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Med school vs. Grad school

  1. Mar 23, 2009 #1
    So far I have decided in working in either medicine or technology, with the intention of helping people. As far as technology, I planned on majoring in chemical engineering and going to grad school for nanotechnology, and trying to use nanotech to help fight cancers/diseases etc. My other option was to go to med school and be a trauma surgeon. Although both choices are aimed to benefit society in one way or another, the latter is more theoretical in approach it would seem, because I may never really find a way to use nanoscience to help against diseases and such, but if I were to be a trauma surgeon, I would be directly helping people on a daily basis. I am torn between these two career choices, and was wondering if anyone could provide any insight between the two, including med/grad school. I know for a trauma surgeon I am looking at around 14 years of school, where as for an engineer it was more like 6 for my masters, and an additional few years for phd if I decide to go that far. Thanks for your help in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2009 #2
    I'm assuming you're still in senior high school, since you still have yet to choose a specific undergrad major route?

    If so, you have a ways to go before having to settle on anything. A Chem E major would be a great choice for undergrad, but as for grad school, I would say..wait until you get into your first couple years in college as you will get a better feel for engineering. Also, you probably will be able to reevaluate where you stand academically/work stamina, as you might find that you could easily take on med school or possibly not. You might even find yourself pursuing another path that you haven't even thought of.
  4. Mar 23, 2009 #3
    Oh yeah I forgot to mention that I am in my first semester of college. I know I have ways to go before I have to decide on anything, but since I am planning on transfering to a university ( at a community college), I am just trying to get an idea of where to go and what to do.
  5. Mar 23, 2009 #4
    There ARE programs (called MD/Ph.D programs) that combine medical school with graduate work (typically in the middle of med school you "take a break" to do medical research in a related discipline, ex. medical physics, microbiology, medical engineering, etc.). These programs extend your time in medical school, but you are typically funded for both medical school and graduate school with a living stipend. These programs are very competitive to get into... but something to think about if you're ambitious and willing to spend that much time in school. My sister dual-majored in chemistry and biology as an undergraduate (note, she had a perfect GPA and some research experience, albeit at a small school, the University of Toledo, Ohio) and she was accepted into a few of these programs (eventually choosing to accept an offer from the University of Michigan).
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