I saw this article which is suppose to show the training of doctors is so antiquated. I don’t buy it. It criticizes our computer skills? It embraces the technology while begging for more emotional intelligence? Well, those two are diametrically opposed. Let’s have some fun with this. In the article it says more than 20 doctors of all ages and specialties were asked about the skill they wished they had learned (or learned about in more detail) in medical school. Not a large number but here are their answers with my thoughts in parenthesis:
- Data Science and Statistics – they want to learn how to “collect data about a large patient population and connect that to outcomes in order to understand disease and improve treatment.” (Really? What about that one patient right in front of you? Big Data is killing medicine as much as it is helping)
- Nutrition and Disease Prevention- fewer than 25 percent of doctors say they got sufficient education to give nutritional or fitness advice to a patient. (This may not be a bad thing! Look at the nutritionists who still spew the party line of low fat, high carb diets)
- Ultrasound Training – ? (not sure what to even comment on this. Of all the things need this dude thinks we need more ultrasound training?)
- Information Technology 101- Mia Finkelston, a medical director and practicing physician at Online Care Group, said she wished she’d learned basic word-processing skills, and shortcuts such as how to copy and paste in different formats. “It would have saved me time on so many levels.” (Sorry, can’t stop laughing. Trouble with copy and paste? And you are the medical director? Figures.)
- Communications and Empathy – The most effective doctors understand how to communicate with patients. That doesn’t mean rattling off a diagnosis and sending them home. It requires picking up on the subtle indications that a patient has not understood something, or is too upset to take in information. (Empathy correlates with time. The more you are rushed as a doctor the less empathy you have. The reverse is true unless you a total douche of a person, of which there are many doctors like that out there)
- Personal Finance – The average doctor today graduates with a massive $166,750 in medical school debt. It’s now imperative that doctors learn to manage their money, or they risk drowning in debt. Several recent medical school graduates said they could benefit from some formal education about how to use the latest web and mobile tools to manage their finances. (Here’s a tip. Go to community college and then the cheapest college you can find for the last two years. Then move to Texas, get residency, and go to medical school for $16K a year. Now you have $64 in debt. Then you can choose a specialty based on what you like versus what it will pay you).
- Management and Leadership – “And yet there is almost no training on how to succeed in the working world,” she said. Chen said she would have benefited from basic management skills, such as providing feedback and motivating others, as well as tips on how to collaborate and manage projects. (You don’t need this because some administrator will do this for you while they push you to see more patients).
These extra skills are just that…extra. Read a book on finances. Read a book on management and leadership. Read a book on nutrition. There are tons of great ones. You want to communicate better? Find a job that has more time with patients. Want to learn technology? Make sure it is technology that helps patient care and not built for billing. Leave medical school alone because it is about learning medicine and getting you ass kicked. Both are the best skills out there.Tweet