SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Engineering to Medicine

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by muddy, Apr 8, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Hey there!

    Welcome to the engineering to medicine thread! This is the place where you can ask anything about engineering, how you should go about the application process, how to utilize your engineering background in interviews or what courses you should take in conjunction with your engineering classes that will help prepare you for the MCAT and medical school.

    As for me, I recently graduated with a degree in biomedical engineering and will become an M1 in the fall. I have taken courses in all facets of engineering like chemical, industrial, mechanical and electrical so all questions are welcome. I also have a strong background in the research aspect to biomedical engineering like neuromechanics, prosthetics, cell and tissue engineering, medical imaging and neurology. I have been through the application process and can offer advice about the process.

    Don't hesitate to ask questions! I will try to answer any questions as quick as I can.
     
    Imhotep21 likes this.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Thanks! Interesting choice of specialities. Do you think radiology is in your future? :).
     
  4. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Hey NRGStar. My best advice is to draw from a personal experience or write about your desire for medicine. I don't think that you can choose to enter the field of medicine without a reason. I think the best thing you can do is to be honest about your decision to enter medicine. People decide to enter medicine after working for some time---I met a chemical engineer at one of my interviews who had been in the industry for 10 years. Others decide to enter right after their undergraduate years. Everyone has their own distinct reason.

    My question for you is are you still in school or are you working?
     
  5. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Hey DrZaius. Initially, when I choose engineering, I just wanted to become an engineer. However, my father is a pharmacist and my sister is a dentist so health care was in the back of my mind. Biomedical engineering gave me the balance I sought between health care and math and science. My sophomore year, I began research in medical imaging and was part of a team to design an artificial pancreas. My junior year, I was part of team to design a pediatric glucose meter and attended several parent workshops to gain insight about what parents wanted in a meter. My education and experiences gave me a strong practical foundation, but I began to desire the clinical aspect. Biomedical engineering combines engineering and science to improve medicine and medical technology but I wanted to combine the practical knowledge I had obtained with the clinical aspect of medicine. Medicine gave me the balance between practical and clinical that I seek.

    I don't think there are benefits in the admission process to doing engineering in undergraduate. Engineering has given me a strong practical foundation and has taught me to think outside of the box.

    Biomedical engineering did require a lot of time but I think it was worth it because I enjoyed my experience and it gave me a strong foundation for medical school. How does the work compare to medical school? I will be able to answer that question this coming August.
     
  6. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Hey mikeyanagita. I cannot provide feedback on your grades because I do not sit on an admissions committee but as a fellow student, a D and a F will raise eyebrows. Will it destroy your application? I can't say for sure and you should let someone who is actually on an adcom answer that. Furthermore, whether a high MCAT will compensate for a low GPA, is better left answered by an adcom member. In my opinion, if your grades show an upward trend each semester, that is a positive. At my school, there is a biomedical cirriculum approach for the chemical engineers. Basically, you take a few of the courses that BME's would take (like mass transport and fluid dynamics) and you participate in the BME capstone project. A few years back, it was the design of islet cells for the pancreas. The chemical engineering contribution was the design of a polymer to coat the cells so they would not be rejected by the immune system. See if your school offers an opportunity like that because the practical approach to a clinical problem can set your application apart from others. If you want constructive advice about your grades, I suggest you post your question in the Medical school admissions thread.
     
  7. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007

    Hey blargh. You can craft your personal statement in any way you like as long as it conveys why you want to become a doctor. Whether you draw from personal experience, volunteering experience or your background is up to you. I don't think it is a mistake if you don't include your engineering background. When I wrote my personal statement, I included my BME background because it was a major influence in my decision to enter medicine. In another post, I mentioned that I intially wanted to just do engineering but slowly my decision changed to enter medicine with my experiences in BME. The idea worked in my personal statement and it also explained why I wanted to enter medicine. It might not work for you so don't just include if you don't need it.

    There will be plenty of opportunities to showcase your bioengineering degree in secondary applications. For example, many of the secondaries I completed asked me why I choose my major. Hope this helps!
     
  8. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Sorry for taking a long time to answer your post but I wanted to make sure that I was going to give the correct information. My first question is does your school have a premedical advisor? I wouldn't email the schools you are interested in but I would personally call all of them to ask the questions you have. Schools do take the BME courses--they took mine! However, you have to complete certain prerequisites before matriculation. All the schools I applied to required that I have a year with lab of chemistry, physics and biology, and one year of english. The chemistry could be general or inorganic. The prerequisite courses weren't a problem for me to complete since my BME cirriculum at my school covers all the coures. All the schools I applied to also accepted my AP credit since I didn't take general chemistry or english in college. Another question I have is are you a Canadien citizen? If you are, then research the schools you are interested in very carefully. Many schools require you to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in order to apply and as a Canadien you are considered as international. I don't think schools will budge with the prerequisite courses since all students have to complete those courses regardless of major or academic background. The best thing you can do is to call all the schools and talk to someone who can give you better advice. After all, schools can do whatever they want to--if they want to waive a certain requirement or replace it with another class, it is the decision of the school. One school accepted one of my BME elective courses as a replacement for the humanities requirement. So you never know until you ask!! Hope this helps!
     
  9. WiscDoc

    WiscDoc 2+ Year Member

    280
    0
    Jan 7, 2007
    Madison, WI
    Blargh, I think going with the "personal" part of the personal statement is better than "boosting" about your experiences or major. Keep in mind, many (most) of the adcom members will have NON-engineering backgrounds, and for you to make your major seem special could insult them, which is not good. Also, there is an entire section in the application dedicated for activities and experiences, and that is where you should list as much as you can, and make it look as good as you can. Better yet, get letters of recommendations from your professors/research advisors that say how great you were…that would definitely have much more weight coming from them than it would coming from you. Many secondary applications will ask you questions about your major or most beneficial experiences or best decisions you've made…there you can talk about your major and activities. Remember, the key word is humble; you have to show how you stand out as an applicant and how great you are, but you MUST do so cautiously without giving the feeling that you are showing off or that you feel "better" than others. I hope this helps.
     
  10. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Hey PBandJ :). That is great to hear and congratulations on getting into a MD/PhD program. I am also going to medical school but will be pursuing only the MD degree. Did you have a specific track or concentration in your biomedical engineering program?
     
  11. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Hey StudDoctor! In my personal opinion, it should. However, on the AMCAS application, it is very difficult to classify any one of your engineering classes as either purely math, biology, chemistry or physics because most of the time the class combines all the subjects. An example of this is fluid mechanics where you use math, biology and physics. What I did, regardless of the grade I received in the class, is I listed all my engineering classes as engineering (ENGR) on my application. Only the classes that you list, or which AMCAS corrects for, as biology, math, physics or chemistry will be counted towards your BCPM gpa.

    I can't really "rank" biomedical engineering to other engineering degrees. Every engineering major is difficult. The one thing with biomedical engineering is that it combines the engineering fields of electrical, mechanical, and chemical. So, as a BME, you take classes in many of the engineering fields. For me, electrical engineering classes like circuit analysis and digital systems processing were my favorite compared to biomedical engineering because my strength is pure math. Difficulty depends on the individuals strengths and weaknesses.

    No. All the required prerequisites for the medical schools I applied to were included in my biomedical engineering cirriculum. I can't say the same for you. The best thing to do is to research all the schools you are interested in to see which prereq's they require for all candidates regardless of major. This information can be found on the schools website most of the time. To the best of my knowledge, most BME cirriculum's include the major prereq's for most medical schools.

    I think BME prepares you well for the MCAT. BME requires math, analytical thinking, lots of reading and comprehension and you take all the subjects tested on the MCAT plus more. I didn't take any additional classes for the MCAT but instead took a Princeton Review class and took lots of practice tests. People say you should take biochemistry or microbiology but I think it is up to the person and what they need. Practice worked for me. The MCAT is a test of comprehension and application of concepts. It is designed so that anybody can take the test regardless of academic background. Take a practice test and see what your weaknesses are. See if you can improve through more practice and with review books. Only take additional classes, in my opinion, only if you absolutely have to.

    I hope this helps and good :luck:.
     
  12. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Great question! My senior year I was part of a team to design a pediatric glucose meter. Our concept was to improve current meters on the market by incorporating wireless and internet connectivity to make it easier for parents to monitor their child's glucose readings. Also my senior year I was part of a team to design an artificial pancreas. Our concept was to develop a prototype that would monitor glucose levels and deliver insulin simultaneously. Both in my opinion are strong clinical experiences as I don't have too much volunteering on my application. However, on my interviews, I was never asked one question about my projects. Instead, I was questioned on why I don't have enough volunteering and clinical experience. When I was on my interviews, I met a fellow applicant who had 6 years of experience working for a biotech company. After our interviews, he told me that he was grilled on his lack of clinical volunteering experience and was asked just one question on his job experience. I think working can only have a positive impact as I only have 2 experiences to draw from because of experience. I hope this helps and good :luck:.
     
  13. BME-doc

    BME-doc SDN Mentor

    6
    1
    May 19, 2007
    Hello,

    Thanks to Muddy and other SDN moderators, I have joined this forum as a new mentor. I just got my B.S. in Biomedical Engineering today. I will be starting medical school this summer. I am more than happy to share any information with anybody if it is helpful. As a med student (and it does feel weird saying that!!), I know what it takes to get into med school. I also know of all the adjustments we have to make as engineers to get everything done in time to apply. As someone who always took multiple opinions on application & academic matters, I think I have a very well rounded opinion. I look forward to answering your questions, and feel free to PM me for any personal info (if really needed).

    BME-Doc

    P.S. I will promise to try to respond as soon as possible!!
     
  14. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Welcome BME-doc! :). Congratulatons on finishing engineering!
     
  15. BME-doc

    BME-doc SDN Mentor

    6
    1
    May 19, 2007
    Sera,

    The process goes something like this (and this is a very general and brief overview):

    1- Make sure you have all your pre-med classes taken - check with the schools you want to apply to as some have different requirments than others, but in general, you have to take 8 credits of biology with lab, 8 of chem with lab, 8 of ochem with lab, and 8 of physics with lab.

    2- Take the MCAT.

    3- Get letters of reccommendations (check school swebsites, differnet schools require a different number/kind of letters)

    4- go to aamc.com. start an account and fill out an application. This application ask you to list schools. Apply to 10-15 schools (this is the average)

    5- After you apply, you will get secondary applications. Fill these out and mail them back.

    6- wait for interview invitations
    7- interview
    8- get accepted



    About the cost, it will cost around 200 k give or take 50 k.

    Time: 4 years in school, 3 to as many as you want specializing (residency).

    Memorization - YES. but as an engineer you will find visuals that will help. Others have done it, and I am sure you can too.

    Keep in mind, every year many students in there 30's apply and start med school.

    If you need clarification, post again or PM me. Also, check out the pre-allo forums for genereal info about the process. I hope this helps.

    BME-Doc.
     
    Redeemer86 likes this.
  16. smallqt

    smallqt Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    179
    0
    Jul 7, 2004
    Hey I just thought I would put in my two cents. I just finished my first year and I got my BS in biomedical engineering. I would say that the work I did in undergrad was completely different than what I did in the first year of medical school. In undergrad there was a completely different (and mostly mathematical) approach to the human body where as in medical school it was much more straight memorizing and then using those known facts to answer secondary questions. While I do believe that BME helped me out with the exams and these secondary questions, it was a difficult adjustment for me to straight memorize extreme details as compared to understanding concepts. My best advice to those still in undergrad is if they have time in their schedule to take microbio, biochem, pathology, etc. I know I sure wish I had. Either way, understanding that you have to study in a different way in medical school than you did in undergrad right away will hopefully help you out. Good Luck everyone!
     
  17. BME-doc

    BME-doc SDN Mentor

    6
    1
    May 19, 2007
    I agree that the undergrad was completely different then med school. I am currently taking Gross Anatomy, and it is something else. However, I seriously believe that memorizing can be done by anyone, where as understanding varies. Thus, in medical school, if there is ever a HARD concept to grasp (like the autonomic nervous system), any visualization (like in anatomy -what is behind/next to what)....etc, engineers and any student who is used to using their brains and thinking will shine. Also, keep in mind that even memorizing is made easier if you can think things through and tie one thing to another...you kinda see a pattern, or imagine a vizual....etc.

    BME-DOC
     
  18. keithengineer

    keithengineer 2+ Year Member

    83
    0
    May 17, 2007
    Erie, PA (LECOM)
    Hi, I'm a new mentor here for BME to Med(DO), and I also got an MS in Public Health to get ready for med school.

    I have been accepted to LECOM, class of 2011, and so I've been through the app process several times

    Please feel free to ask me any questions about:
    BME to med(DO)
    Public health or other advanced degrees in prep for med school
    Interviewing with a BME
    Having a family and surviving all this!

    thanks
    Keithengineer
     
  19. keithengineer

    keithengineer 2+ Year Member

    83
    0
    May 17, 2007
    Erie, PA (LECOM)
    I did not, but I made it clear in my PS that I did it to understand technology and I loved how engineering prepared me to think through complex problems. I mentioned it in all my intereviews.
     
  20. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Post 21: How to enter engineering coursework in the AMCAS application

    Post 29: How to incorporate the engineering experience into the personal statement

    Post 30: Biomedical Engineering Professional Society
     
  21. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Welcome keithengineer!!:)
     
  22. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    This can be a daunting task for engineering majors who are applying to medical school since more than often engineering coursework is a mixture of sciences. Take a biomedical engineering course like fluid dynamics for example. It combines elements of chemical and mechanical engineering with physics, biology, chemistry and math. So how do you enter it in the AMCAS application? One thing to remember is that AMCAS will calculate the "BCPM" gpa based on classes identified as purely biology, chemistry, physics or math. These classes would include animal physiology, algebra, physics and elementary chemistry. Another thing to remember is that AMCAS will break your gpa into two categories: BCPM and the AMCAS gpa. The calculated AMCAS GPA may or may not be different from your university gpa.

    For AMCAS 2008, there is a conversion guide (see below) on the AAMC website. You should use this guide to become familiar with how AMCAS will calculate your gpa and to get an estimate for your BCPM and AMCAS gpa.


    Conversion guide:

    http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/2008amcasgradeconversionguide.pdf

    In my opinion, you should enter all the engineering coursework from your respective major under the label "ENGR." As I mentioned earlier, engineering courses cover a range of sciences so it is difficult to label any course as purely math or physics etc. This may pull up or pull down your AMCAS gpa depending on the grades you received, but hopefully your BCPM gpa will be fine if you did well in the elementary biology, chemistry and physics courses.
     
  23. EngineerMD

    EngineerMD SDN Mentor

    2
    0
    May 21, 2007
    While this probably belongs in the applications thread, it started here so I'll keep it here. My own viewpoint on this is that over the course of an entire degree + minor 2-3 C's don't bring a 3.7 down to a 3.3. Before you blame the GPA on just those courses, calculate an adjusted GPA for the hypothetical of getting B's or A's in those math courses. Does this bring you to a 3.5 or above? If so, you might get some slack cut, especially if those courses were taken early and you can claim the follies of youth :) If not, you may have some work ahead of you, and/or you may want to look into alternatives such as the DO schools, which I've heard but can't confirm have slightly lower GPA averages. It would be good to contact some schools you are interested in and get their opinions though, as cutoffs differ. I'm a little concerned for you that your GPA combined with that 8 in verbal (verbal scores are huge in evaluating an MCAT score) might cause you a lot of problems, but again, I'm not an adcom member, and checking with specific schools on your chances is going to be your best route for advice. If your numbers are at least high enough to get you past cutoffs, and into interviews, you may be able to blow your interviewers away. The unfortunate reality though is that interview invites are often screened solely on numbers, which is why while the big picture is important, it's often the numbers alone that get you past that first hurdle. Good luck to you, and if there are any specific engineering-to-med type questions you have, ask away!
     
  24. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    Welcome EngineerMD! :)
     
  25. PBandJ

    PBandJ hot dog back in action! Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    just FYI muddy, I'm pretty sure the AMCAS GPA includes all courses (both BCPM and other courses), whereas the AO (all other) GPA is the one that includes all non-BCPM courses.

    I will second this suggestion. There were so many threads going around last year about how to categorize engineering courses, and the end result usually ended up that people who tried to put engineering coursework in the BCPM category had those courses changed by AMCAS to non-BCPM.
     
  26. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    I can only speak for myself--but I had time to do ECs while maintaining a high GPA. Don't be afraid of the challenge or the coursework that lies ahead with biomedical engineering but embrace it. The most important thing that you will need is proper time management. I completed my undergraduate degree in three years by taking an average of 18 credit hours a semester. I sometimes had to overload because I minored in medical imaging. However, I still had time for friends, clubs at school, research, and volunteering at a nursing home. What I did was I mapped out a schedule each semester after I registered for classes. Sometimes I had to sacrifice a night out with friends or a television show but in the end the fruit of my labor manifested with an admission to medical school. Your engineering courses will take time, but with proper time management anything is possible.

    I can't really compare an engineering major to a biology major because that would be like comparing apples to oranges. The bottom line is that both are difficult in their respective ways and both require time.

    Yes. I like how you are thinking ahead. It is very important that you prepare yourself in case you do not gain admission to medical school the first time you apply. Who knows, you might really like biomedical engineering and the technical aspect to medicine and decide to pursue a masters in engineering. The future of the biomedical engineering field is very promising because medicine is becoming more technologically oriented. Things like artificial organs, medical imaging hardware and diagnostics, pacemakers and prosthetics are only the tip of the iceberg to what biomedical engineering has to offer for the medical field. The important thing is to keep an open mind during your undergraduate study.

    In my honest opinion, if you are truly motivated to pursue an engineering field, math and physics should and will be the least of your worries. The toughest thing for me was having to adjust to the engineering classes. Coming out of high school I had a lot of AP credit, so I was immediately thrown into advanced BME, EE and CHE (biomedical, electrical and chemical engineering) classes. The pace and visual aspect of the classes was difficult to grasp and adjust to at the beginning but perseverance, passion and patience eventually came through for me. It will be different for everybody.

    Any inputs would be greatly appreciated,
    Thanks!

    Don't be sorry. That is why I am here--to advise on engineering and the transition to medical school.

    I hope this helps and good :luck:.
     
  27. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    I think the course should pass under the label of ENGR but if it doesn't you can always contact AMCAS and petition for a change. That happened to one of my friends and he sent a petition with a course description (usually found in the schools handbook or department) about the course. I hope this helps and good :luck:.
     
  28. keithengineer

    keithengineer 2+ Year Member

    83
    0
    May 17, 2007
    Erie, PA (LECOM)
    I found no problem picking and choosing which category they go under. The engineering wasn't counted under science in my application if I remember right, so I would put the ones I got good grades in specific science groups they belonged, IE, my Human Phys class for Bioengineering, was an engeering class, but it was physiology. It has a BIO EN prefix, but I put it under biology when I got good grades, and ENG when I didn't. It was a little sneaky, but they didn't seem to mind. So it helped some, my degree was very difficult, and it was helpful.
     
  29. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    For engineering, you will need analytical skills. You will need to "think outside the box" sometimes in order to solve problems. Time isn't necessarily the issue if you have proper time management. You will also learn to approach/attack problems from multiple angles in order to solve them.



    Anything is possible if you put the time and effort into it. As long as you stay focused and driven for what you are doing you should be fine.

    A TON. Biomedical engineering combines the fields of mechanical, chemical and electrical engineering with the sciences of biology, chemistry and physics in order to develop solutions to medical problems and to understand the physiological process of the human body. Every course which is part of the cirriculum has a connection to medicine. Examples of courses include fluid dynamics, medical imaging, biomaterials, and even computer courses. The field of medicine is moving more toward the technological side and biomedical engineering gives you a strong foundation to the technical aspect of medicine. Take advantage of research opportunities in the department and the senior capstone project. I was part of team which developed an artificial pancreas and pediatric glucose meter. Your knowledge of the sciences, computers, and ability to reason through problems from different angles will help and prepare you for medical school.

    Anytime! I hope this helps and good :luck:.
     
  30. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    It is important for applicants to keep the personal statement concise and to the point while at the same time incorporating personal experiences in order to describe the path to medicine. So as an engineer, how can you incorporate your experiences into the personal statement?

    Biomedical engineering is the newest field. It combines the fields of chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering with the sciences of biology, chemistry and physics in order to solve medical problems and manipulate human physiology. The field constitutes the technical aspect of medicine and thus has a very strong connection to medicine. At the undergraduate level, the core principles of engineering are taught—this includes the engineering courses combined with practical work. At the graduate level, engineering skills are refined and specialized toward a specific track in biomedical engineering. There are numerous tracks within biomedical engineering but a few examples are cell and tissue engineering, medical imaging, biomechanics and neural engineering. Due to the strong connection to medicine, there are a number of experiences or coursework to draw upon when writing the personal statement. I don’t want to tell you how to structure your personal statement, it is different for each person, but as a biomedical engineer I think it is very important to touch on or at least mention your degree to an extent. You don’t want to overemphasize the degree but you want to describe the technical or practical experiences that influenced your desire to enter the field of medicine. Here are some classes that you might have taken that could be used as an example:

    • Fluid dynamics-learning the properties of fluid motion in the human body and applying the principles to biorheology, biofluids or biomedical devices like dialysis; understand drug delivery.
    • Medical imaging-learning the imaging modalities used to study brain function, understanding the hardware mechanics to MRI imaging, understanding the applications of fMRI and BOLD fMRI used to study brain activation and learning how to read a MRI scan of the brain.
    • Capstone project-usually for seniors; developing a biomedical device through practical hands on work.
    These courses might not be offered to all biomedical engineers or might not be the same at all schools, but they shed insight into what biomedical engineering is about.

    The personal statement is your chance to demonstrate your desire and passion for medicine. You can do this using life experiences that stem from personal or academic experiences. Biomedical engineering can be the foundation to why you want medicine or it can be used as a unique experience as to why you decided to pursue medicine. Academic work, research in the field or practical work like design are all experiences that set you apart from many applicants. For example, you can write:


    “Coursework in medical imaging, where I learned about the diagnostics of MRI and fMRI technology, highlighted the technical aspect of medicine but it was another part of the course where I learned how to interpret MRI scans of the brain that taught me what biomedical engineering offers to the field of medicine. Practical work on an artificial pancreas and pediatric glucose meter showed how medical devices developed by biomedical engineers can improve medical problems such as diabetes. However, I wanted to transfer this knowledge and practical work in a clinical setting where I could help restore human health—it was a career in medicine I sought.”


    This is just an example, but it demonstrates the experiences and technical aspect of biomedical engineering and the connection with medicine. It also illustrates the desire for medicine.
     
  31. muddy

    muddy SDN Mentor 2+ Year Member

    20
    1
    Apr 6, 2007
    The professional society for biomedical engineers is BMES (Biomedical Engineering Society). It was founded in Illinois in 1968 and the purpose of the society is to unite biomedical engineers under a professional chapter as well as to promote the knowledge of biomedical engineering.

    The website for BMES is www.bmes.org. The website has an abundance of information such as the history of BMES, currently accredited schools, Alpha Eta Mu Beta—the biomedical engineering honor society, chapters, fellowships, conference information and publications. Most importantly, there is a link for job opportunities around the country for biomedical engineering positions.

    Also found on the website is a more broad definition of biomedical engineering, a list of the various tracks in biomedical engineering, and the type of work that biomedical engineering encompasses. I strongly suggest the website for any high school senior interested in learning more about biomedical engineering as a career or as a degree before medical school. There is a page dedicated on informing interested students about the strong connection the field has with medicine.
     
  32. TheRealDrDorian

    TheRealDrDorian Dr. Acula SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    263
    10
    Nov 4, 2006
    Hi everyone. I just graduated this past May (’07) with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (EE), minor in Bioengineering (Biomolecular). My area of specialization was Biomedical Imaging & Instrumentation. I had many extracurricular activities, including research (in EE and Physiology fields), hospital volunteering, working as a resident advisor, and many more. I will be attending Rush Medical College in the wonderful city of Chicago this fall. I was able to do both pre-med and engineering in 4 years, so it is possible!

    I chose EE because I originally wanted to work on medical technology, but over time realized that pure engineering was not for me. I now hope to “bridge-the-gap” from engineering to medicine by pursuing radiology, and conducting research on new and existing imaging modalities. Although I’m not sure which sub-specialty in radiology I hope to pursue, interventional radiology seems the most tempting at this point.

    I truly think engineers turning to medicine is a phenomenal endeavor, as our brains our trained differently from other professionals, and we offer a unique perspective on the area. Feel free to ask me any general questions about anything, ranging from how I dealt with the diverse curriculum (from computer architecture and signal processing to organic chemistry and gross anatomy), the engineering/pre-med lifestyle, or even (if you’re REALLY really desperate) a technical course question in math, statistics, physics, chemistry, or biology. I really look forward to helping everyone out, and good luck!
     
  33. TheRealDrDorian

    TheRealDrDorian Dr. Acula SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    263
    10
    Nov 4, 2006
    I can't say for sure that a harder curriculum will give a "boost" to an applicant, however it could very will be taken into account. Many times it depends on the schools adcom. If your BCPM GPA is competitive with your colleagues, that will definitely help, and adcoms will see that your lower GPA was not attributed to your pre-dental courses. That being said, when I spoke with someone familiar with med school adcoms, he said that an Electrical Engineering 3.5 (my major) could be seen as a 3.7 Bio or Chem GPA (just because of the more rigorous curriculum).

    Being an engineering will offer a unique addition to dental school, which is your greatest strength. I would not explain your lower GPA in your PS, instead I would discuss how your BME degree makes you unique, and how you could use that background as a future professional. Hope this helped, and if you have any more questions, feel free to PM me.
     
  34. TheRealDrDorian

    TheRealDrDorian Dr. Acula SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    263
    10
    Nov 4, 2006
    You have a solid background, good MCAT score, and decent GPA. A higher GPA (overall and BCMP) would obviously help, but you seem like a good candidate. If only I was on an admissions board...
     
  35. TheRealDrDorian

    TheRealDrDorian Dr. Acula SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    263
    10
    Nov 4, 2006
    Your dedication sounds sincere, but you have to turn those words into actions. Your GPA will definitely hurt you, despite being an engineering major. Hopefully your BCMP GPA is high (at least 3.5; the higher the better).

    Additionally, you should try and immerse yourself in the medical profession. Shadow doctors, volunteer in a hospital, take EMT courses, etc. If you truly want to become a doctor, you need to PROVE to an admissions committee than you want to become a doctor (not just tell them).

    If you do those things (raise your GPAs, gain medical care experience) then you will strengthen your application profile. But, to be honest, as you stand now, you are probably not as strong as other applicants out there.
     
  36. TheRealDrDorian

    TheRealDrDorian Dr. Acula SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    263
    10
    Nov 4, 2006
    Hey all-

    If you are looking for a direct QUICK reply to any questions / concerns you have about being an engineer to medical student, please email me AFTER YOUR POST in this forum so I know to update this.

    [email protected]
     
  37. DrJosephKim

    DrJosephKim Advisor Physician SDN Advisor 7+ Year Member

    1,386
    7
    Mar 29, 2008
    USA
    I went from Mechanical Engineering at MIT straight to medical school. Send me a PM if you'd like to chat or have any specific questions. Glad to help out.
     
  38. TheRealDrDorian

    TheRealDrDorian Dr. Acula SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    263
    10
    Nov 4, 2006
    I am definitely not an expert at this issue, but it is possible to do medicine in the US. I'm sure it is a difficult road, but some things you should do some research on include.

    1) Do you want go to medical school or apply for residencies in the US? Either will require certain requirements (e.g. standardized exams like the MCAT for medical school and USMLE Steps 1,2,3 for certification).

    2) Your degree may help or hurt you, I'm not sure. Most US medical schools require applicants have a college level degree (e.g. Bachelor of Science, Arts, or some other equivalent).

    I hope this helps somewhat. I know many resources exist for "Foreign Graduates," so I will direct you to some of them.
     
  39. TheRealDrDorian

    TheRealDrDorian Dr. Acula SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    263
    10
    Nov 4, 2006
    You need to get a strong GPA in your premedical courses. That will both make your GPA stronger, as well as prepare you for the MCAT, which you need to take. I could see you doing this in multiple ways, examples being:
    a) get an advanced degree (e.g. Biomedical Engineering)
    b) getting a minor on top of your degree
    c) taking the premedical courses

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  40. TheRealDrDorian

    TheRealDrDorian Dr. Acula SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    263
    10
    Nov 4, 2006
    Hey,

    I noticed you have some background and what needs to be done to pursue a degree in the medical field having done engineering as a undergrad. I am a computer engineer interested particularly in Neuro - Orthopedic Surgery and the Medical Field. Along with research in these fields. What do I need to do to start this process and how long will it take?

    Thanks,


    Hey -

    To start the process, you need to first and foremost figure out what you want to do with your life. Do you want to design and optimize the future devices used in a neuro / orthopedic surgical field? Or do you want to apply the tools to clinical practice and see if they do, indeed improve overall health care (e.g. patient outcomes, decreased cost, decreased time-to-recovery, etc etc).

    If you decide you want to pursue a career as an orthopedic or neurosurgeon, this is what I can say. I can only comment on the US medical school system too, as it's the only one I am familiar with. First, you must make sure you have the appropriate pre-requisite courses to apply to medical school. Not all schools require this, but most do. These courses are usually a combination of chemistry, biology, math, physics, etc. Each medical school's webpage usually has this information. Next, you must take the MCAT examination. After this, you're ready to apply to medical school. More details on this can be found on the AAMC.org website.

    In medical school, you must do typically do 4 years of work, passing the required licensing exams along the way. Neurosurgery and Orthopedic surgery are highly competitive fields currently, so you will have to excel to improve your chances of matching down the road.
    Then, once completing a residency in either field (5-6 years for these fields I believe), you are then ready to go out and practice your new found skill. Total time: 8-12 years depending on where you are.

    Hope this helps and good luck.
     

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page