danman

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2006
13
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm thinking of doing a BS in computer science, since half the wanna be doctors in here discouraged me from doing biochem??? What does everyone think about Computer science???
This way I can get a job if I dont make it.....and not have to work in lab.

If you're going to discourage me from this too...
(maybe because of the excess of unnecessary math and the waste of a year of my trying to do the actual pre-reqs for medicine)....then please suggest another degree I can do...
 

Kuba

10+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2006
3,015
11
34
NYC
Status
Attending Physician
I wouldn't listen to people on here and take everything as truth. If you have a passion for biochem, then I say go for it, that is why I did a molecular biology degree. But if you are doing it as the right thing to do for a premed, then it is probably not a wise desicion. Computer science is a very good premed major in my opinion, as well as computer engineering, since it allows you to do a lot with it in case you don't get in the first time around. But when it comes down to it, major in what you want to study and what interes you.
 

Centinel

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2005
873
0
Status
Medical Student
danman said:
I'm thinking of doing a BS in computer science, since half the wanna be doctors in here discouraged me from doing biochem??? What does everyone think about Computer science???
This way I can get a job if I dont make it.....and not have to work in lab.

If you're going to discourage me from this too...
(maybe because of the excess of unnecessary math and the waste of a year of my trying to do the actual pre-reqs for medicine)....then please suggest another degree I can do...
I highly recommend putting up a poll. Maybe it should be an eBay auction. You could probably make money from this - "Highest bidder gets to pick my major!"
 

Robizzle

1K Member
10+ Year Member
May 28, 2006
2,831
10
Boston & NYC
Status
Medical Student
danman said:
I'm thinking of doing a BS in computer science, since half the wanna be doctors in here discouraged me from doing biochem??? What does everyone think about Computer science???
This way I can get a job if I dont make it.....and not have to work in lab.

If you're going to discourage me from this too...
(maybe because of the excess of unnecessary math and the waste of a year of my trying to do the actual pre-reqs for medicine)....then please suggest another degree I can do...
if something like too much math is what prevents you from pursuing a comp sci degree, then don't it.

you need to pick something you like so much that you don't give a crap about what other prereqs u need to take along with it.

if comp sci is what ya like, DO IT! :thumbup:
 

R.P. McMurphy

Guest
10+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2006
2,958
1
Status
Pre-Medical
danman said:
I'm thinking of doing a BS in computer science, since half the wanna be doctors in here discouraged me from doing biochem??? What does everyone think about Computer science???
This way I can get a job if I dont make it.....and not have to work in lab.

If you're going to discourage me from this too...
(maybe because of the excess of unnecessary math and the waste of a year of my trying to do the actual pre-reqs for medicine)....then please suggest another degree I can do...
You sound like you are excited about computer science...and yes, it is a nice backup. Go for it, you don't HAVE to do something bio related to go to medical school.

I think one of the major reasons that people do something bio related is because it almost always includes the pre-med requirements, so it allows you to graduate easily without taking extra credits. In your case, computer science will probably force you to take many extra credits in biology, organic chemistry, etc......but if you are willing to take a few more classes, it is totally worth it :)
 
OP
D

danman

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2006
13
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Centinel said:
I highly recommend putting up a poll. Maybe it should be an eBay auction. You could probably make money from this - "Highest bidder gets to pick my major!"
Hey that's not a bad idea...is that what u did??
THis way I can take care of my tuition costs...even if i don't get in...i can just live off the money i get for living someone else's dream or becoming someone's lab rat.
 

durfen

I see plans within plans
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
1,650
1
Kaitain
Status
Resident [Any Field]
danman said:
I'm thinking of doing a BS in computer science, since half the wanna be doctors in here discouraged me from doing biochem??? What does everyone think about Computer science???
This way I can get a job if I dont make it.....and not have to work in lab.

If you're going to discourage me from this too...
(maybe because of the excess of unnecessary math and the waste of a year of my trying to do the actual pre-reqs for medicine)....then please suggest another degree I can do...
CS Major here, go for it. Thing is, you'll be the pick of the crop after med school. Lotsa medical informatics companies would like to hire med school students even before residency. Do the Md/PhD too.
 

MossPoh

Textures intrigue me
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2006
7,990
45
Tally/Willkillya County
psu.facebook.com
Status
Medical Student
If you like CS go for it....you really have to like it though. Computer Science/Engineering aren't really majors where you can coast through half interested as much....It'd be sheer torture if you did it for the wrong reasons.
 

durfen

I see plans within plans
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
1,650
1
Kaitain
Status
Resident [Any Field]
MossPoh said:
If you like CS go for it....you really have to like it though. Computer Science/Engineering aren't really majors where you can coast through half interested as much....It'd be sheer torture if you did it for the wrong reasons.
Correct, I'm currently spending half my summer programming day and night for classes.
 

Orth2006

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2005
439
0
Status
MossPoh said:
If you like CS go for it....you really have to like it though. Computer Science/Engineering aren't really majors where you can coast through half interested as much....It'd be sheer torture if you did it for the wrong reasons.
I agree with MossPoh. CS/CSE is no joke. Infact at some schools you have to have a certain GPA (>3.5 I think) to move on to the upper division classes. In other words you actually have to get admitted to the upper division classes. Some people are rejected - imagine that. While you are at it, you may wanna consider CSE over CS as CSE gives you a little more flexibility in the high tech environment. While I apply to Med school I'm presently enjoying a pretty good career in CSE.

Good luck to you
 

bretticus

NeuroIR fellow
10+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2006
751
2
Missouri
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I agree - Computer Engineering grad here. It's no picnic, but I'm taking a year before starting (well hopefully...) and I'm still saving a ton of money for school even after application costs. If you'll enjoy it and you can keep your grades up, go for it. CS also probably has good opportunities for research. Just keep in mind you have to do Bio/Chem etc. that may not apply to your degree. Some of mine went to my tech electives, but orgo and a little of bio were all just "bonus." ;)
 

medrad

Ubermensch!
10+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2006
32
0
Status
Pre-Medical
danman said:
I'm thinking of doing a BS in computer science, since half the wanna be doctors in here discouraged me from doing biochem??? What does everyone think about Computer science???
This way I can get a job if I dont make it.....and not have to work in lab.
Computer Science kicks ass; as do the jobs you can get after you graduate. In fact, most recent CNN/Money "Best 50 jobs..." had software engineers at the top. But you do actually have to like it - it is not like bio/biochem/chem where you can coast through even if you are not interested. I spent many long nights trying to get programs to compile while eating candy bars and drinking coffee.

However, by far the best part about majoring in Computer Science (I realized later) is that you have very little interaction with the self-defined "pre-med" group. That is reason enough in my mind to major in something like computer science. Computer nerds are MUCH better than crazy pre-meds.
 

Storm9

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
May 25, 2006
25
0
Status
Pre-Medical
You could do Biomedical engineering, it would cover all pre-med requirements and is a great subject to fall back on, if u dont get into medschool or change ur mind after.
 
OP
D

danman

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2006
13
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Orth2006 said:
I agree with MossPoh. CS/CSE is no joke. Infact at some schools you have to have a certain GPA (>3.5 I think) to move on to the upper division classes. In other words you actually have to get admitted to the upper division classes. Some people are rejected - imagine that. While you are at it, you may wanna consider CSE over CS as CSE gives you a little more flexibility in the high tech environment. While I apply to Med school I'm presently enjoying a pretty good career in CSE.

Good luck to you
-------------------------------------------------------------------
I thought CSE would be harder than just CS..that's why i didn't want to do it. I do love computer science but am not too excited about the math..but I'll manage
 

Orth2006

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2005
439
0
Status
danman said:
-------------------------------------------------------------------
I thought CSE would be harder than just CS..that's why i didn't want to do it. I do love computer science but am not too excited about the math..but I'll manage
Yeah CSE is harder because of all the Calculus & Engineering courses you have to take but in the long run it makes for a little better career than just CS.
Either one though CS/CSE will still be a good fall back career. Also with this new thrust on biomedical informatic, genomics etc, a background in CS/CSE should be useful. By the way bioinformatics/genomics is supposed to affect the way clinic medicine is delivered. Instead of treating disease from a symptom basis, genomics promises treating diseases by clearer understanding of the genetics of the disease process. It will enable doctors predict a disease path based on genes and thus its treatment - predictive and preventitive medicine. Such techniques require serious algorthms to handle the vast amount of info in the human genome - Thats where CS may help. I'm not the expert on this topic just a few things I was reading led me to come to these conclusions.
ANyway choose what you are comfortable with and good luck.
 

TimeResonance

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
May 19, 2006
80
0
In a Lab
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
"it is not like bio/biochem/chem where you can coast through even if you are not interested"- medrad

Good God...it would suck to major in any of those 3 and not be interested in them. As it would with CS or really any degree... do what you want to do. if you really like it chances are you will put the necessary work in to do well.
 

OneDayDoc

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2006
75
0
Status
Pre-Medical
You should study whatever you find most interesting. First of all, you are far more likely to do well in classes you like. And a 3.8 as (e.g.) an English major has got to be more impressive than a 3.0 bio major. Secondly, going through the application process now, I have had a number of 2ry questions asking why your major and have heard a number of interview questions asking the same. It is much easier to answer truthfully that you loved X rather than feign interest in something you did just cuz you think it will impress adcoms. Finally, many many many docs and admissions guys I have heard speak emphasize that what you learn in undergrad is not important. What is important is to demostrate the aptitude and attitude to learns about a topic--any topic--in great detail.
College should be about exploration and that includes self-exploration. If you are not sure what you want, take intro comp sci, bio, chem, hell a film class until you figure it out.
 

MinnyGophers

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2006
618
0
Status
Post Doc
medrad said:
- it is not like biochem/chem where you can coast through even if you are not interested.
Good luck trying to coast through those if you're not interested, especially chemistry where you have to take upper level math... it's not like psych or history where you just read books and basically memorize facts....

Ochem, Pchem = bane of your existence if you don't like chem... :scared:
 

Mister Pie

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2005
594
1
Status
Medical Student
Do it if it interests you, but realize that CS is one of those majors that suck up a LOT of time. The projects they give you can take literally DAYS worth of work to complete and finish coding. My roommates were EE/CS majors and there were weeks during the semester when I wouldn't see them at all since they were in the computer lab coding. They'd only come back to sleep when I had started class that day and when I got back, they were already back in lab.
 

Kuba

10+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2006
3,015
11
34
NYC
Status
Attending Physician
medrad said:
But you do actually have to like it - it is not like bio/biochem/chem where you can coast through even if you are not interested.
:eek: +pissed+
 

Hednej

***** Level 60
10+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2006
755
0
Status
Medical Student
Hehe, Im glad to see that I'm not the only geek here. I did comp-sci for my first year. It was tough, it was rough, and it killed me. The truth is, it looks really good for your application because it's the kind of stuff that sets you apart but comp sci classes are hard, and you might not get As in all of them so your grades won't be as high say had you done history. And the projects take up a ridiculous amount of effort, not leaving you time to do anything else.
To be honest, I loved it and it sometimes makes me sad that I turned down honors comp sci in order to do Biology B.A. (I'm a Wuss). But you should do what will truly make you happy, and if its comp sci, then go for it. It is a nice back up though becaue nobody wants to do comp sci nowadays.
 

PhotoMD

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
2+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2004
460
1
NYC
Status
Medical Student
I'm not sure getting any degree purely to have a backup is a great idea unless you are actually genuinely interested in the subject material. After all, a biology degree does not mean you will be a lab tech for life (not that there's anything wrong with that). I am glad I got my degree in CS, but that is only because the material was genuinely interesting and I was in a friendly department.
 

Dave_D

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 19, 2005
515
0
Massachusetts
Status
medrad said:
However, by far the best part about majoring in Computer Science (I realized later) is that you have very little interaction with the self-defined "pre-med" group. That is reason enough in my mind to major in something like computer science. Computer nerds are MUCH better than crazy pre-meds.
Wait a sec, we're talking about a group that not only doesn't like to document what they've done but think it's a good idea.(Ok, I've had too many experience where something was just not documented and I had to trudge through code to find out one small thing I was interested in.) Well that and the fact you can ask a question like "Do you know how to get to the library?" and will answer yes and walk off :D

Yes, I'm a CS person
 
OP
D

danman

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2006
13
0
Status
Pre-Medical
DRKUBA said:
something completely off subject here....how do you get those animated icons in the comments?? i keep clickin em but nothin comes up...i can have the ones on my title but not in the commments themselves...
You're probably wondering how I'm gonna make it in the computer science world if I cant figure this small thing out...well...it's just easier asking you than trying to figure it out myself...i guess
 

pjm

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2004
136
0
NYC
Status
Resident [Any Field]
danman said:
I'm thinking of doing a BS in computer science, since half the wanna be doctors in here discouraged me from doing biochem??? What does everyone think about Computer science???
This way I can get a job if I dont make it.....and not have to work in lab.

If you're going to discourage me from this too...
(maybe because of the excess of unnecessary math and the waste of a year of my trying to do the actual pre-reqs for medicine)....then please suggest another degree I can do...
Major in whatever you like. If you do an engineering/CS major, then preparing for medical school requires about a year and a half of classes and labs beyond what you already have to do for your degree. It's possible to take those classes after you've finished undergraduate.

In my case, I finished a BS and masters's in EECS, then four years later I took one night course in cell bio, and two quarters (six months) of bio w/ lab and ochem w/ lab to round out the semester each of bio, ochem, and physics I had from undergrad. None of the schools I applied to complained that I didn't have a full year of pchem or physics lab. A good MCAT score will help dispel any questions about what is or isn't checked off on the prereq sheet.

Enjoy undergrad, do some fun research, and don't read too much into the comments you see here. :)
 

Mooby

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2006
105
0
Status
danman said:
I'm thinking of doing a BS in computer science, since half the wanna be doctors in here discouraged me from doing biochem??? What does everyone think about Computer science???
This way I can get a job if I dont make it.....and not have to work in lab.

If you're going to discourage me from this too...
(maybe because of the excess of unnecessary math and the waste of a year of my trying to do the actual pre-reqs for medicine)....then please suggest another degree I can do...
As far as I've heard, they tend to like non-biology majors just because there's so many. But, they don't like comp/engineers because many schools assume the auto-stigma that computer guys and engineers are nerds. They tend to look towards the liberal arts for that extra diversity. Go with a major you like, but understand that the path from comp science to medicine will be considerably harder than others.
 

Wookey

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
May 11, 2006
232
1
Status
Medical Student
Mooby said:
As far as I've heard, they tend to like non-biology majors just because there's so many. But, they don't like comp/engineers because many schools assume the auto-stigma that computer guys and engineers are nerds. They tend to look towards the liberal arts for that extra diversity. Go with a major you like, but understand that the path from comp science to medicine will be considerably harder than others.
I found most schools really like engineers. As far as that stereotype of engineers is concerned that's why they have interviews.
 

pjm

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2004
136
0
NYC
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Mooby said:
As far as I've heard, they tend to like non-biology majors just because there's so many. But, they don't like comp/engineers because many schools assume the auto-stigma that computer guys and engineers are nerds. They tend to look towards the liberal arts for that extra diversity. Go with a major you like, but understand that the path from comp science to medicine will be considerably harder than others.
I've never heard this. In fact, what I have seen matches the other poster's comment -- engineers are prized by medical schools because the different approach taken in engineering projects results in a different way of thinking that enriches the class. More generally, engineers expand the breadth of experience within the class, just like bakers and foreign aid workers and whoever else the school chooses to pull in.

If anything, I believe that liberal arts majors have a tougher time going to medicine than engineers because they require more prereq time (not having had as much math, core science, etc.). However, the strong correlation between MCAT score and medical school performance helps convince schools that you can handle the classes if you have a good score.

Whatever you end up doing, if you do research related to medicine centered in your major, this will help you make the argument to medical schools about what you'll bring to medicine and why they should admit you.
 

rlwebb

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2005
77
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
If you like computer science go for it, there are lots of opportunities. I'm working at the NIH writing computer code for a radiologist right now. There is a lot of demand for medically-interested CS people.
 

durfen

I see plans within plans
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
1,650
1
Kaitain
Status
Resident [Any Field]
pjm said:
I've never heard this. In fact, what I have seen matches the other poster's comment -- engineers are prized by medical schools because the different approach taken in engineering projects results in a different way of thinking that enriches the class. More generally, engineers expand the breadth of experience within the class, just like bakers and foreign aid workers and whoever .
On an unrelated note (or obliquely related), is engineering in medicine defined as 'biotechnology'? If so, is it supposed to be listed under Biology if I got a grade for the research? AMCAS seems to think so.
 

Dr Durden

10+ Year Member
Jun 15, 2006
4,259
1
The Dirty South
Status
Medical Student
If your biotechnology class was in the engineering department you can probably count it either way. There was a thread about this awhile back, and quite a few verified people got away with cherry picking their engineering classes as far as listing them as BCPM. Obviously the As went there, and the Bs and Cs went to the All Other GPA.
 

durfen

I see plans within plans
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
1,650
1
Kaitain
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Dr Durden said:
If your biotechnology class was in the engineering department you can probably count it either way. There was a thread about this awhile back, and quite a few verified people got away with cherry picking their engineering classes as far as listing them as BCPM. Obviously the As went there, and the Bs and Cs went to the All Other GPA.
I was doing undergraduate research, got a grade. The transcript just says U.G. Research, so no probs with AMCAS. Med schools might think I am, as you say, cherry picking. And no it wasn't under the engineering department, did it under a medicine professor. Well then, it goes under bio.

I can't find this thread you're talking about though.....post a link pretty please?
 

thewarehouse

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2006
126
0
Status
Medical Student
Computer science is probably a great major and I'm sure it'll offer some excellent opportunities, but keep an open mind and take some classes outside the department too. Don't be afraid to pursue subjects you come to like- you might end up finding something you're really passionate about in the humanities or social sciences. I started off pretty happy with cell and molecular bio, and added sociology halfway through my sophomore year. Now, I'm really happy with the decision and the classes in the soc department have given me a great perspective on some the ideas we talk about in my bio/pre-med classes. PM me if you have any questions, and good luck! I'm sure you'll do great no matter what you coose!