Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

From mechanical electronics to human electronics...NEUROSCIENCE: the path

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Blumac81, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Blumac81

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Hello everyone, I was in the military for six years doing electrical repairs on helicopters, and then another few years at Intel doing semiconductor manufacturing. Electronics was just not for me, and I knew I needed to get to the core of what I really loved in high school, biology. Furthermore after high school I developed a keen passion for psychology, seeing it affect so many lives around me inspired me to do personal research. Which brings us to the happy medium, neuroscience. I want to use and improve technologies, treatments, and diagnostic capabilities in neuroscience to improve methods of psychiatric treatment. Moreover my personal intellectual pursuit is understanding the neuromechanics of perception and cognition, and I believe looking through a microscope at human matter is the closest one can get to finding these answers.

    I'm still not 100% sure what I will be doing but have it narrowed down to psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, (psychiatric) medical researcher, psychiatric/neurlogy physician's assistant and (psychiatric) pharmaceutical manufacturing scientist. There is also the prospect of biomedical engineering to develop new psychiatric treatment technologies, but that seems to stray too far from neuroscience and too close to the loathed career of electronics I've been doing for so long.

    So, I'm 27 now and a sophmore at a community college to transfer to a bachelor's in biology (minor in psychology) at the University of Colorado, to be followed up by a PhD in neuroscience (behavioral, cognitive, and clinical). None of my military electronics tech school training transferred, so I'm starting from scratch here. I know I can get the degree, still have a 4.0 and everything, but a key aspect to changing careers like this I had overlooked...experience....and well, money.

    Barely into my 2nd year of school I stumbled upon a college called Intellitec Medical Institute, which has a medical lab technician program, exactly what I would like to do to start. It is a 22 month program costing 28k, but would provide me with the associates degree and certification to get a job in the lab, get (some) patient care experience, earn a decent wage (all whilst gaining experience to put on that resume), and give me something I might enjoy doing for a job while I'm continuing my education. The 22 months is quite a while to go astray from my bachelor's (I'm sure none of the credits will transfer) and $14k/yr is a huge amount compared to the $81/credit community college I go to now.

    Here's my question: Should I take the 22 month med lab tech program and resume my biology Bachelor's later, or power through to the bachelor's degree? The other issue is money, and I do have 29 months left on my GI Bill, enough for one more semester at the community college and that 22 month training. I was thinking too, that having a full time job as a medical lab technician, the company I work for might pay for my schooling, as opposed to the job I do now, which is security for the MDA (nothing to do with medicine so they won't pay for it.)

    Also, to supplement my question, I am just curious what you all think regarding what major/minor I am going for during undergrad studies. For now, it's Bio major/Psych minor, but I had considered a Psych major/Bio minor... there is also a 'cognitive studies' program as an option for a minor. The thing is though I might possibly want to go the route of PA, which I do believe not only requries a science major (not psych), but around 2 years of med experience, so if I'm gonna do that, I'm going to need to start getting medical experience soon.

    There was also a 3 month (3,200 tuition) phlebotomy program here in town offered by Pima, but... phlebotomy, while would be good patient care experience, wouldn't give me much lab experience, would pay very little, and I probably wouldn't like the job very much. I also heard bad things about Pima. I don't know.... I just want to figure this all out before I waste time and money on unused credits.

    What do you guys think? (Sorry so long, I tend to be over-thorough about things...hehe)

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
    #1 Blumac81, Dec 2, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Blumac81

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Oops, double post... sorry, I'm new here! :p

    Well while I'm here, quick question, what kind of training do you need to be a biomedical engineer? Is it undergrad training, or postgrad?
     
    #2 Blumac81, Dec 2, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  4. Blumac81

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Was this too long? Should I shorten it? Or do you guys just don't have any advice?
     
  5. Newmanium

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    It's a forum for people planning on going to med school - so you probably won't get too many responses.

    You can get a bachelor's degree nowadays in biomedical engineering, and, of course, graduate work is definitely available.

    If you end up wanting to head towards an MD/DO, you'll need a bachelor's degree, not just tech/CC classes. Whatever you do, get good grades in your college classes, your future self will thank you.
     
  6. violette

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Your interests suggest that you want to study science in greater detail and do research. If this is true you should not waste time and money becoming a lab tech. I worked in a hospital lab and I can tell you that it gets boring pretty fast. Since you have a GI bill that will pay for your undergraduate education I say that you should go ahead and transfer and explore the areas of biology and psychology that interest you. You can do plenty of research and lab work at the university once you transfer. If you decide to do a science PhD than you will get a fellowship and it will not cost you anything. The PhD route will give you a lot more freedom as to the kind of 'lab work' you will be doing. Getting a bachelors will also allow you to enter medical school if that is what you decide you want to do. Good luck.
     
    #5 violette, Dec 8, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  7. NPEMTIV

    NPEMTIV Accidentally Accepted
    Moderator Emeritus SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    As far as the other program goes you need to decide what you want to do in life. If you want to be a physician then I would not advise you to divert from your BA/BS as that will only hinder your progress. On your degree I personally did a Psych major with a Biochem minor and enjoyed it, but that's really a personal decision and I probably wouldn't base the decision off a forum. You can't go wrong either way though. If you are deciding between PA/MD/DO then I would say you need to look at the general pre-reqs for each and make sure you do any that overlap, then if you want to cover your bases after that take any that aren't overlapping once you've narrowed it down some. A lot of PA programs require anatomy before school begins while MD/DO programs don't, but taking it would only help you even if not required so taking it would be a good thing if you have the time. It's really a personal decision that shouldn't be rushed. Figure out what you like/don't like about each career and then decide.

    As for phlebotomy it'd be decent experience depending on where you worked. I wouldn't let it divert any of your attention from your BA/BS though as its not where you ultimately want to be.
     
  8. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh!
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    3,534
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Focus, Daniel-San. You are all over the map. Figure out what you want to do and take the most direct path there. If you want to be a Psychaitrist (or one of the other types of MD you listed,) you don't need a PhD. If you want both, look into MD/PhD programs. There should be no need to quit school -- you should be able to get loans and/or a job to help pay your way. Focus, focus, focus.
     

Share This Page