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# Is multivariable calculus or linear algebra better for someone who would like to become a doctor?

I'm taking calculus BC (high school), and unsure of whether to go into multivariable calculus or linear algebra next. I would like to become a doctor, as a surgeon specializing in orthopedics.

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## Luisa Fernanda’s Answer

If you need to decide to take one or the other I will suggest multivariable calculus as you probably have already taken other calculus classes. To be honest both are pretty similar in terms of operational math but multivariable calculus is more about thinking out of the box and have a spatial thinking because you'll need to think in 3D.

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## Andrew’s Answer

Based on my understanding, you do not need Calculus III (Multivariate and Vector Calculus) or Linear Algebra to get into medical school. Calculus I and Calculus II will suffice. Typically, AP Calculus BC can be articulated into a college-level Calculus II course if you score at least a 4.

Courses in medical schools may not require the knowledge of Calculus I and Calculus II. However, successful completion of these two courses constitute a demonstration of one’s analytical skills.

Courses in medical schools may not require the knowledge of Calculus I and Calculus II. However, successful completion of these two courses constitute a demonstration of one’s analytical skills.

Thank you so much for the information!
Lily

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## Garrett’s Answer

It doesn't make a difference because as an Orthopedic Surgeon, I have never used Calculus but Geometry, Trig and Algebra are useful. Regardless you will learn all you need in residency anyway.

Thank you, Garrett!
Lily

my pleasure. Ortho is a long road but worth it. Just do well academically, on the MCAT and be well rounded with activities outside of school. Athletics, Clubs, and Community service all help your application stand out.
Garrett Cuppels, MD

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## Karissa’s Answer

You will need Calculus in a pre-med program. If you take AP Calculus and score a 3 or 4 on the test then you have college credit for Calculus. When you get to college you have one less class to take. You need to take any class necessary that puts you in AP Calculus your senior year. You are competing with other students who want to go to medical school. Your competition will most likely take some AP classes in high school. You do not want to be behind.
Make appointment with your counselor to make a course map.

Karissa recommends the following next steps:

Thank you, this is really helpful.
Lily