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So what exactly does a biomedical engineer do?

banjosaurbanjosaur Posts: 15Registered User New Member
edited December 2011 in Engineering Majors
My dads all on my case about becoming one of these.
but i've got no idea what they do,
I know i could google it
but i'm just intrested in what you guys have to say, seeing as you may be able to give a different kind of view.

From what I gather they basically make like mri's and artificial hearts and stuff.. but is that it?

Also I think it seems like a cool career but i dunno if its right for me. because:
I do enjoy math, like I'm in calc academic right now (I plan to take BC as a senoir next year) and I enjoy doing the work, solving equations is kind of, dare I say it, fun haha :]
and heres the big but
BUT:
I'm not really a fan of biology. the only thing i like about the body, is the brain.

so if i dont even enjoy bio should i become a biomedical engineer?

sorry for typing so much! thanks for helping out
and I'm sorry if i posted this in the wrong thread or something, I'm new haha
Post edited by banjosaur on
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Replies to: So what exactly does a biomedical engineer do?

  • ModulationModulation Posts: 1,877Registered User Senior Member
    Sorry to have to refer you to a website, but this will give you some idea:
    The Sloan Career Cornerstone Center

    If you don't like biology, you probably wouldn't like it... Don't just do what your parents want you to do. =]
  • GoGBPackers_4GoGBPackers_4 Posts: 39Registered User Junior Member
    I've heard from engineers in industry that doing biomedical engineering isn't a good idea because its to specific. Even when I was at Case Western an old Mechanical Engineering teacher went on a rant about how their is the core engineering disciples like Mechanical, Civil, electrical Chemical, ect, and then is specialties like biomedical. He said that medical companies have talked to him and would rather just have a mechanical engineer who can spend a few weeks learning the specific medical stuff applying to their company. I wouldn't give up completely on it just cause I said this, but you might want to take into into account.
  • nj_azn_premednj_azn_premed Posts: 1,016Registered User Member
    GoGBPackers is spot on. It is recommended that if you plan to major in biomed engineering, you should double major in something related (you have a lot to choose from...e.g. EE, CE, ChE, etc).
  • hoonosehoonose Posts: 637Registered User Member
    My dad is a prof in BME, and he somewhat regrets doing his PhD in this field because it's so specific.
  • ch2lach2la Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    GoGBPackers ---> Your answer is what i was looking for. My major is mechanical engineering and i'm planning to do a minor in Biomedical engineering.

    So banjosaur, how abt going for a Biomedical engineering minor. Some Biotech/Biomedical industries require people with traditional degrees (like electrical, mechanical) who know a thing or two about their field.
  • JHB619JHB619 Posts: 380Registered User Member
    I don't mean to sound ignorant here, but what do you mean that BME is "too specific"?
  • mitan_da1mitan_da1 Posts: 440Registered User Member
    BME is not too specific but it is too board.
  • hhhhhhhhh111hhhhhhhhh111 Posts: 222Registered User Junior Member
    too...specific?
    The BMED degree covers a range of disciplines and focuses on their applications to medical devices (prosthetics, biomaterials, testing, etc.). At my univ, the BMED program is simply an offshoot of the general engineering program. The B.S. flowchart seems to skim the surface of other majors, requiring classes from mechanical (statics, dynamics, thermo), electrical (physics, electric circuits), biology (chem, ochem, physiology), materials, and even a bit of computer programming.
    From what I gather they basically make like mri's and artificial hearts and stuff.. but is that it?
    Long answer short: no. You will have a range of options with a bmed degree, and even moreso with a master's and above, which is what most professors will suggest.

    It is impossible to judge right now whether you will "like" bioengineering or any major for that matter. If it interests you, then go for it. If somehow you don't like it or feel its too rigorous, remember that it is generally easy to switch out from an engineering major to something else.
  • jessiehljessiehl Posts: 3,328Registered User Senior Member
    I've heard from engineers in industry that doing biomedical engineering isn't a good idea because its to specific.

    People frequently seem to think this about newer disciplines (I also heard it about neuroscience), perhaps because when the discipline is new, most of its practitioners didn't originally train in it. I suspect that this attitude will fade with time.
  • JapherJapher Posts: 1,350Registered User Senior Member
    Perhaps there is some amount of truth to the notion of Biomedical engineering being to nitchy as a BS from us older engineers because of it being new. Still, until I am proven otherwise I will continue to have that opinion. Personally, I feel the same way about Petroleum Engineering. Regardless, if you want to go into that field than by all means niche away.

    As for giving advice to HS seniors/entering freshman I will continue to suggest that you not limit your scope so early on. I agree that it would be unwise to say you don't like it, or don't want to do it, since you really don't understand it. Give it a shot because it sound interesting, but don't be afraid to get out if you don't like it. Nothing is worse than doing something you don't like for the rest of your life.
    Also, as a parent I disapprove of parents who "get on your case" about YOUR career choice. He may think it's a great option, but does he even know what it is or what you like? Parents should just want their kids to be happy. I'm saving for my kids education, but that doesn't mean they have to pursue one.
  • carneliancarnelian Posts: 327Registered User Member
    Biomedical engineers (sometimes called Bioengineers) use biology to solve problems relating to human beings. They range from the artificial heart (which you mentioned) to equipment used in the hospital, such as x-rays etc.

    It's an exciting and booming field. IF it interests you, you will have a lot of fun in the major. IF it does not interest you, you WILL be miserable. Also, realize that to get a good job, you are pratically expected to have a MS, unlike most other engineering professions.

    My suggestion: decide if you want to be an engineer. If you do, dont worry about a particular discipline until you are actually in college. Most of your first year classes should be the same. In fact, some schools, including mine, actually have an introductory class freshman year to help you select your discipline within engineering.

    ps. These are really exciting times to be an engineer. As an engineer, you get to work with 'tomorrows' technologies, and the world around you comes to life in a whole new way. These are especially exiting times for Biomedical.
  • I Hope UTI Hope UT Posts: 580Registered User Member
    i think a lot of people who do biomedical engineering plan on applying to medical school...thats with my friends at least
  • hhhhhhhhh111hhhhhhhhh111 Posts: 222Registered User Junior Member
    Bmed can be used as a path to medical school, but I think it would be far harder to keep a gpa in engineering than it would in a science major like biology.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    You can watch an intro course in biomedical engineering from Yale at this link:

    Frontiers of Biomedical Engineering — Open Yale Courses
  • GabiiwozGabiiwoz Posts: 440Registered User Member
    number one growing job in america according to us news. sounds like an amazing job
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