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Thread: How to Get into Biochem

  1. #1 How to Get into Biochem 
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    Mar 2011
    Boston, MA
    Hey guys. I'm a high school junior, and I'm starting to consider what I want to do for a career in college. The one thing that I know for sure is that I want to work in medicine, as I want to help people through my work. However, I want to be able to have a personal life as well, so I'm very hesitant to focus on a career as a physician. I'm now looking at biochemistry, as I've seen that the hours aren't as bad and it has just as big an impact on the medicine world. I have a few questions, and any feedback would be appreciated.

    - Do biochemists have a major impact upon the world of medicine?
    - Are the usual hours for biochemists as bad as doctors, and are you able to live a life outside of your work?
    - Is it better to enter the workforce with a Masters, or should you stay to get a PhD?
    - What can a high school student do to prepare for a career in biochemistry?

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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    The only question I can answer with some degree of certainty is the last one. I think all you can really do to prepare for biochem in high school is what you could do to prepare for any other science major... Take college-credit courses if you can (ACE and/or AP, depends on where you live) in bio, chem, physics, etc. I don't think you'll be able to focus much on biochem, but you might be able to get ahead a little bit in other, core areas before getting to college. You also may be able to get ahead with college credit in history, english, etc. You will also most likely need 2 levels of calculus which you may be able to do in high school as well.

    Outside of formal education...just get books from a library or less expensive books on used book sites and read up on biochemistry and other related topics that interest you. I'm really big on extra, self-education outside of the classroom.

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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Biochemistry is kind of a big field.

    Are you thinking specifically of a medical lab technologist, in which case depending on where you are you usually need a bachelor's degree plus a post-graduate professional diploma, the same goes for research technologist who tend to have the same amount of education. Some places offer bachelors degrees devoted entirely to lab technology.

    Edit: sometimes the training is done through local government health organizations through hospitals.
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