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March 11, 2009


You know, I could have written a very similar post. My youngest (15) has recently decided she wants to be a doctor, and I am just not entirely sure she has what it takes. (This is not strictly concern with academic ability; I think the med school grind is utterly inhuman.)

Do I encourage her, and risk her failing? Do I encourage her in a different direction, and risk her hearing "You're too stupid"?

In the end, I opted to be supportive, without even a caveat like "and if it doesn't work out, then..." She's only 15, she may change her mind, she may reveal academic fortitude not previously expressed... At any rate, she'll be learning. Not just the subjects, but about herself.

And if she tries and fails? It's better than not trying at all, and failure has its lessons, too.

That's what I decided. I decided and I'm nice and calm about it. The deep-breathing helps, too.

You can always look at Newcastle Uni, the UAI for med is a little lower there than the Sydney universities. That said, they slide on the cut-off, the UMAT test is THE most important factor. If she aces that (which is bloody hard to do) she could get into most med degrees with any UAI in the 90's. I've been on the board for admissions in a couple of medical faculties and the UMAT and interview are really the major factors. A 94.45 did it for me in 2000 and MSF was also my inspiration... I now live and work in South America. Are you ready to let her go?! :)

I think the best think you can do for your daughter, is be supportive, no matter what. if she sets her heart on medicine, works her hardest and fails, then at least she will know she gave it her best try, and it wasn;t meant to be. She wont go through life thinking that she is better than she actually is, and always find excuses. If she achieves it, she will be so proud, and so confident. Good luck to her!

my daughter is in her 3rd year of high school and is now thinking of the college admission process. she's got her heart set on a school that requires very high grades and test scores. I want to be supportive but I am fearful, because the school she loves is a reach for her. so I understand completely.

Ilona: I'm finding deep breathing to be helpful too. And yes, it's the inhuman grind of med school that worries me more than anything. I'm sure no-one wants their child to be subjected to that, because it's just plain wrong!

Lauren: Thank you for your input. You make it sound achievable! As for letting her go, she's the sort of kid that I've always known wouldn't be hanging onto my apron strings. We get along fabulously, but adventure's in her heart! South America? Hmmm, wouldn't mind that, I'm even learning the language...

Nat: I agree, it's better to know what your ability really is!

Songbird: It's reassuring to know I'm not alone in my fear!

There's nothing wrong with failing. It's failing to pursue your dreams that's tragic. Em's very young. She may change career paths many times between now and when she has to actually choose a major.

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