When Is Your Child Too Young to Begin Preparing for Medical School?
Whilst it may seem counterintuitive, it might actually be helpful to begin to answer this question with another one - Is it ever to early to really consider medial school for your child?
After all, for many parents having a son or daughter who grows up to be a doctor is, literally a dream come true. So on the one hand, perhaps it is never too early to begin considering your child for medical school – after all, it does no harm to dream!
How about though if it is your child themselves who harbor the dreams of going to medical school? This may, as we have discussed above, be as the result of your own aspirations filtering down to the child itself. But on the other hand, if this is an intention they have brought up themselves, a dream they have nurtured from scratch, and then of course you as their parent will only too keen to help them turn this dream into a reality.
The same will of course apply if it is you who have the dream that they become a doctor, but either way both types of parent will be keen to do all they can to assist their child.
This then leads us back to our initial question - when is too early to begin preparing for medical school?
Well of course, we’re not advocating that kindergarten children begin taking detailed anatomy lessons or a start studying advanced chemistry in the second grade! There will be plenty of time later in their educational journey to pick up these skills and knowledge – even before they set foot into a medical school.
On the other hand, is it ever to early to begin to lay the foundations of knowledge that will stand them in good stead later in both their education and on into their professional fields?
The UK based Medical School Council definitely agree. They suggest that children as young as seven should be exposed to aspects of the medical world. The council believes that this will both encourage children to consider being doctors and also highlight to them early on the kinds of education and experiences they will need to gain to become successful doctors.
They suggest that current doctors are allowed to go into schools to talk to pupils about the path to becoming a doctor, and what life is really like once you qualify. They then add that at a later date, it could be arranged for older children to have some experience of medical school by sitting in on lectures and meeting current students for advice.
Of course these are just proposals at this stage, so perhaps instead of waiting for a doctor to come to your school, you could arrange for your child to meet a working doctor in a hospital or surgery.
So really, it is never to early to begin preparing your child for medical school. Even if they are too young for a visit from a doctor for example, you could begin by buying them toy medical kits, so even as children they can begin to acclimatize to the tools of their future trade!