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edited May 2017
I am thinking about going to the med school for immortality, life extension research and possibly for biohacking/transhumanist technologies... Which medical speciality should I choose? What do you think?
Gerontology? I guess. Are there med schools that specifically focus on a track for working on that, I don't know.
I don't think there is.
However, quite a number of clinician-scientists are researching on those matters. Dr Robert J White was a pioneer in head transplants and advocated for a "brain in a machine" model and he was a neurosurgeon. There's a neurosurgeon planning to perform the world's first head transplant on a patient this year. A neurologist developed electrodes that would receive signals from the brain, and there are plenty neurologists working in that area.
See where I am going with this? ;)
I'm biased but I would say Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology. That or Biochemistry (which is much more difficult).
Basically its all about working at the cellular / protein level. Which is what you are talking about.
In regards to Ivo's comment, I think the take away is that the filed of life extension is extremely broad and you can focus on just about anything in the hard sciences and end up talking or working at that focus if you aim there.
Well that's a lot of different possible paths, but there is also a biomedical engineering aspect of things that could be pursued.
: Yeah, but OP specifically asked for MEDICAL specialities, and last I checked biochemistry and molecular biology isn't something that normally a medical doctor do.
In fact, my point is that medicine is more about clinical work and treating patients more than "finding out stuff". Hence I said "clinician-scientists" because they are two different occupations.
That said, clinical work does give you a very good idea about how the human body can go wrong ("diseases don't read textbooks" we all say) and what we can do about it at this stage.
I work in Respiratory Therapy, you do get a good idea of how the body fails rapidly with different disease processes but to be honest the closest and most interesting thing I would say I have seen is therapeutic hypothermia. A majority of my job is spent placing and maintain people on mechanical ventilators. its all interesting but not too closely related to biohacking.
don't get me wrong, i love my job (most of the time) but if you want a career field that is closely related to biohacking i would glims advice. even though healthcare is currently booming in the US in terms of employment it's a pain some times because its become so customer service oriented(even though there are no customers... just patients ;) ).
that being said if you DO want to see something closely related to biohacking I would recommend doing surgical technician or something. you wont ever touch a patient but you do get to sit by the operating table watching surgeries. just depends on strong your stomach is.
edited June 2017
I can't say for sure, but you could look into whatever field deals with making artificial replacements for organs. Whoever makes the first artificial heart that works just as well as a natural heart is going to make big money. Or an artificial pancreas, liver, or kidney that can actually be implanted. Endocrinology is probably a good field too. You'll likely have your hands all over proteins, hormones, and other such goodies. I haven't done a source check on it, but I read somewhere that growth hormone plays a role in the declining health of the elderly, so I imagine you could eek out 10 more years in the human lifespan by working with that.
You're (based on what I've seen) a few years/a decade to early to have a non-research based career in the medical field that's directly contributing to life extension. So, my best advice would be to find some way of getting in on the research field.
Well, that depends a bit on how you want to go about accomplishing those goals. To be honest, I'm actually in the sabre boat currently. My interest is in neuroprosthetics, but prosthetics isn't actually an MD field. I'm aimed toward neurology with the intent to looping back around and consulting on transhuman/prosthetics projects. But here's the thing, your plans will probably change as you go along. You should focus on getting into med school first and keep an open mind. Every field has something to offer to the care and advancement of humanity and you'll gradually find where you fit best as you learn more about medicine. Being a competent, compassionate, and dedicated physician comes first, then we can work on how to go beyond curing and into transcending. Keep your goals in mind and work as hard as you can. Hopefully one day we can work as peers to do something amazing. That's my advice, I hope it helps.
Well, I just came back from a neurosurgical presentation on osteo-integration (which is fascinating esp. the part about how at the moment to make robotic prosthetics controllable by the patient's mind we stick the nerves to the remaining muscles and use transducers to pick up the signals). And to do that you'll be a part of a team because aside from the surgeon and engineer the patient need physiotherapist, paychologist, etc as well. It's not a "1 doctor for a patient" thing, at least not here in Australia anyway.
edited June 2017
Well, it depends on your skills and interests.
First of all, med school is probably not the most effective way to go.
If you are good at math, physics and chemistry, you can study
biochemistry, bioengineering, biology and specialise on molecular biology.
If you are very into coding and informatics you could also study bioinformatics.
Maybe you are very into physics and very good at maths. Why not studying physics. Phisicists are very good at bioinfomatics. And bioinformatic is a very yousefull skill especialy when it comes to systems biology or gerontology.
Maybe you are not that good at science things but you are a good speaker or writer. How about journalistic? The science approach in longevity is very dependend on public opinion. Or how about business management and help startups for cures for age related deseases?....
So you see there are so many ways to go. Just do this what you think you are good at and keep an open mind.
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