Choosing a subject is never manifest – it’s more like choosing a way you are going to live the rest of your life. Still, culling between arts and science as far easier than culling between biomedical science and biomedical engineering. The two not only sound similar but have much bourgeois. Both are a researcher- education, scientific research, and pharmaceutical are common work settings for both occupations. No wonder both try to improve patient’s health through their basic research, products, and services. But the exact focus of two might differ.
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Biomedical Sciences vs. Biomedical Engineering
Here are the 10 differences between biomedical sciences and biomedical engineering that would probably help you make the decision till the end.
1. Medical Vs. Engineering
Let’s start with comparing medical and engineering – dealing with patients vs. dealing with devices. The one we are talking about is also a similar thing, just that biomedical engineering would dealing only with medical devices, and biomedical science can do research instead of treating patients. If you had to choose between doctor and engineer, who would you have chosen?
The concept is: Biomedical science focuses on understanding the mechanisms of the diseases and working towards diagnosis and treatment of those diseases, and biomedical engineering developing a device and equipment to make their work easier.
3. Course work focus
More like a doctor’s course, biomedical science majors emphasize subjects like genetics, microbiology, human anatomy, biochemistry, human development, and immunology. It’s all about human biology, physiology, pathology, molecular & cell biology, pharmacology, biostatistics, infectious diseases, neuroscience, analytical chemistry, bioinformatics, proteomics.
On another hand, coursework for biomedical engineering is the application of principles of engineering (electrical, electronics, mechanical, computer science, and chemical engineering). It emphasizes basic sciences (mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology) and biotechnology (tissue engineering, genetic engineering).
4. Skill differences/ Application
Biomedical science develops skills to observe and diagnose patients. Moreover, like doctors, they need to know about diseases, anatomy, and medications to treat people on a daily basis. As a scientist, they should also be able to conduct research into new procedures and devices.
Biomedical engineers should be able to apply the same information as bio-medical science to make devices and develop new medical technologies. Such technology developed should help the doctors to help improve their patients’ lives.
5. Theory VS practical
Biomedical Science is concerned with the facts, theories, and models that describe biological and clinical phenomena. Whereas biomedical engineering applies the traditional engineering techniques of mechanical, electrical, and materials in order to solve biological or clinical problems.
So the difference between the two, say similar to that of chemistry and chemical engineering, is one being theory and the other being practice.
Now, here’s the whole thing about the differences- carrier. With a biomedical science degree, you either end doing diagnostic work and laboratory tests in hospitals, diagnostic and forensic laboratories or do research work in research institutes, and biotech & pharmaceutical companies.
Careers for biomedical engineers include design engineers, medical imaging specialists, design engineers, and biomechanical engineers. You will be designing and building medical systems.
7. A number of choices
A biomedical science major comes with multiple opportunities- clinical rotation in any area of medicine that interests them as well as in biomedical research. Whereas Biomedical engineering major in all means deals with developing medical devices needed to solve a real-life medical problem.
8. A number of jobs
There were 100,000 biomedical scientists and just 15,700 biomedical engineers in the U.S. in 2010. As in 2018, there were 21,300 jobs for biomedical engineers in the U.S. while 120,000 biomedical scientists in theUS.
There’s a theory in economics, “increase in demand increases the rate”. With the average number of biomedical engineers six times lower than bio-medical science, it’s so obvious that engineers are paid higher. As per the 2018 data, biomedical scientists are paid $82,090 annually, while the biomedical engineers get $88,040 per year.
10. Your interest
Your carrier is all about your interest. If you enjoy dealing with people and working with patients every day, biomedical science is the right major for you. But if you imagine yourselves creating and inventing new devices and don’t necessarily wish to deal with patients every day, go for the engineering option.
So, take a deep breath and think of your interest, you will get the answer. Rather than the slight salary difference and carrier versatility, what matters is your personal choice.