Quantcast

How math/science oriented are med school classes?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

Mae16

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
May 18, 2007
Messages
53
Reaction score
0

Members don't see this ad.
Hi - I am considering starting a post-bac pre medical program this fall and applying for medical schools next year. I'm really interested in disease, physiology, direct patient care, and medicine... but I can't stand and am not .particularly. good at chemistry, physics, calculus, etc.

My question is: how purely science oriented are medical school courses? My hope is that the physics/chemistry/calculus of the post bac year is something that I can suffer through and then leave behind and get immediately to classes that are more directly related to medicine and will hopefully be easier for me. Is this the case?

Anyone out there who's not naturally very skilled in math and science who is willing to share your experience in med school (or is everyone in med school just really good at this stuff.)

Thanks so much -
 

VALSALVA

**** or get off the pot
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
957
Reaction score
0
Not too much. There will be a few formulas in classes such as physiology or biochemistry which may give you mild undergrad flashbacks, but that's about it.
 

smq123

John William Waterhouse
Staff member
Administrator
Volunteer Staff
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
14,827
Reaction score
6,036
Hi - I am considering starting a post-bac pre medical program this fall and applying for medical schools next year. I'm really interested in disease, physiology, direct patient care, and medicine... but I can't stand and am not .particularly. good at chemistry, physics, calculus, etc.

My question is: how purely science oriented are medical school courses? My hope is that the physics/chemistry/calculus of the post bac year is something that I can suffer through and then leave behind and get immediately to classes that are more directly related to medicine and will hopefully be easier for me. Is this the case?

Sort of.

You'll never use calculus in med school. The most advanced math that you'll use in med school (besides figuring out the interest on your loans) is the natural log function button on your calculator.

Physics and chem are sort of useful in med school - ions / anions / electrophysiology type stuff (action potentials, electrical thresholds, etc). It's not too bad, though. Mostly just "General concepts" stuff.

First year med classes aren't really "directly related to medicine," though. Ask anyone who's sat through a semester of med school biochem. Some of it is, but much of it isn't.
 

daeojkim

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
2+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
135
Reaction score
2
As long as you can do basic algebra you will be fine in med school.
If you know enough math to get through med school prereqs like physics and chem, then you will be more than fine, unless you are planning to get MD/PhD in biophysics.
 

Trail Boss

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Messages
220
Reaction score
2
two weeks till the end of 1st year.....I could have done all the math required this year after the fifth grade. Division for epi, a little log action for biochem, err that was it. Math is not a big part of this so far. Even statistics which I took a bunch of in college thinking it would be useful has not been as issue yet. I imagine in practice, or especially in an academic career this would be much more of an issue. In the "one the side" reserarch I am doing there is much more math, but still nothing that someone who survived even an easy science degree in college wouldn't breeze through. Micropippette dials and molarity are certainly not brain rocket science.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Messages
30,878
Reaction score
10,060
Hi - I am considering starting a post-bac pre medical program this fall and applying for medical schools next year. I'm really interested in disease, physiology, direct patient care, and medicine... but I can't stand and am not .particularly. good at chemistry, physics, calculus, etc.

My question is: how purely science oriented are medical school courses? My hope is that the physics/chemistry/calculus of the post bac year is something that I can suffer through and then leave behind and get immediately to classes that are more directly related to medicine and will hopefully be easier for me. Is this the case?

Anyone out there who's not naturally very skilled in math and science who is willing to share your experience in med school (or is everyone in med school just really good at this stuff.)

Thanks so much -


Well physiology is the first year course where you will use the most mathy/sciencey stuff so I'm surprised you listed that in your interests list based on your question. Most people who weren't fans of the math driven basic sciences in postbac may like this course the least. The circulatory system, heart and kidney all function thanks to fluid dynamics physics and you are going to be expected to understand and calculate these things. The body's acid base and ion balances are also another calculation you will be expected to handle, and will be very reminiscent of college chemistry. In genetics you'll be using basic math to calculate odds and frequencies of passing on genetic traits. Epidemiology will require you to use some math as well, as can biostatistics. And pharmacology is going to involve calculations involving distribution, bioavailability and half lives of drugs (again chemistry). That's probably the bulk of it. So don't expect to leave your calculator and head scratching back in postbac. (Strongly disagree with smq that you won't use a calculator in med school -- I guess it's school specific but sounds like s/he lucked out).

You will muddle through, just as you will in postbac. Just don't expect the first couple of years of med school to become magically fascinating -- most people there tend to be as impatient to get to the wards as you are to get past the prereqs.
 
N

njbmd

Moving to Pre-Allo as this is a pre-med issue and not an issue of Allopathic medical students. Allopathic medical students read and post in the Pre-Allo forum and therefore can follow this thread and post over there. Other Pre-Allo folks may have the same question.
 

DR. NYC

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2006
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
which Physics would be more ideal for medical schools and for the MCAT, calculus or non calculus based?

currently im deciding on taking Physics at my community college, but cant decide on calculus or non calculus based.
 

Divine Furor

Academician
10+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
335
Reaction score
3
which Physics would be more ideal for medical schools and for the MCAT, calculus or non calculus based?

currently im deciding on taking Physics at my community college, but cant decide on calculus or non calculus based.

Hmm, I took physics I & II with no calculus, got A's, did absolutely pleasantly average on the MCATs physical sciences section, got accepted and from every and all report, will have zero difficulty performing in medical school. The point appears to be learning how to "derive" mathematically, which is something you could pursue, versus really needing to know kinematic equations in medical school.

HINT: You don't need to know kinematic equations in medical school.

However, some schools still have calc as a requisite. Ask yourself: do you want to learn calculus to learn physics? Or do you want to learn physics for the MCAT and supplement with math while you're studying?
 
Top