I completed my A-levels with good grades (4.0) and want to work as a biomedical researcher (I am not so certain about the specific field but for now I really like Neuroscience especially Brain-Machine-Interfaces).

I am on the fence between Med-School or doing undergrad, grad and than a PhD.

I think I won't like MedSchool that much based on the style of learning (rote memorization). But the flexibility later on and the width of topics I will be learning about might be useful for research.

As of doing a PhD in Biomedical Science/(Engineering) I am not so sure what the best undergrad and grad courses to pick are. I am thinking of maybe Computer Science, Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry or Biomedical Sciences.

What would be a good plan on which undergrad degrees to take (open for new suggestions) to take and especially which path should I choose (MedSchool or opting for the B.S., M.S., PhD).

  • You might think about something like imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/courses/school-of-medicine/medicine-phd ?
    – Ben Bolker
    May 22, 2022 at 18:12
  • 1
    Line up internships. In your situation first-hand experience will be your friend, helping you to explore the incredibly diverse research in the biomedical field. May 22, 2022 at 23:07
  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    May 23, 2022 at 16:59
  • Preparation for a non-academic career is not on-topic on this site.
    – Bryan Krause
    May 23, 2022 at 22:17

1 Answer 1


The final decision is yours but I was in the same situation many years ago. I started to do research work before university and I also wanted to be a researcher.

First, I chose Med School, however I realized that wasn't my cup of tea at all. When I started it, I didn't realize that I have to go through many practical courses. In my country you study anatomy on corpses fixed with formalin (I heard that it's rare in other countries). And the worst was I had no time for research at all because I had to study all the time, something which was far from me.

So I left it after one year, then did my bachelor's in time, and now I am preparing for my final exam to finish my master's and I recently published a first author paper in a D1 journal. So for me the Med School option was not the right choice, but I can't emphasize enough that my career path is unique in many aspects.

Among my acquaintances, people who start Med School with ambitions like "I will be a researcher not a doctor" then choose the medical career as a doctor. They have much less time for research and they have to take part in practices which bring them closer to the medical career and push them far from the basic research.

However, working as a doctor always will be a stable and honored profession. Working in basic research either with an MD or with an MSc degree is very challenging and competitive. And years after your PhD, you will be able to live a slightly calmer a life and get a normal salary but the way is cragged and you can fail easily.

Many people won't agree with me, but my personal opinion is that doing Med School is unnecessary if you definitely want to be a researcher because MD prepare for you how to care with patients and identify and treat their health problems instead of built the basis of the skills which are essential for being a good researcher.

So I love my career path and I am happy with my decision, but you choose this way if you feel you are highly dedicated to be a researcher.

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