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Thread: Which major should I pick?

  1. #1 Which major should I pick? 
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    I'm a student at a community college, and I'm about ready to transfer into my junior year at either UC Davis or UC Berkley. My goal is to become a doctor, and be able to do my own research to be understand the effects of toxic substances on the human body. I have been aiming towards Biochemistry or molecular biology, but is that appropriate for what I want to do? Please help


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  3. #2  
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    If physiology is available that would be a good major. I know that there is still a lot of research to be done in that field so there would be more for you to study if you were looking to do research. Anything along the lines of biochemistry is very challenging and time consuming so good luck.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    if you want to be a doctor, go to med school.
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  5. #4 Re: Which major should I pick? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physicsfanatic
    My goal is to ... be able to do my own research to ... understand the effects of toxic substances on the human body.
    Seems like you want to work in medical research, and you needn't be a doctor to research toxins and human physiology together. You might also want to lean toward (ie, choose electives in) technology and/or statistics due to their uses in detecting/assessing the effects you mentioned. You may want to use/modify/develop a chemistry analyzer or analysis technique on the leading edge of this work.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    There is about a billion molecular biologists/biomedical researchers you need to compete with. Many of them from china and india willing to work 24/7 for almost no money.

    Good luck.
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  7. #6 Me Too 
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    Spuriousmonkey, you're making me nervous, but it is always good to know that there are competition out there. Thanks, I am also a student looking into research (I had a post earlier that got no response lol).

    Physicsfanatic, keep your head up and ask some professors in the biology department. From what I've learned, researchers usually would normally be part time work. For example, professors can do research as they teach, but then again the correct research facility must be available for you at the school in order to do research of your choice (I'm sure its limited due to school interest and financial reasons sometimes; I'm not sure).

    But then again, there are some people like David Sinclair who do a lot of research and gets a lot of help (financially) I'm sure. Try looking him up.

    Again, I'm a student as well so sorry if this isn't much info. I will recheck to blog to see if anyone has a good answer.

    If you're a hardcore studious student who really has a passion and a motivator (perhaps you knew someone who suffered from toxins) you should be fine.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    It's a lot easier to do research when you are a medical doctor. You will always have a back up job, and lots of this kind of research is done at medical faculties and institutes.

    Just get your medical degree, go work for a medical researcher, and build your career on that.
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  9. #8 Thanks 
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    Spurious, again thanks for the advice.
    My physiology lab teacher is taking that route in a way. She is trying to get into med school and later plans to continue her work as a researcher (forgot the title) in a inpatient hospital setting. She is assigned certain research on patients and there is not much flexibility on what research she would like to do.

    I hope I can do research on a certain topic such as human growth and biomechanics and such in the future.
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  10. #9 Re: Which major should I pick? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physicsfanatic
    I'm a student at a community college, and I'm about ready to transfer into my junior year at either UC Davis or UC Berkley. My goal is to become a doctor, and be able to do my own research to be understand the effects of toxic substances on the human body. I have been aiming towards Biochemistry or molecular biology, but is that appropriate for what I want to do? Please help
    You don't need a science degree to get into medical school. One of your primary requisites for med school is having a stellar gpa. Majoring in certain sciences and in engineering fields can bog down your gpa and make you work a lot harder than you need to. If you truly are passionate about science or any other related field that is onerous in undergrad, feel free to take that route, but just remember that the interviewers really don't care what your major is, at least to an extent (they'll question you if you majored in Ceramics and got a 4.00)

    In reality though, none of your undergrad work will truly be appropriate for what you want to do. Everything you learn, you will learn in-depth in medical school. With that, if you are interested in research, MD/PhD routes are alternative routes you can take. Though it will take longer to receive your degrees, you might end up having an easier chance of getting in since many people do not want to go through that pathway.

    Both Davis and Berkley are great undergrad schools. Good luck with your adventure.
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