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What I’m doing now: from Biomedical Science to Medicine | Biosciences at Sheffield

Mélina Li How Cheong student profile

I graduated from the Biomedical Science course at the university of Sheffield back in 2015 and am now in my 2nd year of Medicine at the University of Buckingham.

I know of a few graduates from my Sheffield cohort that are now also studying to become a doctor and similarly, there are quite a few other people on my medical course who have also already completed an undergraduate degree. In comparison to other biomedical science courses, I believe that Sheffield has given me a significant advantage in preparing me for my degree in medicine.

At the end of secondary school, I had initially applied to the University of Sheffield for medicine. Unfortunately I did not get in, but the university was willing to accept me for the biomedical science course.

This ended up being very beneficial in preparing me for my future studies in medicine. I really enjoyed the course because I thought that there was a good balance between molecular biology and physiology. Additionally, the lecturers often made sure to relate the lecture contents to how they applied in clinical medicine and in real life.

When starting the medical course, I quickly noticed that I had a strong foundation in human physiology compared to my fellow students. It seemed that a lot of other biomedical courses were more heavily focused on the molecular and cellular aspect of biology.

Another key advantage that the biomedical science course at Sheffield offered me was the anatomy module, which was by far my favourite part of the course.


Even though I had not studied anatomy for over 2 years before starting it in medical school, everything came back to me very quickly and made that part of the course very easy for me

Mélina Li How Cheong

BSc Biomedical Science


In second and third year, we got to do dissections on cadavers, an invaluable experience as not all universities can offer this. Even a lot of medical schools nowadays do not have the facilities to offer dissections as part of their anatomy course.

The quality of teaching was of a very high standard which gave me a thorough understanding of human anatomy. Therefore, even though I had not studied anatomy for over 2 years before starting it in medical school, everything came back to me very quickly and made that part of the course very easy for me.

Additionally, after graduating, I had the opportunity to work as an Anatomy Demonstrator for a semester at the University of Sheffield, which gave me valuable work experience in teaching, as well as allowing me to further consolidate my knowledge of human anatomy.

Soon I will be starting my clinical rotations. I do not yet know what specialty I will be going into as I want to keep an open mind and explore as I work in different departments. One thing I do know is that I want to get involved in teaching at some point in my career.

It is through my experience as an

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Could a career as a biomedical engineer tech. be for you?

Retiring baby boomers and pandemic-induced worker shortages have created a surging demand for biomedical engineering technicians, industry experts said in a recent virtual panel discussion.

Hosted by Houston Community College’s Global Energy Center of Excellence, panelists included Dr. Mehmet Argin, dean of Global Energy Center of Excellence; David Echols, HCC Electronics Engineering Technology Program advisory board chairman and field administration for AEI Medical Equipment Services, Rajan Sharma, vice president for Sunbelt Medical Corporation, Ronald Robb, assistant director of biomedical engineering with Texas Children’s Hospital, and Tim Tatum, director of biomedical engineering for Harris Health Hospital System.

What does a BMET do?

BMETs, also known as biomed techs, operate, repair and maintain essential medical equipment at hospitals. It is a rewarding and high-wage career, said Echols, and can be a springboard to other opportunities. Sharma called it a growing field, poised to see employment growth over the next decade.


“Most people who are in biomed have been in it for 35 plus years,” said Ecchols. “There’s a transition that’s going on right now, because baby boomers are moving out, older people are retiring.”

Biomed technicians know the outline of the hospital, Ecchols said, and the different ways each department uses the equipment.

“If a defibrillator or monitor goes down, they call biomed,” said Ecchols.

The coronavirus revealed the need for frontline workers in emergency medical services. Tatum said a more accurate term would be “healthcare technology” instead of “biomed technology.” A BMET is not someone who works in a lab.

Certifications and salaries

Most BMETs earn a two-year associate’s degree from an accredited medical technology school.

“However, there are some that do the four-year college and get a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, so that’s also an option,” said Sharma. “You can go further with more training and certifications and get to a higher level.”

The starting salaries, for those straight out of school with no experience, are in the $40,000 per year range, panelists said.

“There’s lots of room for growth, we have quite a number of our techs doing well over $100,000 a year based on experience and skill levels,” said Robb.

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