Arthur P. Staddon
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Clinical Associate Professor
Hematology-Oncology University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
When I graduated from Denison University, I proceeded to go to medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. I had not followed a typical course in taking the usual premedical curriculum in college. I majored in mathematics mainly because I enjoyed the thinking that mathematics requires, and I found it fun to do. I was interested in applying my skills in math and science with my interest in people and service. I was concerned that I might have difficulty being admitted to medical school, not being a typical premed. I found that doing well in mathematics opened the doors to the very best medical schools. The rigorous discipline in training in analytical thought processes prepared me extremely well for medical school. I found no other courses that were more rigorous than those that I had encountered in my mathematics studies.
After medical school, I finished a residency in internal medicine, then in hematology and oncology. I was extremely well served by my mathematics background because of my ability to think logically and quantitatively. In medicine, one is faced with a problem which must be thoroughly analyzed before a solution can be found. This process is very similar to the discipline of mathematics. My medical training has given me the opportunity to teach in many areas of the world. I spent a year in Korea and traveled throughout the far east. I was in Iran four months teaching residents. I taught for a year in Egypt at the Egyptian National Cancer Institute. Recently I have participated in education seminars given in the Dominican Republic and Ireland. It has been an exciting bonus to be able to travel and experience other countries and cultures.
After my training, I joined the staff at the Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a hematologist and oncologist. I see patients, I teach medical students, interns, and residents and do clinical research in cancer and in AIDS.
All of my work has been well grounded because of my initial studies in mathematics. The ability to think logically and to analyze problems and situations clearly has been invaluable. Mathematics also teaches one to be precise, which is key in research as well as in clinical medicine. In medicine, it is not as important to be brilliant as it is to be thorough and precise in our thinking. Currently, I am the Co-Director of the Cancer Program at the Graduate Hospital. I feel I have been extremely fortunate to be able to work in an area which is intellectually and academically stimulating and also is of service to mankind.