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Advice Needed on Future Career Paths: Medicine or Engineering

alwaysstandupalwaysstandup Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
edited September 2016 in College Search & Selection
Hello, I am a rising senior in high school who is interested in pursuing a career in either engineering or medicine. What career can I make the best advancements with? Now, I know money isn't the best choice when it comes to a career but it's nice to make advancements with a preferred passion. I find salary to be just as important as passion because of the amount of student loans I would have to take for medicine alone. In my opinion, it wouldn't seem wise to earn only 180k as a pediatrician and have 300k in student loans. As a student, I am a solid B average. Not too talented when it comes to the sciences or math but I work hard. Math does not come as easily to me but when I study alone or with a tutor, I can excel. I will be taking Calculus Enriched and Robotics Engineering this senior year to see if I am fit for engineering. My school offers Research in Molecular Biology Honors. I am already recommended for it, so should I take this course to see if I am fit for medicine? I already have taken AP Biology and achieved a C+. I assume many of you will ask me to consider engineering but I have a strong reason. During the last two years, I was diagnosed with depression so I never put much emphasis into my studies. I am better now. I will be applying to colleges soon so I have some questions to ask:
1) I researched Baylor Medical School in Texas and the OOS tuition is 30k. This isn't too bad when compared to the national average. Question is, how generous is Baylor when it comes to giving merit aid to OOS residents(I live in NJ)?
2) How much does the rank of undergraduate school matter for a medical school admission? I do not qualify for any merit aid(average stats) or financial aid(income over 100k). Since I live in NJ, I have two schools in mind: Rutgers and Rowan. Obviously, Rutgers is a much better school but Rowan offers cheaper instate tuition(around 24k), whereas, Rutgers offers 30k. Is it better to just go to Rowan and save the 24k? Another university is Montclair U, which is even cheaper. What would be my chances to med school if I attended Montclair U? Both Rowan and Montclair U are not nationally ranked.
3) How can I qualify for a full scholarship or at least a half to a medical school? I know the chances are my slim. Is there a thread regarding this matter?
4) Does anyone know the average living expenses of med student, outside the tuition price alone? Some kids had taken out loans as much as 25k per year.
5) Lastly, is an MBA required to set up my own practice?
Thanks for taking your time to read this! Anything is appreciated!
Post edited by fallenchemist on
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Replies to: Advice Needed on Future Career Paths: Medicine or Engineering

  • PrimeMeridianPrimeMeridian Registered User Posts: 1,224 Senior Member
    What career can I make the best advancements with? Now, I know money isn't the best choice when it comes to a career but it's nice to make advancements with a preferred passion.

    What does "advancements" mean?

    Advancements in science? Advancements in scoring a hot date? Advancements in financial status?



  • alwaysstandupalwaysstandup Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Advancements in financial status
  • PrimeMeridianPrimeMeridian Registered User Posts: 1,224 Senior Member
    edited August 2016
    It's not a simple financial comparison.

    An engineer can work professionally straight out of undergrad school. Medical School means years of lost income, plus med school costs.

    Some engineering specialties pay more than some medical specialties. I know some management level engineers who make more than $1million/year.

    I also know some engineers who started their very own lucrative law practice.




  • alwaysstandupalwaysstandup Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Ok, so when it comes to saving those medical school costs, what can I do to be a highly qualified applicant for a full ride medical scholarship?
  • PrimeMeridianPrimeMeridian Registered User Posts: 1,224 Senior Member
    what can I do to be a highly qualified applicant for a full ride medical scholarship?
    Unicorns are more common than full ride medical scholarships, because med schools expect students to take out loans.



  • alwaysstandupalwaysstandup Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    I am well aware but I would like to try. There's nothing to lose anyways.
  • PrimeMeridianPrimeMeridian Registered User Posts: 1,224 Senior Member
    Just pick an undergrad major you can live with, in case med school doesn't happen.

  • alwaysstandupalwaysstandup Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    I am thinking to do an engineering major. I am well aware that it's hard but if it all goes south with med school, I have that BS in ME to fall back on.
  • LehighmotherLehighmother Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    @alwaysstandup I am going to comment and be brutally honest. I see no indication that you will be excepted into an engineering program at most schools including Rowan and Rutgers. And I disagree on Rutgers being a better school, so much change at Rowan and their engineering program is growing and is a completely different style of learning. Getting into engineering or a major that leads to med school can't be determined without your SAT or ACT scores. You would need SAT scores of at least 1250 (and a math score In the 700's) and probably an A average. With a B average, SAT scores over 1400 in my opinion, but schools might see that as you not working to your potential.

    And I agree with primemeridian, no chance of aid at medical school. You will have to pay. Even getting a Masters in engineering, you'd have to have a 3.8 GPA or above to get that paid for.

  • alwaysstandupalwaysstandup Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    @Lehighmother I appreciate your advice. My gpa is a 3.3 weighted with a 1950 SAT. I will be taking the ACT this fall.
  • SpacemanEdSpacemanEd Registered User Posts: 301 Member
    Congratulations on your first post, and welcome aboard. Hope we all can help. Not all the news will be what you want to hear, but hopefully it will allow you to make a well-informed decision. I'm Socratic, so I value the questions more than the "answers" since I don't believe that one ever really "knows".

    What does "rising senior" mean? To be "rising", you must have been down. Where were you? Where are you now? What were your SAT scores (Math & Reading)?

    It's good to be considering finances, but it's better to put it in context. Whether you finance college yourself (which doesn't really happen, since parents will need to co-sign everything) or get aid of any type, the folks on the other side of the desk are looking at you as an investment. They want to see the investment pay off, with minimal risk. Why should someone invest in a person who, before they have decided the business they are in, whether they are qualified to be in it, how adept they are at it, how much "passion" they have for it - is checking out their paycheck at least 8 years prematurely? Would you? So, you need to recalibrate. Your question to yourself should be: Why am I a good investment, and what am I willing to do to stay a good investment and mitigate any liability to myself and others?

    Google the phrase "Cognitive Bias". We're all guilty of it sometimes. Everyone says they "work hard" except stand-up comics who boast about their slacking. You say you "can", but investors are more interested in "do". You seem to be overrating your value-added and underestimating other applicants' for the same slots. You need to know where you stand, but where everyone else stands, too. You're right, though, that "talent" and "smarts" are overrated - that's where "passion" comes in.

    You do understand that Engineering and Medicine involve group-studies and collaborative projects (often between disciplines) in addition to individual studies, don't you? Your lone-wolf study and individual practice approach will not work at all. You really, really need to rethink this. Individual medical practices - especially to start - are dead, dead, dead. The trend is consolidation - larger practices in both fields, not smaller. It's called the Economies of Scale - Google that, too, as well as the corollary Law of Diminishing Returns.

    Rutgers > Rowan is not "obvious" to me a little bit, and I'm a 25+-year recruiter. Rutgers is older, so they have a longer track record. As old as it is, what has Rutgers excelled at? There's a few things, but I'll let you do the research. Rowan is big, but Rutgers is bigger. At Rowan, you are most likely going to be taught by an approachable professor. At Rutgers, you are likely going to be taught by an Assistant while the professor concentrates on grad students and research and grant pursuits. In the majors you are looking at, I have found that you are far more likely to need a 5th year to complete your 120 credits at Rutgers than Rowan or elsewhere. Rowan Medicine is too new to have a track record, but there's a lot of $$ and political will behind it.

    Pay heed to @Lehighmother. She's been there with more than one. You'd be hard pressed to find a school with a better, more established brand in engineering than Lehigh. Heck, their teams were once called the Engineers before they diversified.

    I'm a parent of a son who was accepted to many "top" national engineering schools. He chose Rowan, because it felt best to him, plus they offered him a merit-based 4-year tuition/housing deal. He's worked with grads of Lehigh, Cornell, Lafayette, Villanova, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Duke, and many others and doesn't feel the least bit inferior. All of them are smart in their own way and each brings their own set of passion and talent.

    Do you understand that there are Excellors and Slackers at every college? It all comes down to the individual student. And which college "better" is determined by the individual student's ability to put themselves in a place where they can succeed. If it feels right, it's more likely to be right.

    Question 3: Not happening.
    Question 4: Too many variables, but your $25K number is probably low.
    Question 5: No. An MBA will not help you negotiate insurance company reimbursements, which will be your source of revenue.

    I don't see Montclair as an option for engineering. Rowan, Rutgers, Stevens, NJIT are your viable choices in NJ. That's it. Engineering curriculum is pretty much set from Day 1. Lots of schools offer Bio majors. Concentrate on being the best bio/life science major you can be at any school, and save $$ for graduate school. You'll need it.

    Good luck.


  • alwaysstandupalwaysstandup Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    @SpacemanEd Thanks, cleared some questions but I still want to know what I can do to qualify for a medical scholarship, besides the 4.0 and community service.
  • LehighmotherLehighmother Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    @SpacemanEd Very well said! Thanks for the shout out. For you or @alwaysstandup, I hope you realize that I had to engineers go to Lehigh but my last child (son) just moved into Rowan (Computer & Electrical Engineering). I loved Lehigh but I now love Rowan, it is a better fit for my son. He needs the small classes, available professors and collaborative engineering clinics. Lehigh would have not been a good fit. Plus the new dorm and other growth is wonderful and let's not forget a great education!

    I wish now I could change my name on this site but they don't let you. I guess I could start over and re-register with a new name.

    @alwaysstandup Good SAT scores, you should re-take with new format on top of taking ACTs. The higher the math score the better.

    TCNJ also has engineering, it's actually easier to get into compared to Rowan and Rutgers but doesn't give much if any merit aid. (A classmate of my sons got denied engineering at Rowan but got into it at TCNJ).

    Sorry can't help with your other question but I agree focus on scholarships for undergraduate and plan on paying for medical or graduate school.

    By the way, my daughters reason for not considering Rowan was only because they wanted to be further away from home and not feel like they were in South Jersey.
  • SpacemanEdSpacemanEd Registered User Posts: 301 Member
    Not sure you listened. Your mind is rigid.

    You are asking, "How can I get gold from a unicorn?" First you need to find a capturable unicorn, and then ask.

    ****. But you need to earn the $$ to get it and earn more to keep it. No one gives it away. Parents & grandparents used to, but that'll stop. Don't count on it. It won't be enough. It's a drop in the bucket.

    Invest in yourself before you ask others to.
  • SpacemanEdSpacemanEd Registered User Posts: 301 Member
    By the way, this site wiped out a site name I posted to check out scholarships. Hint: Type "scholarships" and then the extension you use to view commercial websites.
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