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Second Year Student Looking For Advice

  1. Jul 30, 2012 #1
    Hello, I will be starting my junior year in fall as a biology major with a minor in chemistry. I entered college with a plan to apply to medical school. I have taken your basic classes for a biology major including genetics, ecology, cellular/molecular bio, chemistry, organic chemistry, and calculus 1. I have a 3.97 GPA. Throughout the past two years, I have developed an interest in science, particularly physics. I haven't taken any physics classes, but I am constantly drawn to the subject. I don't have any unrealistic expectations; I have done hours of research online and talked to multiple professors in the field. I understand the level of rigor that is involved with the math and physics classes, I'm not expecting to be learning about black holes and neutron stars. Being finished with my second year, however, I'm concerned about whether it would be worth switching at this point. Since I have only finished calc 1, I would almost be guaranteed to have to stay in school for at least an extra semester. However, I have been considering this for a year now and I figure if I've wanted to switch to physics for this long, it has to be more than a phase. I was wondering if anyone has been in this situation or has any helpful advice. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2012 #2


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    Hey starhawks and welcome to the forums.

    I guess the question is ultimately why you want study physics? Do you want to study it just to learn a some stuff, or do you want to make it your career? How far do you want to go in your formal learning? (Bachelors, Masters, PhD, further)? If so do you have an idea of some 'typical' day scenarios for a particular career and role, and also what the likelihood of getting said job is? Is medical school and medicine your main focus with physics being a 'side-interest'?

    Note above that there are going to be a few day scenarios, so the idea of a typical day is going to be more of a misnomer and highly misleading to encapsulate a whole career in just one day.

    Personally if you are set on going to medical school, I would stay focused on that goal since you will be flat out trying to get in with all the pre-requisites (grades, etc) and then be flat out both during and after you do the academic and initial training.

    The thing I guess that would help you the most, is to get a real idea of studying physics is like on a week by week basis, and this is going to consist of doing lots and lots of problems from textbooks and attending lots of lab sessions. Also, it would probably at some level include a lot of computational work which means sitting at a computer with Microsoft Word, A Latex program, PDF Viewer, MATLAB, Maple, and so on configuring some bit of code and writing up reports, papers, etc.
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