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natural aptitude in science, a must?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by tentative at best, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. tentative at best

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    I am not a lab geek, to put it mildly. In fact, I'm not even a science enthusiast. I can do the work, but I can't say it comes as easily as other subjects do.

    But, I really want to become a doctor. I'm hoping that now that I really have the goal in mind, the science classes may be a bit more exciting. But what if they aren't?

    Do all of you have a real love of science, or did some of you have to coax yourself into it, to become a doctor?
     
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  3. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member
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    you don't have to love science or even be really good at it.

    in the end, you'll be treating human beings...science is a means to treat them, not the overall goal.

    just focus on your goal of becoming a doctor and the sciences won't seem all that bad. I never loved science but it has grown on me. I think it ends up being the way it is taught...science is fascinating, but that's something i never realized early on in high school or undergrad.
     
  4. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    I love science and always have, but that's just me.

    The truth is that in this process, like in so many other things, there are no absolutes. (to avoid irony I should say that there are FEW absolutes) In any case, a passion for science is not a MUST. It might help initially or something, but it isn't a must.
     
  5. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    I think that a lot of people have pretended to love science, because that's what you are supposed to do to be a doctor. I think that this is unfortunate and unnecessary. You really don't have to take THAT many science classes to get in to med school (2 semesters of bio, chem, physics and orgo), and most people don't like the pre-req's, even if you DO like science. As long as you can get decent grades in those pre-req's, just major in something that you actually like and can get good grades in. That way, if you decide later that you don't want to do medicine, you aren't trained for a field (eg biology) that you have no interest in.
     
  6. Tobtolip

    Tobtolip Member
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    Yea same here, I was never good at science + math in high school. But, I decided I needed to do well so I sorta shoved it down my throat, ironically its grown on me now and I'm more comfortable with my science + math courses than I am with my humanities/lit courses. Of course, a huge portion of my curriculum right now is on sciences (I guess thats a bad thing), so the fact that I'm bombarded with science probably helped my enthusiasm for science + math courses. Shrug, it may end up that as you do well and start to understand the concepts better you may start liking science as well (like me).

    As for science being an innate ability, its not. Science + math like everything else takes practice, there's sorta a pattern in sciences and concepts overlap (math, chem, and physics are very much related to each other) so as you do well and gain further understanding, you eventually start to understand concepts quicker. As for the labs, dont' sweat it, I hated labs and I never got the correct results (which makes me deathly afraid of my O-Chem lab course), although I understood the concepts well.
     
  7. danjou

    danjou Member
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    welllll....that's hard to say. i mean, that's like saying you hate drawing but want to become an architect. modern medicine (Western med, that is) has its foundations in science. you can't very well treat patients with nice thoughts and good intentions. you'll have to understand scientific concepts, chemical interactions, saturation points, etc. enough to apply them and make judgments for each patient based on that knowledge and understanding - especially in this pharmaceutical-based world.

    though i understand where you're coming from, b/c sci/math is harder for me than anything else - or at least, i don't have to work at all to do well at humanities/social sci, but i do have to put in an effort to do science. i have a real hard time with chemistry and calculus, but biology and physics I ace. i also did poorly enough in my chem and calculus classes during my college years that i didn't go into medicine (i'm in law right now). but now i'm determined to take another stab at it, and it's easier for me to grasp chemistry b/c i am thinking of how i'll need to apply it later on.

    your post begs the questions: why do you want to be a doctor? to help people? there are a million and one ways to help people w/o the science track. think you'll be comfortable basing your career on your mastery of a subject you find difficult?

    also, what level are you at? high school? college? post-college? i ask because, like i said above, general chemistry sucked royally, but as i got into more advanced classes (like biochem) it got more interesting, and i was able to understand the principles of chemistry better from that perspective. my general chem class was too scattered, the basic principles were nothing more than route memorization, just figures and numbers that had no meaning. so if you're just beginning your premed reqs, and are basing your science aptitude on that, i'll give you hope and say it gets better.

    but then again, i'm not in med school yet. i'm not a doctor yet. so maybe i don't know what i'm talking about....

    i actually posed the same question to one of my professors in my last semester in college - telling him that i really like it, but i'm better at other things. he didn't give me much of an answer (went on some diatribe about doing what you love vs. making money), and i went into law instead. but now here i am, going into medicine again.

    good luck!
     
  8. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    I'd like to repeat an above statement -- there are lots of ways to help people w/o science, if you feel yourself too disinclined to science. A lot of people want to be doctors "to help people" but the truth is that there are hundreds of careers in which you can help people.
     
  9. tentative at best

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by danjou:
    <strong> your post begs the questions: why do you want to be a doctor? to help people? </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I want to become a doctor for many reasons, but the biggest surfaced when I had to deal with some chronic health issues with my son. I absolutely know I would make a good primary care doctor. I have worked in healthcare for over ten years, so I have a pretty firm grasp on what everyone's roles are. Nurses.... I love 'em, appreciate them, and admire them - but I don't want to be one.
     
  10. tentative at best

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by danjou:
    [QB]
    think you'll be comfortable basing your career on your mastery of a subject you find difficult?

    also, what level are you at? high school? college? post-college?

    [QB]</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I should clarify, I don't find science difficult. It just doesn't come as easily to me as other subjects and I don't have an innate love of it. I'm hoping that now that I can connect it to a goal = doctor, that I may actually look forward to going to class.

    I'm just starting on my pre-reqs, but am almost finished with a humanaties degree.
     
  11. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Given that you know for certain that being a doctor is what you want to do, I'd say go for it. Science will grow on you as you progress through your classes.
     
  12. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Given that you know for certain that being a doctor is what you want to do, I'd say go for it. Science will grow on you as you progress through your classes.
     
  13. danjou

    danjou Member
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    <strong>[/QUOTE]I should clarify, I don't find science difficult. It just doesn't come as easily to me as other subjects and I don't have an innate love of it. I'm hoping that now that I can connect it to a goal = doctor, that I may actually look forward to going to class.

    I'm just starting on my pre-reqs, but am almost finished with a humanaties degree.</strong>[/QUOTE]

    Oops, I did what many people do and took your posting/concern to a higher degree than you intended. My apologies.

    In high school I avoided math/science like the plague, decided I wanted to become a doctor, and started the premed classes with much trepidation. I ended up absolutely loving genetics and molecular bio, biochem and even physics. It was bizarre. (still hate chem, hate it, hate it!!!)

    Have you taken a good look at the MCAT? Princeton Review offers free sample testing on their website. I took one last night, about 1.5 hours long, and boy that was a nice swift reality check for me! But I am determined, and it sounds like you are too. good luck!
     
  14. Medic171

    Medic171 Senior Member
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    I don't always enjoy science as much as other subjects, and it does come more difficult to me than other subjects, but I do find it interesting and certainly applicable to my career choice.

    You do not have to be a science wiz. In fact, I am a social science major and my only science classes are premed requirements, math, and a few other applicable ones.

    This is one reason I chose medicine. Although difficult and challenging, I enjoy learning about the basic sciences and life science. I would never want to be a science major or work in a lab. Medicine combines the best of both worlds, a social and humanitarian career involving all diversities of people, based on physical, biological, psychological, and social science.

    You might look at another post going on where somebody hates science and wondered if they should reconsider. A valid argument is going on between me and a few others debating whether the premed sciences are actually "needed". "warranted", "applicable to medicine", and necessary for med school, or if they are simply weed out classes with little purpose of knowledge.
     
  15. vyc

    vyc Senior Member
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    i agree with danjou...
    (did you by any chance take a philosophy class? i'm taking one now and we just learned the formal definition of 'question begging')

    i don't think that you have to necessarily be the BEST at science but i think you should LIKE it. sure, we'll be treating people, but we'll be treating them on the BASIS of science. we'll have to read scientific journals to keep on top of current advancements, etc.
     
  16. Elysium

    Elysium Not Really An Old Beaver
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    I think having a general passion for "science" and a passion for medicine are two different animals. People who truly love science often become researchers, or seek advanced degrees in one of the sciences. My orgo professor is my age (28) and has his PhD in organic chem. He is doing polymer research and he LOVES it. I cannot understand how he gets such a high out of it, but he does. But I also know lots of people with advanced degrees in science who have no inclination at all to health care. They think I'm weird!
    That said, out of all my pre-med requirements, I've only really enjoyed a couple of them (orgo, physiology). I hate physics and g-chem. I hate math. And I sort of suck at them (have no innate ability). But I am good with patients, and with understanding diasese and asking good questions in order to make a diagnosis. I don't know where that comes from (could be genetic - dad's an internist) or it could be experience. But THAT's what I love. Collecting the data, looking at the labs, coming up with a potential diagnosis, and then healing someone. Divine.

    (BTW, all of my experience has been under the guidance of a NP or doctor...but you get the idea)
     

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