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Concerns about the Selection of Medical Students

Posted Aug 04 2013 7:02pm

A doctor and I were discussing today's medical students and our concern that they are being chosen for their grades, not for their compassion, ability to relate to those of all colors, creeds, and economic levels. I told the doctor about my favorite professor when I was a student at the Stanford Medical School when it was in San Francisco and not Palo Alto. Dr. Reichert was a neurosurgoen  who make the remark one day that he would rather admit B college students to medical s school since they seemed to have more compassion than the brilliant, often priviliged, straight A students.  He also said "I can train anyone to be a "technician", but it takes a special  person to be a real doctor." How often I have seen this to be true. Brilliant medical students can make great researches and some do have the ability to relate well to patients if their parents have not allowed them to coast by because of their high I.Q's.  

Our other concern was that medical students are not being taught the "art of medicine", but just expected to  learn a lot of facts they will forget as soon as they start to practice. Undergraduate courses can also  be wasted years with lots of facts.  I think of my wasted undergraduate years with five chemistry courses,  physics,  statistics,  and German  with no  litleratrue, art, or music. I greatly regret all that wasted time, but it was what I needed to have to apply to medical school. I don't remember or have  ever used any of what I learned in those courses.

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