mistnight

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So I equally love the two careers and I have high confidence that I will have the willpower to make it through either. Consequently, I'm stuck between the two, and I guess the deciding factor is which one has more free time. I know undergrad Engineering sucks and med school/residency sucks but in the long run, which career will give me time to pursue other hobbies like reading and stuff and family?
 

Mad Jack

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Engineering. The average engineer works between 40-50 hours a week, the average physician works 55+ hours a week, after residency, in which we work 60-80 hours a week, after medical school, where you're studying for 50+ hours a week with zero pay for four years after your engineering buddies are already employed.
 

md-2020

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the average physician works 55+ hours a week, after residency, in which we work 60-80 hours a week, after medical school, where you're studying for 50+ hours a week with zero pay for four years
I know undergrad Engineering sucks and med school/residency sucks
Let's also not forget that pre-meds put in a ton of time, stress, and effort during UG as well....
 
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Mad Jack

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Let's also not forget that pre-meds put in a ton of time, stress, and effort during UG as well....
Getting into an engineering program is the academic equivalent of winning your high school football game. Getting into medical school is the academic equivalent of bringing the One Ring to Mount Doom.
 

Stagg737

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To OP, engineering will ultimately give your significantly more free time in the long run, though it won't feel like it when you're in school.

Let's also not forget that responsible pre-meds put in a ton of time, stress, and effort during UG as well....
Ftfy. I don't think I studied more than the night before during any portion of undergrad until my senior year. Which is why it took me multiple times to get in...
 
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mistnight

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Haha I know I didn't mention it in my post so I look idiotic but I did a ton of research on both fields and I'm totally fine with the workload, and I love learning and science in general so I'm confident I could probably make it in either part. I'm just weighing like...getting laid off between projects in engineering and working weekends to meet deadlines vs all that stress and time that comes with being a doctor (but then retirement is comfortable)
 

Stagg737

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Haha I know I didn't mention it in my post so I look idiotic but I did a ton of research on both fields and I'm totally fine with the workload, and I love learning and science in general so I'm confident I could probably make it in either part. I'm just weighing like...getting laid off between projects in engineering and working weekends to meet deadlines vs all that stress and time that comes with being a doctor (but then retirement is comfortable)
There are definitely some major pros to being a physician: job security, a variety of fields to enter/ways and settings to practice in, $$, and just knowing that you're making a major impact in people's lives every day. No matter what career you enter there's going to be some negative trade-offs to all the pros. At the end of the day it just depends on which pros you really value and which cons are deal-breakers. You've got plenty of time to figure that out though. When you get to college spend freshman year exploring different fields and talking to upperclassmen or faculty in different majors. There's always new aspects you can gain from these people, and finding as many perspectives as possible can really help you figure out what actually matters to you.
 

el_duderino

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Engineering will pay less money, but will be quicker and easier to achieve and generally leave you with much more time for yourself and family. I'd recommend engineering if you can genuinely see yourself happy doing that.

I went into an engineering program after my dad convinced me not to be a doctor. I dropped out after 2.5 years for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I hated it and just couldn't do it anymore. I was doing quite well in the program, but I just stopped going to class. I love math and science but the nitty gritty day to day of engineering was mind-numbing for me. 13 years later I started medical school. Physician was the only thing I ever really saw myself doing long term.

So unless you HAVE TO BE A PHYSICIAN, engineering is the superior choice. Get into a good program that has a solid track record of its graduates getting engineering jobs and making money (Harvey Mudd, MIT, RPI, Rice, A&M, etc) and be happy.
 
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There are medical specialties that allow you to have a nice lifestyle, even during residency. That combined with phenomenal job security and high pay made medicine an easy choice for me.
 

Freezer

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Why not both? I argue that majoring in premed, bio, or chem can be one of the worst things to do if you want to go into medicine. Many med schools will have thousands of applications for ~200 seats. To get one of those seats, great grades and a solid MCAT are one thing, but the biggest hurdle is to be memorable. If you are just another one of the 1000s of premeds, you are already at a disadvantage to standing out. I say, major in engineering and do a minor in premedicine which will cover all of your prerequisites so if you decide to persue medicine, you'll will be in good position moving forward as nothing says memorable like an application from an Engineer or a historian or an artist, etc. Further, you will notice that the decision to persue medicine is harder the closer you get to medical school and even beyond. You may find that during your senior year, you may just want to settle into an engineering career which will transition smoothly after graduation. Premeds on the other hand have some obstacles to overcome when trying to move into anything outside of medicine. Just my 2 cents.
 
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Why not both? I argue that majoring in premed, bio, or chem can be one of the worst things to do if you want to go into medicine. Many med schools will have thousands of applications for ~200 seats. To get one of those seats, great grades and a solid MCAT are one thing, but the biggest hurdle is to be memorable. If you are just another one of the 1000s of premeds, you are already at a disadvantage to standing out. I say, major in engineering and do a minor in premedicine which will cover all of your prerequisites so if you decide to persue medicine, you'll will be in good position moving forward as nothing says memorable like an application from an Engineer or a historian or an artist, etc. Further, you will notice that the decision to persue medicine is harder the closer you get to medical school and even beyond. You may find that during your senior year, you may just want to settle into an engineering career which will transition smoothly after graduation. Premeds on the other hand have some obstacles to overcome when trying to move into anything outside of medicine. Just my 2 cents.
I wish I did this.
 

md-2020

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Why not both?

I say, major in engineering and do a minor in premedicine which will cover all of your prerequisites so if you decide to persue medicine, you'll will be in good position moving forward as nothing says memorable like an application from an Engineer or a historian or an artist, etc.
I wish I did this.
As if being pre-med weren't stressful enough....

Gotta love those C curved engineering lectures.
 

tenblackalps

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This is mostly an aside, but as a current applicant to medical school coming from undergrad engineering, it certainly has not been the easiest road. It has been quite the journey trying to maintain a high gpa in engineering while working a job and building all the ECs. However looking back, I would not change a thing. Four years ago when I picked my major I had no idea what I wanted to do in STEM, and an engineering/pre-med track kept every door open.

One payoff of studying engineering is that it will prepare you tremendously for the mcat, since engineering is all about reasoning and teaching you how to think, the biggest component to the mcat. Also, the topic of engineering came up in both of my interviews so far this cycle, and at one school where the head adcom interviewed me that person were very impressed with my engineering background and the gamut of engineering courses I had been through (and of course, those stellar engineering grades :p, you can't sacrifice your GPA by going engineering and using it as an excuse, you just have work that much harder).
 
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moisne

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Are you a high school student? I ask this because I feel that most high school students do not actually know what engineering is. Why do you want to do engineering?

I have no idea why anyone would like engineering... but that's because I went into engineering knowing I didn't particularly like it. It did NOT disappoint me. I did not have trouble with the course load itself - it went smoothly. My engineering talent >>>> my medical talents. However, I realized every morning, I dreaded going to work. When I was at work, I couldn't wait to get off work. It just wasn't the way to live for me. I had made six figures right out of college but the money and the "free time" just wasn't worth the 12 hour 3-4 days a week.

If you ACTUALLY like them both and you are mostly concerned about free time, go be a chemical engineer. Just make sure you know what you want to do.

So I equally love the two careers and I have high confidence that I will have the willpower to make it through either. Consequently, I'm stuck between the two, and I guess the deciding factor is which one has more free time. I know undergrad Engineering sucks and med school/residency sucks but in the long run, which career will give me time to pursue other hobbies like reading and stuff and family?
 

Icositetrachoron

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@tenblackalps

Can you elaborate on how difficult it was to take engineering and premed? I'm planning on doing EE with a premed base. Is this something difficult to achieve, GPA wise? Also, how hard was it to manage your ECs and courseload?

Sorry if I'm prying - I just want to see if it's a feasible plan for me.
 
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mistnight

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I don't like chemistry and biology as much as like physics, math, and computer programming, but I have this feeling that I'll enjoy being a doctor more than engineering. I like what doctors do more than engineers and while I like the logic and creativeness behind engineering I don't actually have an interest in making products. I know this isn't enough reason to go and be a doctor, but it's keeping me from closing up that career choice. Yes I'm in high school.
 

Para-dox

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Surprised this hasn't been suggested already, but I suggest getting exposure to both fields. Healthcare exposure can be obtained through shadowing and volunteering (at the very least). Engineering is more difficult, but I have seen many schools offer courses like AutoCAD. Talk to professionals in those fields, and remember that there are many types of fields within both healthcare and engineering. Also, look at colleges (regardless of what year you're in now) and check out the various majors you're even remotely interested in. All schools have an online catalog with what courses are needed for the major and descriptions of those courses. Some even have syllabi posted as well.
 

Law2Doc

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I don't like chemistry and biology as much as like physics, math, and computer programming, but I have this feeling that I'll enjoy being a doctor more than engineering. I like what doctors do more than engineers and while I like the logic and creativeness behind engineering I don't actually have an interest in making products. I know this isn't enough reason to go and be a doctor, but it's keeping me from closing up that career choice. Yes I'm in high school.
Your response is pretty nebulous and vague, meaning it's not so clear you even know enough of what each career does. As mentioned, go do some shadowing and healthcare volunteering before you say you "like what doctors do more". And lots of engineers don't "make products", at least not directly. If you like the physics, math, programming and creativeness of being an engineering there's probably a career right there. The old adage, which is true, is that if you can picture yourself happy in a career other than medicine, go do that other career. Medicine is long houred, emotionally trying, and really, truly not for everyone. You certainly don't have to decide this in high school. But no reason you can't start researching/observing what people in these jobs actually do, and what's involved to get there.
 
Why not both? I argue that majoring in premed, bio, or chem can be one of the worst things to do if you want to go into medicine. Many med schools will have thousands of applications for ~200 seats. To get one of those seats, great grades and a solid MCAT are one thing, but the biggest hurdle is to be memorable. If you are just another one of the 1000s of premeds, you are already at a disadvantage to standing out. I say, major in engineering and do a minor in premedicine which will cover all of your prerequisites so if you decide to persue medicine, you'll will be in good position moving forward as nothing says memorable like an application from an Engineer or a historian or an artist, etc. Further, you will notice that the decision to persue medicine is harder the closer you get to medical school and even beyond. You may find that during your senior year, you may just want to settle into an engineering career which will transition smoothly after graduation. Premeds on the other hand have some obstacles to overcome when trying to move into anything outside of medicine. Just my 2 cents.
So true! At least for our school there was 4200 applicants for 100 seats this past year and in order to differentiate yourself you definitely had to go above and beyond. In my experience, having an undergrad degree in engineering always provided an answer to those "tell me about a challenge you experienced" type questions that interviewers love to ask. Also, an added bonus of engineering is that you will already be accustomed to working 60+ hrs per week every week whereas others may struggle initially to get up to speed.