Many mathematics students want to help people; they just need to find the best path to channel their abilities. Arthur Staddon, M.D., took his skills in math and science, combined with an interest in problem solving, and built a successful career as a hematologist-oncologist at Penn Medicine.

But first, Staddon had to gain entry into medical school. He was initially concerned that a non traditional pre-med route would hurt his chances of becoming a doctor, but it was his strong math abilities that opened the doors to the very best medical schools.

In fact, the rigorous discipline in analytical thought processes required by his mathematics studies was the perfect preparation for medical school. In medical school, he found no other courses that were more rigorous than those he had taken during his mathematics degree. This experience and problem-solving mindset continued to him well in medicine, a field with problems that need to be thoroughly analyzed before a solution can be found.

In medicine it is not as important to be brilliant as it is to be thorough and precise in thinking, a mindset familiar to many math students. He has “been extremely fortunate to be able to work in an area which is intellectually and academically stimulating and also is of service to mankind,” said Staddon, the current Director of the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital as well as a clinical professor of medicine at Penn Medicine.

For the mathematics student with an interest in medicine and helping people, a successful career in medicine is in reach.