Biomedical Science and the useless degree in reality

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Poll: Is Biomedical Science degree useless or not?
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No (43)
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jockingclown
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Dear students

dont take biomedical science as a career for life as it is not worth it. this is my opinion only. the job market is saturated. please see this email below.

Attention: Chief Executive, IBMS

My name is Daniel and this email is about my genuine concern about pathology and its future along with the growing, frustrating community of students in biomedical science and related degrees who are unable to get a job in this field or are stuck in a particular liminal space in the pathology job profession. Part 1 of this email is my personal plea. Part 2 is my opinion about a growing issue about jobs/NHS pathology/Biomedical Science(BMS) degrees/universities/future of pathology and its genuine concerns.

Part 1- IBMS did an evaluation of my “non accredited degree” on 10th April 2014 which concluded I had to do 4 top up modules to get accreditation. I would like a refund of my 250 pounds which I have worked hard to earn as a medical laboratory assistant. I have decided not to do top up modules in this field as there are not enough jobs and rarely ever any trainee positions. Also my assessment outcome was unfair as I had already done Microbiology and Biochemistry previously. But more importantly there is a bleak future for people like me who have first class degree in a related science degree but unable to get anywhere beyond Band 4(NHS or Private) in this profession because paperwork and rigidity is more important than ability, skill, passion in a scientific profession. I am awaiting a refund of my money as I don’t see why IBMS should hold my money if I am not pursuing this career anymore. You can have the original papers as well if it helps.

Part 2- Raising awareness of a growing but silent problem is the reason for my writing of PART 2. A problem with the saturation of this field is a very serious concern. I have seen and experienced myself while working in pathology laboratories where students who have BSc, MSc are doing jobs that they are very overqualified as there are no jobs for them in this sector for their skill and experience with nowhere to move in terms of knowledge and experience. If anyone did a checklist of any of the pathology locum companies and their candidate list with their experience and qualification, it will be interesting to see how many are skilled or qualified or state registered biomedical scientists are there who can’t find a job respective to their training and experience. But they were told that when they were studying that it’s a growing field in the university years with potential trainee jobs out there.


NHS Pathology is getting into public private partnerships and other private mergers as seen from the latest Sonic Healthcare and UCLH NHS Foundation Trust Hospitals Laboratories couple of months back. Automation is getting to be the norm because of the efficiency and amount load. All this needs to be considered when teaching Biomedical Science to the future kids who would be more of an "instrument specialist" rather than fully fledged Biomedical Scientist in Blood Science and the cons of the field should be explained to them so that they don’t make the same mistake like us when deciding their career. There is a harmless joke about BMS being called "Babysit Machine Scientist" instead of a Biomedical Scientist. Privatization is a blessing in my opinion to inject some much needed money into this broken system.

I would once again urge IBMS also to please reconsider their position when advertising this profession to students of the future e.g. A level students as there is a growing frustrating community of existing students in the field over the past years who are fed up of the bureaucracy and inflexibility. They are either starting or have started to look at alternative careers. Also it would be a very good idea to be transparent about the statistics about job numbers ,trainee positions, number of voluntary portfolios, number of jobs per year etc on the IBMS website. A real discussion about the value of a biomedical science degree need to take place at the level of students where its relevant. This is not just my opinion but given the chance I think more people will come out and voice their concern and thoughts.



Thank you for having the patience to read my email.


Yours Sincerely
Daniel

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jockingclown
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Comments will be appreciated.
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Yawn11
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I don't think the degree is useless, you gain a lot knowledge and transferable skills. As a career, that's debatable.
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jockingclown
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Following is the reply form the Chief Executive of IBMS-:



Dear Mr Daniel,

Thank you for your email and for raising your concerns with me.

I am sorry you feel the assessment outcome did not reflect your hard work in specific areas. The charge we apply (£250) is for the service provided by the Institute of Biomedical Science to assess your degree content and its equivalence to the QAA subject benchmark statement for biomedical science. These assessments are time consuming and are carried out with due diligence on the part of the assessor and the charge levied is independent of how candidates choose to follow up on the reported outcome. I am sorry if you did not understand this process in advance of your assessment application. We do build in an appeals process which allows candidates eight weeks after the assessment outcome is known to appeal any decision, as indicated in your outcome letter. Unfortunately, you do not appear to have appealed the outcome of your assessment.

I regret I am therefore unable to provide a refund as requested.

Regarding the second issue raised in your correspondence, the Institute of Biomedical Science is the professional body for individuals working across the entire biomedical science sector, not just those who work in the NHS. We work hard to raise the profile of the profession and ensure our members are supported throughout their career, and our accredited universities consistently report successful recruitment of their graduates within the sector and in other careers applicable to their graduate skills. We will continue to promote the high standards of practice and to champion biomedical science and those who practice it.

I am truly sorry that you have been unable to find employment that matches your skills and I do hope that you will be successful in the not too distant future.

Yours sincerely

Jill Rodney


Jill Rodney
Chief Executive
Institute of Biomedical Science
12 Coldbath Square
London
EC1R 5HL

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jockingclown
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THIS IS MY COUNTER REPLY TO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE SITUATION-:

Dear Rodney


Thank you for your email and clarification.



I did not appeal because I was going to do the top up modules but I wanted to do my research before burying my head in the sand and therefore after months of research I decided not to do top up modules because of my research about the BMS field. This why I never appealed in the first 8 weeks. IBMS can keep my 250 pounds for this assessment that leads me personally and professionally nowhere and I would like to thank the assessor for their time and effort as degree assessments can be time consuming and has to be carried out with due diligence.



As for your line about “universities reporting successful recruitment of graduates”- what would be the ratio of number of students doing biomedical science to the number getting trainee positions? How many of IBMS accredited students are doing “voluntary portfolios” without getting paid? I will be very much interested in the statistics if you have it. It’s surprising that IBMS which is the professional body for individuals working across the entire biomedical science sector- doesn’t have this published on their website or in fact in any of the google searches I have made or people I have talked to. Unless I have missed some Google searches, I can positively say that I could not find any statistical data on this.


My aim is to create and raise awareness about this sector which is a field that many great scientists and teachers have built based on scientific curiosity, openness, flexibility and aspirations. I will keep doing this to the best of my ability and resources. I hope IBMS will continue to promote the high standards of practice and to champion biomedical science and those who practice it to which I would like to add “champion and promote those who aspire to be biomedical scientists”.





Thanking you for your reply.



Daniel
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blossomx
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I emailed my uni just yesterday about changing my course to Biomedical Sciences next year and now I see this lol, do you think I'd be better off in Biology?
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by LeaX)
I emailed my uni just yesterday about changing my course to Biomedical Sciences next year and now I see this lol, do you think I'd be better off in Biology?

Completely depends what you want to do with your degree.

I'm taking Biomedical Sciences at uni, and I'm quite happy with my job prospects, the statistics of graduates from my uni being employed after 6 months of graduating is higher than I had expected.
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Al-muttaqin
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(Original post by SophieSmall)
Completely depends what you want to do with your degree.

I'm taking Biomedical Sciences at uni, and I'm quite happy with my job prospects, the statistics of graduates from my uni being employed after 6 months of graduating is higher than I had expected.
So do you just plan on taking any old grad job?

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SophieSmall
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(Original post by Al-muttaqin)
So do you just plan on taking any old grad job?

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Initially probably, you have to start somewhere and you can't afford to be fussy nowadays. I'd be quite happy in many areas of biomedical related grad jobs, I plan to work for a few years and then do a masters anyway.
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jockingclown
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(Original post by J-SP)
Her name is Jill not Rodney.




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focus was on the subject matter rather than on the name. my apologies
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jockingclown
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(Original post by LeaX)
I emailed my uni just yesterday about changing my course to Biomedical Sciences next year and now I see this lol, do you think I'd be better off in Biology?
it all depends on how you want to see yourself in the future. let me give you a independent website,UNISTAT.http://unistats.direct.gov.uk/.

its not complete 100% answers website but it roughly gives you an idea. also i would pleaseeeeee suggest you talk to BMS in the field and specially the ones like me who have graduated or worked in the field both private and nhs. please go to the labs and see for yourself before deciding. dont take my word for it.
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jockingclown
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(Original post by SophieSmall)
Initially probably, you have to start somewhere and you can't afford to be fussy nowadays. I'd be quite happy in many areas of biomedical related grad jobs, I plan to work for a few years and then do a masters anyway.
i would suggest to please always have a backup plan if you are doing BMS.
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by jockingclown)
i would suggest to please always have a backup plan if you are doing BMS.
The backup plan is to just not be fussy and take a job I can find. Any work experience is good.
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jockingclown
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listen folks,

those who have the driven passion for BMS, please go ahead and do it. for the rest who like to look at money and career and ambition driven success, please read the posts above and do your research and talk to people. get yourself to what you are getting into before immersing completely inside. and if someone has access, access the locum companies and see the jobs out there. check out NHS JOBS right now and search for Biomedical Scientist Trainee posts. there might be one or two outside London. thats the best you will get around this time. please please do your research before getting into any field.
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jockingclown
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ok. sorry about that. but i urge again.this is not the first post. it seems there have been previous posts in years about this biomedical science subject. its important the next generation of students know what they are getting into. and after all that they still think they are interested, well my best to them and i hope they do well.
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jockingclown
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(Original post by SophieSmall)
The backup plan is to just not be fussy and take a job I can find. Any work experience is good.
Dear Sophie

If that is your dream, to be not fussy, not to dream big and just take any job, then its your decision. But if you want to be focussed, driven and completely be the best in what you do, then i think a little fussiness might go a long way in the long run.
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by jockingclown)
Dear Sophie

If that is your dream, to be not fussy, not to dream big and just take any job, then its your decision. But if you want to be focussed, driven and completely be the best in what you do, then i think a little fussiness might go a long way in the long run.
I just don't see things in all sunshine and rainbows, most peoples dreams don't come true. Better to take any job whilst looking for one I'd prefer than sit moping in my mums house that I don't have my dream job.
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jockingclown
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(Original post by SophieSmall)
I just don't see things in all sunshine and rainbows, most peoples dreams don't come true. Better to take any job whilst looking for one I'd prefer than sit moping in my mums house that I don't have my dream job.
Very true.
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jockingclown
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http://www.prospects.ac.uk/case_stud...se_study_1.htm

I am not saying people who do BMS are wrong or going in the wrong direction. If you are doing it make sure your university is accredited.

http://www.prospects.ac.uk/case_stud...se_study_1.htm
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jockingclown
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In 2008 a degree accreditation by IBMS cost 90 pounds and in 2014 now its 250. These are facts. So make sure BMS degree you do is accredited.
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