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Nov 7, 2015
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Hey everyone! I was wondering about a few things in the next ten to twenty years of medicine. I am an undergraduate student, Molecular Biology Major, and hoping to pursue medicine in the future. This will be my last year, (I have taken my MCAT and have everything set to go). I am deciding on my next years classes and how they can contribute to Medicine.

First off, throughout Undergrad, I wasn't a very good lab student, I did reserach for over a year with two publications, I took more lab courses than intended, and did an internship in cancer biology at a medical school. However, unfortunately, I did not have any care for basic science labs or research; I didn't enjoy them, or put in as much effort as most of the people did. I took those courses and research jobs to see if I can do this type of research during my life as a doctor. I ended up disliking it and really don't want to do any more basic science research now or in the future; it just isn't for me. I believe it was because I had no interest in pursuing a career in basic science research or by running gels or PCR machines, or anything like that in my life. I just have no interest in it whatsoever. Granted, I have not pursued clinical research, but am more in favor of that specific type in the future. I feel that classes in Bioinformatics, Genomics, and classes related to computational biology can be a huge plus as a background because of how medicine is changing in the future with new technological advances.

I was wondering how useful/beneficial will it be to have experience in bioinformatics and genomics? Will it help me in clinical research during medical school? Will it help me treat patients with more care? Will it, by any way, help me be a better physician in the near future? I hear a lot of talk from the doctors I shadowed that AI systems will be the future in the next twenty years and they told me that I should familiarize myself in things like this, especially for clinical work and research.

What are your guy's thoughts and opinions? Please be open and honest!

Thank You! :)


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Feb 2, 2017
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@Heroes23 If you can't find an application for the knowledge you learned in undergrad, then it has no cross-applicable value for you. For instance, no one understands how deep a class in bioinformatics goes for each school. For some schools, this involves taking classes that feature learning how to program such as java, perl, or c++ in addition to a class that features computer architecture such as data structures which tend to be the 101 and 102 class equivalent.

If you have a class that is largely based on applying programming knowledge to a field such as medicine, then you understand that the value of bioinformatics lies in the ability of machines to store numerous nucleotides worth of information such as sites like the NCBI in order to conduct BLAST searches on key motifs of information. Gathering information like this is key in studying phenomena such as cancer.

If I'm not mistaken, scientists have been gathering tissue samples of patients with analogous types of cancer e.g. squamous cell carcinoma and then processing the tissue samples on a cellular and nucleotide level to look for common patterns among the gathered nucleotide sequences in order to form an accurate molecular picture of understanding the true presentations of the cancer. When a holistic profile can be compiled on a single type of cancer, then we can begin to troubleshoot solutions. Not only does this have remarkable clinical impact, but also applies your educational background in bioinformatics + genetics with your internship in cancer biology.
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