Entering and Managing Biomedical Science Careers

I've decided to write about the Myths and Perceptions that students, faculty, and professionals cling to that prevent their advancement. After 20 years in higher education, my colleagues and former students who listened, are doing well. This blog is for the individuals who keep repeating the same actions and get the same results. How many infomercials on wonder drugs and other quick fixes for losing weight do we have to see before we understand that there is no short cut to achieving success? And it is not just Millennials, who feel that if they think it, it’s possible (without the planning, preparation, and work). Let’s debunk the myths and start planning for the future you really want.

The application process for graduate and professional schools has general processes and procedures that are published on the website and admissions pages. Most require an undergraduate minimum 3.0 gpa and an average score on the admission test (GRE, MCAT, DAT, PCAT, etc.). One belief that many applicants share is that they have to take the test before they submit the application, NOT. They also think that the minimum 3.0 gpa is ALL that’s needed to be competitive, NOT. Unfortunately, many applicants fail to do the research and diligence to determine which program will more likely accept them; by understanding the characteristics of the candidates who were admitted. This information is easily obtained by carefully reviewing the program information or by emailing or calling the admissions contact and asking them. When writing the interest letter, an indication of the research (why you want to attend this program) and rationale should also be included. It’s not about YOU, it’s about how well you would FIT in their program. And for graduate programs, it’s about WHO would be interested in advising you over the course of your Masters or Doctoral work. The admission process is very different from undergraduate programs; graduate and professional schools are looking for candidates who fit their culture and research interests; and who share the characteristics of current and previous students who have been successful. They choose candidates who possess the quality indicators, academic factors, enthusiastic interest and track record, to complete the cohort for that admissions period. But, how do you find out what those factors are? How can you be successful in this process, especially if you don’t have the top gpa or test score? If you fail to plan, plan to fail. You must have a strategy and begin the planning process early. Your strategy should have goals, objectives, and benchmarks. Are you serious about a career in biomedical science? Join SDBS to connect knowledge to success.


SDBS facilitates education & training, partnerships & teams, and professional development for advancement in the biomedical sciences.