Science Vs Biomed

Discussion in 'Other alternatives' started by geek, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. geek

    geek New Member

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    Hi,
    I was wondering if someone could explain me the pros and cons of doing both degrees as an alternative career pathway leading to medicine
    I am from Victoria,if that helps.
    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Crow

    Crow Moderator Most Active 2018

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    You'll find some people have different opinions, but this is mine:

    You should never do a degree solely for the purposes of gaining entry into medicine - all degrees should be completed on their own merits (i.e. they should be able to be used towards an alternative career path should medicine not work out, which it doesn't for the vast majority of applicants). Neither of the above mentioned degrees are an "alternative career pathway" and for the most part, if you don't get into medicine, will leave you with a wasted 3 years, accumulated HECS debt and just as far away from a career as you were before you started.

    When you select your undergraduate degree, you should be choosing it on the basis that you will never make it into medicine i.e. you should start following your Plan B career from the get go if you don't gain entry into undergraduate medicine.

    Science may be an exception depending on what major you select and what your chosen Plan B career is, but for the most part when medicine applicants do science degrees they major in biomed anyway i.e. defeating the purpose of using a science degree for purposes other than gaining entry into medicine.

    Some may argue that science gives you a bit more flexibility in your degree to choose your subjects but I think that's largely irrelevant to whether it's going to provide you with a career at the end of it (particularly given that the context you asked the question in was whether the degree can be used towards an alternative career pathway while pursuing entry into medicine).

    Unless your goal is a career in research (i.e. you're committing to doing honours and further higher degrees after you finish when you start your degree) or you have guaranteed provisional entry into a degree that will provide you with an alternative career path, I see no merit in doing either science or biomed when you could complete another career degree that you can use to apply for entry to medicine anyway.
     
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  3. heart

    heart New Member

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    From personal experience I will stay away from biomed unless as Crow suggested you are really interested in research as a career as a plan b. If I could go back in time I would have done a science degree majoring in maths as this would allowed me not to only apply for postgraduate med, but, have many plan b careers I would have enjoyed like engineering, finance and actuarial studies. Also I would have enjoyed my studies more then in biomed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
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  4. geek

    geek New Member

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    Thank you for the amazing replies

    I was wondering if a double degree in both science and biomed was a good option? Or is to much of a load along with the possibility of sitting a gamsat?
     
  5. Crow

    Crow Moderator Most Active 2018

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    Can you explain to me why you would want to do that?

    Also, a double degree won’t necessarily increase your workload; you’ll still do the same number of subjects each semester as you would in a single degree, it’ll just take you longer to graduate.
     
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  6. geek

    geek New Member

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    Thank you
    My reasons are the following
    1.As you said the degree takes four years to complete, this would give me more time to think about what to do next (resit the gamsat or change the dimension of my career completely in case I don't end up being competitive enough for Med)
    2.Want to keep the science component to keep my options open and experience a wide variety of subjects as compared to the limited areas of study in biomed
    3.Want to keep the biomed component to keep me in touch with the research side as I assume I will be continuing it during med as well.Plus doing the biomed component will make me eligible for those extra fifty seats offered by Monash which I know is nothing in the grand scheme of things

    Idk but is this the right thing to do?
    p.s how will my wam/gpa be calculated?
    As it's a double degree..which cohort will I be compared against?
    In case I change my mind can I transfer across in a single bachelors degree?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
  7. Crow

    Crow Moderator Most Active 2018

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    I think you’re making a few misconceptions here. Come back to us in September when it’s time for you to do your VTAC application and we’ll be happy to give you some advice then :)
     
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  8. Mana

    Mana Registrar Administrar

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    So let me get this straight... you want to do a longer degree because you want more time to decide what to do AND you don't think you will have made that decision by three years from now? What makes you think that you won't make that decision by three years but will by four?

    Re 2: so you are doing a science degree to keep options open... not actually as a potential career? Are these options contingent on doing another degree after? Why not just do another of those options to start with?

    Re: 3. If you were doing science you already are in the research component. The extra seats at Monash are pretty inconsequential AND you've just shown exactly that you're not doing this degree for itself but for the assumption that you will get into medicine (which again is something I strongly recommend against as you place the entire value of this degree on the very small chance that you get in).

    No - I don't know how you took the advice above which was to stay away from biomed and to generally stay away from science (as you end up doing biomed subjects anyway with similarly poor employment) and then somehow got from that that you should do both?!

    No different from usual, although for GEMSAS schools you should read on their website how they calculate their weighted GPA.

    For applicants to grad entry medical schools you will be compared to the remainder of the applicants to medical school. Other than that small subquota at Monash, there is no special quota for science/biomed/double degree students; you get compared against everyone else.

    Generally yes.
     
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  9. Lear

    Lear Monash BMedSci/MD I Gold star winner

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    I think it should be noted here that a possible reason why a person may not go with a career based degree is due to UoM prerequisites.
    These are pretty much impossible to fit in without doing a load of subjects over the summer/overloading.

    Year 1
    BIOL10004
    BIOL10005
    CHEM10004
    Year 2
    Human Physiology (PHYS20008)
    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BCMB20002)
    Principles of Human Structure (ANAT20006)

    For a person that may not be able to move interstate for any reason, losing a significant chunk of spots in Victoria may be quite difficult.

    While I personally have only recently come to understand that overloading/doing summer units is MUCH less of a burden compared to finishing a generalist degree and having absolutely no job prospects, I think this prereq issue is still something that should be brought to light when talking about science/biomed degrees in a Victorian setting.
     
  10. Crow

    Crow Moderator Most Active 2018

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    Lear I think the above probably fits in with my example that students choosing to do science for the “extra flexibility” when applying for medicine are going to lose some of that flexibility if they have to (or choose to) do a significant portion of medical science subjects anyway.

    Keep in mind that to graduate with a science degree you need to do x number of 3rd year level subjects (I believe it’s 6 at Griffith if my memory serves me correctly) and it’s difficult to do 3rd year level subjects in chemistry/physics/other fields in science without also getting the first and second year level prerequisite subjects for these completed beforehand - this is going to be harder to achieve if you’re also trying to fit in the above medical science subjects as well.

    ETA: I’m all for science degrees if an appropriate major is selected - it’s just that most medicine applicants doing science degrees don’t pick an appropriate major and it’s this in particular that I advise future applicants to be aware of.
     
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  11. Mana

    Mana Registrar Administrar

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    In this context doing either science or biomed is preferable to doing both, especially as you state there are difficulties in workload in completing prerequisites.
     
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  12. Lear

    Lear Monash BMedSci/MD I Gold star winner

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    So I just looked into it, if you Major in Human Structure and function (Science) at UoM here are the number of 'free' subjects you have after accounting for prereqs. Note - Science electives have to be under the science major but this does include things like computer science, chemistry, physics, math.

    1st year - 3 Science electives, 2 breadth subjects.
    2nd year - 3 Science electives, 2 breadth subjects.
    3rd year - 2 Science electives, 2 breadth

    I am not too well informed about how other careers work, but I would like to think that with ~8 science electives and 6 breadth subjects over 3 years one could form an alternative career in the form of Chemical engineering, Bioengineering, Data science, Computer science, Civil systems, Electrical systems, Mechanical systems etc. Also note that you can go on to do things like Post Grad engineering if you fulfil the prereqs (havent looked into this too deeply).

    I still don't think this is AS great as doing something like Pharmacy or Medical imaging, but this does mean it is easier to fulfil Melbourne's prereqs while still having the option to pursue something else later.

    But I agree with Mana, Please do not do both LOL.
     
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  13. heart

    heart New Member

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
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  14. Crow

    Crow Moderator Most Active 2018

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    I agree - if you’re going to do a general non-career degree then it’s definitely more advisable to do science instead of biomed, and it’s nice to see that there is still room for fitting in some different subjects even with the prerequisites.
     
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  15. Lear

    Lear Monash BMedSci/MD I Gold star winner

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  16. geek

    geek New Member

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    No double degree
    and science is more favourable
    got it :)

    one last question I had was why in the world do people choose Biomed if they know it is not giving them any advantage over science in a university like University of Melbourne?
     
  17. Crow

    Crow Moderator Most Active 2018

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  18. Something that would appeal to me about Science is the other students. They might be less competitive (socially) because less of them are also going for med, and you'd also get to meet a more diverse group of students
     
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