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Medical Is it true that all medical fields need math and biochem?

  1. Aug 30, 2011 #1
    Like including nutritionist (even they probably just recited the food pyramid), nursing, dietitian? Do they all have to go through the typical 4-yr biochem procedure in other to be a certified prfoession?
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  3. Aug 31, 2011 #2


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    FYI "Nutritionist" is not a medical profession. Dietitians are medically qualified to advise on diet, a nutritionist is just anyone who thinks they could advise you on food. Regarding the latter this is a problem in my opinion as anyone can write a book, call themselves a Doctor (normally because they got a stay at home unaccredited PhD) and tell you whatever they like.

    Getting that out of the way all medical fields need some knowledge of mathematics and biochemistry, obviously the level of knowledge expected greatly changes. I'm not sure what you mean by the "4-yr biochem procedure", is that something specific in your country?
  4. Aug 31, 2011 #3
    No I mean like to become a dietitian, a nutritionist, or nursing, do you need calculus or higher math and biochem? Basically following the 4-yr college procedure doing calc -> muticalc -> Linear ALgebra -> ODE -> some other math and biocehm courses?
  5. Aug 31, 2011 #4
    Dietitians and nurses - at least here in the US, much like other health care professionals like physicians and dentists - are subject to regulation by the state, so you will want to investigate the procedure for professional licensure. While there are some nationwide standards (the nursing exam - NCLEX, I believe it's called, and I'm fairly sure there is something similar for aspiring dietitians), it's ultimately up to each state.

    My recollection from about ten years ago (my undergrad institution had both a nursing school and a health sciences college as part of the university) is that you are probably overestimating the amount of required mathematics and biochemistry coursework. I remember them hanging with us default basic science majors through single-variable calculus, intro general physics & chemistry, and organic chemistry - after that, they were mostly taking classes taught by faculty in their major department.
  6. Sep 1, 2011 #5


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    (Again nutritionist is not a medical profession, that's a bit like saying "do car mechanics need maths to work in the medical field"?)

    I would say it depends on the specific field, I doubt the majority of medical profession need higher maths. However anyone who needs to utilise things like medical physics, medical statistics e.g. will probably need it to some degree. I would suggest you look up specific professions if you are interested.
  7. Sep 5, 2011 #6


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    It depends on the field. Medical school in the US requires that you have organic chemistry and some schools require you have biochemistry before entry. You get a lot of biochemistry throughout medical school as well--In biochemistry classes and in pharmacology and genetics.

    Most medical schools or undergraduate biology degrees require only that you have up to calculus II. Again depending on the specific field, more or less maybe required. If you want to do bioinformatics in the field of medicine, more math is going to be a must. Like wise if you want to do infectious disease with a focus on epidemiology, you're going to have to take more math (either prior to medical school or on your own time).

    There is also the PSTP (physician-scientist training program) which combines a PhD and MD degree into a lovely 7-9 years. There are a couple people at my school who are doing their PhD in molecular genetics, this obviously requires them to take a lot of biochemistry. We also have a couple people in neuro PhD fields that are biochemistry intensive. A person doing their PhD in epidemology that I know of and even someone doing theirs in physics (medical physics I believe for radiation oncology).
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