The Significance of Physics in the Life of a Doctor

  • 28 August, 2016

A large number of prospective doctors believe that the hard sciences like physics and chemistry do not apply to their chosen path. They start to develop an indifferent attitude towards the subjects even during the earliest stages of MCAT preparation. Nevertheless, medical schools have been insisting on mastering the basic principles of physics as part of the medical course and have also been using the subject as a tool of screening students through the MCAT.

Read on to find out how modern and nuclear physics can help a medical student gain a better understanding of the career they intend to pursue.

The Significance of Physics in the Life of a Doctor

1. Physics has played a huge role in revolutionizing the healthcare sector

Some of the greatest inventions in modern medicine like MRI (Medical Resonance Imaging), CT scans, ultrasounds and radiation therapy for cancers are based on the principles of physics.

For instance, the imaging test called PET scan (or Positron Emission Tomography) is used to detect tumours in the human body as well as to monitor the progress of a treatment that is currently being administered to the patient. PET scan involves the production of radionuclides in cyclotrons which decay to form photons. The images of these photons in the human body are captured to study patterns and draw relevant results.

Similarly, several cutting-edge technologies developed by physicists have been applied in the clinical environment. Modern ways of diagnosing illnesses and treating them have emerged and are in demand. A fair knowledge about nuclear physics (the basics of which is a part of the MCAT training sessions) is required to understand the working mechanism of PET scans and other modern diagnostic tests.

As a potential medical practitioner, students must work on understanding the basic principles of physics to be able to explain the significance and safety of these tests to their patients. Also, it is considered ideal to master the nuances in any profession and the medical sector is no exception.

2. Physics prepares students and doctors for cancer research roles too

With increasing rate of cancer occurrences globally and the obscure nature of the disease, Oncology has become one of the most highly-regarded areas of research in the medical field. During cancer research, medical practitioners are expected to work closely with medical physicists in planning radiation treatments for the patients. Again, physics comes into play by helping physicians to understand the right use of radiation equipment and to judge the effect of the radiation on various physiological activities of the human body.

3. Physics affects the most basic responsibilities of a medical student

Physics helps students to become more detail-oriented in their profession. It helps them to understand some of the procedures that they perform on a daily basis in a better and more clear manner. For instance, fluid dynamics is the underlying principle behind the circulatory system in the human body. Mechanics explains the movement of limbs and the motion of the joints. Heat transfer elucidates fevers and hypothermia.

In a nutshell, students who are gearing up for an outstanding career in the medical field are expected to focus on hard sciences like physics right from their MCAT training classes and all the way up to the completion of their medical school.

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