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Math in Medicine/Switching from Medicine to Phys. Nat sci, advice please!

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    Hi,
    I've just got my offer for medicine in cambridge confirmed (Caius) but now am having second thoughts on whether or not it's for me, not because I don't want to do medicine but because I realised my favourite subjects at school were physics and math.
    The reason I still applied for medicine is because by the time we started approaching a level in math/physics that challenged and interested me I had already planned out my whole medical application and the deadline was fast approaching.
    The fact is I'm still very interested in medicine, but I think I'd rather approach it with a background in physics and mathematics than purely in biology.

    So my question is, is there any room for math in the medical course (i.e. mathematical modelling of biological processes/disease)?
    Also, I have quite a big interest in synthetic biology, is there (in a current students opinion) any way that after the third year one would have sufficient knowledge in biology/chemistry to do a post grad course in systems/synthetic biology?
    Finally, would it be possible to switch to natural sciences immediately upon arrival (if it makes any difference I would probably do chemistry, physics and biology of cells) and if so should I contact the admissions tutor before I arrive/asap?
    Again, just in case it makes any difference I did the IB, with Higher level math, physics and chemistry and biology at standard level, with 7s in all and 43 total. I also did my extended essay in math.
    Thanks for your time, any help would be appreciated.
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    I don't know about the undergrad medicine course, but I think it's possible to do an undergrad in physics/maths then do graduate medicine. If you're deadly serious about going down that road then you'd best ring admissions asap, you might be able to change to NatSci but you may be required to have another interview.
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    I bet you're the life of the party.
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    With regard systems biology, there is the new Part III (4th year) course that will just start this year which you can take after natsci/maths (probably not really possible during a medicine degree though).

    http://www.sysbiol.cam.ac.uk/index.p...ystems-biology
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    (Original post by Jamesop)
    Hi,
    I've just got my offer for medicine in cambridge confirmed (Caius) but now am having second thoughts on whether or not it's for me, not because I don't want to do medicine but because I realised my favourite subjects at school were physics and math.
    The reason I still applied for medicine is because by the time we started approaching a level in math/physics that challenged and interested me I had already planned out my whole medical application and the deadline was fast approaching.
    The fact is I'm still very interested in medicine, but I think I'd rather approach it with a background in physics and mathematics than purely in biology.

    So my question is, is there any room for math in the medical course (i.e. mathematical modelling of biological processes/disease)?
    Also, I have quite a big interest in synthetic biology, is there (in a current students opinion) any way that after the third year one would have sufficient knowledge in biology/chemistry to do a post grad course in systems/synthetic biology?
    Finally, would it be possible to switch to natural sciences immediately upon arrival (if it makes any difference I would probably do chemistry, physics and biology of cells) and if so should I contact the admissions tutor before I arrive/asap?
    Again, just in case it makes any difference I did the IB, with Higher level math, physics and chemistry and biology at standard level, with 7s in all and 43 total. I also did my extended essay in math.
    Thanks for your time, any help would be appreciated.
    Maths wise the course is quite basic (at least in first year). The hardest maths you will have to do is logs for things like the Nernst Equation. However physics can be useful from the principles of base units to be able to work out how to convert some units to another which you will need for biochemistry and is also useful for the electrophysiology.

    Otherwise in 3rd year you have options to do almost everything you want (though really it is any Part II option of NatSci, and even then it would be recommended to stick to BioNatsci options as your physics and maths would probably not be up to anywhere near the level for any physnatsci options)

    Otherwise you would probably need to go and speak to your college tutor, your DoS and the DoS of PhysNatSci if you want to switch
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    (Original post by Jamesop)
    Hi,
    I've just got my offer for medicine in cambridge confirmed (Caius) but now am having second thoughts on whether or not it's for me, not because I don't want to do medicine but because I realised my favourite subjects at school were physics and math.
    The reason I still applied for medicine is because by the time we started approaching a level in math/physics that challenged and interested me I had already planned out my whole medical application and the deadline was fast approaching.
    The fact is I'm still very interested in medicine, but I think I'd rather approach it with a background in physics and mathematics than purely in biology.

    So my question is, is there any room for math in the medical course (i.e. mathematical modelling of biological processes/disease)?
    Also, I have quite a big interest in synthetic biology, is there (in a current students opinion) any way that after the third year one would have sufficient knowledge in biology/chemistry to do a post grad course in systems/synthetic biology?
    Finally, would it be possible to switch to natural sciences immediately upon arrival (if it makes any difference I would probably do chemistry, physics and biology of cells) and if so should I contact the admissions tutor before I arrive/asap?
    Again, just in case it makes any difference I did the IB, with Higher level math, physics and chemistry and biology at standard level, with 7s in all and 43 total. I also did my extended essay in math.
    Thanks for your time, any help would be appreciated.
    I think you should start with medicine and if you don't like it then you should ask to change. Is it really worth it, losing your place at Cambridge over a bit of cold feet? At least if you start doing it you can use the excuse that it's not turned out to be what you initially expected. If you're already at the university then they are going to be more likely to let you transfer onto a different course cos it would look bad on their statistics if you dropped out! I'm sure there'd be a way of doing electives in other things...I'm not familiar with the system at Cambridge but I would assume you would get that opportunity!
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    It depends on your college/tutors, but there is at least the possibility that after a year in medicine you could switch courses.
    I recall hearing that they don't like people who have done medicine taking biology courses in natural sciences (since the content is so similar), so you might have to do pure physical natural sciences.
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    Well, if you fail 1st year medicine then you can still stay on as a 2nd year natsci usually I believe (pass tripos, fail MB). Alternatively you can always swap or you can do medicine for 2 years and in your 3rd year you have the chance to do whatever you want (or atleast I think you still do, I believe it's the year applying this year that lost that option) so you could do a physical natsci type subject (or indeed anything really!)

    As for maths in medicine, a little? There's a fair amount of physics, fluid mechanics, electronics.etc in physiology and we do statistics, but not a huge amount to be honest.
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    Thanks for the advice.
    I think I'll stick with med for the 1st year, and then, if i find the course really isn't for me I'll switch. I don't think I can just throw away medicine without giving it a shot after trying for it for so long, and that maybe im just getting nervous due to finally having got what I've wanted..
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    (Original post by Jamesop)
    Thanks for the advice.
    I think I'll stick with med for the 1st year, and then, if i find the course really isn't for me I'll switch. I don't think I can just throw away medicine without giving it a shot after trying for it for so long, and that maybe im just getting nervous due to finally having got what I've wanted..
    What did you do in the end?

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