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Failing physics. Should I just call it quits?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by WanderingDave, Mar 30, 2005.

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  1. WanderingDave

    WanderingDave Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 18, 2003
    New York
    I'm an older student who's gone back to school to take some prereqs to try for medical school. So far some things are going great. I'm getting As in biology, and absoltely love it. I'm also managing As in chemistry -- that's taking a bit of work and I'm not enjoying it as much, but it's fine.

    Physics and math are another story. I got a C- in calculus as an undergrad. I thought I'd take calc again now to improve my grade. Didn't happen. I withdrew. I'm now taking a calc-based physics class for scientists and engineers, and failing with flying colors, after spending days studying. Fact is, I've always struggled with math and the more mathy of the sciences. My brain simply isn't cut out for mathematical and logical reasoning.

    I'm amazing at foreign languages, memorizing terms and phrases, and concepts that can be put into words. I'm eloquent, and can express myself in florid detail. This is why I excel at biology -- I remember what things are called and how they relate to other things. I find I can visualize what's happening at the microscopic level before a diagram is even shown. I'm sure as a doctor, I'd be able to explain to patients what's happening to them in terms that were neither too harsh nor too technical. I'm great with words and ideas.

    But I'm afraid with the US's (and world's) population being what it is, and the number of med school applicants out there, the ante is too high nowadays for someone like me. Why take me when there's a thousand other applicants with 3.9 averages who got As in EVERYTHING, and extracurricular experience up the wazoo? I got a 3.2 as an undergrad (don't be snide and tell me that's not competitive for med school. I'm well aware.) And I'm working in a nursing home and applying to do some research with the bio department at my uni. Sorry if that sounds like a short resume, but that's all I've the time and money for.

    Would I be well advised to consider other pursuits?
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  3. Syranope2

    Syranope2 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    not everybody is stellar at math and the hard sciences, and a lot of those people get into medical school and excel. it seems like the skills you do have are very important for being a skilled physician, and i definitely don't think you should give up on medicine if it is your dream. i'm wondering why you're taking a calc-based physics class when you're so bad at calc. why not take basic physics, as that's all you'll ever need in med school and all that they require you to take.

    it doesn't sound like medicine is going to be an easy road for you, but if you really want to do it and are willing to put in some time and effort, i think it is a very attainable goal.
  4. Haybrant

    Haybrant 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2004

    If you want to be a physician get serious about this; it seems like there is always a way for someone with motivation to get in. Take the mcat and do really well; a 3.2 isnt the end of the world (search mdapps). Apply realistically to MD schools and generously to DO's and if all else fails, apply to the Carribean too. If you do things diligently you will land yourself in a program that will track you into medicine this time next year!
  5. DianaLynne

    DianaLynne Catwoman! 5+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I think you should stick with it. Maybe there's some way that you could fit math into your learning style. If you're good at seeing how things work together, try to imagine your functions and what they're doing to your numbers.

    You sound like you could be a great doc. Hang in there and try some different strategies.
  6. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 19, 2002
    If math isn't your thing, try taking non-calc based physics. It is more general and you will not be competing with the engineers and physics majors. I'm an engineer and hated physics. I took the non-calc physics sequence as a had been many years from when I originally had taken some prereqs.... I was so much happier without the calculus!
  7. medstyle

    medstyle Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2004

    take ur mcat before you quit.
  8. doc05

    doc05 2K Member 10+ Year Member

    May 24, 2003
    if you got a C- in calculus, then taking calc-based physics is a pretty stupid idea. take non-calc physics and see how it goes.

    some people just aren't cut out for math/physical sciences; not to worry though, medicine includes very little of this.
  9. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned Banned

    Sep 30, 2003

    Just retake the courses. You don't even use physics or math in med school. That would be silly to just give up, when many people get into school with C's in those classes.

    Secondly, you should not take calc-based physics for medical school. They require non-calc physics. You made life tough for no reason.
  10. myodana

    myodana Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2004
    BX, NY
    if you're failing i would cut your losses, withdraw, and take algebra-based physics next time around. don't bother with the calc physics, it's not required.
  11. Sparky Man

    Sparky Man Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2004

    yeah, i agree. in fact, if you feel you are just horrible at math, start out with something really basic. maybe your foundation is bad and you just need a good start. i never felt calculus was any more difficult than algebra, but diving in without the right tools will bring trouble. i think you can get through this hoop.
  12. Crete

    Crete Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2005
    I've got good news for you. The courses you suck at aren't covered on the MCAT. The courses you rock are covered "up the wazoo." You don't need to go to a top 3 medical school to become a doctor. Take the MCAT, work passionately on your ECs and explain your interest well in interviews; you can get into a good/decent medical school and fulfill your dream. Don't use SDN applicants as your average applicant; you'll be depressed and GREATLY overestimating your competition.
  13. Kazema

    Kazema In a kingdom by the sea 7+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    I failed Calc 1 twice before getting an A in it the third time I took it. I also failed Physics 1 once and withdrew from it twice before getting an A in it the fourth time.

    Part if this was lack of effort (and showing up for exams) on my part but another part was that I didn't think I was any good at it, for the same reasons you say you're not good at it. Keep trying, you'll get it eventually.

    And you don't even need A's in these courses. Everyone's allowed to have a weakness, just do your best to compensate and kick ass in everything else.

    Good luck :thumbup:
  14. nick661806

    nick661806 Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 9, 2004
    I wonder why even take calc at all? You said yourself that your grades were not to steller and I was under the impression (I could be wrong) that it was only top medical schools that require calc. Since you probably won't apply to those schools anyway I say drop calc and never look back.

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