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a question for any engineers out there

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by krichan, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. krichan

    krichan Junior Member
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    I'm interested in bio(medical)engineering and am thinking of going for a masters before applying to med school. I heard though that it's very challenging and I'm afraid a low GPA will hurt my chances of getting in to med school later on. Any advice for me?
     
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  3. autobot

    autobot Member
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    Hi I am a materials science engineer specializing in biomaterials and I will be starting med school this fall. I would suggest that you do not do bioengineering as an undergrad. I guess my curriculum was similar to bioengineering except the engineering is geared towards materials, but I feel these types of curriculum just don't teach you enough of either (bio or eng) If you are interested in bioengineering, do an actual engineering degree (EE, Mech E, Materials etc) and go into bioeng in grad school, atleast you will be proficient in one of the fields.

    my thoughts
    autobot
     
  4. krichan

    krichan Junior Member
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    also, if anyone knows of 1-year non-thesis programs, please let me know.
     
  5. derf

    derf Ohio Land
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    A bio eng masters will help if you can get 3.7-3.8 or higher. My friends at UCSD suffered bigtime with that bioeng dept's pride. I also know of UCLA BME Masters students who got into baylor and the other into E. Tenn U. Good luck and make sure you stay active during the Masters program.
     
  6. The JockDoc

    The JockDoc lighting up the court
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    Is there a good reason why you want the masters? Are you actually interested in the stuff or are you just looking for a badge of biomedical engineering honor to impress other people ;) ?

    I'm a bioengineer myself, and I know quite a few grad students from my research. There are people who have gotten jobs with their masters degress in bioengineering, so if that's what you're looking for, you may be ok. Otherwise, I agree, go all the way and get a phd to get the most out of your time. If you just want to dabble around in the field, then see if you can get in on a lab that you're interested in. There's labs willing to give projects or whatnot to people who aren't in the department, if you're willing to commit. You also won't have to worry about grades that way.
     
  7. sacrament

    sacrament somewhere east
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    I think this is excellent advice. I got my undergrad degree in ChemE and then my graduate degree was technically "ChemE" but actually was BioE in everything but name. While they seem to be uniformly cool people, my BioE grad school peers floundered when they actually had to do anything. I don't mean to insult any BioE's out there, but I feel that it's a field best left for graduate work--as autobot noted, when done as an undergrad you end up spread way too thin without any real expertise in anything... not only unable to generate and execute workable engineering designs, and also lacking a truly firm grasp of biological processes. BioE would probably need to be a six-year degree in order to fully encompass everything it needs to. This is, of course, just one man's opinion, influenced by one man's experiences.
     
  8. I was told this repeatedly during college orientation, and throughout undergrad. (I was a bioengineering major.) However, if it really interests you, then I'd suggest sticking with it. Your GPA may suffer (due to all those damn engineering classes), though. :(
     
  9. Friday

    Friday TGIF
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    I'd definitely agree that if Biomed Eng interests you go for it. I was Bio Med engineering undergrad and I truly enjoyed it. The eng courses made it tougher than being a bio major but I found it more interesting. It was also not as tough as Elec eng Mech eng because we didn't have to take the hardcore engineering courses. Our GPA's may have been slightly lower than the bio majors but I'm sure our overall transcripts are more impressive.

    Someone said that with bio engineering its too wide and better suited for 'grad work'. Ya, thats true but also something you can use to your advantage. If you go into bio-engineering knowing what you want to do after undergrad you can kind of tweak the coursework and internships to that end.

    At my alma mater, those who knew they wanted to do med school did research and volunteered at the University Hospital while took classes within the BME department which were more bio and physiology based. Those who knew they wanted Grad schools did research with proffs within the department and took Grad courses in undergrad. Those who wanted Law school took courses in the humanities as well as BME courses dealing with issues such as bioethics. Those who wanted Business school did interships with corporate organizations dealing with BME (like SAIC) and now work at such places or doing i-banking.

    In short, just like most majors, if you know want you want to get out of it early on, it shouldn't present itself as a problem.
     
  10. PublicEnemy

    PublicEnemy Senior Member
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    I'm a recent biomedical engineering graduate. I thought it was completely worth it even at the undergraduate level. The classes I took were quite challenging and stimulating but unlike anything I would have seen as just a bio major.
    The opportunities were endless. Through my BME classes, I got to do research with an opthalmologist, design an improved medical device,

    But you have to want to do it and you have to be willing to deal with the repercussions. BME is certainly not the easy way or even traditional way into med school. BME's typically see lower GPA's. Sophomore year when all the bio majors are taking lower course loads to focus on either orgo or bio, BMEs have to double up with Orgo, Bio and labs for both as well as a ton of general engineering classes and advanced BME classes, just to stay on track in terms of degree requirements.

    The biggest irony however is how AMCAS fails to acknowledge BME classes. BME classes technically don't count as BCPM classes, and I find this somewhat ridiculous. Classes I have taken including: Cardiovascular Instrumentation, Neuropathophysiology, Gene Therapy Techniques, Systems Physiology Neuroscience, etc. None of these classes are technically attributed towards my science gpa, because they are BME or engineering and they go towards your AO gpa. Of course, I'm going to add them to my BCPM anyway, but AMCAS doesn't officially recognize them and it could delay my app. I feel that I learned a lot from my upper level BME classes taught by MD/Phds, and these classes will not only help me in med school, but I believe they're also a better indicator of how I'll do in med school, especically compared to gen chem or physics which were taught largely by TA's or grad students. I know BME has prepared me well for med school, but its just a shame that AMCAS doesn't really let me show it.
     
  11. Zahri

    Zahri Senior Member
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    The University of Michigan has a non-thesis Masters in biomedical engineering. It can be done in one year though some do it in 1.5/2 yrs. If you have any questions you can PM me. I did the 1yr program there.
     
  12. Fermata

    Fermata Hold me.
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    If you are a masochist, then I say go for it. :p

    Btw, I've also heard the suggestion from the engineering heads on waiting to do Biomed Eng once one gets to the grad level. For what it's worth.
     
  13. Ol'Girl

    Ol'Girl Member
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    I have both an undergrad and a Master's in biomedical engineering. I don't think a M.S. in BME would hurt your chances of getting into med school, personally. If you are doing so purely as a means of getting into med school, then I wouldn't recommend it, as there are easier ways to boost your app. If you're interested in it, then go for it. I found BME graduate school to be much easier than undergrad, and because this is known, adcoms expect you to have a very high grad school GPA. Besides, if you do a M.S., you'll likely have a research position that will pay your way through school, and you'll add to your network of people who can help you get where you want to be.

    If you want to get a BME job, however, don't bother; I think medical companies are more likely to hire EEs for medical device positions, or MechEs for biomechanics positions.

    In response to Sacrament's post, I think the experience in BME programs will vary widely, with some programs a lot more practical than others.

    Regarding Fermata's post: If you don't didn't learn *any* circuit theory, you might have a hard time jumping into a BME M.S. program. One of the first labs in grad school involved designing and building a basic EKG and respiratory flow monitor, and the people who came in from biochem, or bio, or medical backgrounds had a really difficult time. Otherwise, it's not a bad idea. :)
     
  14. AD2020

    AD2020 Member
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    I think engineering is a great way to get into medicine. At one of my interviews I was told "we need more engineers in medicine." I am a bioengineering major and although my GPA was lower than it could have been had I done bio, I think most med schools took this into account. The schools that will take this into account most are the those that have major undergraduate engineering programs (e.g. Cornell), because they realize that engineering is tough.

    The physics part of the MCAT will be a breeze, but I would advise you to prepare for the MCAT and score up to your potential, because a slightly lower GPA is masked by a great MCAT, especially if you're an engineer. Whatever you decide, good luck! :thumbup:

    -AD
     
  15. sharkhy

    sharkhy Junior Member
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    From personal experience, I would be very cautious jumping into an engineering degree as a pre-med. After my sophmore year as a bio major, I decided that I wanted to do something different, and since I had always been interested in medical technology I thought that biomedical engineering would be the perfect major for me. Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was getting into and my semester GPA nose-dived from a 3.65 to a 3.0.

    The end result is that I did get accepted into medical school, but there is no doubt that BME made the process far far more difficult. Make sure that you're ready for all the math and endless problem sets that an engineering degree entails. In addition, the pre-medical advisors of the engineering school were a joke compared to the Arts and Sciences advisors. In my case I would have been much better off just sticking to my bio major.
     

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