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Physics Majors

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bsthomas, Dec 14, 2000.

  1. bsthomas

    bsthomas Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2000
    Valdosta, GA
    I am about to transfer to the Georgia Institute of Technology and am considering Physics as my major. I would like to here from anyone who went to Tech or was a physics major at a top universtiy. concerning- difficulty, whether or not that helped them get into med school, whether or not they liked it.
    I personally enjoy physics more than any other subject, but I have people tell me all the time that it will be too hard to get good grades in, and that i should major in something else. ie. Biology
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  3. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    Major in whatever interests you the most.

    If you select a major because it is easy, this can be seen by admission committees.

    Physics is a less common major for pre-meds because it IS difficult.

    Go with it.

    Do well.

    Then, when you apply, you will see that during your interview, you are able to speak pashionately about why you chose physics as a major.

    A major that will challenge you, keep your interest, and offer a wide variety of upper level courses is the best way to go.

    Best of luck to you!

    Don't do things because they are them because they are hard.

    Joshua Paul Hazelton, CNA, EMT-B
    [email protected]
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (2002)
    "D.O. Wannabe"
  4. Madness

    Madness Junior Member

    Jul 18, 2000
    I honestly think that the major you have selected isn't as important as the grades you have achieved from your classes. Choosing a difficult major does not necessarily attract the attention of admission committees. But if you are truly interested in studying physics and you feel that you can do well in the upper level courses, go for it. You might also want to ask yourself if you would be interested in a job related to physics as an alternative option to your interests in medicine.

    [This message has been edited by Madness (edited 12-14-2000).]
  5. moo

    moo 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2000
    I am a physics major. I have had many people say to me that adcoms won't "like" physics b/c it isn't related to medicine. Of course, they are naive.

    The point is, physics isn't hard at all. For me, anyway. It looks like you enjoy physics, so you are probably like me, mathematical and analytical in nature. Physics isn't hard, if you know what you are doing. In fact, physics is easier than biology and biochem for ME. I don't have to work as hard and I can achieve really high grades. My physics and math GPA up through my sophomore year (I'm a junior now) is 3.93, spoiled only by an A- in partial diff eqns. Also, physics tends to have small class sizes, so you can know your profs and get them to write you a good reference.

    Are the classes difficult? That depends on the person. Quantum mechanics is the most challenging course this year for me, but it's also the course that I'm getting the highest mark in, going into the final. I gather it's because I enjoy it so much. If you combine your degree with math, you probably have to take courses like Real Analysis (which is an abstract course, focusing on proofs and set theory) and topology (topology deals with the geometry of sets) which are very difficult, but do-able. Next year I will take graduate courses in quantum mech, quantum field theory and perhaps classical E+M on the level of Jackson. Grad courses have an A average... so I expect to get A's in my graduate courses. One of the most difficult courses I will encounter, I am sure, is statistical mechanics next year. I know there are people complaining about physical chem and how hard it is, but stat mech is a hundred times harder than physical chem... Remember, in chemistry they apply the formulas. In physics, we PROVE them. And in general, proving things requires a lot more ingenuity than just being able to perform calculations on cue.

    So ask yourself these things: Do I like to find out how things work on a fundamental level? Do I like using precise mathematical statements to describe nature? Do I want a mathematically rigorous and demanding curriculum? Or am I satisfied with the qualitative, descriptive nature of a "soft" science like biology? If you answered yes to the first three and no to the last one, then physics is probably the major for you. I made that choice, and I haven't regretted it once... in fact, it's made me feel a lot more secure, knowing that I will get a degree in something I enjoy, and that I can go on to grad school, if my med school plans don't work out.
  6. MSepo

    MSepo Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Hey moo, just out of curiosity, if you enjoy physics so much and are good at it, why do you not want a career in that field? How do you plan to explain this to your interviewers?
  7. moo

    moo 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2000

    I started college with one and only one goal in mind: to get into med school. I was going to major in biochem, then chemistry, and finally I decided on physics, because after my freshman year, that was the class I enjoyed the most. (it was also the class I enjoyed most in HS)

    There have been times this year, when I thought, why am I going into med school? I realized that my outside activities--volunteering in a home, working as a psych nursing assistant really made me happy. I love working with older folks and that's why I want to go into medicine. Physics has always just been a means to an end... But if I don't get into med school, I won't cry and pout... Some may see that as being non-committed, but I really don't care... I have a back-up plan, and med schools always stress that everyone should have a back up plan.
  8. Tell me about it, I just finished Stat Mech. The first question on the first exam was "Derive the ideal gas law." HAHAHAH! But it was really fun! [​IMG] Have fun with the partition functions, my friend! [​IMG]


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