• Question: Hello, my question is, to be a doctor what is the most important area i need to know - biology chemistry physics

    Asked by burcuguner16 to Thiloka, Shobhana, Rebecca on 24 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Thiloka Ratnaike

      Thiloka Ratnaike answered on 24 Jun 2019:


      Hi there! Firstly it is awesome you are thinking of a career in Medicine. I think all the sciences have merits in their own rights when it comes to applying for Medicine, however, both Chemistry and Biology would be very important to have knowledge about. It depends on the admission criteria for the MBBS programme in your unis of choice- so I would recommend having a read on their MBBS admission pages for each uni as to which sciences are musts in A-Levels. From memory I think Chemistry was the required science to pass in order to get accepted for Medicine. I did both Biology and Chemistry, not physics (because I found it quite difficult at GCSEs personally), and there are concepts from both Biology and Chemistry A-Levels that still keep popping up in my day to day work! Best of luck with your application. If you only want to do 1 science for A-Level, make sure you read the uni criteria and choose the one that you enjoy the most if the criteria don’t specify which science.

    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 25 Jun 2019:


      Good question! I’m a doctor, and I like to think I’m a reasonably good one and I don’t know too much about physics, and to be honest, I don’t know that much chemistry now either! Certainly not in the way that it is learnt in school. Human biology I of course use on a daily basis. In the past most universities had a requirement for chemistry + one other science to study medicine, but that may have changed, so as Thiloka suggests, I would also suggest checking out some university pages on their entry requirements so you can make sure you choose the right ones!

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 27 Jun 2019:


      I think out of the three sciences, human biology has probably been the most helpful for me on a day to day basis as a doctor, however as Thiloka says, I think chemistry is the subject that is required for entry to medical school. As the field of medicine is developing, I am finding that having good background in chemistry – which makes me think about how to plan experiments, and the molecular level of what we do as doctors, is also really important.
      Although I haven’t used physics in my career very much, I have friends who are eye doctors and who a radiologists, and they use physics a lot in their work and had to study medical physics later in their lives for their professional exams as a doctor. I hope that helps and wish you all the best for the future!

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