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Author Topic: Your path into Science and Medicine?  (Read 3311 times)

Offline CuriousEternal

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Your path into Science and Medicine?
« on: 12/01/2007 23:17:36 »
Hello Naked Scientists!

I have enjoyed many many episodes of your podcast during the past couple of years. You are all always very kind and respectful to callers, even to ones like me who don't know very much about your subject matter.

I am curious about your backgrounds. I mentor a 15-year-old student who aspires to become a medical doctor, a surgeon in particular. An excellent student, he has a lot of interests. This including a great interest in all things science related, music, computers, and, naturally at his age, video games and television.

What other activities have you found, looking back, were instrumental to your success as scientists, physicians and also as people? Are there any particular nonacademic activities you found to be very important for connecting with other people, like volunteering, athletics, clubs, etc?

I also recognize that teens are not going to be just jumping into adult style interests, so with that in mind, do you have any suggestions about games and television or web sites and podcasts similar to your own that might be both educational and attention-keeping?

I am really curious because I want to help my friend achieve the most he can be.

Thank you and take care,

Josh Gough
Curious Eternal Podcast: newbielink:http://www.methodeternal.com/writing [nonactive]




 


 

Offline rosy

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Your path into Science and Medicine?
« Reply #1 on: 12/01/2007 23:34:25 »
Hi Josh

I'm only very tangentially related to the Naked Scientists, but I am a postgrad chemistry student, so...
I did slightly more extra-curricular Stuff as a teenager than was really conducive to a comfortable life:
I was a Guide, helped with a brownie pack and for a while a group of beavers, played waterpolo and the 'cello (in the school orchestra), sailed and did scottish dancing.
I don't know that any of it helped me directly with my studies but by restricting the time I had available to spend on homework it certainly taught me a lot about fitting too much school work into not enough time...
Of course I had the inestimable advantage of wholely linear GCSE courses and largely linear A-level course (except for physics, which was modular and all of which I'd forgotten by the time I got to uni a year later)... which meant I could do a lot more of my own time management.
 

Offline chris

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Your path into Science and Medicine?
« Reply #2 on: 13/01/2007 12:32:06 »
Hello Josh.

I don't think there's one 'right' way. If you look at each of our backgrounds you'll find that we all very different; what we all share is a passion for science and telling people about it.

Therein lies the key - passion. The only way to be successful in a chosen field is to be passionate about it. You need to go the extra mile to be a hit at something, and having passion, a defined goal in mind, unflagging enthusiasm and total self belief will ensure that you get where you want to go.

Some people believe in 'luck' of 'fate'. I don't. I subscribe to a philosophy I once read which goes "Luck is where opportunity meets preparation". I've lived by that motto ever since, and it's never let me down.

Chris
 

Offline WylieE

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Your path into Science and Medicine?
« Reply #3 on: 13/01/2007 17:59:51 »
Hi,
 I hope it is OK if I throw my 2 cents (pence?) worth in too, I am not associated with the Naked Scientists at all (its too cold here) other than my belief that what they are doing is what is desperately needed for science (and a lot of fun).

  I am a big advocate for volunteering, especially at age 15.  There are usually tons of opportunities to volunteer depending on his interests- I volunteered at a zoo through high school, our university takes high school students in the lab over the summers, I have friends who volunteered in the physics department in high school, etc- the opportunities are there, he may have to work to find them.

 I agree with Dr. Chris that a common theme in success is passion, and part of this passion involves sharing it with others, especially young people.  A view held by many is that scientist don't want to talk with others or are difficult to interact with.  However, I find the opposite to be true- if you get most scientists talking about their interests, you usually can't get them to shut up.  My point is, if your student shows a bit of interest and motivation and goes out and asks around he can probably find someplace to volunteer that will be enthusiastic about having him there. 

 Volunteering has many benefits, it exposes students to what is possible, it kept me motivated through the tougher classes, it looks good to future employers yadda, yadda, yadda- BUT the biggest benefit of volunteering is that passion is really contagious- when someone really loves what they do they make others around them excited about it too.  I think this is why the Naked Scientist show is so great, you can just feel their passion and excitement about the science and the possibilities (OK, I'm a suck-up- BUT I really mean it). 
 
  One further bit of advice, if your student does volunteer, they should make a commitment of a certain length of time and FOLLOW THROUGH- then if they love it they can consider doing it again.  If it turns out to be not what they are interested in, they should at least put in a good effort for the time they've promised.  No point in burning bridges. 
 
  Luck plays a role, but I totally agree with Dr. Chris- my favorite is from Pasteur "Chance favors the prepared mind"

Best of Luck,
Colleen
 

Offline DrN

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Your path into Science and Medicine?
« Reply #4 on: 13/01/2007 20:30:33 »
Hi,
just another contributor here ...

I've found that working in science is the same as working anywhere else, people are people, and any group of people is going to be made up of individuals with individual interests. You can't prepare for 'getting along with people' that you're going to be working with, but having interests that you are really passionate about will always give you something to talk about, and people do really connect with that, even if they don't share the same interests.

I have experienced though, that many scientists do have active hobbies, whether cycling, swimming, skiing, mountain climbing or whatever (actually, rarely football!)

whatever it is, he needs to be genuinely interested in it, not just doing it for the CV! although volunteering and having intersting past-times will make a good talking point in an interview, and make him seem a more interesting, rounded person.
 

Offline WylieE

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Your path into Science and Medicine?
« Reply #5 on: 15/01/2007 02:53:39 »
Hmmm, I wonder why not football?
Colleen
 

Offline DrN

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Your path into Science and Medicine?
« Reply #6 on: 17/01/2007 22:59:56 »
don't know. I've only met two scientists who have been into football.
 

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Your path into Science and Medicine?
« Reply #6 on: 17/01/2007 22:59:56 »

 

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