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Margaret Harris: July 2010 Archives

By Margaret Harris

Should all prospective doctors have to pass a basic physics course as part of their pre-medical training?

I’m guessing that for most readers, the answer to this question will be a resounding “yes”. Indeed, the idea that physics can be useful in a wide range of careers is a recurring theme in our Once a physicist column, where we profile people who originally studied physics, then went on to other fields.

Yet even though it makes sense for all medical students to be familiar with certain scientific concepts, it does not necessarily follow that this preparation has to take place before they get into medical school. That, at least, is the thinking behind the humanities and medicine programme at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York, the subject of a provocatively titled article – “Getting into med school without hard sciences” – that appeared in yesterday’s New York Times.