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I really want to ask you a question, I am a student and I am confused if to study medicine or electrical engineering.
Question Date: 2017-06-07
Answer 1:

It's hard to know what to plan for as you prepare for college and a career. You might (probably will) even change your mind several times as you learn more about different subjects and careers, so don't worry too much at this point.

It sounds like you are leaning toward a STEM field at any rate - so keep taking science courses and especially math, since that will prepare you for many majors in STEM.

It also seems like maybe a big motivation for you is to go into a field that "directly helps people or society." There are many ways to help people and impact society and we need all of those ways - not just a Physician who can diagnose and treat a disease every day, but also a biomedical researcher who can make a discovery that takes years, but ultimately helps millions. Not just an electrical engineer who develops a new laser technology for medical use, but also an engineer-scientist who can figure out the basic principles of that new laser, or material, or of an information network that ultimately is used by many others who apply it to a specific use.

Here is the thing, though, you don't want to neglect culture, literature, and arts - and social aspects - and how that could impact your work as a scientist, engineer or Physician. We don't know what kinds of jobs will be available in 10 years - it's all changing so fast. What we DO know, however, is that we need smart people who can problem solve and think critically, who can see multiple sides of any challenge and then figure out who to work with to get it solved, who can communicate well, who are resilient, who can work hard and work good.

At the university, you can (and should) get experience outside of the classroom - working in a research lab, volunteering in a medical clinic, interning at a company - to help you figure out where to focus your career aspirations.

Again, the good news is that the basic STEM prep is the same. However, if you are thinking of going the Engineering route, you really need to do your homework on how to apply and to what schools, because it's hard to transfer INTO Engineering once you are at a university. So, maybe you can spend some time this summer and next school year talking with Engineering schools' counselors and getting some college peer mentoring that would help you decide if you should go that route.

My last piece of advice (and all of this, by the way, is just advice), is that you should pursue your interests and talents and figure out ways to work those into a career. Don't pay too much attention to what "society" wants you to do. There are no "guarantees" when it comes to the job market, especially looking 5-10 years out. However, what holds true is this: When you love the work you do, it does not feel like work.

Good luck!

Answer 2:

Well, I'm a paleontologist, so no I can't really comment on either very well. My advice is to go to college, try a course in each, and the make your decision about which one you find to be most fun. I can tell you that electrical engineering is going to be a lot more mathematics-intensive than medicine, while medicine is going to require you to know more facts. This means that if you are good at math but have a poor memory, you will probably be a better electrical engineer, and if the opposite is true then you would be a better doctor. Medicine is also probably more stressful, if people's lives may depend on your diagnoses and work.

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