
What she does:
 Danielle is a secondyear medical student at Tufts University. She entered medical school directly following her graduation from Swarthmore College in 2004. Currently, she is considering specializing in pediatric emergency medicine.
Math on the job:
 Many areas of mathematics show up routinely in medicine and medical school. Physiology involves basic algebra and calculus. Statistics comes up in both running experiments of your own and in reading any medical journal article. Genetics uses combinatorics for models of inheritance. Pharmacokinetics relies heavily on differential equations.
In addition to the specific applied mathematical techniques that are used throughout medicine, mathematical thinking is at the heart of a good diagnosis. On both medical school exams and while seeing real patients, Danielle is required to go from a differential diagnosis—a list of potential diagnoses—to the most likely diagnosis. The reasoning involved mirrors a proof. Start with the given signs and symptoms. Using the relevant medical knowledge, see what the signs and symptoms imply. Then see which of the potential diagnoses are ruled out or supported.
Danielle's background:
 Danielle graduated from Swarthmore with a BA in mathematics. Entering college, she knew she wanted a career in medicine, but Danielle also had a strong interest in mathematics. In college, she wanted to take the chance to further explore mathematics before entering the fulltime medical world.
Math courses she found particularly relevant for medical school included: modeling, differential equations, and discrete math. She would also recommend at least one proofbased course and a basic familiarity with statistics.
Danielle's advice to students:
 A major in mathematics certainly can take you to medical school. Both the skills and logical thinking that mathematics instills will be useful throughout a future in medicine. Right from the first year of medical school, you'll see that math has a place in medicine when you're finding certain concepts or problems to be easy while other classmates are finding them difficult. If you do choose a math major, however, be prepared—in nearly all of your medical school interviews, you will be asked to explain how a major in mathematics can help you in medicine. Be firm in your answer and stand up for your major. The vast majority of doctors were not math majors, and they seem to overlook the important roles applied math and logic play in their own field.