Mathematical Applications in the field of medicine

Chemdude

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I have to write a paper about "mathematical applications in the field of medicine". Does anybody know any good resources? Any good examples?

Are there people who choose to do MD/mathematics PhD?
 

nkhan

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Maybe something to do with the physics behind knee replacements, and all the mathematics that goes into designing them.

Just a thought :)
 

AmoryBlaine

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1. Epidemiology -- see if your local academic medical center has a biostatistician on staff, I'm sure they'd be happy to chat w/ you.

2. Physics of CR/MRI/US -- get's pretty complicated.

3. Radiation Oncology.

4. Hell even pediatric medication dosage is often a long math exercise -- mg/kg/day divided every 8 hours then figure out how much of a 15mg/mL suspension to use.
 
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DocWalken

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I've always been curious, how much math do people in fields like radiation oncology need to know/use?

And by people I mean physicians.
 

MudPhudHopeful

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There's and MD/PhD at WashU. He has his PhD in physics, and his research involves making mathematical models of the heart. Let me know if you're interested and I will link you to his lab website.
 

iduwanna

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There's Bayes' theorem and other statistical tools that can be used do decide what diagnostic tests to perform.
 

MilkmanAl

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Fluid flow through blood vessels and what happens when they're partially occluded would work. You're have to consider turbulence and basic fluid mechanics, among other things, so that might be a little complex if you haven't had some mid- or upper-level physics. Epidemiology would be fantastic, and there's load of statistics you could throw around for just about anything you can think of.
 

BuffGold

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I am in a partial differential equations class right now that focuses (loosely) on medical applications. So far we have covered ultrasound, neurofilament transport, arterial pulses, electric impedance tomography, and the transmittance of sound through the inner ear. There are tons of efforts to model biological phenomena. Most of the examples so far have come from Mathematical Physiology, Keener and Sneyd, Springer, 1998. It is VERY heavy on the math, but has all kinds of examples of modeling human physiology, along with the assumptions they have to make to do so.
 

EpiPEN

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How much math do you know?

I was going to say you can talk about how the navier-stokes equation has affected analysis of viscoelastic analysis of tissue.

Or you can talk about how shearing forces in vessels due to finite element analysis has changed the way we model blood vessels and test for better replacements for various body parts including the heart.
 

iduwanna

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So obviously, there are a LOT of directions you could take this. Which is why I always scoff at premeds who say things like, "we don't need to know calculus to be doctors."

Math is a very usefull tool. And having a good grasp of differential and integral calc is definately worthwile. Not just for medicine, but for understanding biological processes, which can often be modeled very faithfully by using mathematical functions.
 

KeyzerSoze

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So obviously, there are a LOT of directions you could take this. Which is why I always scoff at premeds who say things like, "we don't need to know calculus to be doctors."

Math is a very usefull tool. And having a good grasp of differential and integral calc is definately worthwile. Not just for medicine, but for understanding biological processes, which can often be modeled very faithfully by using mathematical functions.

We don't need to know calculus to be doctors.
 

AZFutureDoc

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That list would be pretty limitless. Math is everywhere in medicine. I actually gave a presentation on this very topic once upon a time. I do mathematical modelling, and have worked on cancer and malaria. Mathematical models will play a huge role in our careers as doctors as this emerging field gets more and more attention due to its powerful capabilities.
 

dragonfly99

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I agree with the above comments.
Lots of physics and math in radiology, rad onc, etc.
I don't think anyone has mentioned bioinformatics yet.
There are quite a few fluid flow-type equations used to calculate blood flow in the heart and estimate the amount of valvular stenosis (i.e. narrowing) in the heart. One can estimate the degree of stenosis of the aortic valve, for example. If you look in a book on echocardiography and/or read something about right heart catheterization of the heart, you can find many equations like that.

But LOL I do agree with the comment above that you don't have to know calculus well to be doctor...I actually don't remember a thing from calculus I don't think. However, it would definitely not hurt if I did. In fact, it would be helpful for fields like radiology or rad. onc. How much or how little you use math will depend on what kind of doc you are and more important whether you do research or just treat patients.
 
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