Dr. LELT

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Here is an article from the Washington Post expelling the push behind the idea of decreasing the duration of medical school by a year.   In other words, we are trying to make medical students “less educated” in a time when we know that information is exponentially increasing.  Think about it.   When I was in medical school, we had so much less to learn compared to now.  Heck, I remember one of my professors telling me then that the of field of immunology didn’t even exist when he was in school.  A whole field! Yet, the next big idea from the idiot in charge is to settle for the least common denominator.  As we learn in this article, they want to take away a year of medical school to create more primary care docs.   As you may know from my past battles with NPs on this site, I believe education and training matter.

There are some that say much of the 4th year so medical is wasted time.  In fact, they point that out in this article.  Ok. Then change it.  There are some that say that this will get more students to go into primary care.  I say bullshit.  Look at the first the first sentence of the piece:

For Travis Hill, it was an offer too good to refuse. Last year when the 30-year-old neuroscientist was admitted to a new program at NYU School of Medicine that would allow him to complete medical school in only three years and guarantee him a spot in its neurosurgery residency, he seized it. Not only would Hill save about $70,000 — the cost of tuition and living expenses for the fourth year of medical school — he would also shave a year off the training that will consume the next decade of his life.

Good for Travis.  Guess what, he isn’t going into the field of family medicine, is he?  Why?  Because we don’t get paid enough and Travis wants the money.   That $70,000 he saved will be made in a month once he starts going.

You want more family docs?  Fix the pay disparity.  End of story.   Fix that and keep medical school four years.

  6 comments for “Dr. LELT

  1. Emwenz
    January 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    It seems that there is an insidious push to discourage the innovative and self directed pursuit of excellence that has traditionally been evident in the best physicians. Standards of medical care should be addressed but the practice of medicine is more than blind obedience to algorithms.
    By omitting just one year of medical school (4th) you take away the experience of the breadth of medicine. It does not have to be a stagnant period of time, I had experiences outside my chosen profession that still remain vivid after many years and I’m grateful . I’m worried that building a new generation of physician who do not rail against templates, algorithms and quotas will certainly allow for the centralization of medical but will dim the minds of these young doctors. Who chose medicine so that they could be a factotum?
    I don’t think I’m over reaching in my suspicions of this proposed change in curriculum.
    Just a thought.

    • Doug Farrago
      January 23, 2014 at 6:11 am

      Agreed.

  2. Bob D'Agostino
    January 22, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Thinking of the math– if two med schools have 100 students and 1 is 3 yrs and 1 is 4 yrs, at the end of 3 yrs, the first school has 100 MDs. At the end of 4 yrs school A has 200 MDs and school B has 100 MDs. At the end of 5 yrs school A has 300 MDs and school B has 200 MDs and so on… One time gain of 100 MDs between the schools not likely to fill the void.

  3. Pat
    January 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    HAhahahahah…the premise of this article collapsed on takeoff. When I went to med school at University of Florida, nearby Florida State had a “Program in Medical Sciences”, wherein the first two years of medical school were taught. After this the students transferred to and graduated from the UF College of Medicine. The concept I recall was that it would provide more med school graduates …to go into primary care. The PIMS bunch were as good as any who began at UF, and made excellent docs – in ophthalmology, cardiology, and all the other higher-$$-ologies at the same rate as their UF classmates.

    Later the PIMS program was subsumed by the FSU medical school, which was sold in part as a way to produce more … primary care docs. I don’t know the numbers there, but I’d win a blind wager that their grads go into low-pay, no-fun PriCare at about the same rate as other med schools.

    Fourth year med school was a piece of cake, once you got through Part 2 of the boards – except it was also vital to those needing to scour the country for ultra-competitive residency slots, and to sell oneself with a well-placed clerkship here and there. The entire specialty selection process – i.e. picking what you’re probably going to do the rest of your life – is so damned compressed as it is, eliminating 4th year will only make the whole roller coaster quicker and more apt to turn out unhappy docs who bumbled into the wrong specialty without better investigating it.

    Government and Big Insurance care don’t really care what level of primary care is delivered; it matters to them that low-wage primary care docs are available to hold the bag and keep up the farce. It will sell better with the thoughtless masses to say “You can keep your doctor” than to say “But a nurse practitioner is all we (and you) are willing to pay for.”

  4. Ken
    January 20, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I would be all in favor of combining year 1 and 2 into just a single year. Is there really any purpose in memorizing the structure of the amino acids and learning the Krebs cycle? I still remember the diameter of a nuclear pore though I have yet to use this tidbit of knowledge in my practice. However the 4th year of medical school was crucially important, I don’t think there has been a year in my life when I learned more important material. However the real waste of time is in the pre-med years. The amount of chemistry and physics we have to take is ridiculous and of virtually no value to a family physician in the trenches–not to mention calculus!

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