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Computer Science or Medicine?

GabidbmGabidbm 1 replies5 threads New Member
I love computer science but also medicine, I didn't realize that I liked medicine until a couple weeks ago when I had a small surgery and my doctor started telling me how amazing medicine is. He let me stay with him for a whole day in order to see what a doctor did and I could see myself doing the same thing in the future. Computer Science has always been a passion of mine, and I basically built my college application about it. I love the way Computer Science is a problem-solving career, and also see myself happy with that career in the future. I'm a very outgoing person, love working with others and interacting with people (which is why I would like to study medicine), I'm passionate about technology too, I like programming and did various extracurricular activities about it (being an intern, building websites for non-profits, mentee of computer scientist, etc) but I don't have many extracurricular activities related to medicine (only some community service projects). I know that medicine requires a lot of hours of work and I don't really have trouble with it. I like challenges and solving problems. I have a profound passion to help people, I have so many hours of community service and I always see that doctors help people the most. I don't know whether to study medicine or computer science because I see myself happy in either one of those. Which one should I choose? Is there any career that allows me to interact with patients while also working with computer science?
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Replies to: Computer Science or Medicine?

  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    Computational Biology for one
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  • MistySteel27MistySteel27 66 replies0 threads Junior Member
    You can study computer science and take the required sciences for your bachelors degree then work on applying for med schools. You can have an undergraduate degree in anything but need top grades and great MCAT scores. Most people don’t actually go through with med school due to the time and rigor. Have you considered physician assistant? You can do that in 5 years if you get into a direct admit program or even nursing. There’s a nurse informatics field as well
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  • CompEngGirl123CompEngGirl123 52 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Based on your post, it seems to me that you love computer science, but now you are questioning whether you should instead pursue medicine for two main reasons:
    1.) You "love working with others and interacting with people"
    2.) You "have a profound passion to help people"

    However, your reasons for wanting to pursue medicine are also good reasons for someone wanting to pursue computer science.

    I think that computer science is a good field for people who "love working with others and interacting with people". I think there is a stereotype out there that most people in computer science are introverted/antisocial, but to be honest, to me it seems like the opposite. Most of my Computer Science classes and Electrical & Computer Engineering classes that I took in the past seemed to encourage (and sometimes even require) group work. Most Computer Science related extracurriculars like robotics club, game development club, hackathons, and more seem to involve a team working together to make a project. One of the most important skills that technology companies at the career fairs seem to desire from applicants is the ability to work in a team. And a friend of mine who works in software development told me that though half of the time he works independently, the other half of the time he works with other people. So overall, computer science does involve interacting with people, just in a different way (instead of interacting with patients, you interact with other coworkers).

    I think that computer science is also a good field for someone with "a profound passion to help people". You said it yourself: computer science is about solving problems. Well, when you solve a problem, you usually are helping people by solving that problem, right? And the thing about Computer science is that there is a lot of flexibility of what you can do with it because pretty much every field uses technology, including the medical field.

    At a career fair I went to, there was a company that makes medical devices that help treat cancer patients. And you know who that company hires to help make those medical devices? Computer science majors, Electrical engineering majors, and Computer Engineering majors, all majors that are not really biology/medicine related. Electrical/computer engineers and computer scientists don't really have to be an expert in biology to work at a company that makes medical devices because they work alongside with people who do specialize in biology/medicine; the engineers and computer scientists focus more on the technology stuff and the people who specialize in biology/medicine focus more on the biology/medicine stuff, and they all together (this is where teamwork is key) make a medical device that helps people. So the lesson here is that yeah, becoming a doctor is one way you can make a difference in the medical field, but becoming a computer scientist or engineer is also another way to make a difference in the medical field because the computer scientists and engineers help develop technology that the doctors use like software that stores patients' records, X-ray machines, radiation therapy machines, MRI machines, robotic surgery machines, etc.

    So overall, unless you like biology more than you like computer science (in that case, maybe you should switch to medicine), I think you should stick with computer science, especially if you feel that your internship helped confirm your interest in computer science. Or, if you want to combine computer science and biology by majoring in computational biology or bioinformatics, that might be a good idea too.
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  • WqnotrealWqnotreal 1 replies0 threads New Member
    edited December 2019
    You can get your bachelors in CS and then go to medical school. It’s a pretty powerful degree combination, imo. I have a friend in one of my CS classes who’s going to medical school after graduating.
    edited December 2019
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  • compmomcompmom 11317 replies80 threads Senior Member
    You don't have to decide now. As others have said, maybe major in CS and then if you still want medicine, you can take the prereq's in a post-baccalaureate program (see Gouncher's for an example, there are many).

    I don't think one experience and one day should guide you anyway :) (In fact, a few more days and you may change your mind about medicine!)

    One of mine did CS because like you, he loved it, and it is now a decade or more later and he is happy in his career.

    But if you still want medicine, you can go for it afterward. No need to stress about this now.
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  • TemplateTemplate 7 replies0 threads New Member
    Have you considered a physician assistant?
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