Do I need to go to Medical School?

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Do I need to go to Medical School?

Postby Twampet15 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:40 pm

Hello, my name is Jeff. I am currently a student at the College of William and Mary in Virginia and I am pursuing a major in Neuroscience with a minor in Computer Science. I'm not entirely sure what I wish to do with my career, but I do know that I do not wish to practice medicine. I'm interested in government work, and I am thinking of pursuing a career as a government scientific policy adviser. I do not know how many of these jobs are available, and I have no idea what level of education is required for this type of career. Another possible career option that I'm interested is a job as a biomedical engineer, or possible as a researcher at a research institution like NIH. Currently I do not intend to fulfill the undergraduate pre-med requirements, because I am not interested in going to medical school. Do you think that I would need an M.D. for any of those careers, or would I be fine with a Ph.D. in something like Neuroscience? I could potentially go back and fulfill the pre-med requirements, but it would be a lot of extra work that I don't really have time for, and I'd like to do it only if it's really necessary. Thanks for your help!
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Re: Do I need to go to Medical School?

Postby Twampet15 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:55 am

Anyone have an answer?
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Re: Do I need to go to Medical School?

Postby John Dreher » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:33 am

I'm not an expert in medicine, but I'm pretty sure you are correct in thinking that going to medical school is not necessary if you do not intend to practice medicine. On some occasions a neuroscientist may wish to do an experiment that involves using human subjects in a way that would require an M.D. The usual way that kind of situation is handled is to work with an M.D. as a member of your research team for that project. One advantage in having an M.D. in the type of careers you are considering is the increased prestige the extra degree confers, but in my personal opinion the time required to get an M.D. might be spent more profitably in performing and publishing research in your chosen field of work. But I remind you again, I am a physicist not a physician or a neuroscientist, so take my advice with caution. Consider getting advice elsewhere, for instance:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=270699
http://www.hhmi.org/becoming/

Best of luck with your studies!
John Dreher
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Re: Do I need to go to Medical School?

Postby Twampet15 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:40 am

Thank you so much for your help sir! I'll be sure to check out those sites.
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