I’m in CoE as a member of the class of 2018- started out in biomedical engineering and switched to chemical engineering. Here’s what I know!
- I have a lot of friends following the exact same path that you are. As far as I understand, courses you need for pre-med that aren't under BME curriculum include organic chemistry II and lab (Chem 215/216), statistics, you might need an English class somewhere in there? (Engineering 100 counts as English credit for CoE, not sure if med schools allow that), probably a couple more biology/biochem courses...BUT, CoE requires that you have 16 credits of general electives, which can be covered by these extra classes (or AP credit! Yay!). It's very very common to be a BME major on the pre-med track these days, and there's a lot of guidance available to help you.
(Be warned- your GPA will likely be lower than your non-engineering pre-med applicant counterparts, as engineering classes are…well, very difficult. Don’t let that freak you out too much, I’ve heard that med schools really like BME majors.)
- Apply for UROP- undergraduate research opportunity program. It's a class that allows you to get started with research right off the bat your freshman and sophomore years. However, it is not uncommon to get research without UROP if you reach out to labs and professors, it just takes a little more initiative.
- I don't know about volunteering at the med school, and I don't think it's probably very common to shadow medical professionals (or maybe it is...what do I know, I'm a ChemE!). However, it is absolutely possible to volunteer at the UM Hospital.
Also, I DEFINITELY recommend that you sign up for Engineering 100 - Section 500 for Fall semester your freshman year! I did it this year and loved it- it’s a BME based freshman engineering design class (that, like I said before, counts for your English credit because you write a few papers. So no English classes, woohoo!). For the project I did, 4 teammates and I worked with a really accomplished clinician at the UM Hospital to create a paper design of a diagnostic test for a genetic disorder. It was a super cool experience, and now I have a pretty esteemed doctor as a contact.
- There are several huge career fairs throughout the school year where pretty big name companies come to recruit students for jobs or internships. Do research, get internships, and definitely get involved in clubs/leadership positions on campus.
Just a forewarning…from what I’ve been told, many job recruiters today tend to see a bachelor’s degree in BME as “not enough”. BME is a fantastic path for pre-meds or somebody going to grad school, but as just an undergrad degree alone it covers a huge amount of material in not a whole lot of time, and I’ve heard it can be tricky to find job placement in specifically BME fields post-graduation without a graduate degree (“why should I hire somebody with a little bit of training in biochemical engineering when I could just hire a chemical engineer?”). I only know 2 people who have graduated with just a bachelor’s in BME, but both of them are in random programming positions and not “BME fields”…which isn’t a bad thing per say, just not what they pictured themselves doing! But the BME program is very good at Michigan- of course it is, because it’s Michigan.
I’m sorry for the block of text, and I’m also sorry that a lot of this was just me guessing at stuff because I’m not actually pre-med. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Go Blue, and welcome to the family!