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What Type of Personality, Work Ethic and Interests would Suit a Biomedical Engineer?

Once again I've been rethinking my options. I was very set on choosing software engineering, as it's a lucrative profession that does stimulate my interest in many ways. Biomedical Engineering, however, has also created a curiosity that I can't think but ignore. As someone who loves programming and math, but also wants to leave a legacy through helping others, I've been thinking if a degree geared towards biomedical engineering would be the better choice. Any input by professionals in the software or Biomedical engineering profession would be appreciated. #biomedical-engineering #software-engineering

P.S: I've done a little bit of researching and it seems like a mix of electrical, computer and mechanical engineering with applications concerning biology. Right now it seems more reasonable for me to commit to the software since most of my Extracurriculars are built around that profession, and I do love programming. Even though I've made up my mind for now, please feel free to answer this question for others stuck in this position. Who knows, it might change my outlook!
#technology #stem #biomedical-engineering #stem


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Chelsea’s Answer

Hi Aun! I majored in Biomedical Engineering (BME) as an undergrad and I ended up in the Pharmaceutical Industry. I don't think one needs a specific "personality" to major in this field. My classmates had various ranges of personalities and still gained levels of success. For any engineering filed though you will have to have a VERY strong work ethic. Depending on the exact type of engineering and University you decide to attend this will vary slightly, but all engineering degrees are not easily earned. For BME, I would think the medical field, human body, and people's well being would be some key interests you need to have! After all it is a field in medicine and/or devices that aims to enhance or save the lives of others.

However, I believe whatever industry you choose, you will be able to help others if you choose to do so. Always remember helping others doesn't just apply to the medical field you can also do that as a Software Engineer. You'll be able to do that in any capacity!

Best of luck to you!

Thank you for your answer! Yes, that is true, software engineers can also make an impact on an individual's daily life. I think I got caught up in more or less "saving" lives, but with my current passions, I believe that software would be the obvious choice. I definitely need a strong work ethic too haha, my chronic procrastination habits tax me heavily. Thanks again, and all the best! Aun M.

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Neel’s Answer

I studied Biomedical engineering as an undergrad but ended up working in software world. To be successful as a Biomedical engineer, you need to:
1. Understand that the human body is quite complex and significant deviations from "normal" are common. This will inject a large amount of uncertainty in your work.
2. If your equipment is being used in high-stress environments (surgery, ICU etc), the expectations from the medical staff are going to be through the roof. Even non-stress environments will expect the equipment to work flawlessly. Normal software is far more loosey-goosey.
3. FDA regulations will dictate the cadence and scope of your work. This can be extremely frustrating for people who are used to issuing patches on a daily basis. You would have to document your work in great detail.
4. Doctors are trained to communicate in very precise language with other professionals. You would have to be equally precise or look like an idiot.

Best of luck!

Thank you for your answer! Not gonna lie the more I read the more my mind started to switch to the software world. Even though I would love to make an impact, I don't know if my tolerance and personality would be able to match the expectations of the doctors and workers. It definitely seems fun, but also stressful. I really do appreciate the answer though, as it has given me further insight into the operations or requirements of a successful biomedical engineer and how it simply might not be for me. Thank you again and all the best! Aun M.

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Lily’s Answer

Hi Aun!

I definitely think if you know you prefer to go into software that would be a great track. One thing I realized as a Bioengineering major was that I also really loved the CS side of things. Even being a computational track in my major, I think I definitely would have benefited from doing CS. The great thing with CS is you can apply it to so many things.

If you are interested in the healthcare world, I would encourage you to see if your school has BMES (Biomedical Engineering Society) or something similar for you to join! That way you could bring your software skills to the healthcare side and get involved through your extracurriculars!


Best of luck with your studies!

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Sophie’s Answer

Aun,
I studied biomedical Engineering in France and Canada. I have 11 years of experience working in hospitals and 10 years in the medical device industry.
A biomedical engineer needs a very strong work ethic and should always strive for what’s best for the patient and the health care providers; there is no room for uncertainty or sloppiness in the job.
A biomedical engineer should be problem solving in essence; healthcare is a unique and complex environment. It involves dealing with many technologies, environments and people. To this regards, curiosity, creativity and ‘out of the box’ thinking are keys skills.
A biomedical engineer should be humble in the sense that he/she is primarily here in a support function however there is a need to speak up from time to time as he is the guardian of safety.
All the best for your career

Sophie

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