Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I am not sure to either be a biologist or docoter?

  1. Jun 19, 2011 #1
    Hello, I was kind of stuck between becoming a medical doctor or going after biology all the way. Although I am leaning towards biology since med school is super expensive..I just don't know. You know whats funny? I was never interested in science until about four days ago because of my autism.

    In high school I was just mostly in special ed and never has chemistry, physics, cal, or biology classes. When I woke up one day about 4 days ago I decided to look up biology (Because I was bored and had nothing else to do.) So I looked at some things and was like "Meh.." didn't get interested until I got more curious and looked at lectures on Youtube.

    Quiet frankly I can't stop thinking of biology, I want to learn some chemistry too since it goes so well with it. Biology hunts my dreams and I always ask questions about it. (I am 21 by the way and went to one college class and it was about religion and such)

    I also was thinking of becoming a doctor too, but I am just really dragged with biology. If I was gonna go to med school I would become a gene therapy. What is your guys opinions? I am really curious

    I want to Thank anyone who is willing to help. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2011 #2

    How are you going to decide your career with only 4 days of casual interest behind you?
  4. Jun 19, 2011 #3
    Well, I don't think I consider it casual interest anymore. I am seriously into it, gonna take a biology class. Even though it was only four days it has changed a lot about the way I think. Biology is awesome! Knowing how your cells work and how they produce and destroy stuff; its really pretty awesome its like a totally different world.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  5. Jun 19, 2011 #4
    You generally need a very solid biology background to be accepted to medical school, so whichever route you take is pretty much the same for the first several years. You can decide which you want to do for graduate/professional school as you go.

    As for gene therapy, this is really new technology that, as far as I know, no M.D. actually practices outside of a few clinical trials that have been done. It's still in the stages of biology/science rather than clinical implementation for the most part. I would imagine that Ph.D.'s in a biological science do most of the gene therapy work at this point.
  6. Jun 19, 2011 #5
    So, I'm currently a pre-med that is applying to med school pretty soon, so if you have questions, go ahead and ask.

    I'll be honest with you. Becoming a doctor is a ridiculous time commitment and a serious pain in the butt, if you aren't 1000% in it. It will take you 4-5 years to get all of your pre-requisites, plus a ton of shadowing physicians, plus a lot of community service. Also, with little exception, you need a cumulative GPA of AT LEAST 3.7/4.0 and an MCAT score of at least 30.

    Please understand that I'm not trying to dissuade you from doing it, but you have to realize that only 43% of applicants get into med school, which may seem like a lot, but that also means that over half of the applicants get turned down. Just something to keep in mind.

    Again, feel free to ask any questions you like. :)
  7. Jun 19, 2011 #6
    Thanks for your guys help again, I might just stick to the way of biology and not get into the medical field. My mothers friend who is a physician who specializes in allergy and immunology kind of discourage anyone to become a medical doctor really. I didn't know gene therapy wasn't medical (yet) So I can still do it if I get a PhD In biology right?

    Also on the other hand I read that medical schools are different from each other and some are easier to get in then others. Again I might just stick to biology since its so awesome and I love it.
  8. Jun 19, 2011 #7
    Well, I would still consider it "medical" but (as far as I know) it's not like you can walk into a clinic and have gene therapy treatment done. I have heard of some unsuccessful clinical trials done for a few things, but that's really all I know about it. I do know of at least one new technology that allows for site specific gene modifications (zinc finger nucleases), which is a big deal for gene therapy.

    It seems like gene therapy is more in the research and development stage rather than the clinical stage. Research this on your own to be sure, but I would think if you want to get into the field of gene therapy a PhD would serve you better unless you really want to do the clinical trials of gene therapy. And I don't have the first clue as to what specialty of medicine would do clinical gene therapy; and if there is one I bet whoever does gene therapy has a really strong research foundation in the relevent biological sciences.
  9. Jun 20, 2011 #8

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    A good time to start thinking about this is after you've finished this class.
  10. Jun 20, 2011 #9
    I believe you are right, maybe I am really am jumping the gun here. I guess I got just too excited, before I take the class though I am going to do some prep biology stuff so I know some stuff when I go in since I have a learning disability (Gonna talk to them about my disability anyways but I still want to do it.)
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  11. Jun 20, 2011 #10
    I think that's a good idea. Take some bio and chem classes and see how you like them, then decide if you can handle that type of courseload and stress. :)

    I wish you the best, man. Never hesitate to ask questions! I guess I can't speak for all of us, since I'm a noob here, but I'm always willing to answer any questions you have about the medical field to the best of my knowledge.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook