Can I be a doctor and be clueless in math?
I have always struggled in the math department whenever I was in school. Now as a senior and knowing that I want to pursue medicine, I feel scared to face the math requirements medical school has for prospective students. Should I give up on my dreams, suck it up and magically become better at math overnight, or figure out a way to fake it till I make it?
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Annette: Thanks for asking this courageous question.
I think the short answer is NO.
Would you trust a medical doctor who cannot convert fl oz to ml?
Would you trust a medical doctor who confused the difference between lbs and kg?
You can fake math all you want but you will not make it.
You will not magically become better at math overnight. You will not magically become better at anything over night.
You might want to consider approach differently. There are different ways, career paths, or college majors that can "help people" without being a medical doctor.
If you have good listening skills, you can choose to be a therapist or a psychologist.
If you have good music skills, you can choose to be a music therapist or a sound healer.
If you have your heart set on becoming a medical doctor, you must believe in yourself that you can be better at math over time (not overnight). And start working at it.
Jackson recommends the following next steps:
Many science degree plans require calculus.
You will also need math to complete the physics prerequisite.
If you have no aptitude for math, you will just have to study harder, attend TA sessions and possibly hire a tutor.
Maybe you were pushed forward in math too fast and are now in math that you are unprepared for. Learning math requires a steady build up of skills. You just need to find the level of math you are comfortable at right now and make that your beginning point. Then follow the above advice about using the Khan Academy to proceed at your own pace. Do not jump into the math that you are currently doing that makes you feel "clueless." You will continually improve.
You will need this kind of long term goal focus and perseverance to get into and through med school, so this would be a great step.
Of course, it is true, you should always ask yourself why you want to be a doctor. Exploring your career choice is always important. If you are just looking for money and prestige, there are other paths.