DendWrite

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Oct 19, 2008
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I'm going to be a sophomore next semester and am currently a bio major. However, I'm pretty sure that I want to apply to MD/PhD programs and do research. Would switching majors to biomedical engineering (BME) give me any more of an advantage at succeeding as a researcher than a standard bio major would with some research on the side? I'm not trying to imply that you can't do research if you aren't an engineer, but would some of the BME skills I pick up be useful to me, or do you think it's negligible and I should just go with what interests me more?
 

dukemed22

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Do you want to do a PhD in BME? If not, there's no real reason to major in it, although it certainly wouldn't hurt (and in my opinion, it's much more interesting than straight bio as well).
 

Mattabet

Doctor Thunder
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Jun 8, 2008
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I agree; there's probably not much benefit to BME over bio unless you're more interested in BME. Either one can set you on the MD/PhD track if that's your goal.
 

futile

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Mar 5, 2009
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I agree with the above commenters: do what you love.

Also, before switching majors you should really look into the BME programs at your school, especially regarding their flexibility in letting you explore your own specialty/interests. I feel like that's more important, because if you have a bad program and are unsatisfied with your classes, that's not going to help you in the long run.

(I started as an ME with an interest in prosthetics. I quickly learned that I wasn't going to have the opportunity to take any of the classes I wanted and switched to EE, which is more flexible at my school. Best choice I ever made.)
 

dmblue

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You can do research in both. They are completely different fields with completely different types of research. Pick whichever interests you more.


You should know that BME spots in MD/PhD programs are not offered at all schools and are often more selective than for other majors.

Physician Scientist (MD/PhD) Forum

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=32
 

thesauce

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Aug 5, 2005
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You can do research in both. They are completely different fields with completely different types of research. Pick whichever interests you more.


You should know that BME spots in MD/PhD programs are not offered at all schools and are often more selective than for other majors.

Physician Scientist (MD/PhD) Forum

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=32
Agree with what's been said. Your major shouldn't matter a whole heck-of-a-lot in terms of getting in. You can choose the concentration of your PhD after you're accepted. However, IMO, I think it would be easier to go from BME to biology than vice versa. So if you're not sure which PhD you want to pursue, I would suggest going with BME.

BTW, it's actually the Physician Scientist [MD, MD/PhD, MD/MS, DO/PhD, DDS/PhD ] forum. I'm on an MD-only research track and I would suggest you consider MD-only as well as MD/PhD. See the tail-end of the thread "What happens to the 20,000 people who dont get in" for some discussion on this.
 

YeOldeMan

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Feb 22, 2009
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I'm going to be a sophomore next semester and am currently a bio major. However, I'm pretty sure that I want to apply to MD/PhD programs and do research. Would switching majors to biomedical engineering (BME) give me any more of an advantage at succeeding as a researcher than a standard bio major would with some research on the side? I'm not trying to imply that you can't do research if you aren't an engineer, but would some of the BME skills I pick up be useful to me, or do you think it's negligible and I should just go with what interests me more?
I'd say BME would be better, but engineering classes are a lot tougher (to get simillar grades in). Generally PhD programs have the attitude that they won't teach you the math and analysis, but they can teach you some lower subject theory. And the quantitative skills you'll get from BME will certainly be very useful in whatever PhD you decide to pursue. If you're sure you want to do MD/PhD you may also want to take some stats. Statistics is ohhhhhhhh so useful for research.
And going from BME to grad biology will be easy, but I don't think they'll let you go to grad BME from standard Biology unless you already did a significant portion of the relevant coursework.
 

dmblue

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Sep 19, 2008
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MD/PhD Student
Agree with what's been said. Your major shouldn't matter a whole heck-of-a-lot in terms of getting in. You can choose the concentration of your PhD after you're accepted. However, IMO, I think it would be easier to go from BME to biology than vice versa. So if you're not sure which PhD you want to pursue, I would suggest going with BME.

BTW, it's actually the Physician Scientist [MD, MD/PhD, MD/MS, DO/PhD, DDS/PhD ] forum. I'm on an MD-only research track and I would suggest you consider MD-only as well as MD/PhD. See the tail-end of the thread "What happens to the 20,000 people who dont get in" for some discussion on this.

I'm aware that physician scientist corresponds to more than just MD PhD's. I was just pointing out that this would fit in there.