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Medicine and Engineering

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Narmerguy, May 11, 2008.

  1. Narmerguy

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    So, I'm attending a liberal arts university which originally was completely fine but I've now started to consider perhaps going into biomedical engineering or something of that nature but still going to medical school. I was wondering what is usually done for students wanting to go into that field and if it's necessary to get an undergraduate degree in engineering. Kind of an odd situation but ah well, such is life.
     
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  3. AlexMorph

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    so you wanna go into engineering and want to know if you need an engineering degree?

    im sorry, im just a little confused as to what you are asking.

    you can get an engineering degree and still go to med school, tons of people do that all the time, but you probably can't go into engineering with a strictly biology background
     
  4. Narmerguy

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Hmm my question does sound a little stupid now. I was more asking/hoping that perhaps it was customary for someone going into biomedical engineering to do post bachelor's stuff that is more important than undergraduate. Otherwise I guess I can just scrap the idea entirely seeing as engineering is not a major offered here...
     
  5. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy
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    lets see...plenty of ppl with engineering degrees go into medical school without ever doing anything related to their major....is that what you were asking?
     
  6. Wylde

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    Yes, I believe the OP is asking:

    I want to go to medical school, but a "plan B" would be becoming a biomedical engineer. Do I need to have an engineering major (more specifically biomedical engineering) in order to become a biomedical engineer (assuming I don't get into medical school).

    PS: I really don't know the answer, I'm not an engineering student. Someone else can give you a more definitive answer.

    Edit: OP, your wording is still very hard to understand (in your second post). Also, post-baccs are not like a post-doc. Post-baccs is where you take undergraduate courses after you receive a BA/BS, possibly to increase a GPA or major in something else. So it doesn't make sense to say a post-bacc would be more important than undergrad (it IS undergrad).

    Edit 2: Wow, you use a lot of redundant terms. Here is your post without these words (a little easier to decipher):

    So, I'm attending a liberal arts university which fine but I've now started to consider going into biomedical engineering (or something of that nature) but still going to medical school. I was wondering what students wanting to go into that field do and if it's necessary to get an undergraduate degree in engineering. Kind of an odd situation but ah well, such is life.
     
  7. Mister Pie

    Mister Pie Senior Member
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    You almost certainly need an engineering degree or at least have taken some classes to get an engineering job. If you majored in a pure science (physics, chemistry, maybe biology) then you might be able to transition into the industry but I would imagine that it'd be hard to pull off. I just don't see any companies hiring someone to be an engineer without some sort of formal training.
     
  8. AlexMorph

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    i second this
     
  9. DrZaius

    DrZaius Member
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    Also, if you're willing to get a Master's or PhD in Biomedical Engineering or something you can get into it that way if your BS is in Biology or whatever (for example, one of my professors had a Chem degree and then a PhD in BME)
     
  10. thesauce

    thesauce Senior Member
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    Some biomedical engineering programs will take you into a Master's degree program if you have an undergrad in the sciences (not engineering), but you'll have to take "leveling courses" before you take the master's course work.

    You'll have to check individual programs about their policies on this.
     
  11. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    You are going to have some science background at least or else you are going to have a heck of a time convincing any biomedical engineering program that you are a worthy engineer. Maybe if you took up a major in physics or chemistry. Here's a thought though, certain schools offer a MD/MS program with the bioengineering department. Less commitment than a Ph.D but still you learn a good amount of engineering.

    Although... you sure you want to be a biomedical engineer? I would suggest you at least take some bioengineering classes before you decide to jump to that ship. Since you don't have them at your school, maybe you could look around for a place to get some classes elsewhere.
     
  12. Hurricane95

    Hurricane95 Senior Member
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    Sorry to burst your bubble, but yeah, you need an engineering degree to work as an engineer. That's just the way it is. Any other major seeking work in that field is like a sketch artist who does portraits wanting to work as an architect (people, building plans...what's the difference right?). Like architecture, engineering is a very technical field that requires specialized training that you really don't get anywhere else. You may be able to get a job at an engineering company with a humanities degree, but it wouldn't be an engineering job...more like a position at the human resources office or in the business side of the company, not in research and development. A science degree may get you a lab position at a company that's research oriented, but again you would be highly limited as to which teams you would be working on, simply because the background knowledge isn't there. I personally have not heard of any schools that allow general science undergrads into their engineering graduate programs. I know at U Miami that doesn't exist that I've heard. You need a BS in an engineering program to get in (most people do BME itself, electrical, mechanical or chemical). If that exists in another school, I am guessing your best shot would be majoring in a physical science (physics or chemistry) or mathematics. That rules out whether you are capable of doing upper level math and physics, the two major early background fields that kill students. All of the other stuff can be learned I suppose. But don't count on entering a program like that with a humanities degree...I don't see that happening. Good luck!
     
  13. thesauce

    thesauce Senior Member
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    I know a guy at my undergrad that went from Chemistry undergrad to Chemical Engineering MS. They really aren't that similiar, believe it or not, so he took a year of leveling courses.

    My undergrad chemical engineering department also runs the bioengineering department, so I'm sure they'd allow the same for someone wanting to do BME.
     
  14. Narmerguy

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Yes this is what I was talking about, sorry for being so hard to understand guys. What I was asking was whether there is a path into biomedical engineering that I could pursue if I did not get an undergraduate major in some sort of engineering. And about the MD, I wanted to be a biomedical engineer who had a MD because I figured that would help somehow, I wasn't looking for some plan B to medical school.
     
  15. zpiff

    zpiff Spaceman
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    Yes. You do usually need an engineering degree to get a biomedical engineering job. I am actually a biomedical engineering major and have had a few biomedical internships. The people hired for such positions are usually Biomedical, chemical or mechanical engineers. Engineering (even biological) is very different from a biology major.
     
  16. Asp

    Asp
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    You don't need a software engineering degree to work in software engineering.
     
  17. Asp

    Asp
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  18. RapplixGmed

    RapplixGmed Looking for the Ether
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    QFT. Most of my biology or chemistry major friends have no comprehension whatsoever of what biomedical engineering is. They look at my homework or textbooks and go :eek:
     
  19. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    hahahahah I know that feeling.... viscoelastic what? wtf do you mean do a system stability analysis? And who in the frick is Navier Stokes?
     
  20. Cegar

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    How the **** does any sort of science major not know about Navier-Stokes equations?

    That's like a math major going, "What hospital?"
     
  21. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    You'd be suprised

    *EDIT*
    well... I guess I can see mmmaaayyyybbeeee they could have seen one of the simplified versions of the equation somewhere.

    maybe
     
  22. Cegar

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    No, not really I guess.
     
  23. Gbemi24

    Gbemi24 1K Member
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    Why don't you brilliant engineering minds try your hand at these fun problems in the Doctor's Lounge.
    They are no where near as tricky as applying the Navier-Stokes equation in fliud mechanics but they should be fun!;)
     
  24. Quadratic

    Quadratic Currently not in function
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    What hospital? What are you talking about?
     
  25. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    I hope you are happy you wasted my breaks for today :mad:

    more please :)
     
  26. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    1) Yes you can enter into a biomedical engineer graduate program without a degree in biomedical engineering. The problem is that biomedical engineers take graduate courses in biomedical engineering, and you need the prereqs, or at least most of the prereqs. The PhD program may be willing to send you through a few courses that you´re missing, but not all of them. Look into the prereqs (I´m guessing a lot of bio and a lot of math), take as many as you can, and go get your PhD. Basically the more your missing, the more the PhD program will need to pay for you to take, the harder a "sell" you´re going to be come application time.

    2) I don´t think an MD is going to do much for you, let alone be worth the cost and sacrifice involved. Biomed engineers have PhDs in... Biomedical engineering. MDs train to be MDs. For more info about PhDs I recommend the forums at PhD comics (sounds odd, but they´re a good gathering place for doctoral students, as opposed to student doctors).

    3) Why are you and a small liberal arts college if you want to be a biomed engineer? Do you have a full ride or something? Transfer to Georgia Tech.


    I never can remember the name of the equations. When you said Navier-Stokes I had no idea what you were talking about. As soon as I saw it I though "OH, the equation with the thingie!". Not a verbal person I guess.
     
  27. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    From now on we can refer it to the following to avoid any confusion ;)


    [​IMG]


    unless you want me to break it down further to really get down and dirty :D

    *EDIT*

    Okay I was struck by a wave of nostalgia when I saw this.... ahhh now I remember why each of my bioengineering homework was had more pages than most literature major students' term papers.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Welcome to engineering
     
  28. sawood

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    Okay, i had to pipe in....i'm finishing my MS in BMED right now and i have NEVER had to use the Navier Stokes equations, and in general the graduate courses are VERY different from undergrad. I did my undergrad in mechanical eng., so I've had my share of the crazy homeworks, but graduate programs are a different story. One of my classmates working on a masters in BMED got his undergrad in biochem, and he's doing just fine. It depends on the school I guess, but don't be scared away. Just talk to the department (the engineering professors, not the non-engineering majors that work in the advising offices) and ask them what classes you will need to be successful. Engineering is fun. I don't totally understand what your end goal is from your posts....hopefully you like math to some degree? BMED is typically less math than other engineering disciplines (IMHO).
     
  29. Hurricane95

    Hurricane95 Senior Member
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    ahhh...nostalgia...

    ok, now back to memorizing laundry lists of associations for step 1.
    If A, B, and C happen together in the same patient, it's most likely X syndrome.
    But if D happens instead of C, then it's Y syndrome. You treat Y with corticosteroids and X with...nothing. X has multinucleated giant cells, and Y has lymphocytic infiltrates on pete yaeger stain...repeat and regurgitate.
    5 weeks left :scared:

    sigh...
     
  30. whoisthedrizzle

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    NAVIER STOKES!!!

    OH NOES!!!

    seriously though, they're not that bad when you cut em down to two or three terms.
     
  31. Narmerguy

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Yes actually I got offered a full ride to go. I did get accepted to Georgia Tech but didn't get their scholarship and I pretty much was trying to pay a little as possible. Someone below mentioned math, yes I do love math which is why I've considered biomed engineering becuase I feel my skill at math is wasted in just being a practicing doctor because prerequisites just to get into medical school are so low for math. I've also really liked taking stuff apart and putting them together and blah blah stuff like that. Luckily for me, I didn't really put this all together until after I had accepted the offer to my school and whatnot.
     
  32. Mister Pie

    Mister Pie Senior Member
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    Interesting... I've never seen those equations before.

    I like how you chose the spherical coordinate representation to make the equations look extra cumbersome... very devious.
     
  33. Rotinaj

    Rotinaj Maintenance
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    As far as I know, engineering is essentially an applied math/science degree depending on which route you take. Engineering degrees will usually require more math than other science degrees, but it also knocks out several of your pre-reqs for medicine such as physics, calc I and II and if you take chemical engineering, you can knock out all of your chemistry (including the often recommended biochemistry and pchem) too leaving you with only 2 Biology classes with labs to finish off your premed. Biomed usually encompasses those biology classes as well, and at KU they offer a premedical discipline which is basically biomedical with Organic II and a restructuring of the schedule for a light semester around your MCAT.

    Either way, I highly doubt an engineering degree has ever hurt anyone's chances of getting into medschool, as the stigma seems to be that it's a more difficult degree than your average B.S. Whether that's true or not is completely subjective; if you're the kind of person who loves math and problem solving then it would probably be the path of least resistance. Who knows? Good luck with whatever you choose.
     
  34. engineeredout

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    Navier-Stokes!! Yeah science majors have no idea what engineering is like. I'm a chemical engineering major and it is absolutely nothing like chemistry.

    Like one of my professors says: Chemical engineers can do the work of chemists, but chemists can't do the work of chemical engineers.
     
  35. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    Well, if you want something to bridge the gap between a biology undergrad and an engineering grad school you might want to look into masters programs in biophysics. I know tech has a program, and I´m sure there are more. It seems like that would be a logical path into bioengineering.
     
  36. JMedical08

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    Haha, I love how cocky we are. Engineers are probably the only people cockier than doctors!
     
  37. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    Oh don't get me wrong, Doing the math of engineering wasn't that bad at all for me personally. But I do know plenty of people in bioengineering that curse the engineering part of it on an hourly basis, at least in undergrad. What I was trying to explain in my posts was that you got to know what you are getting into becuase a lot of people I know got into the bioengineering major when in actuality, they should have been biology or biochem majors as that was where their interests were.
     
  38. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    Spherical coordinates is how we roll ;P. We engineers are famous for making up complex and long equations when we know very well there's a much simpler equation/solution. It's like why we still teach phasor notation in circuits when we can just transform them....

    No that would be rappers :laugh:
     
  39. engineeredout

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    Hey we deserve to be, we actually had to work in college :D
     
  40. jetspeeder

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  41. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    hahaha, if you have trouble determining whether or not I'm going to use laplace or fourier, then you must have not sat through weeks of class suffering before they finally taught you the simple method ;).
     
  42. Cegar

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    Engineers are hilarious.
     
  43. jetspeeder

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    well, i dont have trouble of course, cuz i am an electrical engr haha, i was just wondering if you were interested in the s-domain or the frequency domain? b/c both of them give u different information bout ur circuit depending on what u're analyzing
     
  44. 8744

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    Yeah, but programming isn't really engineering even though they call it "software engineering."
     
  45. 8744

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    That's because engineers are smarter than doctors and generally more respected by the public, at least those in the public who know what engineers do.

    Sincerely,

    Panda Bear, MD PE Civil Engineering
     
  46. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
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    Spoken like a true EE :D. Although I think you have to go into the frequency domain to do certain analysis (correct me if I'm wrong) whereas the S domain is more like a simplification method that helps you obtain information that you can slowly derive from the phasor notation as well given awsome math skills? So I would mean more in the S domain since I was talking about simplification.

    Dang, even I don't gots the balls to say that in a pre-med forum :laugh:
     
  47. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    Which means you will be the most respected person at the Star Trek Convention.

    Seriously I was a mechanical engineer and I can´t count the number of times people asked me to help them with "a little car trouble". People have NO IDEA what engineers do unless they are, or work with, engineers.
     
  48. DrZaius

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    Smarter, probably. Not sure about respected though. But I think engineer doctors are the wave of the future :)
     
  49. jetspeeder

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    you are correct haha, the fourier domain goes into analyzing the frequency response and spectral information of the system. it's been a while since i took my systems n signals course so i might be wrong but the s-domain gives you the whole solution while the phasor domain only provides you with the steady state solution...

    if i am correct, u're from UCSD. how's the Tau Beta Pi at UCSD?
     
  50. 8744

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    Well look, every two-bit hypochondriac with an internet connection can cram a few facts into his head and feel competent to dismiss his doctor's opinion in favor of some secret cure the "They Don't Want You To Know About." The general public (again, those who know what engineers do) never second-guess engineers. There are no amateur engineers bitching to me that their second cousin on their mother's side knew a guy who tried some Chinese structural design that worked better.
     
  51. engineeredout

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    Seconded. But I like when people ask me my major

    I say "Chemical Engineering",

    they say "What do you do with that?"

    I give the usual list of jobs for it, and ask "What is your major?"

    "Business"

    Then I usually reply "No, what do you do with that?"
     

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