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Discussion in 'Anaesthetics' started by OaKA, Nov 28, 2009.
Is A level Physics worthwhile taking if you are considering anaesthetics?
While the trainee's are studying they do have to do Generic properties of materials (atoms, molecules, compounds, solids, liquids and gases),Ionic and non-polar bonds, Mixtures of gases (air as the example) The gas laws and vapours,Boyles Law: the universal gas equation, Properties of oxygen, air, nitrous oxide, Vapours and SVP, Properties of nitrous oxide, Entonox, Emptying an oxygen or air cylinder, Emptying a nitrous oxide cylinder, anaesthetic machines and monitoring equipment and this list goes on and on, they are tested on this all at exam time. If you are choosing your A Levels and you enjoy Physics it certainly would benefit you to have a good basic understanding of such things. All the best
I asked my mother who is a consultant anaesthetist and she said A level Physics would be very helpful. Anaesthesia has become increasingly scientific she said.
At the moment you need to concentrate on getting into medical school, so the answer is to do the A-levels which give you the best chance - that is the compulsory ones (most med schools want chemistry + one other science at A2) and the ones where you are likely to get good marks because you are good at them/enjoy them. If physics is something you enjoy/are good at then its a perfectly reasonable A-level to do for entry to medicine, but there are plenty of others which would also fit the bill.
Deciding what specialty to do is really something for the end of medical school/start of post-graduate training, so I would not choose my A-levels on the basis of a possible post-graduate career choice. Physics is useful for Anaesthesia (because of the exams more than day to day clinical practice to be honest) and Radiology (more relevant to day to day practice), but its perfectly possible to learn the physics needed for post-graduate exams at that time - especially as it will be 8-10 years after you have finished your A-levels by which time you are likely to have forgotten most of what you learned back then. I found my A-level physics of limited relevance to my Anaesthetic exams, and personally wish I'd done something else at A-level.
I have to agree with andy2.
Getting into med school in the first place is the key - no MBBS = no job anywhere!
Also, while it's great to be thinking about careers early (god knows, we all did) you will almost certainly change your mind (probably on a monthly basis!) even into your Foundation Years! The point is, what job we think we'll like in seven or eight years time is liable to change. And in terms of med school interviews, panels rarely enjoy hearing extremely fixed and planned long term career ambitions. Far preferable to admit to having an open mind (after all, those are the better doctors).
Anaesthetics does require a grasp of A-level physics that other specialities do not, but many people pass the FRCA Primaries without having done physics since GCSE. There is plenty of time post-graduation to send yourself on FRCA preparation courses and read the manuals cover to cover!