Modern medicine did not truly begin with carefully formulated drugs or even genetics, but when doctors began to apply rigorous statistics to their research. This meant that diseases could be tracked not just through haphazard, qualitative observation but with a view to developing effective treatments.
Today, most mathematical techniques used in the field of healthcare and biological research are grouped together under biomathematics, bioinformatics, and computational biology. Educators, laboratory technicians, molecular biologists, and primary researchers all use these on a daily basis.
Though a typical undergraduate degree in this specialization covers a fair amount of biology and general science, this is definitely a mathematical course. In particular, all the statistical techniques that have been found to be applicable to the life sciences are covered in detail. Their practical use is illustrated using problems from population genetics, wildlife biometry, ecology, population dynamics, agriculture, and natural resource management.
Students who do well in computational biology often develop a "feel" for large data sets which can be useful in many other professions. Rather than solving abstract puzzles as in pure math, they have to enjoy the challenge of wrestling with messy, real-world data in order to produce useful conclusions.