For some reason, people are always shocked to find out I was a math major in college. My math ability, which was embarrassingly nerdy when I was going to competitions with the math team in high school, has amazingly become something that makes me interesting now that I'm a physician. (Which is why I bring it up as much as possible. I like to be interesting!)
My husband was a math major too, so between the two of us, we're expecting our daughter to have no less than 800 in math on the SATs. I mean, you can actually get one wrong and still get an 800. So there's no excuse!**
It's not clear to me why math majors are so rare in medical school. I think I was the only one in my class. By far the most common majors were biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and psychology. But to me, math makes sense too, at least as much as psychology. Because I was good in math, I breezed through physics and chemistry. Mathematical thinking even helped in o-chem. It was only in biology that my refusal to actually memorize anything that I couldn't work out from scratch became a liability. That and, you know, in all of medical school. (I'm kidding. Thanks to my math ability, I have a perfect understanding of acid-base status.)
People sometimes ask me if with my math background, I ever considered a career in finance. I didn't, not even for a second. The truth is, a lot of the careers that are very math-heavy (finance, actuary, engineer) seemed very boring to me.
So my question of the day is: what was your major before you ended up in med school? And if it was something crazy, like I don't know, Celtic Folklore, how did you reconcile that with your future career?
**Before the hatemail pours in, I just want to clarify that I'm joking about this. Any score above 700 would be totally fine.