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Hi

I am 22 years old canadian resident and my goal is to be a physician. I went to college for for a technical diploma(odd reson to do this please don't ask why). I am planning to go to ubc for engineering degree this fall. I am aware this is not a good pathway to med school but i feel that if I am spending  so much money on an undergrad degree, I want it to be something I enjoy and also should be a bit more valuable than premed, in case I fail to get into med school. I know I shouldn't be thinking about failing but I am practical person and I am not financially that strong so weighing in my options. What do you guys suggest. Is it very difficult to get into med school with this type of major. Please suggest

 

I have already posted this on non conventional section but am not sure if thats the right one so reposting it here. Please let me know if I am not allowed to do that. 

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Hey Sing,

Nice to know that there's someone else doing engineering as a premed :). I'm currently a third-year engineering student at Waterloo also thinking about applying to med school after I graduate. There are some drawbacks of going about this path. 

1) Engineering is really hard. Unless you're very strong academically, chances are you will get 3.3-3.6 gpa (like most people), which will not be high enough for med school. Most that try really, really hard still end up with this mark. This also means you will have very little time to do extracurriculars, which can hurt you in that sense. Unless you're 100% certain that you will get 3.8+, this is a very, very bad idea. You might end up having to do another degree afterwards for higher GPA. 

2) Tuition-wise engineering is very expensive too. Definitely a lot more than a generic premed degree (bio, chem, etc). If you're going to medschool afterwards (and thus not apply your 4 years of education as an engineer), why bother?  Also you wrote that you want something you enjoy (implying engineering), so why not just stick to being an engineer? Also keep in mind med school isn't really something you can just "try out" and get in. You have to fully commit to it, just like 99% of other premeds that study 4-5 years, prepare for MCAT, commit thousands of hours to extracurriculars. 

3) Depending on your engineering field, you will be ill-prepared for MCAT. Unless you're doing biomedical/chemical engineering, you will have no courses in bio, chem, humanities until your 4th year when you have more electives (at least for my program). I've recently started studying for MCAT and though it's not too bad, it would've been helpful to have some bio/chem courses under my belt. 

4) Final thing to note is that med schools don't care about your degree as long as you meet the prerequisites. I know it sucks. 4-5 years of grueling hard work in engineering and goes unnoticed. Someone with music degree with a 3.8 will be treated as an equal to an engineer with 3.8 gpa. However, from what I've heard from an engineer that successfully transitioned into medicine, having an engineering degree is definitely a great topic of conversation during interviews. 

 

Good things about engineering though

1) Teaches you how to think logically, and apply your knowledge in real-life applications. I mean, that's what engineering is really about so. This is also what I believe a lot of premed students lack in, who are used to memorizing and regurgitating (in general). 

2) Good work ethic. To do well, you gotta have great time management and put a lot of effort in. 

3) Through coops/internships you can pay your way through your degree! I love Waterloo for that, but i'm sure other schools have similar options as well. Also your internships can count as ECs, which is nice!

4) As mentioned above, I believe having an engineering degree is a great accomplishment, and can be a great backup should you fail to get into medical school/change your mind about medicine. 

 

 

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There were Engineering grads in our Med class, but not many.  The few I remember came back after working a few years as they had ambitions in bio-medical fields which their Engineering training was perfect for.

As wjl123 mentions, it is considered a difficult path as the course workload tends to make high GPAs more difficult in the first 2 years.  People still do get +3.9 GPA in Engineering so it can be done. You should talk to current UBC Eng students to see what the GPA spread is like at the school .  You may need to do some self learning for the bio/chem portions of MCAT but that is also doable.

If you are strong at time management and believe you can achieve a +3.9 GPA then go for it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Sing said:

Hi

I am 22 years old canadian resident and my goal is to be a physician. I went to college for for a technical diploma(odd reson to do this please don't ask why). I am planning to go to ubc for engineering degree this fall. I am aware this is not a good pathway to med school but i feel that if I am spending  so much money on an undergrad degree, I want it to be something I enjoy and also should be a bit more valuable than premed, in case I fail to get into med school. I know I shouldn't be thinking about failing but I am practical person and I am not financially that strong so weighing in my options. What do you guys suggest. Is it very difficult to get into med school with this type of major. Please suggest

 

I have already posted this on non conventional section but am not sure if thats the right one so reposting it here. Please let me know if I am not allowed to do that. 

I think its a good idea. I have friends in med who did engineering, it isn't easy, but at the same time it is a good career on its own. If you would be happy as an engineer, its the way to go. 

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It's always a good idea to have a back up plan, but I don't think your back up plan should be something that greatly hinders you from achieving your main goal.  I picked a difficult program that had co-op, but it was so challenging that I was not even competitive to study in Canada.  In hindsight, i would have been better off in another (easier) program, and not focused so much on "what if I don't get in?".

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Thanks for the guidance. My technical diploma was in chem so I am pretty good in that department. Biochem is going to be a bit hard though. I am pretty okay with heavy courseload but it will be hard to dedicate time towards ECs as I will be working part time to support my living expenses. I was planning to go for computer engineering but now I am also considering computer science with a minor in biology. I have seen people quote high gpa on this form but UBC's requirements say 75% is the minimum requirement. Although that is minimum so cannot comment on the admission average. What do you guys think about computer science degree. 

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You will be applying to as many Canadian Medical schools as you can unlock - not just UBC.   You will want to strive for a +3.9 GPA which will give you better success at landing interviews.

Computer science works.  Choose something that you are interested in foremost as you will likely be able to achieve higher grades if you like what you are doing.

Don't discount Engineering.  Seek out someone in the UBC program to understand likely-hood of a high GPA

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