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An Engineer...in Med School?


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An Engineer...in Med School?
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MBHockey
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: New York
 
2008-03-04, 06:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by apple007 View Post
Okay, but a Fall 2010 start date for med school would give you three or four semesters (counting summer sessions) to get 6-7 classes and the research done.

To me, it sounds like you're looking to get away from your current job as much as you want to attend med school. I certainly understand wanting a career change and all that, but the only thing worse than being stuck in a job you don't like would be to completely quit said job to return to school, only to decide that 6-7 more years of school just isn't the great idea it seemed like. That's why I recommended a slower transition as opposed to the all-in move.

Again, just my two cents' worth. Feel free to request a refund.
It's not that I really want to get away right now from this job -- i can stomach it for a while it's just not my cup of tea. I just know this is not something I want to do for any prolonged amount of time. Regarding the time to take classes, it's really only two semesters before I begin applying (Fall 08 and Spring 09). Otherwise I'd be applying with just the bare minimum. I'm trying to maximize my chances of getting into a good US med school, and I think the best way to catch up to pre-med majors in one year would be to take as many classes as i can.
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drewprops
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2008-03-04, 06:32

I haven't seen this mentioned so far, sorry if I've missed it: Do you think that you want to be a practitioner? Do you feel yourself being an MD? A surgeon? Will that sort of work scratch your "engineer itch"??

With a background in ME and a medical degree you'd be superbly qualified to work with companies developing machine/human interfaces. I'm sure you've seen short articles about a portable blood analyzer... have you considered the potential for this type of career?

Note that my dermatologist has an ointment you can get for engineer itch.

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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MBHockey
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2008-03-04, 16:26

I'll have a more detailed reply later... But another friend of mine got fired today right after lunch!
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apple007
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2008-03-04, 16:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBHockey View Post
I'll have a more detailed reply later... But another friend of mine got fired today right after lunch!
That stinks for your friend, but on the plus side, maybe you're a better engineer than you thought if you keep surviving the cuts.
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ezkcdude
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2008-03-04, 17:07

My advice: If you want to do research, do not go to medical school. If you want to satisfy your intellectual curiosity, medical school is the last place to go. It will beat you down. Let me tell you. I was premed, and thank god, was rejected by med schools (even with a 36 MCAT score). I ended up getting a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, and it was the best thing I ever did. I remember one professor in particular who said I would be wasting my talent in medical school. Anyway, I'm now a professor at a major research university - and I'm doing exactly the kind of research I had envisioned when I was younger. Think long and hard about the decision.
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Windswept
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2008-03-04, 18:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
My advice: If you want to do research, do not go to medical school. If you want to satisfy your intellectual curiosity, medical school is the last place to go. It will beat you down. Let me tell you. I was premed, and thank god, was rejected by med schools (even with a 36 MCAT score). I ended up getting a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, and it was the best thing I ever did. I remember one professor in particular who said I would be wasting my talent in medical school. Anyway, I'm now a professor at a major research university - and I'm doing exactly the kind of research I had envisioned when I was younger. Think long and hard about the decision.
Interesting post!

I can't wait to see what MBHockey thinks about what you've said.
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MBHockey
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2008-03-04, 21:09

Although I think research would be really, really interesting I think that is something I'd want to do later in my career. I think the human component to being a doctor is something I would really enjoy. But my idea was to get into research later in the game.
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ezkcdude
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2008-03-04, 21:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBHockey View Post
Although I think research would be really, really interesting I think that is something I'd want to do later in my career. I think the human component to being a doctor is something I would really enjoy. But my idea was to get into research later in the game.
I would highly suggest "shadowing" a doctor for an extensive amount of time. You really need to know first-hand what you are getting yourself into. Also, I thought you said earlier you were going to do some research before you applied to medical school. Why? Is it just something you think will look good on your application?
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nikstar101
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2008-03-09, 17:26

Hello. I just thought i would add my 2 cents, as i was (am) in sort of the same situation as yourself. I studied Civil Engineering at Uni and came out with a 2.1 Hons. After 4 and a bit years in engineering (various sectors, contracting, structural design, and now working for a client) i realised that this isn't what i wanted to do.

Now i don't know if the idea of Med school came form watching too much ER or simply because i have always been more interested in wanting to help people or help develop people. So i did a lot of research into Med school here in the UK and i found that i would have to do a min of 4 years at Uni (paid for by myself). By which time i would be 30, working crazy shifts (as young doctors do) for very little pay. Thats not really a situation i want to be in when i am 30! So i have managed to push it to the back of my mind (for now) and i have started to look for other jobs where i can scratch this "helping people" itch.

None of this has probably helped in any which way for form, but two things i would say is:
1) Try to rationally (this is the hard part) decide what it is that attracts you to this profession (think can you deal with the hard times to get to the good).
2) If you think this is what you really want to do in Life. Then do it!! As the last thing you want to do is look back on your life and have never taken that chance. Engineering is (well in the UK) an industry where people are always needed (although your company seems to be going against that grain) therefore even if you take a year or two out, find you don't like med school, you can always go back to engineering.
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MBHockey
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: New York
 
2008-03-09, 18:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
I would highly suggest "shadowing" a doctor for an extensive amount of time. You really need to know first-hand what you are getting yourself into. Also, I thought you said earlier you were going to do some research before you applied to medical school. Why? Is it just something you think will look good on your application?
I would love to do this. I'll be going home for Easter and have a chance to talk to my pediatrician (who isn't my pediatrician anymore...) but he's very knowledgable and I'll want to get his take. I'll hopefully shadow a cardiologist that works about 30 minutes from my home in new york -- my aunt works as a nurse in his office.

Regarding the research thing -- I think it would be fun to get into while I'm taking relevant classes to see what it is all about. I know somewhat what it's like...my best friend's parents are both Biochemists who do research in the city and I've been down to their lab a few times in the past to see what they do. I think practicing medicine (in a specialty) would be more interesting to me, personally, based on what I've seen.

Also, yes i think it would be good on my med school application. I want to have experience in both research and clinical environments to show that I am both interested in and capable of handling outside of the classroom work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikstar101 View Post
Hello. I just thought i would add my 2 cents, as i was (am) in sort of the same situation as yourself. I studied Civil Engineering at Uni and came out with a 2.1 Hons. After 4 and a bit years in engineering (various sectors, contracting, structural design, and now working for a client) i realised that this isn't what i wanted to do.

Now i don't know if the idea of Med school came form watching too much ER or simply because i have always been more interested in wanting to help people or help develop people. So i did a lot of research into Med school here in the UK and i found that i would have to do a min of 4 years at Uni (paid for by myself). By which time i would be 30, working crazy shifts (as young doctors do) for very little pay. Thats not really a situation i want to be in when i am 30! So i have managed to push it to the back of my mind (for now) and i have started to look for other jobs where i can scratch this "helping people" itch.

None of this has probably helped in any which way for form, but two things i would say is:
1) Try to rationally (this is the hard part) decide what it is that attracts you to this profession (think can you deal with the hard times to get to the good).
2) If you think this is what you really want to do in Life. Then do it!! As the last thing you want to do is look back on your life and have never taken that chance. Engineering is (well in the UK) an industry where people are always needed (although your company seems to be going against that grain) therefore even if you take a year or two out, find you don't like med school, you can always go back to engineering.
Yeah. I realize that 6 years from today I'll be just starting out on my own and making $30,000 a year. Well under half of what I'm making today. Not the most enticing financial position to be in...but I don't think that is reason enough alone to drop something I've been seriously considering for the past few months.
  quote
bmorley
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ohio
 
2008-03-09, 20:04

If you are really interested in research, you might want to consider an M.D.,Ph.D program. They are more difficult to get into and add two more years to the actual medical school portion, but they pay tuition plus a stipend if I remember correctly from those in my class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBHockey View Post
I realize that 6 years from today I'll be just starting out on my own and making $30,000 a year.
Don't forget residency/fellowship in the timetable. Maybe that is what you meant in the above quote. That will add 3-5 years, with the specialties usually being 5+ years extra. Residents/interns usually start higher than $30k, assuming mine was typical from 12 years ago and I expect it has gone up since then.
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MBHockey
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: New York
 
2008-05-07, 20:11

Just a little update everyone -- I decided a few weeks back that I'm actually going to go through with it. I've picked a school to take my pre-reqs at back home in NYC and I'll be applying in June 2009 to medical schools

I spent a day at a hospital near my home in New York with a top administrator who took me around and I got to talk to a lot of specialists, and just feel the general hospital vibe. It was that experience which pushed my deliberation about medical school into a real and final decision.

I'm giving my two weeks notice at the end of June (my last week will be the first week of July).

Back to school I go!

wait....wtf am i doing?!?!?
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Capella
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2008-05-07, 20:32

Congrats on making a decision that makes you happy! Keep us well updated on it.
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veryamusing
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2008-05-07, 21:42

That's great, MBHockey! Congratulations, indeed!

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Moogs
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2008-05-08, 08:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBHockey View Post
wait....wtf am i doing?!?!?

Setting yourself up for 4+ years of "no time to watch hockey", that's what.
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Wyatt
On twitter: @bwyatt
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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2008-05-08, 08:51

Good luck, hockey. That's a big, brave step you're making. Good luck with it!
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MBHockey
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Join Date: May 2005
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2009-06-15, 15:26

I just wanted to revisit this thread. Thanks for all the kind words back then -- it's nice to come back here and read them again.

I finished my pre-reqs for med school this year. I found the majority of the material to be really interesting. I ended up with a post-bac GPA of 3.95, started volunteering at a nearby hospital, and right now I'm studying for the MCAT (as I have been for the last several weeks). I take in on July 2nd.

My last day of work last year was July 3rd, so that means that I will have completed all the required classes and taken the MCAT all within a year of leaving my job

Now, let's just hope I can do as well on the real MCAT as I have been doing on the practice exams (which they sell for $35 a piece, the bastards!)
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Chinney
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2009-06-15, 15:31

We are rooting for you MB.
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billybobsky
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2009-06-15, 15:32

I took the MCAT years ago before it was on computer, and while it was more of a stamina test back then, the key is to remain calm and open minded (especially on the reading sections which often have scientifically invalid bases)...

Good luck MBHockey... Come back when you are done and I will give you some advice on how to complete the next step...
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ezkcdude
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2009-06-15, 16:03

Yeah, I remember this thread. Good luck MBH. It's an interesting time to be getting into medicine, to say the least.

@billybob, I also took the MCAT what seems now like ages ago ('96). It's amazing to me that the results of these tests are now sometimes instantaneous. I was anxious for months waiting for the scores.
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Capella
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2009-06-15, 16:23

best of luck!
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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2009-06-15, 16:35

Good luck!
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Maciej
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2009-06-15, 17:22

Took the MCAT in January - once you get in there and get started, it flies by. Except for the writing sample. Blah.

You still have to wait a month before the results are released, with all the curving and reading of sample essays etc.

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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ronmexico
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2009-06-15, 20:25

Congrats! Sounds like you are on the right track. I used to teach OChem for the Princeton Review to prepare students for their MCATs...studying old tests is key. You begin to see question repeats, subject matter that is redundant, and you learn what not to worry about. What aspect of medicine are you attracted to now?
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MBHockey
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Join Date: May 2005
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2009-06-15, 21:24

I have absolutely no idea. I'm really only worried about the next 15 days right now

But in my gut, I seem to really like anything relating to the heart. The whole electrically driven mechanical pump thing really tickles the engineering part of my brain
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drewprops
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Location: Atlanta
 
2009-06-15, 22:50

Speaking of engineering... I can vouch for the "robotic" laparoscopic DaVinci device... seems a fair bit of mechanical knowledge went into that bit of $$ kit. There must be more mechanically-assisted surgical solutions in development out there.... you think?


...


...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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billybobsky
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2009-06-16, 01:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBHockey View Post
I have absolutely no idea. I'm really only worried about the next 15 days right now

But in my gut, I seem to really like anything relating to the heart. The whole electrically driven mechanical pump thing really tickles the engineering part of my brain
except it isn't electrically driven....

but never mind that...
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curiousuburb
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2009-06-16, 05:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybobsky View Post
except it isn't electrically driven....

but never mind that...
electro-chemically driven physical fluid dynamics in a biological processes... it's like the Science Trifecta, right?
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MBHockey
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2009-06-16, 07:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybobsky View Post
except it isn't electrically driven....

but never mind that...
How is it not? Electric impulses control the contractions, don't they?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa_node
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ronmexico
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2009-06-16, 07:17

yes
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