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Physics vs Medicine

  1. Yes, Switch to medicine

    3 vote(s)
  2. No, Stay with physics or other natural science

    14 vote(s)
  3. Yes, another major

    2 vote(s)
  1. Feb 6, 2012 #1
    If you were to go back before you started your undergraduate study

    Would you change to medicine?

    I finished my physics degree but I'm now doing medicine
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2012 #2


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    probably switch to full engineering or full physics or full maths, instead of my half physics half engineering
  4. Feb 6, 2012 #3

    George Jones

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    I had no interest in studying medicine then. I have no interest in studying medicine now. I have no interest in finding a closed timelike curve so that I could now study medicine then.
  5. Feb 6, 2012 #4
    Why the change in majors, may I ask??
  6. Feb 6, 2012 #5


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    EE made the most sense to me at the time, but now that I work part time as an EMT, I've found that I enjoy patient contacts quite a bit (even the difficult patients). If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have pursued the MD route, and probably would have specialized in Emergency Medicine.

    Have you done any work with patients yet? What sparked your interest in medicine?

    A very bright EE that I met in grad school and worked with for a few years after graduation (we both worked for Bell Labs at the time) decided that he wanted to go back to Med School to switch careers to medicine. He became a very successful doc, specializing in high-risk pregnancies. Impressive, and he says he loves the choice he made to change.
  7. Feb 6, 2012 #6


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    Exactly the reverse. I *have* studied Medicine, and if I had it to do over again, I'd do Physics, or a Physics-heavy applied discipline.
  8. Feb 6, 2012 #7
    I took up physics because I wanted to do something with cancer, I didn't want to do anything on the chemistry/pharmaceutical side.

    I want to become an oncologist.

    After I finished my physics degree I did a semester of a Medical physics masters before switching over to medicine which I was lucky enough to get into as a post graduate student.

    After I finish medicine I will specialize as an oncologist which deals with delivering/developing treatment using surgical, radiation and cytoxic treatments to treat cancer.
    I've also done a summer internship in an oncology department at a hospital here in my city for 3 months I was seeing what it was like to be an oncologist.

    I'd also like to do some more physics in the future, as a medical physicist/oncologist.
  9. Feb 6, 2012 #8


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    Very admirable, vorcil. Do great things!
  10. Feb 6, 2012 #9


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    Just curious. Have you ever been involved with any medical electronics during your EE career? I once worked at the University of Kansas Hospital (years ago) where doctors worked with engineers to make specialized medical tools, both mechanical and electronic. I can understand the attraction between the fields.
  11. Feb 6, 2012 #10


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    I did a consulting project a while back with an ortho surgeon on an impedance monitoring device for drilling into major bones. His idea was to use it to monitor when he reached different layers of the bone during drilling. It was a pretty interesting project, and he used my prototype in some clinical trials, AFAIK.

    But that didn't involve any patient contacts, and honestly, ortho surgery would not be something I would want to do on a daily basis. Lordy, hammers, chisels, drills, hacksaws, etc. Yoiks.
  12. Feb 6, 2012 #11


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    After I got my physics BS, I went to computational neuroscience for MS... going to do comp neuro for PhD.

    I wouldn't have it any other way. If I went back, I'd start with physics again. Except for maybe I'd drop all QM and relativity classes for more classical, chemistry, or bio classes.

    But I think classical mechanics, calculus, and thermodynamics are all pretty damned essential to biology, mainly the treatment with differential equations and thinking about how energy and matter interact in general.
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