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Mary Bonar

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Mary Bonar

BA Mathematics, English, and History
Denison University

Ohio University
College of Osteopathic Medicine

Emergency Medicine Resident
Penn State University Medical Center

For as long as I can remember, mathematics and science were my favorite subjects. As a child, I enjoyed solving math problems and doing science experiments. When I was five years old, my father, a mathematics professor, taught me how to do derivatives, and I was able to do this in front of his college students. It was a memorable math moment. In elementary school, problem solving questions were a delight, and there was great excitement in being able to solve hundreds of problems.

During middle school, I attended a math and science camp and was involved with math applications in daily life, developing skits about famous mathematicians and other scientists, constructing gumdrop geometry structures, and wading in streams collecting different aquatic plants and animals. Again, math continued to be very exciting.

In college, I wanted to major in mathematics because I loved it and it was challenging. I enrolled in various math courses including probability and statistics, linear algebra, advanced analysis, and my two favorites, complex analysis and differential equations.

With medical school, my math background gave me a strong foundation in problem solving, analytical, and logical thinking skills, a world of science and procedures. While working as a research assistant with heart research before and during medical school, math skills were applied in analyzing data collected from experiments.

As an emergency medicine resident, math is used on a daily basis whether it is calculating medication dosages for patients or applying problem solving, analytical-logical thinking to address the needs of patients. In emergency medicine, you have to be quick with problem solving, from which I do not shy away; in fact, I relish it. Problem solving is my formal academic training and my modus operandi. Also, with mathematics, one learns to be exact and precise, and it serves me well in helping to save human lives. Yes, mathematics is a part of my daily life. Many times, I am not aware that I am using it. I think that my love of math and medicine and how the two are combined is what makes me so happy in my career and continues to challenge me on a daily basis, which is why I love my career so much!