Q: I’m a senior in high school and I am on the fence about pursuing engineering or sports medicine. I know I think like an engineer, but I really love sports medicine. Is there any way to really combine the two of them?

A: First of all, the answer is yes. You can do both engineering and sports medicine. Before we get into the how, I’d like to ask you a few questions. Do you love engineering as much as you love sports medicine? If not, why try to combine them? Thinking like an engineer is a gift that you can apply to any major you choose to pursue. Thinking like an engineer will make it easier for you to be an engineer, but it doesn’t mean you have to be one. On the other hand, if you love engineering as much as you love sports medicine, there are some incredible opportunities for you. Many engineers enjoy applying their gifts to the field of medicine. Some do it as doctors or trainers who research and use the latest technology to create advanced training routines for athletes. Others create ways to speed the healing process, putting athletes back on the field faster than ever before. Some engineers work on the technology side, making revolutionary prosthetics that can allow amputees to run again. Many engineers work on devices that enhance player’s performance from arm braces that prevent hyperextension to precise mass distribution and shape in golf club design. You can also work on engineering tissue. Some scientists have been able to grow human ears on the backs of lab mice. To find out more, try researching the following topics: biomedical engineering, prosthetics, tissue engineering, and sports medicine technology. If you want to get into the engineering side of sports medicine, I would recommend that you go through a good physics or engineering program. An engineer can get into sports medicine easier than a sports medicine major can get into engineering. You might consider a double major or minor in sports medicine, but don’t feel that it is a requirement.

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