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Biomedical Engineering then Medical School

acupofteaacupoftea Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
edited July 2010 in Pre-Med Topics
Why do people do BME as a major if they want to go to medical school? Is there an advantage? I heard that engineering classes will give you a lower gpa and then it'll be harder to get in, while if you take biology or something your gpa will be higher.
Post edited by acupoftea on

Replies to: Biomedical Engineering then Medical School

  • Phead128Phead128 Registered User Posts: 2,091 Senior Member
    There was a statistic out there by AMCAS. The highest percentage of people admitted to medical school based on their majors were BMEs. The lowest in fact were biology and natural sciences majors. :-P
  • acupofteaacupoftea Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    So GPA doesn't really matter?
    Is there more substantial research as a BME major?
  • hpa10hpa10 Registered User Posts: 1,906 Senior Member
    I've always had this idea that the only reason it's an attractive pre-med major is because it has the word "medical" in it. But that's just me.
  • helpmegetin!helpmegetin! Registered User Posts: 1,459 Member
    ^i dont agree..well not completely, i chose it for a very specific reasons but i do often come across pre-meds who are bme who took it on because they simply didnt want to bio/chem and are "good at math" but these people tend to ditch any notion of "engineerin" once they have a med school acceptance...

    at this point i am doing better in my engin. classes than my pre-med reqs...(B+ in chem 1...ooo)
    but that may just be saying something about my strengths as a student and not neccessarily something about the comparison of difficulty..so you need to evaluate that before knowing "which major will give you a better gpa"

    the truth is do what interests you and dont use undergrad as a stepping stone for med school...you will regret it..

    one positive thing in doing engineering is that you are rarely labeled " a pre-med" which helps a lot with profs. not resenting you by association.

    there can be better research depending on where you go...but its generally pretty cool stuff :)
  • MontegutMontegut Registered User Posts: 6,123 Senior Member
    Thanks for this post. Son wants to do BME, and I'm afraid he'll be labeled as a premed. He doesn't want to be a doctor, and I'm not pushing him that way. However, if he decides to go to med school, I'll be behind him.

    One thing we're looking for in a college is one that sends a high percentage of its BMEs out as engineers, with a low percentage going to med school. Looking for a program with internships/coops, so he'll have a resume when he graduates.

    But we do have that fear, that he'll not be taken seriously as an engineer, having majored in BME, but just thought of as a premed who didn't get into med school.

    Our local college closed its engineering school, but kept its BME program, because it does produce a lot of premeds. Very rarely do BMEs graduate from there and go into BME careers. Most go to med school, and if they don't get in, or choose not to go, they get an MBA and go into management.

    I do worry, though, that because of all the premeds choosing BME, that he won't get into his college of choice, because you do have to apply directly to the engineering school, or even specifically BME, and there are limited spots available.
  • helpmegetin!helpmegetin! Registered User Posts: 1,459 Member
    i dont believe that there are really any schools with BME "geared toward pre-meds" and pretty much every school is going to have internship/co-op opportunities and it will be up to ou r son to take advantage of these...
    I do worry, though, that because of all the premeds choosing BME, that he won't get into his college of choice, because you do have to apply directly to the engineering school, or even specifically BME, and there are limited spots available.

    Forgive me, but I think this is a little silly. It is not really fair of anyone to dictate that those slightly interested in medicine should not take spots away from those who truly want to do engineering. I'm not saying that you are doing this but it is kind of coming off that way. Personally I have very specific goals for being a BME/pre-med and intend to work in BME research after med school. I have many classmates who are thinking the same thing. In all honesty your son should focus on what he wants to do regardless of the BME students' goals around him. The program I am sends about a third of their BME students to med school. Yes, that really is a lot but the other 2/3 are getting internships at companies like MedTronic, Cook Medical,Stryker etc. and if anything the amount of pre-meds in the major "making things more competitive' should compell your son to work harder and "do better" in his engineering classes...and he will have the advantage that many of the engineers "at the top of the class" wont be applying to the same companies he is.

    You suggested that he may not be taken seriously as an engineer if he majors in BME...
    It is definitely engineering although it is a baby discipline when compared to mechanical,chemical, electrical etc....the core classes taken in the first year and a half or so are the same as every other engineering and depending on which way he goes with it he could be taking very dense mechanics classes. Also, with the way the field of technology in healthcare, specifically in Biomedical Imaging, it will be rather unlikely that his major will be 'laughed at." We are definitely getting to the point where BME is a solid form of engineering.

    Lets go back to the beginning...'son wants to do BME'
    tell him to do it...he's not going to be labeled as a pre-med...seriously. engineers flock together.
    and being a pre-med isnt really bad thing...being a crazy pre-med..well thats another story...
    if your son is that worried about something so trivial to the point that he would change his major over it then I would humbly suggest that he has a little growing up to do.
  • Enl1ghtenmeEnl1ghtenme Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I am A BME grad student and my uncle is a doctor and is on the admissions board for a major medical school.

    The answer is basically this. The BME is a difficult major. Imagine all the math and physics of engineering , with all the biology and chemistry of a life science major.

    Even though BME undergrads have slightly lower GPA's than traditional bio or chem majors, med schools realize that BME major is difficult and teaches you think, problem solve and most of all completly understand how the body actually works on a physical level.

    THe downside to a BME major is that if you do not get accepted to med school, it is harder to get a job in the BME field without an advanced degree.

    Hope this helps.
  • D.W.~D.W.~ Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Helpmegetin!, I don't think BME is a baby class. Looking up on other resources and wikipedia, it's not a baby class. It's more science/medical engineering. From what I'm reading up it's VERY far from being a baby class, I have thrill of being just a medical doctor, I want to be a medical scientist, do more then just check for chickenpox, or do surgery. I got respect for pre-meds who want to be doctors and doctors themselves, But I've also met others who want to be medical scientist and have ask them questions.

    I am studying as well increaing my vocabulary, have to take exams to get in UF, want to take BME then EE (during of course).
  • randombetchrandombetch Registered User Posts: 1,079 Senior Member
    GPA is the most important factor in your application.

    Choose the major that will maximize it.
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    Well that's just plain false. A GPA is never going to trump the MCAT, but the reverse is true. Low GPAs from a few top schools can be forgiven. Research can trump everything else if you're really prolific. Some clinical EC's (initiatives that provide care for the underserved) can matter a lot too.

    GPA doesn't even trump major, since we have data that indicates that all majors do about the same, even though some have lower GPA's.
  • tahncol86tahncol86 Registered User Posts: 224 Junior Member
    GPA does play a huge factor on medical schools. Someone mentioned that BME majors have higher percentage of people getting into medical schools than Bio majors. This is probably because getting accepted to a BME program itself is usually more selective (At least a 3.5 in our school) than a Biology program. In addition, there much less BME majors than Biology majors. That said, I don't think that the BME major has an advantage over Biology to get admitted to med school.
  • unnatiunnati Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    You said "my uncle is a doctor and is on the admissions board for a major medical school.
    " what med school ?
    Is it only that med school that notices that it's ok for BME to have a slightly lower GPA or is it every med school?
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    ^^That member made only that one post, over a year ago. It is highly likely that they no longer participate on this forum.

    Old threads are great for information, but be careful about posting and reopening them. If you have a question, go ahead and start a new thread to ask it.
This discussion has been closed.