Is medicine better than computer science


Leave the archive and display this page in the standard design: Medicine or medical informatics? What would you study TODAY? Job perspective!



Hello everybody!

This thread is aimed at both medical professionals and other market-experienced people here in the forum! :) If you were now faced with the decision (and by decision I mean: study place is available) to study medical informatics or medicine - what would be your choice and why?

Actually, medicine is actually "my thing" (and yes, I have my experience;)), but I have now got the impression that the area of ​​MedInfo will boom extremely and in some respects would be the more clever choice.

Perhaps one could weigh up these things:

- Salary
- Working hours
- work culture
- responsibility
- (?)

The MedInfo course consists of medical lectures and lectures in the field of computer science.

I would really appreciate your help with this!

You can take a pretty good look at the contents of the courses on the Internet.

Salary and job prospects are definitely very good for both, responsibility - I would say the same, but a little different. For example, here the module handbook Medical Informatics from Heidelberg: http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/studium/download/med_infor_2010.pdf

As you can see, it actually has nothing to do with medicine, but is just a computer science course aimed at applications in the medical field.

Correspondingly, you have very little of medical subjects: physio, biochemistry, surgery, internal medicine, anatomy, pharmacology. (e.g. 6 ECTS according to the module handbook. That is roughly how much chemistry or physics or bio you have in medical studies.

You have to think about what you would enjoy most - I would definitely not choose a degree just because the salary is good afterwards and there are many job offers. (although it is a huge advantage)

PS a few of my friends study computer science and after discussions with them the general opinion is that if you are already studying computer science, you should at least study normal computer science, because it is broad and you get better knowledge of the basics - and then set corresponding priorities through electives and master’s.

After discussions with them, the general opinion is that if you are already studying computer science, you should simply study normal computer science, at least in the bachelor's degree, as it is broad and you get better knowledge of the basics - and then set corresponding priorities through electives and master's. I can only support this view!

From personal experience (but not in combination with IT), studying medicine is always worthwhile, even if you don't want to work permanently at the bedside. I would say, should you study medicine and do a lot of programming at the same time, possibly even study computer science, you will then be able to occupy many interfaces. If necessary, you can achieve more with a medical degree in MedInfo than with a computer science degree - you just have to be able to do some things, but in the medical field you often just need a license to practice medicine.

In the medical field, however, you often simply need a license to practice medicine.

Apart from that, it is easier to get from medicine to computer science than the other way around. That means first the license to practice medicine and then the computer science course.

Hello freezer,

I won't start studying medicine until October (: -party), but I've had a lot to do with medical research in recent years and I also know some IT and medical IT specialists.

My assessment: primarily I would then decide whether you want to sit in front of the computer / in meetings or whether you want more teamwork / more work on the patient. (I am already aware that even after studying medicine you can pursue fields in which you mainly sit at the computer, but it still tends to be a big difference between the two careers.)

As a medical IT specialist, you are often more of the work slave who has to implement any systems, etc. - these people are often more like little cogs than people with decision-making power / a job that demands creativity / innovation. Personally, I am of the opinion, and other people have already said that with a "normal" degree in computer science, plus possibly a master's degree in medical informatics, you have more opportunities for advancement and more opportunities to get away from the computer / work creatively / innovatively . In terms of average income, medicine is probably a little better than IT, and IT is better than medical IT. In terms of average stress, it tends to be the other way around. But there are certainly strong deviations in both directions, especially in terms of income. Some computer scientists (almost always with a diploma / master's degree) manage to get into management positions relatively early, while others have relatively undemanding positions even after several years. The medical career is certainly "safer", and old-age unemployment is not a problem either ;-)

Basically, I would really think about what your career goals are - what and how and where and with whom you want to work. Because that is the most important difference between the two variants. It is certainly true that medical informatics has a promising future, but so is medicine due to the aging of the population. I would do what fascinates you more / where you believe that you will have more challenge / fun at work.

If you want to do research / want to work on projects / want to develop any diagnostic apps then it is certain that you "have to" be a doctor in order to have a leadership role. Even if the other participants are sometimes more capable. If that is your goal then I would strongly advise you to study medicine to avoid frustrations.

That's a fitting thread for me. :)

I am a computer scientist, although I would have preferred to study medicine. ;)

I also looked at medical informatics as an alternative. Be it as a real alternative or to get into a second degree via the foundation.

So much for the prehistory, on the subject:

In everything I've read, a medical computer scientist is clearly trained to be a computer scientist in the medical field. So you're a computer scientist. And not a medic.
And as the previous speakers already mentioned, the medical part of the medical informatics course is very, very small.

So I decided against a master's degree in medical informatics, because it would only be information with a little bio and such. I will probably learn more about medicine in my medical training than in this entire master’s course.

So if you want to do computer science, then take medical informatics.
If your primary goal is medicine, then by no means take (my view!) Medical informatics, but do it right. ;)

Perhaps it should also be mentioned that I have not (searched for) any information regarding salary or opportunities for advancement.
You get enough money in both areas and I'm not interested in advancement, because I feel more comfortable at the grassroots level and am better than just managing and leading but not working anymore. :-D

My friend is a computer scientist and has been working in a field with medical applications (at a Fraunhofer Institute) for about 5 years. It works in such a way that the department head thinks about some kind of project and his team is then allowed to tinker with it. Nobody really knows anything about medicine and that is absolutely not necessary. Primarily it's about programming and finding solutions. It's a loooong way until the application, which then comes out in the end, is of any use to a medical professional. In between, doctors are of course invited or visited from time to time so that we can discuss together what is actually needed in reality and what for. The computer scientist who works on such a problem can, however, read the special subject. You don't need any subjects in your studies, as these are actually always very special applications. For example, if you are working on a navigation system for the liver, you read a little something about anatomy and look at how liver surgery works and is good nowadays. You don't have to know the entire biochemistry of the liver or diseases and their therapy. What I mean by that is that medical informatics has a very large focus on informatics and is actually miles away from medicine. OK, now Fraunhofer is designed for research and not for the development of finished products. It may be that you are closer to medicine in companies like Siemens or something like that, but even there it will be the case that you never deal with medicine as a whole, but always with very special applications.


When it comes to working hours, salaries and the like, there is a lot to be said for IT. My friend works flexitime (some of his colleagues generally only start working at noon), NEVER works overtime (although there are workaholics in his company who work 12 hours a day - unpaid of course) and never works on weekends, at night or on Holidays. He's paid according to BAT, which sucks, but if he worked in the private sector his salary would be at least as good as mine.

It works in such a way that the department head thinks about some kind of project and then his team is allowed to tinker with it. Nobody really knows anything about medicine and that is absolutely not necessary. Primarily it's about programming and finding solutions.

Unfortunately, it only works like this at the base. If at some point you want to be the one with the (good) ideas (e.g. Prof), the double qualification through a second degree is perfect. Alternatively, at home you can hear "I would so much like ..." from the doctor's wife;)



In between, doctors are of course invited or visited from time to time so that we can discuss together what is actually needed in reality and what for.

And here is the crux of the matter: Many medical professionals don't even know what is already technically possible, and where from. Instead, they wait for the economy to provide a new camera or a new measuring method. That takes time.

That is why we (as physicists) often sit together with the doctors and discuss what they would like to have. It is often the case that we already have the required technology or that physics is working on it purely by chance (e.g. at the LHC: D).

Incidentally, such meetings are not as natural as one now imagines. Otherwise, I can't imagine why such hyphenated courses exist at all.


So a double qualification is indeed not absolutely necessary as long as the communication works, but it can still be extremely useful and meaningful. However, I don't think that a simple Bachelor / Master is enough here. For example, I designed my physics degree to focus entirely on medical physics, am currently working on a new imaging process and am dealing with biochemistry: -?

With such interdisciplinary working groups (and there are more and more) I think it is always sensible to complete at least the Bachelor's (better + Master's level) in an "independent subject" and not a "hyphenated course" (computer science, physics, mathematics, biochemistry, Engineering subjects etc). Then it is optimal to either look for a second degree, or only now to do one of the "hyphenated courses" - or - that also works: learning by doing / self-study, which has the advantage that you can continue to work AND get into projects faster . The "problem" with medicine is that in this particular case the "master's level" is not reached after, for example, another 2 years, but after 6 - so it would not be wrong in this special case (if "learning by doing" / self-study is absolute not agree), provided you can assess your focus (clinic with a little computer science - or vice versa), to do a distance learning / Bsc / Msc in addition.
But you should really be "at home" in one of the two areas before you want to integrate the other; or, if you want to invest the time / money, in both - but under no circumstances would I start with an interdisciplinary course, it is not a whole or a half (also in practical work - now not just meant as an "empty phrase") )

And here is the crux of the matter: Many medical professionals don't even know what is already technically possible, and from where. Instead, they wait for the economy to provide a new camera or a new measuring method. That takes time.

That is why we (as physicists) often sit together with the doctors and discuss what they would like to have. It is often the case that we already have the required technology or that physics is working on it purely by chance (e.g. at the LHC: D).

Incidentally, such meetings are not as natural as one now imagines. Otherwise, I can't imagine why such hyphenated courses exist at all.


A medical computer scientist will not help you because he has no idea about medicine or does not work directly as a doctor, but as a computer scientist who understands a few facts more than his pure computer science colleagues.

I currently see such courses ('medical informatics' in particular) only as a course that trains a subject that focuses on the later area of ​​application at an early stage. There are also others, such as business informatics. Sure, a bit more general, but also giving a direction. In my opinion, medical informatics is not much different.

The question that you must therefore ask yourself:

Do you want to work on the patient at the end and install the retina implants and follow the course of the therapy or do you just want to design and program these things;)

And ... well, I did an internship in the medical informatics research group as a doctor and evaluated patient data that they received with their fancy new programs. Before that, I nerdy looked at book recommendations for the medical informatics course and borrowed a few, which have been described as a super good introduction to the subject.

Honestly, you could really save yourself the 300-400 pages. Chapters on lots of things like: "In the hospital, data is generated in different places than it is needed. For example, important things are created in the laboratory that doctors have to look at on the ward." Or that data is often needed very quickly. Or that they have to be very well protected because of confidentiality. Or that there are very many different professional groups in the hospital, all of whom must and are allowed to look at different data.

So nothing that you could not derive yourself after 2 weeks of nursing internship. I understand that there are many challenges from the computer science / programmer side, but the medical theory behind it ... can probably be derived from common sense.

Before that, I nerdy looked at book recommendations for the medical informatics course and borrowed a few, which have been described as a super good introduction to the subject.


Introductions are always boring. Math lectures also start with 1 + (- 1) = 0.

I would rather criticize the literature than the subject area itself. Just take the example of imaging: You want a code that interprets signals quickly and with high precision. These are specifications that are defined by the medical environment and are insanely important (hence such "introductions"). Other areas of application (particle physics) allow you to use slower but more precise algorithms (5 Sigma) for data analysis, but here the focus is different. Knowing what you want is at the core of EVERY software development.

The fact that many neglect such simple principles is the raison d'être of business consultants.

A medical IT specialist is expected to know and implement these specifications based on his background knowledge.

The question that you must therefore ask yourself:

Do you want to work on the patient at the end and install the retinal implants and follow the course of the therapy or do you just want to design and program these things;)

I couldn't have described it better. ;)


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Even if the literature does not necessarily correlate with the course and even if introductory events are really very, very fundamental, I have to say that when I look at the lectures of the master’s courses, I don't find them sooo very deep spread over the two years going.

But if someone primarily wants to do computer science and knows that he / she wants to develop primarily in the medical field, then the course is definitely not that bad.

But if someone is more interested in medicine than computer science, I don't think that medical informatics can sufficiently satisfy this interest. At least not mine. ;)

I am currently studying medicine and medical informatics in parallel (I had already studied informatics before studying medicine, so it is still time-consuming, but feasible for me).

The medical informatics course generally has 3 main areas, I would say
a) bioinformatics
b) eHealth
c) medical image processing

and a) and c) everyone can certainly imagine something, with eHealth, for example, it is about the information storage, transmission and processing of the processes in the hospital. A prime example is the software support for writing doctor's letters or expert systems on the subject of medication.
The electronic patient record also falls into this area.

Even if medical informatics is associated with the attribute 'medical', it remains mainly in the informatics course and thus something completely different from medicine.

Even if medical informatics is associated with the attribute 'medical', it remains mainly in the informatics course and thus something completely different from medicine.

That is absolutely correct and I am actually fully aware of that! :) There are actually two (different) areas that interest me a lot and I would like to know what the "insiders" (in this forum generally doctors / prospective doctors) would make today for a choice. Medicine again? Not medicine again? "Anything" about medicine? Etc...
;)

How does that help you in deciding whether the prospective doctors would decide to study medicine again? You have to know what you enjoy the most. The job opportunities are pretty good in both industries at the moment, the working hours for IT specialists are certainly better and the salary probably also, although you cannot make any general statements.

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