Math in Medicine: Why Do We Need Math in Medicine?

Math in Medicine: Why Do We Need Math in Medicine?


Math in Medicine: Why Do We Need Math in Medicine?

Math exists in almost all spheres of life: finance, education (no surprises there), and even astrology. However, what most people don't know is that the healthcare sector is heavily math-oriented. Sounds shocking, doesn't it? 

Beyond long waiting hours and the smell of antiseptics, a great deal of mathematical calculations occur in hospitals. So, if your child has a dream of becoming a medical professional, now it’s may be the best time to seek 4th grade math lessons or 4th grade math help. 

You're probably thinking "what on earth does math have to do with medicine?" Well, it's quite simple. This article will explore why we need math in medicine and provide the best tips for improving math skills. Whether you're an aspiring doctor or just a curious reader, you'll learn everything you need to know about the role of math in medicine. Let's get into it, shall we? 

What Role Does Math Play in Medicine? 

When it comes to the healthcare sector, it may be helpful to think of math as something other than a boring subject we all had to face as students. Instead, think of it as an actress, playing numerous roles to support healthcare practitioners and save lives. Here are different ways math appears in medicine:

Calculating medication dosages

Each time you visit a doctor or pharmacy for an ailment, chances are you'd leave with a prescription for a medication. But have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes? How does your healthcare provider know the right dosage to prescribe? The answer is simple: mathematics.

In medicine and pharmacology, practitioners use the metric system to calculate the right dosage to prescribe. For starters, size and weight are taken into consideration. This explains why the dosage of most medications for children are based on weight. Doctors must convert metrics and perform a series of calculations to arrive at the right call. One tiny slip or one misplaced number is enough to cause serious harm or death. Fortunately, with acute math skills and a keen eye, dosage miscalculations can be avoided. 

Investigating disease distribution 

The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic taught us a thing or two about diseases and epidemiology. We saw predictions, charts, and heavy data on the spread of the virus. But how did all of that come about? You guessed it: math. 

Epidemiologists study the spread and distribution of diseases. But it goes way deeper than that. To provide accurate data and information, they need to calculate the present level of infection and the way the disease has spread. This information/calculation will then help professionals predict the spread of the virus over a given period of time. 

Interpreting medical research

Here's the thing: doctors, nurses, and other health practitioners have to consume heavy medical literature and years worth of research. Interestingly, the research texts are often founded upon mathematical concepts like probability, statistics, and so on. 

But it's not enough to simply read these texts and journals. Beyond that, the medical professionals also need to accurately interpret this research in their daily work. For instance, let's assume that a medical journal states that the average response rate to a particular treatment is capped at 60%. However, only about 70% of that number remain healthy without relapse after a year. 

Using mathematical skills, a doctor can then calculate the success rate of said treatment. For instance, if the treatment is applied to 100 patients, only about 42 will remain healthy after one year. This information will then guide their medical decision (i.e., they may decide to follow the treatment or seek alternative options for the sake of their patient). 

Diagnosing medical conditions

Math also comes in pretty handy for diagnosing medical conditions and diseases. Wondering how? It's quite simple. Let's take a look at diagnostic tests, for instance. These tests often involve measuring the amount of certain substances in the patient's bloodstream. 

To get an accurate result, the health practitioners must use a combination of probability and statistics. This can be quite tricky but as usual, math knowledge and skills will save the day. 

X-rays and CAT scans

Another area of medicine where math is prevalent is in the radiography department. You've certainly heard of X-rays and CAT scans. Maybe you've undergone a few before. But how do they actually work?  What goes on behind the scenes that the ordinary, untrained eyes can't see? We'll tell you. 

CAT scan machines can interpret and translate X-ray data by solving linear equations, which results in the reconstructed images we see. Although the process gets more complicated than that, this is a basic rundown of how it works. 

Do You Need to Be a Math Whiz to Be a Doctor? 

If you or your kid is having difficulties with math, this information may be enough to send you spiraling in panic. However, there's no need to get anxious as you certainly don't need to be a math whiz to become a successful doctor. But it does help to have some basic mathematical skills. These skills will come in handy as you advance up your career ladder. If you can, take extra lessons to brush up your skills. 

How to Improve Math Skills 

If you have career aspirations or a kid who's hell-bent on becoming a doctor, here are a few tips for improving math skills

Seek fourth grade math help 

There's no better time to start than the present. If your child's math performance is subpar, you may need math 4 grade online lessons. Fortunately, this is a piece of cake as you can simply find comprehensive lessons on Brighterly. If you're looking to improve your own math skills, you might want to sign up for college classes. 

Practice everyday

Practice, they say, makes perfect. The more exercises you do each day, the more sharpened your math skills become. Try to create a study schedule and follow it religiously. You'll see results in no time! 

Final Thoughts 

Math plays a huge role in medicine and is the silent lifesaver most people don't know about. So, if you were looking for a sign to improve your math skills and veer onto a new career path, this is it!