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Med Student wanting to get better at Physics

  1. Aug 2, 2013 #1
    Hi everyone. I will be entering medical school soon. I've been interested in Physics for quite a while now but never really applied myself. I am a big believer that physics holds the key to higher level thought (critical thinking). I have nothing but deep admiration and respect for those of you talented in it.

    My goal is to explore Physics from the bottom up. I only have one calculus class under my belt since it wasn't a necessity in my major nor a medical school requisite. As a result, the only math I may be proficient in is Algebra.

    My question is what type of books would you recommend for starting at the beginner level? I would need recommendations for any sort of math self-learning textbooks as well as physics. I have the following textbooks:

    Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Giancoli (Third Edition)
    Physics (8th Edition) by Cutnell

    Someone suggested "Physics: Principles with Applications" by Giancoli as well, although I already have one book by him.

    I am interested in reaching an advanced stage of physics as well (if possible).

    Also, would anyone have a calculus self-learning textbook suggestion?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    This is a fun physics book that you may enjoy as an intro: Thinking Physics by Epstein:


    It's not advanced at all, but has lots of interesting and fun examples of physics, and helps to motivate further reading, IMO. It's kind of at a high school level, without much rigor, but with lots of examples of how physics works in the real world.

    Hopefully you get some good recommendations for more advanced physics texts beyond this fun intro. :smile:

    Have fun in medical school. Do you have some experience yet in the medical field?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Aug 3, 2013 #3
    Thank you Berkemen! The title of the book you recommended is exactly what I am trying to achieve -- to think like a Physicist (unique and insightful ways of approaching problems). Critical thinking is something I think a lot of people don't have a strong grasp of. Unfortunately, medical school (from what I hear) has a lot of rote memorization, but I suppose that will be manageable.

    As for experience in the medical field, I volunteered extensively at a hospice and shadowed quite a few doctors. I really enjoyed what I saw and am excited to begin med school!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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