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polo

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Do you think we will ever get to a point in education, including Med School, that nearly anyone will be able to learn certain things if they have the money to do so?

Isn't that what capitalism is all about.


If Med Schools doubled or trippled in size because some President/Congress one day thought we needed more doctors, how would that effect all the doctors out there?

Obviously the pay would decrease if there were more doctors. But wouldn't the price of healthcare also decrease.

Also wouldn't more doctors available equal more lives saved.

So why wouldn't they want more doctors into Med Schools? It doesn't make sense.
 
C

Chronotropic

Originally posted by polo

If Med Schools doubled or trippled in size because some President/Congress one day thought we needed more doctors, how would that effect all the doctors out there?

Obviously the pay would decrease if there were more doctors. But wouldn't the price of healthcare also decrease.

Also wouldn't more doctors available equal more lives saved.

So why wouldn't they want more doctors into Med Schools? It doesn't make sense.

Yes but congress would most likely impose this on state schools. Which would mean the state would have to pick up the tab on partial tuition for all these new in state students.
 

tofurious

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I don't understand your question. Are you asking why there is a cap on the number of med school students? Or are you asking about the merit of shutting even people who can afford med school out of the field of medicine?

As it is, medical schools basically get most of their students from somewhat well off families. In order to compile the academic record necessary to get into med school, students likely already have benefited from previous educational opportunities only afforded by their families, whether they like to admit it or not. (You will not have time to volunteer at the free clinic if you have to work at the Gap to pay for college classes and your clothes) Furthermore, the costs of taking MCAT, the application fee, etc. provide another layer of economic filter. Also, if you have a large family to support, being on student loan for 4 years is just not an option when basic student loans now barely allow ONE person to get by. It's great when you hear stories of someone finally making it after years of hardship, but for every one such person there are 10 others who couldn't afford to go to med school and 10 others in med school whose families can probably pay for med school out of pocket.

I don't think med school should EVER get to the point that whoever can pay for it can get in. Realistically speaking, the current system does not train the best people into doctors. It trains the best people *it can find* into doctors. There are plenty more intelligent, skilled, and compassionate people who can't overcome the aforementioned cost barriers to become doctors. At the same time, there are already many people who are not qualified on a personal level who can put together an impressive resume with old money. If we have an educational system in which who ever can pay gets it, that will create a whole class of doctors who come from doctors/lawyers families (as federal fundings for medical education would definitely decrease due to the giant increase in number of students) and we will lose out on a lot of smart people whose only obstacle to school is $$$ rather than qualification.

While it is reasonable to say that children of parents who have worked hard to accumulate their wealth to offer their children the best economic opportunities should benefit from their parents' effort, there should still be a screening process that doesn't equate money with qualification. That is what the current system strives to be. As for the cap, there are actually more physicians graduating every year than we need to have (as seen by the rapidly falling physician salaries), but because of geographical preference (nobody wants to work in North Dakota) and lack of wage incentive to combat these geographical preferences, the system resorts to hiring IMGs to fill the residency spots necessary to run community hospitals both in NYC and North Dakota. As most of the IMGs try to stay here, it creates a surplus of physicians that keeps residents salaries down and further drives down physican salary.
 

stomper627

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Everytime I reapply for financial aid....and I realize that Im a third year...and already $150,000+ in debt, I always think about how the Hippocratic Oath discusses teaching the art to others without fee....
always something to think about.
stomper
 

Heal&Teach

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[Amen to everything you said. Especially this.

QUOTE]Originally posted by tofurious
I don't think med school should EVER get to the point that whoever can pay for it can get in. Realistically speaking, the current system does not train the best people into doctors. It trains the best people *it can find* into doctors. There are plenty more intelligent, skilled, and compassionate people who can't overcome the aforementioned cost barriers to become doctors. At the same time, there are already many people who are not qualified on a personal level who can put together an impressive resume with old money. If we have an educational system in which who ever can pay gets it, that will create a whole class of doctors who come from doctors/lawyers families (as federal fundings for medical education would definitely decrease due to the giant increase in number of students) and we will lose out on a lot of smart people whose only obstacle to school is $$$ rather than qualification.[/QUOTE]
 

Gleevec

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That couldnt happen, because if only rich people got into med school, no one would work with underserved populations and 90% of the physicians in the US would be dermatologists, radiologists, opthamologists, or anesthesiologists (if residency practices were correspondingly altered)
 

ad_sharp

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Originally posted by tofurious
It's great when you hear stories of someone finally making it after years of hardship, but for every one such person there are 10 others who couldn't afford to go to med school and 10 others in med school whose families can probably pay for med school out of pocket.


I don't have any money, and I'm going to medical school. Although I'm not living the high life, it can be done. Every medical school that I have gone to says that the majority of their students live off of their financial aid checks. I will be no different. The amount of money allowed for borrowing at medical school will allow you a slightly higher standard of living than the projects. Once again not high-society, but possible to live through. When it comes to medical school, only two things count-

How bad do you want to go?
How much are you willing to sacrifice to get there?

I have been accepted to both institutions I applied to. I promise you that if I can do it anybody with the drive can do it also. I think that the "Poor me, I don't have as much money as student x" arguement is an easy way to dismiss your own failures. I am not from a privilaged background and I do not feel cheated or put down by anyone else--that's just how it is. Nothing good comes from the propagation of the idea that you are not good enough because of your color, race, creed, or economic condition. Could it be that fewer poor folks go to med school because of the overwhelming societal sentiment is to blame your problems on someone else...someone with more money and power than you. I'm sorry, but being poor isn't a problem--it's a great motivator.
 

AlternateSome1

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Originally posted by stomper627
Everytime I reapply for financial aid....and I realize that Im a third year...and already $150,000+ in debt, I always think about how the Hippocratic Oath discusses teaching the art to others without fee....
always something to think about.
stomper

Here is the full hippocratic oath.
http://www.euthanasia.com/oathtext.html

Basically, what we recite now is some butchered form to mean exactly what the med schools want it to mean. You have to realize that when this was created, there were serveral different theories about how medicine should be practiced, and they were all competing for popularity. What better way to become popular than to make sure the family members are all taught the same ideals as anyone who picks up the profession? Now, you can also find in the oath: pagan beliefs, a rejection of euthanasia (which is legal in several countries and somewhat in Oregon), and a rejection of surgery (to leave to another sect of physicians). Now, I am not saying that what is believed now is bad, it just seems silly to call it the hippocratic oath when it has deviated so much from the original.

~AS1~
 

peterockduke

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Originally posted by ad_sharp

How bad do you want to go?
How much are you willing to sacrifice to get there?

If poverty were such a good motivator, then why are people who are born into poverty so likely to stay poor throughout their lives? Because they aren't as awesome as you I guess?

"How bad do you want to go?"
I guess the middle and upper class want it a lot more. Bottom line if each person throughout society has an equal want, access to resources such as education, money, information will make the difference, judging by current enrollment in elite ugrads (i'm guesisng you didn't go to one) and medical/law schools or even average high school graduation rates by ave. income.
... or maybe poor people have a lot less excess recources (time/money) to invest in education. "How much are you willing to sacrifice to get there?" - Uh do you think this simply might have to do with the fact that many Americans don't even have enough resources to cover the necessities let alone luxury items such as hmmm i dunno POST GRADUATE EDUCATION?


"Color, race, creed, or economic condition" all play a role in people's lots in life. You argue that all people of non-majority backgrounds simply complain and blame their lack of success on others. Wow... your deep sociological argument is amazing, it doesn't make you seem like a jackass at all.
 

ad_sharp

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Don't discredit your arguement with dirty-name calling. We can have a nice, civil debate.

I don't mean to give the impression that everyone is on a level playing field. Obviously, from the things you said, they are not. My contention is that people must be empowered to move beyond not being born into a good situation. I am actually pretty liberal when it comes to social reform, but I think that people should be told "you can do it despite your situation" rather than "Everyone is against you." There are social programs that allow for self-improvement although more may be necessary. Loans and grants can be used to finance things like Post-Grad education. Some people are poor because they were born that way. Others are poor because of their own personal choices.

I don't contend that all minorities blame their lack of success on others. Clearly, there are a lot of minorities that excell despite inequality. I have much respect for these people. However, I see danger in finding someone else to blame troubles on.

Here may be another reason that poor people tend to stay poor. It makes sense that successful people actively train their children through example to be successful themselves. Poor children are far less likely to have such an example in their home lives. There is a very large segment of society that does not try to better themselves because they believe that fate is the determining factor in their lives.

Is educational access equal? That is a tough subject to deal with. On one hand there is AA, and on the other is the elitist viewpoint. Things are not fair. It would be much easier to have a large bank account, but many people do not. Should that keep them from aspiring to something better? I think not. I have no doubt that the current system could use some change, but if you redistribute wealth to the point that everyone is on a "level" playing field financially, you have removed the primary motivation for success in any field, not just medicine.
 

peterockduke

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The only thing I assume about groups of people is that habits and traits among them tend to be the same wherever you go. If you think that poor people are busy blaming their problems on other people... please support it.

I've yet to see a post say "I'm black or I'm poor, and the world is against me getting into medical school" on this website. You know what I do see though? "I'm an undistinguised white/asian applicant and nobody is accepting me or I'm going to a school ranked #67 on USnews & World Report, not 25th, it must be because I'm not minority X." The blame comments as indicated by posts on this website are much more commonplace for the sheltered and affluent among us. You know why b/c when you have resources and something bothers you, you actually have the means to do it (more often than not).

If there is anything I've learned about most people who have faced extreme adversity, it's that they DO NOT complain, they DO NOT get outraged, they accept their plights in life with more grace than sheltered affluent people could ever imagine. Adversity may be the best teacher, but if you fail to learn from it, it simply crushes you.

You give this idea that people are poor b/c they refuse to "suck it up." I just find this whole type of thinking ridiculous.... and in reality this type of thinking really doesn't work.
 

elias514

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Why wouldn't they want more medical students in medical schools? Supply and demand, my friend. Supply and demand as they relate to power, that is. I encourage you to read The Social Transformation of American Medicine--it's a seminal work in the field of medical sociology and it explains the status quo of the medical profession. According to the author of this work, the bottom line is this: fewer medical graduates minimizes competition among physicians (which USED to be heavily frowned upon by the profession) and maximizes income. Higher income means more power in America because, as the familiary cliche goes, money talks and bullsh*t walks.

If the supply of physicians is controlled, the power of the medical profession can be maintained. (BTW: the decline in doctors' incomes has to do with diminishing reimbursement not the surplus of specialists--e.g., the fee schedules for Medicare have been changing in such a way that doctors get reimbursed less)
 

jlee9531

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Originally posted by peterockduke
If there is anything I've learned about most people who have faced extreme adversity, it's that they DO NOT complain, they DO NOT get outraged, they accept their plights in life with more grace than sheltered affluent people could ever imagine. Adversity may be the best teacher, but if you fail to learn from it, it simply crushes you.

i definitely feel you on this man...
adversity is a great teacher, but sometimes its just too much. i never complained, but i felt so alone. its hard when there arent many that you can turn to for support or strength.
fortunately at extreme times...something usually happened to help me out. luck, faith? not for me to say here...

but i know others dont get lucky like i have and just feel like there is no hope no matter how hard they try. we cant all just suck it up alone and have everything magically work out even if we bust our as$. it just doesnt work out that way a lot of the time...
 
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tofurious

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Thanks for your support, Heal&Touch.

I do not know what the OP's situation was that led him/her to make such a post, but I agree with peter that I usually hear such arguments from students who didn't get into medical school. I do personally believe that affirmative action is itself an error-prone way to fix a historical injustice, and there ARE otherwise qualified white/asian applicants who are unable to attend medical school in the name of diversity and critical mass per Supreme Court. My alternative to this imperfect solution is similar to my solution to the fundamental problem I pointed out earlier: affirmative action based on socioeconomic status, not race. I do applaud those who can overcome poverty and hardship to get to medical school. However, having seen the medical student bodies some of the elite medical schools, there are VERY FEW students from extreme poverty who have made it. How many people do you think can afford to live in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, where some of the top undergraduate and medical institutions of our country are?

Ad_sharp, I feel like that you hold the point that if you can do it nobody else should complain. I used to have such views when I first started medical school, but as I am about to graduate from one of the elite schools I have arrived at the belief that such attitude really does not help improve the individual and overall quality of the physician workforce. Both AA and legacy admission need to be re-evaluated. A certain percentage of legacy applicants and AA applicants probably do not deserve to be in medical school, but at least there are printed rules for race-based admission however unfair they may be. Old money faces no rules nor regulation, and legacy applicants get admitted on grounds that would make affirmative action seem fair. If you just look at the current residents of the Whitehouse, you cannot reaslitically argue that old money doesn't carries you quite a bit further than race or any other consideration. As the OP pointed out, the fee-based educational system is a product of capitalism. It is ONLY with admission of applicants like yourself that we can prevent our medical education system from becoming one of the many corrupt systems in the middle east or Asia where only children of doctors/lawyers (the modern royals) can afford to become doctors. I am not proposing the propagation of any idea that poverty leads to underqualification as you suggested. My point is that many students from poorer backgrounds never even had to exposure you had because they needed to use the time/effort to make ends meet. If you came from extreme poverty and a lifetime of misfortune, I will have to say hey, good for you, but don't expect everyone in your situation to do so. There are many circumstances that would force other people in your shoes to choose a life that has a quicker return on their educational investment. The empathy to understand why these students chose what they did is what will make one a great physician instead of just a competent practitioner. Besides, I am sure you know many people in situations similar to yours that should be doctors instead of some of your future classmates.
 

tofurious

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Hey Anka,

I really liked what you said about speaking for the people still in the gutter after you have gotten out. Bravo.

The situation with your cousins is tough. I still remember an old saying from high school (almost 10 years ago now) that if you aim for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. Despite how corny that sounds, I don't think there is a reason to tell your cousins to aim any lower than what they are capable of ability and ambition-wise. I would probably also recommend them to explore the entire field of medicine if that is what they are interested in, INCLUDING all the people involved in making "it" working such as nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, etc. Many of these jobs require less time and relatively less academic rigor, and if they ever decide (or it is decided for them) that being a physician is not a viable option, at least there are plans B, C, and D available to them. I know a very competent oral surgeon who worked as an EMT, a pharmacist, and a dentist before finally becoming a surgeon. Can be done, but he had back-up plans every step of the way.
 

jlee9531

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i dunno...

just something about telling someone to aim lower doesnt sound right to me. tho i understand your financial situation i dont understand why they shouldnt aim to go to college. no matter what you should encourage them to do their best.
if they are mature enough to make a decision at the young age of 11-12 then you should allow them the chance to let them go for it all.
 

polo

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When you go to Barnes and Nobles to buy the last book that's on sale you've been wanting, they don't ask you what your GPA is. Or if they can see a copy of your transcript that shows you aren't too stupid to understand the book. Or pull you aside into a dehumanizing interview process to then determine that they won't sell you the book.


Education in America is communism. Not just at Med Schools, but at the top Universities in general. They put caps on things to manipulate supply and demand and inflate a sense of value by not meeting the demand.

Eventually like every system where there is demand, someone will step in meeting that demand destroying those who where too stupid to truly capitalize on the open market.

I'm just waiting for the day when Capitalism catches up to education in America. A day when they desperately need more people. And nobody is there to pay their prices. And they have to lower their prices to a reasonable cost. A day when going to Harvard costs around $5,000 a year instead of $35,000 a year.

I feel we are in these times with the internet and information more freely available. It's only a matter of time I think. The only thing is, what will separate us then, if it's not ignorance. :)
 

polo

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Anka,
You need to help them learn various trades that will help them get through college. Do some research on some trades, certifications, licenses, etc., that they can get. These are things that they probably know very little about, so you may need to do some research for them.


Something that will put them into higher paying jobs, so they can work less hours, yet get paid enough to cover expenses and help out the family.

This will help them fit into the real world and get a sense of what it takes to be where they want to be.

Growing up very poor myself, I've realized that the biggest problem isn't that they don't have a job, it's that they aren't pulling their own weight. If they could pay for some of the food and expenses they have, they wouldn't have as big of a problem at home.
 

tofurious

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Polo:

Only communism would make the price of going to Harvard go down to $5,000. Capitalism will drive it higher so only the elite few can afford it. Standard 4-year education at a mediocre community college is at $5,000 today, and that's where your ideas get you.

Anybody can read a book on neurosurgery, and I am sure you wouldn't want to be operated by your neighbor who goes to the web to read up on brain surgery or buys the brain surgery for dummies book before opening up your skull. The same information availability has created more charlatans in this country than qualified medical professionals. Unregulated information flow - just like unregulated educational system - only creates chaos, not harmony.

So who rejected you?
 

polo

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Originally posted by tofurious
Polo:

Only communism would make the price of going to Harvard go down to $5,000. Capitalism will drive it higher so only the elite few can afford it. Standard 4-year education at a mediocre community college is at $5,000 today, and that's where your ideas get you.

Anybody can read a book on neurosurgery, and I am sure you wouldn't want to be operated by your neighbor who goes to the web to read up on brain surgery or buys the brain surgery for dummies book before opening up your skull. The same information availability has created more charlatans in this country than qualified medical professionals. Unregulated information flow - just like unregulated educational system - only creates chaos, not harmony.

So who rejected you?

I'm not suggesting it should be unregulated or anything as stupid. I'm saying that education/information is a business. It's marketed, packaged, and sold like any commodity in a capitalist society.

If you went into Barnes & Noble and they refused to sell you a book because they simply didn't like you or think you to be good enough...you could sue them, and you would win.

Do you not see any possible correlation here? That is where my comparison is, not that people should be able to buy books and open skulls. You are blind and foolish to think that's what I meant.

----------------
"Only communism would make the price of going to Harvard go down to $5,000. Capitalism will drive it higher so only the elite few can afford it. Standard 4-year education at a mediocre community college is at $5,000 today, and that's where your ideas get you."

So you are saying Harvard costs as much as it does because of Capitalism? You must know very little about Capitalism. :laugh:


If you honestly think that, you should consider what would happen to Harvard, if Bill Gates owned it. I'm not suggesting such an extreme as you may blow such a comment out of context.

I am suggesting that there is a need for more capitalism in education.
 

tofurious

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You once again opened your mouth and removed all doubts about yourself.

Capitalism is about supply vs. demand. There is a huge demand of people who want to go to Harvard, and there is a limited supply. Therefore, the price would be higher WITHOUT price-control.

If you equate learning a trade to manipulate someone's physical being to buying a book, I would agree with the ad com's decision to not admit you into medical school. There is a reason why there is a need for licensing to practice medicine in this country. Otherwise, too many self-proclaimed masters of Barnes & Nobles would be killing people that the truly skilled physicians would be too busy fixing their mess.

You want to argue that anyone who can afford to go to medical school should be able to go to medical school. I recommend that you go to the Carribean medical schools where that is the case. There, you will find out how your ideal system works.
 

polo

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Originally posted by tofurious
You once again opened your mouth and removed all doubts about yourself.

Capitalism is about supply vs. demand. There is a huge demand of people who want to go to Harvard, and there is a limited supply. Therefore, the price would be higher WITHOUT price-control.

If you equate learning a trade to manipulate someone's physical being to buying a book, I would agree with the ad com's decision to not admit you into medical school. There is a reason why there is a need for licensing to practice medicine in this country. Otherwise, too many self-proclaimed masters of Barnes & Nobles would be killing people that the truly skilled physicians would be too busy fixing their mess.

You want to argue that anyone who can afford to go to medical school should be able to go to medical school. I recommend that you go to the Carribean medical schools where that is the case. There, you will find out how your ideal system works.

Even after I clearly stated that I'm not implying that going to Barnes and Nobles makes you a doctor, you imply that I did. I guess you are that blind and foolish to not see the comparison. So you have to make things up to try to prove your point. You can't really be that stupid?

You are correct, Capitalism is based on Supply and Demand.

But when you have special interest groups deciding the outcome of the distribution, putting caps and quotas on things, it no longer remains a free market system. And becomes more like communism, where a select group tries to distribute things according to principles they hold important, but in reality is acting 90% of the time in their best interest. Which is why communism fails and the education system fails as well.
 

tofurious

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There is a giant difference between special interest and qualification. Groups of KKKs in small town Mississippi only allowing white men to enter positions of power in that town is discrimination in the name of special interest. Boy Scouts only allowing boys to enter is special interest. Professional schools requiring applicants to demonstrate previous records of accomplishments and capabilities to succeed in the future is something quite different. Labeling things communism because you don't like it is McCarthy-ism that is just out-dated for this day and time.
 

jlee9531

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Originally posted by Anka
Hey, thanks for the replies.

jlee, they aren't mature enough to be making these decisions. It sucks that they have to. The default is they don't go to college. If they're gonna fight that, they need to do a lot of kicking and screaming, and it's going to start hurting now (for example, refusing to get a job right now because she needs time to work on homework --> screaming matches with parents --> getting kicked out of the house (don't worry, you always get to come back home after a couple of hours, but it's traumatic), etc.).

I guess the best way to imagine the situation they're in is to imagine how your life would be different if every time you sat down to study, you got yelled at for not having a job (i.e., you get in trouble for studying).

Now, there's a big difference between saying, "Okay, kiddo, shoot for the stars! Shoot for straight A's!" and telling them, "Look, hun, you don't really need straight A's. Keep your parents reasonably happy, try to get As and Bs, and you know if you get a C it's no biggee, you can still go and get your RN."

They'd probably get a lot more family support if they weren't trying to do something crazy like going to a 4 year collge then go for four more years of school, then at least two years of residency. I mean, if my cousin said, "Hey, I wanna be a nurse. Here's what I have to do to do that. That means I can't work 30 hours a week during the school year, but I think I can hold down 15 while studying the way I've got to. And the great thing about being a nurse is it pays $X/year, and I only have to do 2 years of college, which I can spread out and the tuition will only be like $300 per class... and I can get loans for that."

I guess that's the crux of it. I'm not entirely comfortable telling them to settle, either. But it might be a whole lot more sensible.

Anka

well i understand their position since i had to make a decision something like that but not exactly. i was in middle school living in a single room in someone else's house in las vegas when my mom gave me a week to decide where i wanted to go for college. after i decided that i wanted to go to school in cali we moved to cali without much. my mom was one that didnt care we had no money but just wanted to make sure i had the opportunities to go to the school that i wanted. my choice to go to cali may not have been the best research ;) but it was nice to see that i was going to be given the opp to chase what i want.

ive been supporting my mom and bro starting from the 7th grade when we moved to cali. im not recommending that they work and go to school but a small part time job to help out the fam isnt totally impossible. reciprocal sacrifices i like to call it. its true...i never got yelled at for not having a job...but thats because it was already implied that i better work to support my family when in turn they are supporting my decisions as well.

its a rough road. this i know. fights all the time. at least you got to come back into the house ;)..i had to walk around mile square park or find a garage to stay warm the entire night. that sucked. but anyways...its not like the parents have to stress they have to get all As by creating a tense environment. initially my mom was very strict and verbally violent when it came to grades and school and finances, but she soon came to understand that i didnt appreciate that and actually hurt me more than it helped...she learned to just let me do things the way i want. study the way i want and earn money they way i want...things were up and down but in the end we turned out ok. i went to my dream school and they still have a roof to live under. i dont think i would be where i am at now if i had been led to aim "lower." sure it might sound more sensible but might as well let them try is all im saying. i think the parents should be more receptive to their potential and not make it seem like going to college is a bad thing.
 

ad_sharp

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Originally posted by peterockduke

If there is anything I've learned about most people who have faced extreme adversity, it's that they DO NOT complain, they DO NOT get outraged, they accept their plights in life with more grace than sheltered affluent people could ever imagine. Adversity may be the best teacher, but if you fail to learn from it, it simply crushes you.

At last...common ground

I couldn't agree more with this comment. I never said that all people in bad situations complain and give up. My point is that people should try to succeed dispite bad circumstance. I'm sorry if that was muffled by my rambling. When life gives you a lemon--you make lemonaid. Sometimes situations can crush you, but you can't give up. I'm sure that everyone who has posted on this forum has had something bad happen to them, but they have not given up on their dreams.

Everything is not fair, and I will not pretend that it is. Everyone is given a situation in life, I just think that people should try to live to their potential.
 

DrBodacious

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Originally posted by polo
Do you think we will ever get to a point in education, including Med School, that nearly anyone will be able to learn certain things if they have the money to do so?

Isn't that what capitalism is all about.


If Med Schools doubled or trippled in size because some President/Congress one day thought we needed more doctors, how would that effect all the doctors out there?

Obviously the pay would decrease if there were more doctors. But wouldn't the price of healthcare also decrease.

Also wouldn't more doctors available equal more lives saved.

So why wouldn't they want more doctors into Med Schools? It doesn't make sense.


I would just like to say that there are many problems with increasing the number of physicians in america.

1) Shortage of teaching faculty
2) Shortage of teaching hospitals
3) More resourches needed at the various medical schools (labs, cadavers, etc.), or more medical schools needed.
4) Shortage of exceptional (neccesarily exceptional) applicants. (Note: medical school rejection letters are not telling us the full truth whe they say,
"we've recieved soo many qualified applicants and there just isn't room for all of you...")
5) Possibly most important.. More physicians does NOT equal lower medical costs for the general public without majorly compromising physician reimbursemet. Who here is willing to fork over eight years of your life and $200,000 in loans to have an average salary for a stressful job. Allow me to propose an explanation for fun:

First remember that the number of patient visits to the doctor's office in America today is not dependent on the number of physicians (for the most part) but the number of people who seek/need treatment (and are able to pay for it). In other words, the demand of doctors' services is relatively stable when compared to other industries.

Given: The 1992 figure for physician supply was 245 doctors per 100,000 people. Say we are looking at a town of 100,000 people.

Hypothetical: 245 doctors see 60 patients per week (764,400 doctor visits per year) and are making an average of $150,000 per year. This comes out to $48.06 net profit per patient visit.

Now increase the number of doctors to 400 in the same population. (This, I admit, is an exageration, historically the number of physicians per capita increased from 151/100,000 in 1970 to 245/100,000 in 1992.) With the 400 figure each doctor would only make $91,842 with the same rates for services. Alternatively, service rates could be increased to $78.47 net profit per visit.

You could make the argument that more people will go to the doctors office now that there are more physicians available. So for the sake of examining that argument, lets say that having more doctors improves the wait time and such so that now 1,000,000 patients go to the doctor's office each year (31% increase). This equals 48 patients per week for physicians to treat. The average physician salary still has dropped to $119,957 per year in spite of a 31% increase in patient traffic. Alternatively the patient fees could be increased to $60.08 net profit per visit.

I'm sure others can think of more problems but this is all I got right now.


With respect to economics and education, this is a really complex issue which I think people are way oversimplifying by saying that it resembles communism or capatalism.

1) As far as I know, no medical school is a hugely profitable bussiness. They make ends meet with grant money, endowment dividends, and public support, all of which are as important as tuition to keep up the institutions that educate us as future caregivers of our nation.

2) cerca 100 years ago, the medical school "bussiness" was essentially unregulated in that anyone who wanted to could go to a medical school. It was then that we realized that there was a surplus of poorly trained physicians. Many medical schools were closed. Accrediting guidlines were instated.

3) As I pretty well explained in 5 from above, physician surplus is a potentially big problem because it can result in the increase of medical costs and the decrease of physician compensation. Careful planning (yes, regulation) is needed to recognize how many and what types of physicians should be trained.
 

polo

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Interesting DrB,

But I think logically it seems to make sense.

I have no problem with the regulation, licensing, requirement, training, etc., it's just the quotas I don't understand.


More doctors = more availability = more competition.

More competition = competitive prices (as with any consulting service)

===========================

Lower prices generally can create demand, and healthcare could actually be affordable to people who have never been to the doctor for a checkup, etc.

This could lead to a surge in activity. Which would equal more lives being saved.

------------------------------------------------

The bottom line is, doctors would get paid less, and yes I agree to that. But you can't deny that more doctors wouldn't equal lower healthcare costs. Competition doesn't raise costs, it lowers costs.

The one point you mention that I find interesting is..

"Who here is willing to fork over eight years of your life and $200,000 in loans to have an average salary for a stressful job."

Which was the whole reason I asked the question. Because logically I think it makes the most sense, to raise the quota, get more competition, lower prices, more availability, etc.

Instead of putting tons of money toward war, we could invest it in the Healthcare industry, primarily in training more amazing doctors. They don't all have to be practice, some could go into research, teaching, etc. anyways.

But the only real side effect I can logically see is, would people still want to be doctors if being a doctor meant making around $80-100k?

Because honestly, I think it makes so much sense that eventually someone will probably try it and I'm wondering what the effects would be on applicants. Honestly I think it will happen soon, it's all a matter of politics at this point.
 

DrBodacious

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Actually there is another side effect:

Doctors have complete control over the administration of medical treatments in that you need an MD or DO to perscribe drugs, order tests. More doctors would prescribe more drugs and order more tests, in order to make thier living, greatly increasing the load on the governmental support of healthcare.

We aren't going to start churning out more physicians to reduce costs, for all of the reasons I've discussed and probably other ones as well.

I agree that we shouldn't have gotten involved in mess-o-potamia and should have spent that $ on healthcare, amongst other things, and that we should more highly prioritize healthcare in general.
 
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