noobynoo
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I did a maths degree and its one of those courses you could quite easily teach yourself given the textbooks or watching the lectures on YouTube. Also, you can learn a lot of physics by watching the Professor Susskind Physics lectures on YouTube. A lot of people teach themselves foreign languages.

But what about medicine? Is it possible to teach yourself this up to a graduate standard? Not to get a degree just for "fun"? I would like to be able to have enough knowledge to do some research into the common cold or allergies for example or just learn more about it. Or diagnose medical conditions. I'm also interested in genetics and DNA.

Do you know any free course notes or YouTube lectures that someone could learn medicine? Are there any good introductory books? Also, how is biology different to medicine? Which one tells you more about DNA?

So what do you think? Is medicine too difficult to teach yourself? What practical skills would you acquire after having learnt it?
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NothingToSeeHere
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Probably not. It's not just about learning from textbooks. There's anatomy and lab work that'll need to be undertaken and you might need to be moderated as well.

Why do you want to self teach such a rigorous course?

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Dilzo999
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Probably, with the internet you can teach yourself almost anything.
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Clip
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If you ever decide to become a pilot, please let me know before I book any flights.
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shiggydiggy
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There is no reason why you can't teach yourself about all kinds of diseases, their pathophysiology, symptoms, management etc but a huge part of medicine is pure experience. For example, it's all well and good reading about abdominal guarding, but feeling it with your own hands a hundred times is another thing.
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noobynoo
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Ah OK. Is a medicine degree a lot of practical work? Unlike, say, a mathematics or English degree?

On the other hand I saw this news story about someone who learned all about diseases from the internet.

Is there some more theoretical type stuff I could learn? Such as how cells work etc.? How medicines are made?

I'm sure I could learn anatomy with the help of a virtual reality headset and some anatomy app.

What sort of "lab work" do you do?

Why do I want to learn it? Well, I have a human body and I'd like to know how it works and how to fix it!
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shiggydiggy
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(Original post by noobynoo)
Ah OK. Is a medicine degree a lot of practical work? Unlike, say, a mathematics or English degree?

On the other hand I saw this news story about someone who learned all about diseases from the internet.

Is there some more theoretical type stuff I could learn? Such as how cells work etc.? How medicines are made?

I'm sure I could learn anatomy with the help of a virtual reality headset and some anatomy app.

What sort of "lab work" do you do?

Why do I want to learn it? Well, I have a human body and I'd like to know how it works and how to fix it!
Most medical degrees are split in two. The first half being textbook, academic, lecture style learning. The other half is being in hospital, seeing patients, taking histories, examining them, learning clinical skills, looking at radiography, interpreting blood results etc etc.

There is only so much you can learn from a textbook.
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Interleukin4
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The etymology of the word "medicine" comes from the Latin phrase: "The art of healing"

I feel there's a distinction to be made here between learning the theoretical of "this is the disease, this is the treatment" etc. and the actual involved process of meeting a patient to discuss their history - their symptoms etc - 'medicine'.

Yes, it is entirely possible to learn all the diseases and such - but that's not medicine per say - that's more biomedical science. Biomedical science is totally possible to learn off your own back - wikipedia etc. [lab work notwithstanding]. A Level biology is an excellent place to start if you're interested.

However:

Medics spend years in clinical settings - hospitals and so on to gain the practical experience necessary to meet patients and interact with them. I don't think there is anything on the internet which can adequately prepare you for - say - performing an operation or developing your bedside manner. It comes from experience - and that's a huge part of medicine which I really doubt you'll be able to replicate.

In addition - the only way to become a licensed doctor is if you go to an accredited medical school - you can't teach yourself, pass an exam and become a doctor.
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Democracy
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He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all
Osler's quote sums up very well that which is at the very core of medicine and practicing as a doctor; clinical acumen, diagnostic skills, etc are learnt at the bedside and on the wards and in the clinics. You can learn all the anatomy and physiology you want out of textbooks, but until you can actually take a decent history, perform examinations, make diagnoses etc, you're not really doing much apart from memorising theoretic basic science.

It sounds like you're more interested in biomedical sciences than medicine anyway.
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noobynoo
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OK. I think I'll take a look at biomedical science. Good advice.

I'm more interested in learning about how things work than training to be a doctor in a hospital. i.e. I'd rather be a researcher into curing diseases or gene therapy than being a surgeon or diagnosing patients. Or I'd like to invent a machine that could scan you for diseases!

Any tips where to start learning biomedical science? Recommend any good books? Or on-line lectures videos?
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LordTavares
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Try to PM some Medical student to give you the names of the books in the first years they use. Start from the A level Biology so you have the basis, and go on to the textbooks they use on the 3 first years. After that get the grades and stude Biomedical science, and finish as a first.

Also, In Portugal (at least don know about UK) Biomedical science is seen as a multi-disciplinary course, so you can understand all the human body and a lot of diseases, and work with your math experience and lets say comp science or mechanical eng skills to produce some device. Sky is the limit in Biomedical Science.
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taysidefrog
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Why don't you just do a proper degree in whatever career interests you? Is this a sideline to your job or just for fun or to make you more employable? There are loads of medical textbooks out there and the internet is full of videos on aspects of clinical medicine but I'm not clear what you're trying to achieve.
Futurelearn has free courses that cover some aspects of medicine as well as maths, physics etc and I've done a couple for fun and postgrad appraisal points. You could never get anywhere near full medical training from online stuff though.
Are you a bit bored and not stretched enough in your job?
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noobynoo
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(Original post by taysidefrog)
Why don't you just do a proper degree in whatever career interests you? Is this a sideline to your job or just for fun or to make you more employable? There are loads of medical textbooks out there and the internet is full of videos on aspects of clinical medicine but I'm not clear what you're trying to achieve.
Futurelearn has free courses that cover some aspects of medicine as well as maths, physics etc and I've done a couple for fun and postgrad appraisal points. You could never get anywhere near full medical training from online stuff though.
Are you a bit bored and not stretched enough in your job?
Not all learning has to be job related.

For example, people don't just learn French to get a job teaching French. Maybe they want to hook up with French girls!

I just like to learn more about how things work including myself! And maybe tinker around and make some machines that can read your health signs. e.g. a simple one would measure your heartrate but I would like to learn about other things that could be measured.
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taysidefrog
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I'm not sure that a medical degree makes you any better at inventing machines. Many docs I know are hopeless at mechanical stuff. You may be better studying something like biomedical engineering if that sort of stuff interests you. There are loads of machines already that can measure your pulse rate. Futurelearn may be a good place to start if you just want to study an aspect of medicine.
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