Sunday, August 1, 2010

Science Optional

New York Times
July 29, 2010
Getting Into Med School Without Hard Sciences

For generations of pre-med students, three things have been as certain as death and taxes: organic chemistry, physics and the Medical College Admission Test, known by its dread-inducing acronym, the MCAT. . . .

For decades, the medical profession has debated whether pre-med courses and admission tests produce doctors who know their alkyl halides but lack the sense of mission and interpersonal skills to become well-rounded, caring, inquisitive healers.

“There’s no question,” Dr. Kase said. “The default pathway is: Well, how did they do on the MCAT? How did they do on organic chemistry? What was their grade-point average?”

“That excludes a lot of kids,” said Dr. Kase, who founded the Mount Sinai program in 1987 when he was dean of the medical school . . . “But it also diminishes; it makes science into an obstacle rather than something that is an insight into the biology of human disease.” . . .

. . . the humanities students made more sensitive doctors: they were more than twice as likely to train as psychiatrists (14 percent compared with 5.6 percent of their classmates) . . .

Kent comments:

Heaven forbid that we “exclude” anyone from medical school.  Who cares if your doctor knows anything about organic chemistry, or even biology, just so anyone who wants can get into medical school.

I would hate for science to be an “obstacle.”  But wouldn’t it be a lack of knowledge about science that would be the “obstacle”?  Well, let’s not quibble.

Who cares if your doctor knows how your body works so he can fix problems – just so he is “well-rounded, caring, and inquisitive.”  And don’t forget “sensitive.”  I am especially concerned that my doctor be more “likely to train as” a psychiatrist.

It appears to me that the medical field is just now catching up with the church, where anyone who wants should be a leader.  Never mind knowing about the Bible and theology, just so you are well-rounded.  The main point – what seems to be the ultimate value of society today – is to ensure that no one is excluded.

I suppose that if Barack Hussein Obama is allowed to be President, almost anyone – science impaired or not - should be allowed to be a doctor.

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