Should I switch to new major and accept 5 year plan?

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tuanpro

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Nov 25, 2009
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Hi,
At this point in time, I'm a sophomore pursuing Biochemistry degree. If I follow this path, I will take MCAT in Spring of Junior year and immediately apply to med school. However, I realized I really don't like it that much and I want to switch to Aerospace Engineering. Since I haven't taken any entry engineering classes, it would add up another extra year to graduate with this engineering degree. Should I go for the change? :confused:
If YES, when should I take MCAT and plan for applying to med school? (summer of junior year?) Would it mess everything up?
Thanks for you guys' inputs!
 

Vesh

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As a biomedical engineering major, I must ask, why Aerospace Engineering? It is an extremely difficult(and I do not use that word lightly) discipline in an already difficult field. What caused you to have a change of heart? Did you have some research exposure or talk to a professor in engineering? Unless you are a superstar (which you may be) your GPA will probably take a hit so I would prepare to take a much, much more difficult road to medicine. Believe me when I say you have to love math and physics to successfully pursue engineering.

That being said, you can still take your MCAT spring of junior year (or anytime junior year for that matter) and it will be valid for three years. Graduating in five years is quite normal for a lot of engineering majors and nothing uncommon for somebody switching into an engineering department so I would not worry about it. Take your time and I would take the MCAT when you are most prepared and your pre-med classes are still fresh in your mind. As long as you take it before you apply for medical school, you should be good to go. Keep in mind that engineering coursework is substantially larger than a lot of life science majors so organize your schedule accordingly to give yourself time to prepare.

Hope this help
 
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JESSFALLING

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Personally, I think that your idea is a poor one if medical school is your primary aim, with a few exceptions of course. First, if you will regret not studying something that you love, then please, absolutely major in engineering if you can handle the rigor and you love it. Secondly, the technical background would be helpful for several specialties. You should evaluate the relevance of engineering to your future career goals to see if there is a match. Thirdly, aerospace medicine is a specialty :D......Work for NASA + be a doctor = Win :laugh:.

Regressing back to my original thoughts, though, why don't you like your biochemistry coursework and what do you find appealing about engineering? The answer to those questions should help provide some insight into your concerns.
 

Whiskeypunch

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Personally, I think that your idea is a poor one if medical school is your primary aim, with a few exceptions of course. First, if you will regret not studying something that you love, then please, absolutely major in engineering if you can handle the rigor and you love it. Secondly, the technical background would be helpful for several specialties. You should evaluate the relevance of engineering to your future career goals to see if there is a match. Thirdly, aerospace medicine is a specialty :D......Work for NASA + be a doctor = Win :laugh:.

Regressing back to my original thoughts, though, why don't you like your biochemistry coursework and what do you find appealing about engineering? The answer to those questions should help provide some insight into your concerns.

Just an FYI, aerospace medicine has zero to do with being an aerospace engineer.
 

JESSFALLING

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Just an FYI, aerospace medicine has zero to do with being an aerospace engineer.

Of course they are different. The question really is, though, would an aerospace engineering background be helpful in aerospace medicine? I would argue yes. Someone capable of designing various flight components would be ideal for assessing the various health risks associated from said design.

Along the same lines, I would argue that a civil engineering + physician background would be great preparation for a public health intensive career.
 
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DrOMG

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Of course they are different. The question really is, though, would an aerospace engineering background be helpful in aerospace medicine? I would argue yes. Someone capable of designing various flight components would be ideal for assessing the various health risks associated from said design.

Along the same lines, I would argue that a civil engineering + physician background would be great preparation for a public health intensive career.

As prior Air Force who worked in aerospace medicine, I beg to differ. The work we did had nothing to do with the construction of the aircraft. OP, if you are interested in it, do it. However, if you are 100% set on a career in medicine and aren't 100% confident in your ability to maintain good grades, I wouldn't risk it.
 

impervious0ne

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Your undergraduate year is the time in which you should pursue whatever interests you; there isn't a better time you can do this.
 

tuanpro

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Thanks for your advises. but
Part of me also think that if don't get into med school on first try, what the heck am I gonna do with the Biochem degree? I don't really wanna be a researcher since it's just plain boring. Also my second interest, wich is engineering will be hopeless. Why do people say that engineering path is always considered difficult and GPA killer? Aren't they just like physics courses? I guess if we understand concepts, study and do lots of practice problems, the exams will be a piece of cake. If Aerospace Engineering is hard, can I do Chemical E?
 

theseeker4

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Thanks for your advises. but
Part of me also think that if don't get into med school on first try, what the heck am I gonna do with the Biochem degree? I don't really wanna be a researcher since it's just plain boring. Also my second interest, wich is engineering will be hopeless. Why do people say that engineering path is always considered difficult and GPA killer? Aren't they just like physics courses? I guess if we understand concepts, study and do lots of practice problems, the exams will be a piece of cake. If Aerospace Engineering is hard, can I do Chemical E?
Um, I am pretty sure engineering courses are a LOT more difficult than basic physics courses. If everyone says they are difficult courses that have a good chance of hurting your GPA, you probably should consider there is more to it than you assumed.

Any engineering degree would be a bad choice if med school is your first priority. Chem Eng is also considered very difficult. Decide what you want to do, be a doctor or be an engineer. If you want to be a doctor, stay on your current track and do everything you can to avoid having to re-apply. Switching to an engineering major to have something to fill your gap year just in case you have a gap year is not a good plan, considering the overall increase in difficulty engineering entails compared to chem, bio, etc.
 

Xelb

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Thanks for your advises. but
Part of me also think that if don't get into med school on first try, what the heck am I gonna do with the Biochem degree? I don't really wanna be a researcher since it's just plain boring. Also my second interest, wich is engineering will be hopeless. Why do people say that engineering path is always considered difficult and GPA killer? Aren't they just like physics courses? I guess if we understand concepts, study and do lots of practice problems, the exams will be a piece of cake. If Aerospace Engineering is hard, can I do Chemical E?

Do yourself a favor and just stick with biochem.
 

pre med 2014

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there is no point in doing that. It's not just like regular physics classes at all. It gets much harder and much harder to maintain above average test scores. They won't be impressed with your degree unless you get a job for NASA
 
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