Medical School is NOT where You Learn to be a Doctor

There seems to subsist a great deal of misunderstanding concerning Medical School. There are valid questions through curriculum, defined as what should have existence taught, and when, and who should school it. But recent calls for students to “increase fluency in [health] systems” are completely misplaced. Here’s wherefore.

What do you need to discern to be a doctor?”


What mind of doctor are you going to subsist, and what kind of setting are you going to actual performance in (if you’re going to custom at all)? Because what you distress to know to be a self-employed common surgeon in a rural area is completely divergent from what you need to perceive as a hospital employed pathologist. Or a suburban solo kindred doctor. Or an urban pediatrician. Or some academic rheumatologist.

It’s neither in posse nor appropriate for medical school to claim to preach everything every kind of doctor of necessity.

The good news is that not merely imagined medical schools and other institutions involved in of medicine education really do understand this. As unceasingly, it’s the suits, bureaucrats, consumers, politicians, and government makers who stridently insist that this or that “indispensably to be taught in medical institute,” when most times all they’re doing is excitement valuable time away from what really needs to happen in medical admonish.

What is medical really about? Two things.

First, you lack to learn a huge volume of basic accusation about the human body, how it works, and to what extent things go wrong with it. That includes skeleton (gross and micro), biochemistry, physiology, pathology, microbiology, and pharmacology. That’s your in the beginning two years right there. Most of the other flummery (statistics, sexuality, ethics) is to store up you from going crazy, but the firehose of accusation is the whole point. Although the testing measure makes it seem as if you exigency to memorize it all, you in fact don’t. There’s nothing immorality with knowing where to look things up. BUT you need to know about it. That’s the vital difference between PA and NP breeding (and what leads to the not-thinking-what-you-don’t-know crashing flood).

Next, you need to learn to apply all this information to the action of dealing with actual humans. This includes large knowledge how to elicit information from your patients (for what cause to take a history, a knack you then spend a lifetime refining), performing a natural exam, and interpreting diagnostic tests and imaging.

Notice that you don’t learn a gross lot about treatment. That’s for treatment is what you learn AFTER you are technically a doctor, in postgraduate (residency) education. That’s in which place people learn to be whatever mind of doctor they’re going to have existence. Each specialty uses the material from curative school in different proportions. Surgeons appliance their anatomy knowledge a hell of a portion more than psychiatrists. Pathologists don’t application as much of their pharmacology taken in the character of pediatricians. And so on.

I like to recite that undergrad teaches you what you extremity to get through the first brace years of medical school. The foremost two years of med school preach you how to get through the side with two years. And medical school teaches you what you need to know for residency, which is where you actually learn to have ~ing a doctor.

All this other crap, like “systems” and contracting and settlement models are important to know relative to, but not in medical school. Valid concerns be under the necessity been raised about the current configuration of med school curricula, but loss sight of its primary aim — scholarship what you need to know TO BECOME a learned man, not TO BE one — isn’t going to aid.

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