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Other Physics and Medicine

  1. May 25, 2017 #1
    Well I have a few questions, for the past few months and weeks, my parents have been constantly bugging me to be a doctor [I just became a senior, like today; I will be applying to college in a few months, so I need to be thinking about majors and stuff]. My problem is I don’t hate medicine, its interesting especially neurosurgery. However, I would like to study physics [specifically research in nanoscience and quantum]. So, the question is, what things are there in medicine physics or biophysics that would be aligned to my interests. Also, any general academic advice would also be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    btw sorry for any grammatical errors.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2017 #2

    symbolipoint

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    Many things throughout science and engineering are aligned with medicine; and many things outside of the physical, natural, and engineering sciences are at least somewhat aligned with medicine. STUDY WHAT YOU WANT! Your parents do not know what fits you. YOU must determine what subject and topics fit you and study for one or two of those. PHYSICS is a good choice in the future case that you may wish to go to medical school, or alternatively, if you hope to study and enter and qualify for Medical Physics.
     
  4. May 25, 2017 #3
    I do understand the point and I agree, but the main reason my parents dont want me to be a reseracher is due the salary compared to a doctor.They believe that money equals happiness.
     
  5. May 25, 2017 #4

    berkeman

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    What experience do you (or your parents!) have so far with patient contacts? Have you volunteered at your local hospital helping out? Are you currently certified in First Aid, CPR and AED use?

    IMO, if you are considering a career in medicine, you should spend some quality time with patients, either as a volunteer at a hospital or at the First Aid station at large local events, or you should get your entry level EMS certification as an EMT and work/volunteer on a number of shifts. That will start to give you an idea of how you feel about interactions with real world patients. Either you will like those interactions very much (even with very difficult patients and situations), or you will find that you don't like having to deal with people who are in so much need of help and you are the main/only person who can help them.

    Without real world experience with patients, IMO, you and your parents cannot make this decision intelligently and in an informed way. My two cents. :smile:
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  6. May 25, 2017 #5

    symbolipoint

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    Who makes the hiring decisions on the other side, when you complete your degree in whatever-you-get-your-degree-in? Your parents or the company/institution? Also, who makes the admissions decisions to the medical schools? Your parents or some group of dedicated team at the medical school institution? Along these lines, too, what will make you eligible and qualified for entry to Medical School? DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH INTEREST IN MEDICINE TO JUSTIFY TRYING TO GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL?

    ADDED:
    berkemen's response is worthy much MUCH more than "two cents". His is a great response to the decision of trying for Medical School or not.
     
  7. May 25, 2017 #6
    Why would I need to see patients I wish to do research in a lab not clinical just asking. Also I do have some experience I have around five doctors in my family atm.
    Thanks for the tips,and I will look into the EMS seems intersting.
     
  8. May 25, 2017 #7

    berkeman

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    You mentioned neurosurgery. Do you have an idea of what kinds of patients you would be operating on? What kinds of pre-op interactions would you anticipate? Post-op? Follow-up? What kinds of conditions require neurosurgery, and how might those patients and families feel about those conditions being diagnosed? What are your goals for your bedside manner with families and Pts like that? Your bedside manner can make a difference in the outcome of your surgeries, I hope you realize that..

    My interactions with my Pts has had a very important and measurable influence on their outcomes...

    ADDED -- I guess I shouldn't have said that last part, but Patient Care is so important, IMO...
     
  9. May 25, 2017 #8

    berkeman

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    I'm reading this book now. It is a very accurate and intense and important book for pre-hospital EMS workers, but has lots of generally applicable Pt care points in it. And it says a few things about disconnected doctors in the hospital -- please don't ever become the particular surgeons that this Medic calls out in his book.

    https://www.amazon.com/People-Persp...F8&qid=1495765277&sr=1-2&keywords=people+care
    51OTQhF2j6L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
     
  10. May 25, 2017 #9
    I would to first apologize for coming off as ignorant, I should have better pharsed the neurosurgery interest as neuroscience research. Also I looked in the emt thing and its seems interesting atm I just started summer, how long would it take to get the EMS certification just asking.
     
  11. May 25, 2017 #10
  12. May 25, 2017 #11

    berkeman

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    No need for apology at all, you are doing great and asking good questions about your future. Keep doing great things!
     
  13. May 25, 2017 #12

    berkeman

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    That's different, and based on physics and biology. Have you read the Medical Physics threads at the PF and the Bio Physics threads? Maybe other thread topics will help you more... :smile:
     
  14. May 25, 2017 #13
    I have read some of them but most the things I read about med physics is about Medical imaging[x rays and the likes] which seems somewhat uninteresting. Also I was reading about the emt entry level theres is a age requirement of 18[atm I am 17].
     
  15. May 25, 2017 #14

    berkeman

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    Good point about those threads. I'll try searching for better threads that match your interests.

    And yes to work as an EMT on an ambulance crew you generally need to be 18 y/o because of the adult level interactions you will have. You will be cutting the clothing off of unconscious trauma Pts and taking very personal Pt medical histories (Hxs). That usually requires an "adult" to do that. But, until you reach 18, with an EMT certification, you can be a huge help (in the US we apparently pronounce that "Yuge" now) in volunteer situations. Try Googling medical staff volunteer opportunities, or if you are anywhere near California, PM me and I'll hook you up with some great volunteer shifts. :smile:
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  16. May 25, 2017 #15
    Thanks for the infomation and the offer,sadly I live in the midwest. I have researched the emt b course some and I found that it takes around a month to get[which is a good thing as summer started for me today], but it cost around 1k. I was wondering if being a high schooler would make it cheaper.
     
  17. May 25, 2017 #16

    berkeman

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    Yes, the entry EMT course is about 200 classroom hours plus exams and hands-on tests.

    Maybe look into the Red Cross'' Emergency Medical Responder training http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/preview-kits/emergency-medical-response

    It will give you an entry level of training so you can volunteer, and expose you to basic Pt care and first aid training. Please also look into CPR and AED training -- that will give you a new perspective on Pt care and life saving. IMO, any training and experience in the medical field that you can get before dedicating yourself to medical school is a good thing.

    Full disclosure --- if I knew in undergrad what I know now about how much I enjoy Pt contacts, I'd have gone into emergency medicine. :smile:
     
  18. May 25, 2017 #17
    Thanks again btw if I you dont mind me asking what is your career, clinical physician?
     
  19. May 25, 2017 #18

    Choppy

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    I'm not sure if anyone has made this point yet, but you can study physics as an undergrad and still go to medical school. Admission to medical school in North America generally requires completion of a specific set of undergraduate courses, which in most cases amounts to the first year or so of just about any science degree. And for what it's worth, physics majors tend to do quite well on the MCAT.

    As for Medical Physics, or more broadly speaking: the intersection of physics and medicine, there's a lot of ground to cover. When I was in high school and even through undergrad, a lot of Medical Physics didn't really seem all that interesting to me, but as I matured and my understanding of many of the problems grew, so did my interest.

    A lot of Medical Physics is oriented towards radiation therapy for cancer treatment because, as a profession, that's what most Medical Physicists have clinical responsibilities for and where the greatest need for Medical Physicists lies. But the field is generally a lot larger with professional branches in diagnostic imaging, MRI (it's own sub-field), nuclear medicine and to a lesser extent health physics.

    If you have an interest in nanoscience, there is a lot of really interesting work right now being done using nanotechnologies for cancer treatment. Nanoparticles, for example, can be engineered so that they will have high tumour-specific uptake and when made out of material with a high atomic number they can be used as radiosensitizers, potentially improving radiation therapy.
     
  20. May 26, 2017 #19

    berkeman

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    No, my profession is Electrical Engineer (EE). I've worked in R&D in Silicon Valley as an EE for decades. I got my EMT certification and started working part-time shifts 10 years ago. I was motivated to get more medical training and experience because of the disaster response training that I was getting from the Fire Department (I live very close to an active earthquake fault). See the FEMA link in my footer for more information... :smile:
     
  21. May 26, 2017 #20
    Thats a interesting turn of events and thanks once again for answering.
     
  22. May 26, 2017 #21

    I have read a few things about the usage of nanobiotech in the medical field, its interesting and thanks for the info.
     
  23. Jul 6, 2017 #22
    hey! i dont know if I am too late but like what people have told you STUDY WHAT YOU WANT I'm in college as a biomedical engineering major on the pre-med track. Currently I am on my second year and I HATE IT!!!!!

    Everything is a pain and I have no motivation. However, currently I have trying to switch majors to applied physics since I am interested in medical physics (should look it up very interesting field and some residencies are done along with medical radiologists), mind you coming into college I have never taken physics or calculus so i struggled a bit my first semester (b-) and for the remaining courses I got B+ in physics do mostly to the fact that my attention was on those stupid pre-med courses.

    I'm very intimidated by upper level physics courses especially because I'm not awfully smart but with the right motivation anything is possible. I am currently reading about nuclear physics in my spare time just to get more information on the topic. Really just follow your passion and everything will fall into place. Don't be afraid to ask for guidance, there will always be someone to help you.

    My parents are similar to yours since they have always wanted me to study medicine. I suggest that if you go to a local university that you try to spend as much time on campus as possible studying. This has worked for me since I am more dedicated and my parents question my decisions less lol anyway hope the application process goes well
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2017
  24. Jul 6, 2017 #23
    Thanks for the reply and I have a year before I go to college and around six months before I apply.
     
  25. Jul 7, 2017 #24

    jtbell

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    I'm coming in late on this too, because I was traveling while this thread was originally active. Nevertheless, I'd like to reinforce Choppy's comment above.

    The college where I taught for many years has sent many graduates to medical school even though it does not have a "pre-med" major. A committee of faculty members from several departments (including physics) advises prospective medical school applicants, recommends a set of courses for them to take (including intro physics), and writes letters of recommendation for them. Students can major in any field that allows them to fit the recommended pre-med courses into their schedule. Most of them major in biology, but a significant number do major in other fields and get into medical school successfully, e.g. chemistry, psychology, English, political science (!) and yes, physics.
     
  26. Jul 10, 2017 #25

    radium

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    It's definitely possible to major in physics and go to med school. If you do really well in the major it will make you stand out from the other applicants.

    I also know a few people who majored in physics and/or biophysics who are now in MD PhD programs. You will be in school for a long time, but tuition is waived for medical school and you get a stipend. They are incredibly difficult to get into for this reason. It seems that the MD PhD is a good choice for people who want to be doctors but are also highly research oriented (although you definitely do not need a PhD to do clinical research).
     
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