The Doctors

The Doctors use mathematics constantly in their practice of medicine. It ranges from modeling and proof to conversions and basic arithmetic.

The most important aspect of mathematics that the doctors use is modeling. Patients come to see the doctor with symptoms, variables. Symptoms are not particular to one disease. So, for example, an upset stomach does not mean that a person has ulcers. It is one possibility, but not a constant. These symptoms then lead the doctor to ask certain questions about the symptoms. Which might lead the doctor to the answer or to call for tests or to more questions. This process continues until the doctor is able to logically work his way through the model and diagnose the patients problem. The diagnosis leads to treatment and hopefully to a cure. A doctor must be an expert at this or else he might treat the patient incorrectly. This could lead to death and possible malpractice lawsuits against the doctor.

Second, the doctor must be able to prove that the diagnosis is correct to himself and to the patient. The doctor must be able to logically show the patient that his diagnosis is correct. Most patients will not allow costly and invsasive treatments to be done just because the doctor wants to do the treatments. The doctor must be able to prove to the patient that the diagnosis is correct and that the treatment is required.

Finally, the doctor will also do routine arithmetic on a daily basis. This could be as simple as converting grams to milligrams for a prescription. This could also be a complex conversion where the dosage of a medication is determined by weight. Here again, mathematics comes into play.

So we have now seen that every one at the oncology offices uses mathematics on a daily basis. Math is involved in every one's life on a daily basis. So, the better a person is at math, the better he/she can do her job.

Retun to Mathematics in the Workplace

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