Medicine and Math – How Medicine Professionals Use Math Beyond The Classroom


In the recent years, medicine has become increasingly dependent on math. Differential statistics and equations have always played a role in this field. However, latest medical advances have entailed the utilization of math in exciting and new ways.

While offering health care services and products, professionals in the medical field utilize math every day. For instance, nurses and doctors use mathematics when they administer medication or write prescription. Medical professionals also use math when developing success rates of treatments and coming up with statistical trends/graphs of epidemics.

Truly, numbers provide tones and tones of information to medical professionals. It’s quite reassuring especially to students that love mathematics to know that their beloved subject is applied vastly in the field of medicine.

Let’s delve deeper into the usage of math in medicine …

Medication and Prescription

On a regular basis, doctors write prescriptions to patients for different ailments. In their prescriptions, they indicate a certain amount of dosage and medication. Most medications usually have guidelines for dosage amount in mg (milligrams) per kg (kilogram).

Using math, doctors figure out how much mg per medication every patient will require, based on his or her weight. If the patient’s weight is only known in pounds, the medic must convert the unit to kgs and then establish the amount of mg for the particular prescription.

There’s a huge difference between mg/lbs and mg/kg. therefore, it’s important for doctors to understand how to convert these weight measurements accurately. Additionally, the professional must also predetermine how long the medication will last.

The other important application of math in this regard has to do with determining how long the medicine stays in a patient’s body. It helps to establish how often a patient requires to consume his or her medicine to maintain a sufficient amount inside the body.

The amount of med inside the body after taking it reduces by a particular percentage within a certain period, for instance, it can reduce by 10% every hour.

Proportions and Ratios

Whether in high school or campus, ratios and proportions are common in the math subject. Sadly, most students fail at this unit not knowing how important it is especially if they purse the medical field later in life. This reasonable plan will be handy if you’re currently struggling with ratios and proportions in school.

Nurses, to be specific, use proportions and ratios when administering medication. They need to ascertain the amount of medicine a patient requires based on their weight. What’s more is that a nurse must understand the orders of a doctor in terms of prescribing medicine.

For instance, if a patient weighs 60kg, how many mg should he or she receive within one hour? For a nurse to get the figure, he or she needs to convert micrograms to milligrams. For example, if 1mcg = 0.001mg, the amount in mg can be found by just setting up a proportion.

Body Mass Index

BMI is a highly useful measure in terms of health and medicine. A person’s BMI is equal to his or her weight in pounds, multiplied by 704.7 and then divided by your height’s square in inches.

Experts consider a BMI of 25 – 29.9 to be overweight. If it’s greater than 30, it’s obese.

BMI measurements provide doctors with vital information regarding the health of their patients. They can then use the information to offer health advice for patients.

Mathematics plays such a huge role in the field of medicine. Since the lives of patients is always at stake, medical professionals need to be accurate with their math calculations. Numbers are an effective way of communication vital information between patients and experts and among experts themselves.


Article last time updated on 08.02.2019.

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