the high school level courses in each of those areas. Your grades in high school also really don't matter other than to help you get into a good college. You obviously will need good high school grades and SAT scores to get into a decent college.

If you are deciding between social work and psychiatry, I would suggest once you get into college you take the pre-med courses that would be required to go to medical school and become a psychiatrist. The coursework will always serve you well if you should go into another field and the first year of college it basically means taking general biology and general chemistry. You can also see how well you handle challenging science courses and decide if medical school will be a good fit for you. If at any point you decide you don't want to be a psychiatrist and go to medical school, you just don't take any more of the basic science courses. If you decide before you start college, then you don't need to take those courses.

If your interest is in doing psychotherapy, then you also have the option of being a psychologist. The path to becoming a psychologist is MUCH less rigorous than that of medical school and a psychiatry residency. It is still a big commitment, but it is a far less intense route.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby guest » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:06 am

Hey there,

I have graduated highschool two years ago.
I have finally decided I want to be a psychiatrist as a career. I am dead set on this and have the ambition to make this happen.

In highschool I didn't take any Pre Cal, Biology, Chemisty or Physic's classes.

My question is;
Do I have to take these to be succeed in the University Program and be accepted into Med school?
If so, which ones (if not all), will I have to take beforehand?

I am prepared to take Highschool Correspondance to meet these requirements.
However, i do not want to waste my time taking classes if, say, I don't even need the PreCal's or Physics.

Thank You
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:30 am

Guest,

I'm guessing you took science classes in high school that covered material that would be in biology, chemistry, and physics classes. It's unusual for someone to be a pre-med student in college and not have taken those courses - at least in my experience.

I would highly recommend you speak with your college advisor about whether you are adequately prepared to take the required pre-med coursework. If you are not adequately prepared, then you should see if there are certain science courses you can take that would prepare you.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Sofia » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:07 am

Hi, I'm a junior in highschool, in Canada.
Recently I've heard that biology, physics or chemistry isn't needed in high school to become a psychiatrist, it only gets you ready for uni. If I don't have to, I'd rather not take those courses because I know they will bring down my average and lower my chances of getting a scholarship.
But then today, I heard that biology and chemistry are requirements to become a psychiatrist... Is this true?
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:34 am

Sofia,

You are required to take biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics in COLLEGE in order to get into medical school - at least in the US. While you don't have to take those classes in high school, most college bound high school students do take those science classes in high school. You'll have more advanced levels of those courses in college. If you find the high school level science courses very challenging, then you will likely have a very difficult time with the pre-med courses in college.

You must go to medical school to become a psychiatrist (but not a psychologist). In order to go to medical school, you'll need to take those science courses in college.

If you need more clarification or if you have additional questions, please feel free to ask.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Micaela » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:12 am

Hi!
Im currently a sophomore in High School, taking all Honors/Pre AP/AP classes. Although I am smart, I have gotten ALL A-s or B+s in my science classes, no As. Ever. I have taken Biology, Physical Science, and I'm currently taking Chemistry and AP Bio with a B+ and A-, respectively. Since you mentioned that your high school classes don't matter as much, what are reccomended majors for college for an aspiring psychiatrist? Any non science majors?
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:58 am

Micaela,

The good news is you can major in any field you want and still get accepted to medical school. The not-so-good news is that you will be required to take the pre-med science courses in college, and medical school is mostly science coursework, particularly biology.

If you are able to get an A- in AP biology as a sophomore, you obviously have an interest and ability, even if you aren't getting a solid A. As you are still relatively early in your education, I would encourage you to keep an open mind and keep your options open. Continue to take the courses in high school that you enjoy and that will get you into the best college possible.

Once you are in college, you can take the required pre-med courses, but also take the other coursework that you find interesting. Your major has no impact on whether you get into medical school or not. Make sure that you have an education that will provide you a solid basis for career options other than medical school, in case that path doesn't turn out to be for you. There are plenty of doctors who majored in non-science fields.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby <not listed> » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:26 am

i am a freshman in high school and i am really interested in being a psyciatrist but, i am not very strong in science. i'm not so sure what to do. i try very hard to do the best i can but, i make C's. i am currently taking honors geometry though, would that be an exception? :cry:
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:00 am

<not listed>,

If you are having a difficult time with science classes in high school, the college level science classes required for medical school will be extremely difficult, let alone the science classes in medical school. Biology is probably most similar to the types of science classes you'll encounter in medical school, so that could be a better indicator than other science classes.

As you are just a freshman, give yourself some more time to see how high school science classes go. It may be that medical school and psychiatry is not for you. There are many other professions in the mental health field than psychiatry. In the meantime, make sure you explore all of your interests.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Dominque » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:35 pm

Hi my name is Dominque and right now im a junior with a gpa of 2.1(not so good i know) but I still want to be a psychiatrist so what im asking is is it still possible
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:38 am

Dominque,

You are still in high school, so your grades don't directly have an effect on getting accepted into a medical school. Having said that, though, there are a few reasons why your GPA is a signal that you may have a tough time getting into medical school. First, it will make getting into a good college more difficult than if you had a higher GPA. Second, if you have found high school classes difficult, you are most likely going to find pre-med college courses far more difficult. You college grades are what will really matter, but your high school grades are usually a good indication of how you will do in college.

So the simple answer is that, "yes", you can still get into medical school and go on to become a psychiatrist. Knowing only your GPA, I can't say anything too definitive, but I'm guessing most physicians have had high school GPA's above 3.5, and you are likely going to find the pre-med route is not going to be a good fit for you.

Luckily, there are plenty of options in the mental health field, and if that is your passion, you can find something that is a good fit.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Lalita » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:39 pm

so, do you need physics 11 and 12 to become a psychiatrist, and, how valuable is physics going to be in the medical field??
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:13 am

Lalita,

You need to take 1 year of college level physics in order to apply to medical school. While physics isn't a major part of being a physician, there are some principles that come up in medical school in physiology. Also, if you wind up going into radiology, there are some additional physics principles involved.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby koolkcee » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:17 pm

Thank you very much! im just in grade 9. you have really helped alot.. now i know what i need to focus on! THANK YOU once again :D
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Naomi » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:45 am

It has always been my dream to become a psychiatrist because there have been a few people in my life that have been affected by mental issues and I have always found it so interesting. The problem is, I'm a struggling student and my worst subjects are math and the sciences. I would be devestated if I could not fulfill my dream because of my grades. What can I do to make sure my dream becomes a reality? Time is running out for me as I am an incoming senior. I was also wondering what is the best major to study in college before going to medical school? Please help! thank you so much-Naomi
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:19 am

Naomi,

If you are struggling in high school and math and science are your worst subjects (particularly science), then going to medical school may not be a realistic goal. You will want to check this out with an advisor. Your high school advisor may have have some thoughts, but you will likely get an even better sense from a college advisor when you get to college. I don't want to discourage you if you do have the aptitude for medical school, but it is a small number of people who have the science abilities to get into medical school.

Having said that, there are many very rewarding careers in the mental health field that don't require medical school. You can become a counselor or therapist, either with a social work degree or a psychology degree. Those fields require far less science.

As to your other question about the best college major to get into medical school - the answer is it doesn't matter what your major is. As long as you complete the pre-med requirements, you will be evaluated based primarily on GPA and MCAT scores, regardless of your major.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby rub » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:26 pm

Hi, I am thinking about having a career as a Psychiatrist. I'm a senior in high school and I am wondering what major I would need to take in college in order to qualify for med school. As well as what college courses. Also, I have taken AP Calculus BC (which in my school is the highest math course) and I've gotten a 3 and a 4 (two separate parts) on the AP test. I have taken regular Chemistry and Physics in my school already. As well as Biology. I've done splendid in those classes (As and Bs). I am going to take AP Physics B this year. If I get a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP test I may be able to not take some schools in college. I am also wondering would I have to retake the class in college even though I may get the credit for it through this AP testing? I also did fantastic in all my math and science courses (As and Bs). My current high school GPA is 3.441 and I calculated that I may be able to raise it to approximately a 3.6 by the end of my second trimester in high school. Would that be good enough to get into a good pre med college? Also my last question is, what are some good pre medical and medical schools in Michigan?

Thank you!
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:57 am

rub,

Check out the list of Frequently Asked Questions about Medical School Requirements and you'll get some of your answers.

College Major: see frequently asked question #3

College Courses needed: see frequently asked question #1

As for whether AP credit for physics will count towards you pre-med required physics course - there isn't a clear answer on that one. When I applied to medical school (about 20 years ago!) my AP physics credit was adequate, especially as I did well on the physical sciences section of the MCAT. In more recent years, though, it seems that some medical schools are saying they don't want to accept AP credit as adequate unless you also take a higher level class in that field. I typically think that rule is more clearly applicable for AP chemistry and biology than it would be for physics. My suggestion would be to contact the medical schools to which you are considering applying and ask their admission's committee. If you do this, please share your answers here!

I honestly don't know what grades are required to get into which colleges these days. I would think it would depend on your SAT scores in addition to your GPA. Your high school adviser would hopefully be able to help you determine which schools would be the best fit for you. Off the top of my head, I would say that University of Michigan would be the top school in Michigan and Michigan State would be the second best. I would guess University of Michigan is tough to get into. I don't know about Michigan State.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby Jujube » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:20 am

hey! my name is julia and im in grade 11 and i want to be a psychiatrist really bad but i suck at chemistry. my parents dont know how to help me with it and I was thinking of dropping it... is that a bad idea? do I really need it for psychiatry?
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:33 am

Unfortunately for you, you do in fact need chemistry to be a psychiatrist. You will need to two years of chemistry in college - both can be very challenging classes. You need to take inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry in order to go to medical school.

You probably wouldn't need to take as difficult of chemistry courses if you would consider being a psychologist.
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby vwalt61 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:45 pm

I'm a junior in high school working on a college comparison project for pre-calc. It's starting to make me think about college and what I'm going to do. I've known since 7th grade that I want to be a psychiatrist. But until now I've never truly known what I need to do to get there. I've heard that I need a psychology major, then med-school, and then psychiatry residency. Can you please help me out?
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Re: High School Classes to Become a Psychiatrist

Postby DrDave » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:34 am

vwalt61,

You don't need to be a psychology major to be a psychiatrist. You can major in any field you like, as long as you take the required pre-med courses in college. After college, you would go to medical school. After medical school you would complete a psychiatry residency.
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