Finding the Right Focus

Guest speaker, Dr. Michael Hunter, gives advice for making it through medical school

QUESTIONS: Dr. Michael Hunter answers questions at a HOSA meeting. During his speech, he gave advice to the aspiring doctors. He said, “The most difficult thing about medical school is time management.”

During high school lunch on Tuesday, November 20, Dr. Michael Hunter came to West Lafayette Jr./Sr. High School to talk to students in the club Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). Hunter, who is a pediatrician, talked about his career and what it took to get where he is in the medical field today.

Many HOSA members find the guest speakers, such as Hunter, very helpful for learning more about medical professions. Alicia Wang said, “You kind of get a feel of what it’s like to be in that field and it helps you decide if you want to work in that field or not.” Ania Ahsan, who is also in HOSA, agrees that hearing about the work put in to become a doctor is helpful. She said, “You get to hear their experiences, and after that, you can make a decision.”

Hunter started by talking about how much of his life has been focused on children. Being the third of seven children in his family, he had many siblings to babysit. He said, “I really enjoyed babies, so my pediatrician days were sort of starting when I was little.” Hunter also had children of his own during medical school, and he felt they were more helpful during school than a challenge. He said that some of his classmates wondered how he could go through school with kids. “How do you do it without kids?” he said, “because when I went home I just had to stop.”

Hunter also gave advice to the medically focused students in HOSA. “Don’t get so focused on just cranking out all your academic studying,” he said. He encourages students to still live lives outside of their professions. “You’ll be a better doctor if you are a better human being,” he said. He also encourages students to make sure you will enjoy being a doctor. “I had a couple of classmates who went through undergrad, they went through medical school, and they were getting ready to do their residencies, and they hated it,” he said.

This advice particularly resonated with HOSA member Ania Ahsan. She said, “He talked about how difficult it was if you didn’t want to do it, and [how] you shouldn’t do it.” HOSA member Maya Niyogi also found Hunter’s advice helpful. She said, “[Hearing] his experience is really important because it gives us a taste of what [being a doctor] is actually like.”

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