9 Replies - 6344 Views - Last Post: 31 January 2011 - 09:11 PM

#1 Guest_Pyoverdin*


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Guidance needed

Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:51 PM

Hello, please bear with me as this is my first post.


This my be in the wrong forum, please forgive me mods if it is.

This may seem totally irrelevant at first, but...

I am a medical school graduate waiting to start my housemanship. I started making websites when I was 12(it was the easiest thing, and because I have an attention span of milliseconds I did it). and then moved on to C. However, my parents, a doctor and a dentist, put me towards biology and then... medical school. I was miserable..and then mental illness struck me. Although I was top of my class, I was very depressed, and finished seventh overall.

Now, waiting for my houseman, I started programming, C, C++, Opengl, PSP... and then..I suddenly woke up. It was if I was drowning and I was saved. I couldn't believe it. I think its the creativity within coding. Although its someting people do on a daily basis, It made me normal again. Signs of illness withdrew, My Psychiatrist himself was startled by this 'recovery'.

But then, a deep regret settled in. I should have gone into Computer Science and software development....

I just wanna ask...

Are there any international or well recognized exams to allow to do this professionally?
Any help on improving my coding skills. I wanna get a proper 'feel' if you will for coding.

Sorry if this annoyed you. Thanks in advance for your reply.

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Replies To: Guidance needed

#2 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Guidance needed

Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:57 PM

Let's move this to the Corner Cubicle and get some discussion going shall we?
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#3 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Guidance needed

Posted 30 January 2011 - 12:06 AM

You must be your destiny if you got sick over not programming.
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#4 TMKCodes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Guidance needed

Posted 31 January 2011 - 05:17 AM

You can always do some medical related programming on your own and then sell your applications.
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#5 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Guidance needed

Posted 31 January 2011 - 05:46 AM

That's an excellent idea from TMKCodes! Leverage you knowledge in the medical arena (where I was also at one point) to create an app that would be helpful to people in the medical field!
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#6 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Guidance needed

Posted 31 January 2011 - 06:45 AM

^What they said. It's pretty common to hear from people who want to ditch their old career and get into programming, but when that person has so much invested in their other career already, especially something like medicine, it would be a shame to waste that knowledge and/or experience. I'll bet if you asked around the medical circles, or even stuck it out a little while to get your own experience, you could get plenty of ideas for software that others in the field would like to see brought into existence. Or you might even do a little research into companies that are already in the medical apps business and see if they like to hire people with medical backgrounds.
As far as help with your coding skills, see any one of dozens of other threads here that discuss the same, or try some of the tutorials provided on this site, or just google for tutorials and/or projects.
If you managed to graduate 7th in med school with an attention span of milliseconds and no motivation, it shouldn't take you long to become a pretty self sufficient coder.
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#7 5thWall  Icon User is offline

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Re: Guidance needed

Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:57 AM

I'm going to take a different view from the other posters so far and say that you should try to peruse coding full time. Now it may be the case that you are fine practicing medicine and just need to program as a hobby, but from your post it doesn't sound like that's the case. What it sounds like is that you aren't happy practicing medicine, but you are happy coding. Now I don't know your situation, so I'm not sure how feasible switching careers is for you, but I think even if it's hard you'll find that it's worth it to do what you enjoy doing.

As far as exams go, it depends on where you are. In the US you don't technically need a degree or anything to work as a programmer, though it certainly helps. The sad truth is that you'll see a lot of "entry position" type jobs in this industry that require a degree and 2+ years of experience. There are some certifications you can get that could help in getting a job (like from Microsoft and others). Contributing to open source projects will also help build up your resume, and help you get better at programming as well. Another option is to try some freelancing to build experience.

If you take this route you will have a challenge ahead of you, but if you really want to code, if it's what makes you happy, then it'll be worth it.
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#8 CharlieMay  Icon User is offline

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Re: Guidance needed

Posted 31 January 2011 - 07:56 PM

Just wanted add...
I agree. There's two ways to look at your position in life. Do what you know and Do what you love. Fortunately for you, you have both as an option. You love to program so program for what you know. It's a good mix for a chance at being successful. Find areas where you struggle in your medical field and fill those gaps with programs that you know others would benefit from. Develop the apps with your love of programming and sell them to people. Everyone benefits from your in-depth insight of the application.
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#9 Guest_Pyoverdin*


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Re: Guidance needed

Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:27 PM

Thanks everyone for such positive input..

I have always wanted to make a 3D OpenGL program which explains body physiology. And hopefully, the knowledge I have of OpenGL will help. I have seen how some hospitals/clinics operate in the area, and so I will decide to start small, like forming patient information databases to streamline diagnosis + treatment. But I realize I have to improve my programming skills, and luckily, I enjoy that thoroughly.

I never expected such encouragement and positive attitudes, Thanks everyone!
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#10 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Guidance needed

Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:11 PM

I was once interviewed by a very talented programmer, running his own successful software house, who also happened to be a doctor. The idea occurred to me that if I were ever ill on a work day I could be treated by my boss! :D

Seriously though, do the work that you will enjoy over all else. I have even seen people take the opposite route to you from software engineering to being a doctor. I remember when I was a kid having aspirations to be a veterinarian - learning everything I could about animals and their anatomy... after many years I ended up in games, my passion. :)
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