Is quantitative finance as diffcult as medicine?

NumeroUno

Member
Hi,

I do most of my studying in the medical school library at my university.

Sometimes I get annoyed by the self-satisfaction that med students seem to display. Sometimes it seems as though medical students believe they are smarter and more valuable to society than non-medical students.

Is quantitative finance as difficult as medicine? I would assume it is. There doesn't seem to be much math involved in medicine, beyond memorizing necessary equations for pH, concentration gradients, molecular mass, etc. The rest just seems to be a bunch of memorization (e.g. anatomy, differential diagnosis, symptomology, etc).

I have taken courses on biochemistry, methods for molecular biology, and the molecular basis of disease, and these courses did not seem nearly as difficult as courses in quantitative finance. Sure, there was a lot of time involved in studying, but the time spent studying did not seem nearly as taxing, mentally.

As a quantitative finance student, should I proudly hold my head high in the med school library? :) Lol.
 
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Beep Boop

New Member
As much as I don't like those pompous med kids as the next guy, why is this in educational advice lol
 
Medicine is not a hard course. It's 80% memorization, almost no maths and the science part is very superficial. They have a lot of workload, but when it comes to the intellectual quality the level is pretty low.
 

ExSan

Active Member
Is quantitative finance as difficult as medicine?
no, it isn't!
it is much more difficult !!!
 

MRoss

Well-Known Member
Medicine is EASY, it's just a ton of memorization which is boring and tedious.

Quant finance is mentally brutal.
 

pingu

Well-Known Member
It depends. Med could be extremely difficult or sort of easy (after you are done with the residency) depending on specialty.

I can tell you this though. You make a mistake in finance and the results could be obvious but nobody is really going to die. You can't say the same thing about medicine.
 

Peter M

Active Member
C++ Student
It depends.
Agreed. If you’re studying medicine to get your MD and want to go on to be a primary care provider, I’d argue that isn’t exactly extremely difficult.

On the other hand, if you’re obtaining an MD and PhD in some field within medicine (or that lends itself to medicine) and go into researching new therapeutics within oncology, I’d then argue that isn’t exactly easy.
 

vertigo

Member
quantitative finance is significantly more difficult than medicine. similarly, it is more significantly more difficult than economics, physics, mathematics, etc....

a doctor is not competing against other doctors to save a patient. what makes a doctor "good" is if he saves a patient or treats the patient well. there is a process to doing that - it may be difficult for some diseases, or risky, for example heart surgery, but there is a clear objective process. there is no such process in quantitative finance. nothing is obvious, there are few rules, and what makes you "good" one year may be what makes you "bankrupt" another year.

each person has a different utility function... we are not all the same "atom", that can be added up to a molecule. this is just one example of how finance is completely different from traditional science subjects.

you may have to play russian roullette once or twice in your life as a doctor - a tough surgery, one that went wrong, etc... as a trader, you play that game a lot more.
 

pingu

Well-Known Member
quantitative finance is significantly more difficult than medicine. similarly, it is more significantly more difficult than economics, physics, mathematics, etc....

a doctor is not competing against other doctors to save a patient. what makes a doctor "good" is if he saves a patient or treats the patient well. there is a process to doing that - it may be difficult for some diseases, or risky, for example heart surgery, but there is a clear objective process. there is no such process in quantitative finance. nothing is obvious, there are few rules, and what makes you "good" one year may be what makes you "bankrupt" another year.

each person has a different utility function... we are not all the same "atom", that can be added up to a molecule. this is just one example of how finance is completely different from traditional science subjects.

you may have to play russian roullette once or twice in your life as a doctor - a tough surgery, one that went wrong, etc... as a trader, you play that game a lot more.
I think you are giving yourself too much value (which is fine but come back to reality). If your life is in the hands of a doctor, come back here and re-read every thing you wrote.

BTW, finance is hardly a science. Let's get real.
 

vertigo

Member
I think you are giving yourself too much value (which is fine but come back to reality). If your life is in the hands of a doctor, come back here and re-read every thing you wrote.

BTW, finance is hardly a science. Let's get real.
i didn't give myself any value.... interesting to note that you think people are praising themselves when they say the truth.

if the banks go down, you won't have a functioning economy let alone be able to use a doctor.

finance is not just a science. it is also art. it is much, much more complicated than science. good quants and traders get that. thats why the best traders throw away (garbage) scientific methods when it goes against his intuition.

1 good trader / quant = 100 good scientists / doctors / engineers / etc.

think about how much traders / quants get paid, think about how much doctors get paid. the market has the answers.

and i do love people who say "finance isn't a real science" ... like science is perfect. the most important results in science come from learned heuristics or practice (i.e., NOT the scientific method), or accidents. people like you are not even good scientists - you seem to be an intellectual yet idiot. read some nassim taleb.

a lot of quants or traders would be top scientists if they wanted to - they have the drive, commitment, open mind and required pragmatism that would put them over 99% of scientists. you are so arrogant by making that statement - open your eyes. why dont doctors get paid more then? why does the free market pay traders and quants more? use your brain

i speak as somebody who worked in academia, formally a "scientist", before working for banks and hedge funds. scientists dont compare to quants or traders in the knowledge that is required to succeed. they are good at working in linear environments with clearly defined processes and goals. quants and traders (good ones) are good at working in nonlinear environments with adaptive goals - intraday market moves, etc. think dynamic, not static
 
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Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
i speak as somebody who worked in academia, formally a "scientist"

How long did you work in the ivory towers? Did you have tenure?

I get the feeling from your posts that some jobs are 'better' than others? Maybe I have misunderstood.
 
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StephenKim

Member
C++ Student
This “debate” will resolve nothing. The only thing it will accomplish is make members of the QuantNet community look childish, naive, and (by the original poster’s own admission) imagine that our physical appearance elicits reactions of “ewwww” from members of the opposite sex.

This thread needs to die.
 
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