Current Pre-Medical Education System Unnecessarily Long and Difficult?

astrife

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The traditional model to getting to medical school is going to an accreditted college or university for four years and taking the specified pre-med reqs while there. The usual list of pre-med reqs is 1 year biology, 2 years chemistry, 1 year physics, 1 year english/writing, and maybe a math course or two.

Of course the current system allows people to discover what they are really interested in during those four years, and maybe that medicine is not the right career for them. For others they discover medicine as a possible career choice for the first time during those four years. People can also explore subjects they would not have otherwise encountered had they been locked into medicine related only course work.

For those going to a private college for there pre-med years the bill is most likely going to be in the ballpark of $120,000 for all four years. Those going to a public college can expect around $48,000 for their four years.

For those very set on medicine as a career there are very few programs that offer them a shortened/condensed college experience right out of high school that leads to admission to medical school. These programs also tend to be hyper competitive and many people who would make it to medical school through the traditional path are denied acceptance to these programs and are forced into the traditional expensive four year endeavor.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a post-bacc program condense all the pre-med reqs into 2 academic years? If those intending to go into medicine were able to forgo a full college degree and instead were able to do a program akin to a post-bacc they would save a substantial amount of money and time. Is our current system pragmatic enough? Should a student who is dead set on going to medical school have to take an expensive course in existential philosophy, which will have no bearing on his future career in medicine? Is it really worth his time and money to take a course like this? Of course one could argue this would broaden his mind, but if it has no bearing on his ability to successfully practice medicine is it within the rights of a system that's sole purpose is to produce competent physicians to require him to take such a class.

To get a real estate license I'm not required to do anything but know about real estate. Obviously this profession has less responsibility on its shoulders, but I don't think this changes things substantially.

I guess that it's plausible that college is simply a weed out tool, but even if that was it's function there are plenty of ways to reduce the costs and burdens of those involved.

I guess I have problems with the whole education system in general. It just does not seem pragmatic enough in my opinion. I'm doing well in college, but all I am doing is going through the motions so that I can actually get to the field I'm actually interested in. I don't care about socratic philosophy, chaucers canterbury tales, or chinese lit. I'll get A's in the classes, but forget the material as soon as the semester is over.

Ughh... Thoughts, comments?
 

NineShadows

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Hmm. I'd love to be able to chop a couple of years off my degree, and I'd certainly appreciate the savings. Still... There is the whole issue with a broader exposure and all that jazz.

Wasn't there an idea floating about a few years ago that hard-core science majors who went into medicine ended up as doctors with horrid bed-side manners? Wasn't that the reason that medical schools opened up to liberal arts majors in the late 90s?

Personally, I took offense to the idea that a scientist is socially inept, but what do I know?

Not much one can do to change the rules at this point.
 

sirus_virus

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The traditional model to getting to medical school is going to an accreditted college or university for four years and taking the specified pre-med reqs while there. The usual list of pre-med reqs is 1 year biology, 2 years chemistry, 1 year physics, 1 year english/writing, and maybe a math course or two.

Of course the current system allows people to discover what they are really interested in during those four years, and maybe that medicine is not the right career for them. For others they discover medicine as a possible career choice for the first time during those four years. People can also explore subjects they would not have otherwise encountered had they been locked into medicine related only course work.

For those going to a private college for there pre-med years the bill is most likely going to be in the ballpark of $120,000 for all four years. Those going to a public college can expect around $48,000 for their four years.

For those very set on medicine as a career there are very few programs that offer them a shortened/condensed college experience right out of high school that leads to admission to medical school. These programs also tend to be hyper competitive and many people who would make it to medical school through the traditional path are denied acceptance to these programs and are forced into the traditional expensive four year endeavor.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a post-bacc program condense all the pre-med reqs into 2 academic years? If those intending to go into medicine were able to forgo a full college degree and instead were able to do a program akin to a post-bacc they would save a substantial amount of money and time. Is our current system pragmatic enough? Should a student who is dead set on going to medical school have to take an expensive course in existential philosophy, which will have no bearing on his future career in medicine? Is it really worth his time and money to take a course like this? Of course one could argue this would broaden his mind, but if it has no bearing on his ability to successfully practice medicine is it within the rights of a system that's sole purpose is to produce competent physicians to require him to take such a class.

To get a real estate license I'm not required to do anything but know about real estate. Obviously this profession has less responsibility on its shoulders, but I don't think this changes things substantially.

I guess that it's plausible that college is simply a weed out tool, but even if that was it's function there are plenty of ways to reduce the costs and burdens of those involved.

I guess I have problems with the whole education system in general. It just does not seem pragmatic enough in my opinion. I'm doing well in college, but all I am doing is going through the motions so that I can actually get to the field I'm actually interested in. I don't care about socratic philosophy, chaucers canterbury tales, or chinese lit. I'll get A's in the classes, but forget the material as soon as the semester is over.

Ughh... Thoughts, comments?

First of all, nobody can be so set on anything as a career, you might think so but you will be wrong a lot of times, especially if you are that young. When medschools tell you to go get an undergrad degree before medschool, they actually hope you could try your hands on something else, ie, diversify. It is you guys that have chosen to immerse yourselves in one biology class after the other, in the hope of giving yourself an advantage. I am not saying biology is bad if you are interested in it, but biology sure does create that redundancy that you describe if you go on to medschool. If you do something totally different e.g engineering, business etc, you will give yourself some alternatives down the road, and you will not look at it as time wasted.
 
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If more people were to be accepted, I would think they would be chosen from the pool who did jump through the hoops and proved their dedication; several people already apply for each spot...
 

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First of all nobody can be so set on anything as a career, you might think so but you will be wrong a lot of times, especially if you are that young. When medschools tell you to go get an undergrad degree before medschool, they actually hope you could try your hands on something else, ie, diversify. It is you guys that have chosen to immerse yourselves in one biology class after the other, in the hope of giving yourself an advantage. I am not saying biology is bad if you are interested in it, but biology sure does create that redundancy that you describe if you go on to medschool. If you do something totally different e.g engineering, business etc, you will give yourself some alternatives down the road, and you will not look at it as time wasted.

Agree with this. Med schools are looking for well rounded individuals. While it's great to think you know you want to be a doctor from day one, in fact some of the worst and least well thought out decisions are those made by folks who have not spent years dabbling in other things. The smart thing is to get a well rounded college education while taking the prereqs, and then decide, after you have mulled multiple options, that medicine is for you. You will suffer far less "did I make the wrong decision?" angst during your first year of med school if you did this.

OP, as you correctly point out, there are not all that many expedited routes to med school and many of these are being phased out. There is a reason for this, and also for the fact that the number of nontrads admitted has been increasing gradually over the last couple of decades. Our system has determined, right or wrong, that the one dimensional, science major set on med school and taking exclusively premed courses, model of applicant is not the one that jibes best with the kind of physician schools are seeking to generate. The profession has recognized that it is less of a science and more of a service industry, and has retooled to meet those needs.
 

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medicine isn't just a science, nor a trade to be picked up. before i continue here understand that i'm not yet in med school so everything i'm writing is based on perceptions rather than actual experience. but the bottom line is you are dealing with people everyday, and in order to treat them in the best way possible you need to empathize, relate, think for yourself, and yet work within a wide-ranging medical team. by taking courses during four years of college such as history, literature, philosophy, music, and so forth, you gain perspective on how different people today and throughout the course of time make sense of themselves. and by taking these courses you gain a better sense of your surrounding, environemnt and self, and therefore are better prepared to do your job, which is help the person in your office. i assume that if one didn't go to college and went through a "trade like system" as you propose, and then went directly to medical school at 20, that eventual doctor would be so far inside a box she/he would be a slave to the science and not be able to relate to the human/art side of things. believe it or not college isn't just about grades. if done right (and i definitely didn't do it right cuz partied too too much) you can get a lot out of the 4 year course work if you want.

gunna get off my poorly constructed soap box now.
 

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no way its going to be changed...med schools often question the maturity of students who are going straigt from ugrad to med school already.
 

albaniandoc

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I am not sure that all the claims about the round individual are all that they are meant to be. I mean look at European schools that have 6 year programs right out of high school. I am pretty sure they have the same quality docs as we do. It's not like all of our docs are writing the books on manners (well, I work in heart surgery so my view of doctors is way off). I have met quite a few student docs and docs that were not round individuals and made it to med school.
I guess it's all open to personal opinion. I say shave off a couple of years. It's not like we are learning new stuff in every class. Bio 1 - The cell, translation, transcription. Genetics - Genes, DNA, Translation, Transcription. Cell Bio - The Cell, Translation, Transcription. Biochemistry, DNA, proteins, translation and transcription.
Well, you get the point.
 

jules922

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a post-bacc program condense all the pre-med reqs into 2 academic years? If those intending to go into medicine were able to forgo a full college degree and instead were able to do a program akin to a post-bacc they would save a substantial amount of money and time. Is our current system pragmatic enough? Should a student who is dead set on going to medical school have to take an expensive course in existential philosophy, which will have no bearing on his future career in medicine? Is it really worth his time and money to take a course like this? Of course one could argue this would broaden his mind, but if it has no bearing on his ability to successfully practice medicine is it within the rights of a system that's sole purpose is to produce competent physicians to require him to take such a class.

If you think that non-science courses, such as philosophy, have "no bearing" on your career as a physician, I pity your future patients. You will be with people in many of their most personal, trying moments - like facing death. Some knowledge of philosophy/anthropology/sociology/psychology is pretty useful. Doctors are not science-spewing robots.
 

astrife

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I am not sure that all the claims about the round individual are all that they are meant to be. I mean look at European schools that have 6 year programs right out of high school. I am pretty sure they have the same quality docs as we do. It's not like all of our docs are writing the books on manners (well, I work in heart surgery so my view of doctors is way off). I have met quite a few student docs and docs that were not round individuals and made it to med school.
I guess it's all open to personal opinion. I say shave off a couple of years. It's not like we are learning new stuff in every class. Bio 1 - The cell, translation, transcription. Genetics - Genes, DNA, Translation, Transcription. Cell Bio - The Cell, Translation, Transcription. Biochemistry, DNA, proteins, translation and transcription.
Well, you get the point.

I concur with this sentiment. Being a well-rounded individual is all well and good, but when you are faced with a healthcare system with soaring costs is it wise to put such a large financial burden on physicians simply for the sake of them being a little bit more nice to the patients they see. I'd personally rather pay my doc less and have him treat me like a car.
 

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I concur with this sentiment. Being a well-rounded individual is all well and good, but when you are faced with a healthcare system with soaring costs is it wise to put such a large financial burden on physicians simply for the sake of them being a little bit more nice to the patients they see. I'd personally rather pay my doc less and have him treat me like a car.

please don't go into medicine!
 

notdeadyet

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I am not sure that all the claims about the round individual are all that they are meant to be. I mean look at European schools that have 6 year programs right out of high school.
I don't know about continental Europe, but I know that the UK and Ireland have a far broader and more developed secondary school (high school) education. Students take exams to graduate secondary school and it's a very involved process. There are lots of subject areas to master.

If I meet an Irish/British secondary school graduate who had good marks on their leaving cert/A levels, I know that they have a baseline of knowledge about geography, literature, math, etc. If I meet an American high school graduate? They had a pulse and didn't shoot anyone for four years on campus. Or weren't caught.

This is why Europeans are blown away by our collective lack of knowledge of world geography and history. Most American colleges start at ground zero for your education; most European colleges start at a higher calliber. This might explain the reason for only 6 years for their medical degree.
 

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I concur with this sentiment. Being a well-rounded individual is all well and good, but when you are faced with a healthcare system with soaring costs is it wise to put such a large financial burden on physicians simply for the sake of them being a little bit more nice to the patients they see. I'd personally rather pay my doc less and have him treat me like a car.

Cars don't feel fear and have thoughts like, "I'm gonna die!" They don't puke on you, or try to thwart your attempts to assist them in getting better. You need to know that patients are more than just walking machines and that treatment encompasses so much more than giving them an aspirin and sending them along their merry way. Part of treating people is to connect with them; how can you gain any insight into their wellbeing if you cannot relate in a meaningful manner?
 
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astrife

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If you think that non-science courses, such as philosophy, have "no bearing" on your career as a physician, I pity your future patients. You will be with people in many of their most personal, trying moments - like facing death. Some knowledge of philosophy/anthropology/sociology/psychology is pretty useful. Doctors are not science-spewing robots.

What is a psych class going to tell me that I don't already know about how to care for a patient on the verge of death? Caring for someone in this situation is not going as much as you think it is by these courses. It's common sense how you act and treat people in these situations, and if you don't get the concepts I'm sure your residency director and elucidate the proper etiquette to you not a $500 semester long course.
 

notdeadyet

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Caring for someone in this situation is not going as much as you think it is by these courses. It's common sense how you act and treat people in these situations, and if you don't get the concepts I'm sure your residency director and elucidate the proper etiquette to you not a $500 semester long course.
If I remember correctly, you're in you first or second year of college, yes?

The reason I ask is that I think you'll find after lengthy exposure to dealing with doctors as a patient (read: get old) that physicians as a whole lack common sense and do not relate well.

Maybe this is the personality type that is attracted to medicine, but I've personally found that the physicians I've felt best with have been those that had broad and varied backgrounds. Life skills.

The importance of a broad education for a physician is not any kind of particular skills you pick up. It's that this type of education teaches you to think. You know more about your fellow man and his experience and it will enable you to understand his feelings, thoughts, motives and actions a lot better. It will make you a better physician.

Hard core science types can get this kind of education too, but I've seen lots of them view any nonscience course as a burden to be endured. I think the lessons then go over their heads.
 

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What is a psych class going to tell me that I don't already know about how to care for a patient on the verge of death? Caring for someone in this situation is not going as much as you think it is by these courses. It's common sense how you act and treat people in these situations, and if you don't get the concepts I'm sure your residency director and elucidate the proper etiquette to you not a $500 semester long course.

Well, you do have a point that empathy is partially inherent in a person's personality. However, this is not to say that classwork cannot help draw out and refine your abilities. They most definitely do.

The introductory classes are not of much benefit, but they provide the foundation on which more advanced work can be taken and learned. At the more advanced level, psychology absolutely provides insight on how to address someone's fears, individual religeous beliefs about death and dying, and how to best approach their unique situation. Such coursework can provide very sound techniques for addressing common problems that people face. It's useful for me to think, "oh, this person is coming from this place and will respond much better if I..." Granted, book knowledge means very little in the field if you can't apply it, but as you work more with patients, I think everything begins to integrate together.
 

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What is a psych class going to tell me that I don't already know about how to care for a patient on the verge of death? Caring for someone in this situation is not going as much as you think it is by these courses. It's common sense how you act and treat people in these situations, and if you don't get the concepts I'm sure your residency director and elucidate the proper etiquette to you not a $500 semester long course.

I guess you haven't taken any good social/behavioral science classes ... there's a lot you can learn from them that will give you a better understanding of how people deal with situations like being on the verge of death.
Also, it's often hard to get a lot of common sense and a decent bedside manner without having some life experience - which is, in general, difficult to do if you are 20 years old when you start med school because you just took pre-med sciences and nothing else.
Taking non-science classes is certainly not the only way to learn about how to be a compassionate clinician, but it certainly can help.
 

sgglaze

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Sorry, but the university is not preprofessional school. The point is to get an education, it's not just another hoop to be jumped through on your way to X school, and it's unfortunate that at some point in our times, large portions of the population started viewing it that way.
 

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I guess you haven't taken any good social/behavioral science classes ... there's a lot you can learn from them that will give you a better understanding of how people deal with situations like being on the verge of death.
Also, it's often hard to get a lot of common sense and a decent bedside manner without having some life experience - which is, in general, difficult to do if you are 20 years old when you start med school because you just took pre-med sciences and nothing else.
Taking non-science classes is certainly not the only way to learn about how to be a compassionate clinician, but it certainly can help.

:thumbup: I don't think there's any shortage of young doctors with limited life experience out there. The OP's comment about treating patients like cars is a good indicator that he could probably stand to mature a little more before going into med school. But hey, that's what those "extra" two years are for.
 

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I am not sure that all the claims about the round individual are all that they are meant to be. I mean look at European schools that have 6 year programs right out of high school. I am pretty sure they have the same quality docs as we do.

These systems existed before the American one, and we intentionally opted to do it differently, and continue to deviate further and further by admitted non-sci major applicants, nontrads and the like. (In the not too distant past, folks had to be science major traditional premeds to get admitted). None of this is accidental. While many countries produce good doctors, every system at some point chooses things it feels better serve its patient population. The science focused physicians of the past didn't meet the demands of the profession. Patients demanded and got additional rights, and now have very different expectations of their physicians, things that require a bit more well roundedness.
 

astrife

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:thumbup: I don't think there's any shortage of young doctors with limited life experience out there. The OP's comment about treating patients like cars is a good indicator that he could probably stand to mature a little more before going into med school. But hey, that's what those "extra" two years are for.

Because I favor a cost effective medical system I am not mature? Yeah, that makes alot of sense.
 

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And while we're at it, why should we bother teaching every medical student the same thing for the first three years. Why does a urologist need to know about genetics? Why does an endocrinologist care about embryology? Why should the plastic surgeon have to do an obstetrics rotation? Whats the point? Why don't we create a different pathway for each field, recruit for our students their junior year of high school and have them start their apprenticeship immediately after they graduate?
I'm game if you are.
 

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Because I favor a cost effective medical system I am not mature? Yeah, that makes alot of sense.

Cost effective for the person paying to become a doctor is pennies in the pond. That cost has no impact on the costs of medicine/healthcare, just premeds.
 
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And while we're at it, why should we bother teaching every medical student the same thing for the first three years. Why does a urologist need to know about genetics? Why does an endocrinologist care about embryology? Why should the plastic surgeon have to do an obstetrics rotation? Whats the point? Why don't we create a different pathway for each field, recruit for our students their junior year of high school and have them start their apprenticeship immediately after they graduate?
I'm game if you are.

Even further, some of the more routine procedures physicians do could be done by 8 year olds. Why waste all that time in grade school when you could be in the OR.:D
 

astrife

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Cost effective for the person paying to become a doctor is pennies in the pond. That cost has no impact on the costs of medicine/healthcare, just premeds.

You don't think the education of a professional plays some role in the salary they command? If the road to becoming a physician was not so long and expensive it would most likely result in doctors not being paid as much. And doctor's salaries are part of healthcare costs.
 

LizzyM

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A bachelor's degree is minimum for many jobs today. Half of all med school applicants in a given year do not matriculate at any school. It is much better for a high school senior to obtain a BA or BS degree and then go on to apply for admission to graduate or professional school that to suggest that they do what would basically be a 2 year community college degree and then attempt admission to a professional school. The unsuccessful among this pool of applicants would have little to show prospective employers, would be ineligible for admission to graduate programs (if they decide that they'd prefer that route). Even most nurses these days are getting a BSN rather than sitting for the RN exam after 2 years in an associate degree program or 3 years in a school of nursing as was the case a generation ago.
 

LizzyM

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You don't think the education of a professional plays some role in the salary they command? If the road to becoming a physician was not so long and expensive it would most likely result in doctors not being paid as much. And doctor's salaries are part of healthcare costs.


Wages are in large part dependent on skills, demand for those skills and the supply of workers with those skills. Why do some baseball players command 8 figure salaries? It isn't the length or the cost of their education.
 

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Of course it is long and drawn out. Many other countries have you go straight to med school after high school. That is actually how a lot of pharmacy schools do it here.

The argument that you need to find what you like is garbage. Most people don't have $40,000 to blow finding what they like. Pick a job you will enjoy doing and go for it. Because guess what, employers don't care what you like. They care that you can do something that makes them money. You like history? TS, you won't make money with history. You like art? TS again.

So here are your real options business, applied science (like engineering and computer science), or professional school. For the first two you only have to go through 4 years of debt. For the last one (all of us) you need take on a lot more which is ridiculous, not to mention you have to waste even more years of your life. If you want to be a lawyer you go to law school, if you want to be a dentist you go to dental school, if you want to be a doctor you go to med school. Prereqs are fine but it is pointless that you should have to go through 4 years of BS to get where you really want to go.
 

QuantumMechanic

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Wages are in large part dependent on skills, demand for those skills and the supply of workers with those skills. Why do some baseball players command 8 figure salaries? It isn't the length or the cost of their education.

and skills are based largely off of education level. in general (and to a point, this isn't supposed to be a statement applicable to all situations), the more educated you are, the more likely that you will have the skills to be able to obtain a job with a higher wage.

your example is pretty bunk as well, a major leauger usually got where he is due to the years and years of practice, playing, and coaching. If that's not "education" I don't know what is.

a better example would be Anna Nicole Smith, who whored her body and dignity out to America to become rich and famous, absolutely no education or training needed there other than life experiences to make her lose all shame.
 

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"Prereqs are fine but it is pointless that you should have to go through 4 years of BS to get where you really want to go."


it is pointless if all you are in it for is the money. its not pointless and important if you are in it to help people. i know you don't need to have a BS/BA to be empathetic to your patient. but to think that all there is to medicine is the technology and science brings medicine back fifty years. you want to be able to learn from your patient and their family in order to help them. if you have a more balanced background, and have lived a little, i think you will be better equipped to help your patient.
 

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While I agree with folks saying that all the years spent taking broad classes should make physicians more "educated and urbane" to quote pandabear, I think the problem with that is that that is not what is happening. Sure people are forced into the sociology or economics course, but they are simply doing what they have to do to get the A, and forgetting everything they learned the week after the exam. The mentality of "jumping through hoops" is not the fault of students, it is in part due to the great emphasis placed on numbers in the med school admissions process. So I think people who say whats the point of all this agree that many people are just going through the motions, not learning anything in the classes that they are forced to take. If that is the case, then why not jump right into training. If you want a more broad education then fine, different strokes for different folks. But it should probably at least be an option for those who would rather skip out on simply going through the motions.
 
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Law2Doc

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The mentality of "jumping through hoops" is not the fault of students, it is in part due to the great emphasis placed on numbers in the med school admissions process.

The funny thing is there are probably a couple dozen threads a year of people with high numbers complaining that they were passed over because schools put too much emphasis on the non-numerical subjective aspects. To some extent students have a far more by the numbers mentality.
Sure folks will jump through hoops, but the mature ones will actually get something out of it too. Adcoms do their best to try and figure out which ones these are.
 

astrife

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A bachelor's degree is minimum for many jobs today. Half of all med school applicants in a given year do not matriculate at any school. It is much better for a high school senior to obtain a BA or BS degree and then go on to apply for admission to graduate or professional school that to suggest that they do what would basically be a 2 year community college degree and then attempt admission to a professional school. The unsuccessful among this pool of applicants would have little to show prospective employers, would be ineligible for admission to graduate programs (if they decide that they'd prefer that route). Even most nurses these days are getting a BSN rather than sitting for the RN exam after 2 years in an associate degree program or 3 years in a school of nursing as was the case a generation ago.

There's a simple remedy to this. Have medical school itself encompasses these "community college" programs. This would lead to something like they have in Europe with 6 year medical schools. This would eliminate the individuals who would get caught between the "community college" programs and medical school because they cannot get accepted. There would be no need to have a marketable degree after your two years of basic sciences because you are already in medical school.
 

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There's a simple remedy to this. Have medical school itself encompasses these "community college" programs. This would lead to something like they have in Europe with 6 year medical schools. This would eliminate the individuals who would get caught between the "community college" programs and medical school because they cannot get accepted. There would be no need to have a marketable degree after your two years of basic sciences because you are already in medical school.

you should have considered this program:
http://www.umkc.edu/umkc/catalog-grad/html/medicine/0080.html
 

Law2Doc

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There's a simple remedy to this. Have medical school itself encompasses these "community college" programs. This would lead to something like they have in Europe with 6 year medical schools. This would eliminate the individuals who would get caught between the "community college" programs and medical school because they cannot get accepted. There would be no need to have a marketable degree after your two years of basic sciences because you are already in medical school.

As I noted before, the European system pre-existed ours, and we purposely chose not to implement that system here for a variety of reasons. The direct to med school BS/MD programs are also being somewhat phased out. Your remedy is effectively to implement something the profession intentionally previously rejected. Not that it doesn't work adequately some places, but it was not deemed to be desirable here.

It should be noted that in US med school, because of the way we set up our system with adcoms as the careful gatekeepers of the profession, there is currently negligible attrition. In Europe, (and inherent in the system you suggest) a good percentage of those who start down the medical path do not end up doctors -- failing out is not uncommon. We don't really want that here. And there really isn't much choice if you push back the start date a few years, when people are younger and haven't really demonstrated that they have the right stuff. Plus what about the folks who flounder around in college and then get their act together -- some go on to be great doctors, but in your (and the European) system, they don't generally get that chance.
 

astrife

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Wages are in large part dependent on skills, demand for those skills and the supply of workers with those skills. Why do some baseball players command 8 figure salaries? It isn't the length or the cost of their education.

I should have made the connection that education creates the skills that the market desires. If there is a system of education that costs more and takes longer than another system of education that produces the same skills, why on earth would you opt for the former one?
 

astrife

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As I noted before, the European system pre-existed ours, and we purposely chose not to implement that system here for a variety of reasons. The direct to med school BS/MD programs are also being somewhat phased out. Your remedy is effectively to implement something the profession intentionally previously rejected. Not that it doesn't work adequately some places, but it was not deemed to be desirable here.

It should be noted that in US med school, because of the way we set up our system with adcoms as the careful gatekeepers of the profession, there is currently negligible attrition. In Europe, (and inherent in the system you suggest) a good percentage of those who start down the medical path do not end up doctors -- failing out is not uncommon. We don't really want that here.

Who's to say the powers at be who created our system were right. So essentially what you are telling me with the attrittion comment is that college is a weed out process for those who either are not qualified or are not interested in medicine enough to do well. If that's true, then there are much better systems to weed people out.
 

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I should have made the connection that education creates the skills that the market desires. If there is a system of education that costs more and takes longer than another system of education that produces the same skills, why on earth would you opt for the former one?

Simple -- because the profession determined that something desirable was not being achieved from the latter. That's true of all systems that are intentionally created differently from predecessors.
 

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If that's true, then there are much better systems to weed people out.

I'm not sure that's the case. The worst case scenario is to put someone on a career specific training program and then fail him out with no transferable degree or skillset. In the current system, you at least have your BS which is somewhat useful in other career paths.
 

astrife

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Simple -- because the profession determined that something desirable was not being achieved from the latter. That's true of all systems that are intentionally created differently from predecessors.

Yet again, what if they were wrong? I have seen nothing that has shown doctors in Europe are worse than the ones here. Obviously if no such discrepancy in quality between European doctors and American doctors exists, then our current longer and more expensive system seems to be over doing it.
 

astrife

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I'm not sure that's the case. The worst case scenario is to put someone on a career specific training program and then fail him out with no transferable degree or skillset. In the current system, you at least have your BS which is somewhat useful in other career paths.

Obviously that's a bad scenario, but if the admission standards to the medical schools are high enough to weed out those who would fail out this wouldn't happen.
 

Law2Doc

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Yet again, what if they were wrong? I have seen nothing that has shown doctors in Europe are worse than the ones here. Obviously if no such discrepancy in quality between European doctors and American doctors exists, then our current longer and more expensive system seems to be over doing it.

The system, particularly the patient rights and expectations, are very different here than in many other countries. It is far more of a service oriented career here, in part due to the current lack of socialization. Thus the educational system strives to generate the kind of doctors that work best in such system. Additionally, a prior generation of by the numbers, science oriented physicians in the US was felt to have had a somewhat undesirable impact, and caused the profession to retool with a more Flexnerian, well rounded individual approach.
 

Law2Doc

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Obviously that's a bad scenario, but if the admission standards to the medical schools are high enough to weed out those who would fail out this wouldn't happen.

Um, you just complained that it was too competitive to get into some of the BS/MD type programs (eg. UMKC). If the admissions standards for your proposed 6 year path were comparable (i.e. "high enough to weed out those who would fail out") why exactly would you like that better?
 

astrife

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Um, you just complained that it was too competitive to get into some of the BS/MD type programs (eg. UMKC). If the admissions standards for your proposed 6 year path were comparable (i.e. "high enough to weed out those who would fail out") why exactly would you like that better?

Those programs are hyper-competitive not because it's necessary to weed people out, but because there is a big market of people like me who would rather just skip the traditional college thing and so few of the programs. I'd be in one right now if all medical schools functioned that way.
 

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Those programs are hyper-competitive not because it's necessary to weed people out, but because there is a big market of people like me who would rather just skip the traditional college thing and so few of the programs. I'd be in one right now if all medical schools functioned that way.

If med schools wanted to select people at an earlier juncture, without failing people out later down the road, they would have to become even more selective. I doubt you'd find it particularly different than the hyper-competitive programs you describe. But it's a moot issue, because the things med schools look for these days are not really discernable in people during their teen years.
 

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It would be nice to be able to just take the required pre-reqs right away and go to med school.

But then again med schools want a diverse student population, and college helps create this diversity.
 

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In typical fasion, it seems like most pre-meds here regard undergraduate education as little more than a weed-out session for pre-med students. Our system of liberal education, however, far pre-dates the current "pre-med system", and was intended to provide all students with a breadth and depth of education incorporating the sciences, history, literature, etc. Could medical schools select students at an earlier stage? Of course, and some do (see Tulane's early acceptance program). But most do not, because they understand that once acceptance is granted, students will have little incentive to take challenging upper-level courses, and will instead choose "cruise classes" that require little effort.

American education has explicitly rejected the European system of "tracking" because it is un-democratic and does not give students the chance to succeed if they have had earlier mistakes.

The pre-meds complaining about how "useless" their undergraduate education might do well to realize that you get out what you put in. You will have plenty of time to do medicine later, but will never get to take Afro-Carribean Studies ever again.
 
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