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"Nature" says we're (premeds) not qualified for med school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by soco, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. soco

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    From Nature Vol 446, 26 April 2007 pg. 971-972

    Check your local libraries or if you have Nature sub. Essentially discusses stagnant NIH funding, argues whether or not there is a doctor shortage and then discusses a few medical school initiatives: UC-Riverside, UofArizona Phoenix, and the Florida system. Some of the people in the piece argue that to solve the problem doctors need to spread out a little bit more (But we like each other so much!).

    I personally liked the part about there not being enough qualified pre-meds for medical school. I think my fellow SDN members would beg to differ, seeing that quite a few us are qualified but still can't get an acceptance.


    "...The projects are planned on the basis that
    they will do research that attracts funding from
    the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the
    main US biomedical-research agency. But the
    NIHs budget, which was doubled from $13 bil-
    lion to $27 billion by 2003, has since stagnated
    raising questions about where the funds will
    come from.
    Critics also argue that there may not be
    enough qualified students who will want to
    enroll at the medical schools.
    The doubters say
    that theres little likelihood that the new schools
    will generate clusters of biotech companies and
    the associated economic benefits promised by
    their champions. In short, the critics charge,
    taxpayers in the cities in question have been
    hoodwinked into backing expensive white
    elephants that will weaken the states existing
    medical schools, leaving medical education
    and research worse off than they were before."


    Talking about medical research positions:

    "...To fill up places, many
    medical schools in the states in
    question already draw students
    from outside the United States
    and pay their full tuition and
    stipend costs..."
     
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  3. notaroche

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    I'm going to medical school so I don't have to read crap like Nature.
     
  4. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance
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    Are they just making crap up outta their asses?
     
  5. spicedmanna

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    I didn't read the whole article, but the "critics" who argue that, "that there may not be enough qualified students who will want to enroll at the medical schools," don't seem based in reality. One only needs to look at the basic application statistics to counter their weak argument. In my opinion, what currently and more directly limits medical school seats (and thus new doctors) are the number of residency slots which are provided, in part, by federal and state funds.
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Well, it's common sense that if there are suddenly more allo med schools to fill, the national average stats will likely go down. Sort of like the way major league starting pitching thins every time an expansion team is added. But it's a bit of a leap to say that these folks aren't "qualified" though (given that many ultimately end up physicians through the reapplicant or non- US/allo routes).
     
  7. spicedmanna

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    Now that I agree with. One of the problems is that there are medically-underserved areas. These areas are not as attractive to doctors, who tend to concentrate in the geographically desireable locations. Not only that, consider the type of specialties that will likely be needed, e.g., primary care.
     
  8. sciencewonk

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    This is why you need to read the whole article before you comment. They are talking about training researchers from the said new medical schools. This includes the PhD students (as is described in the very next sentence of the article) which often come from overseas. Many of today's research-oriented students want to go to established programs, making it difficult for new med/research institutions to recruit talent. The same is true all the way up the ranks, many PhD students (tuition and stipend paid for) come from China, Germany, etc and take places that can't be filled with US applicants because there aren't any. The article doesn't say much about clinically-oriented US students not being qualified for med school (MD programs).
     
  9. Blondnuttyboy

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    Some state schools do have underqualified kids in their medical schools.

    cough cough University of Arizona?
     
  10. PseudomonasPAO1

    PseudomonasPAO1 New Member
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    I know you said this in jest, but you may want to keep that statement to yourself in the future. Bashing one of the premier journals is usually a bad idea.
     
  11. jjmack

    jjmack Senior Member
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    I see med school turing into the same two/three tier system like law and b-schools. Now the top students from almost any school can go into any field (albeit not at the "top" programs.) I feel this is going to change and there will be schools for speciality fields and then for primary care. will students want to go to "primarycare-track" schools knowing they won't land that derm spot they are dreaming about? I don't know...
     
  12. notaroche

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    I didn't say it in jest. I mean it quite literally.

    And why do I have to keep it to myself? Will Nature put out a contract on me for those comments???
     
  13. Wanna_B_Scutty

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    Lol... and a "slurper" is born. :D
    (for a definition of "sluper," please see The House of God, by Samuel Shem)
     
  14. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Do you have a shrine to Nature or what? People bash our nation's "premiere ruler" all the time. The bigger and more important they are, the more of a target they become.
     
  15. soeagerun2or

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    Nature has pretty much taken a nose-dive in the last 15 years. Also, they've had a significant increase in the number of "peer-reviewed" articles which were later retracted for being mis-represented or flat-out made up! I agree it still is one of the premier journals but it isn't what it used to be.
     
  16. PseudomonasPAO1

    PseudomonasPAO1 New Member
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    Though I haven't read it, I can guess what it means...And the online urban dictionary did not have a good definition by the way :eek:
     
  17. Doctor&Geek

    Doctor&Geek 25 > 5 / 15 < 8
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    And yet, scientists today still would give their left arm to publish there.

    If Nature's taken a dive, then tell me which journal you would rather publish in.
     
  18. Doctor&Geek

    Doctor&Geek 25 > 5 / 15 < 8
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    Keyword here: Critics.

    Nature is not taking an editorial position on this matter, and yet you're saying that the publisher of Nature is somehow impugning on the integrity of Premeds.

    Please read more carefully - a quality that of course you will need in medical school.
     
  19. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search
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    They are also speaking in future tense. As in, "if we open more spots there won't be enough qualified students to fill them."
     
  20. soeagerun2or

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    Cell, NEJM, even Science..
     
  21. Doctor&Geek

    Doctor&Geek 25 > 5 / 15 < 8
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    OK smart guy, why don't you show me the impact factor or whatever statistic as to how Nature has taken a "dive" vs. Cell or NEJM (a journal which even you should know does not directly compete for articles with Nature) or Science.

    Furthermore, prove to us that Nature has a significantly higher retraction rate than those other journals (especially Science).

    Finally, tell us why any of these factors means that we shouldn't even consider a news report written in the journal, which of course has absolutely nothing to do with scientific content, peer review process or prestige of the journal.
     
  22. CATallergy

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    as opposed to going there so you can study the nature of someone's crap
     
  23. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search
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    :laugh: :lol: :laugh: :lol: :laugh:
     
  24. juiceman311

    juiceman311 Senior Member
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    good thing i didnt apply to nature's med school
     
  25. soeagerun2or

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    The ISI impact factor was introduced in the late 90s so there isn't a significant sampling period to show nature losing its historic prestige. Nevertheless, ISI citation for Nature 2002 - 30, 2003 - 30, 2004 - 31; Science 2002 - 26, 2003 - 29, 2004 - 31; NEJM 2002 - 32, 2003 - 34, 2004 - 39. Relatively Nature is still prestigious but losing ground.

    Also see:
    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/280/3/296
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v422/n6927/full/422001a.html

    1966-1997 235 papers retracted. 1997+ 81 retracted and 135 accounts of scientific misconduct. Second article is Nature retracting 7 papers from one author. They also retracted papers from the Purdue group on fusion and the South Koren on cloning. That makes a disproportionate amount the 81 of papers retracted in the last 10 years coming from Nature.

    I didn't say you shouldn't consider a news report from Nature, I was merely saying they're not the science god they formerly were so worshiping may not be warranted.
     
  26. Tired

    Tired Fading away
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    Nature is crap. Real men read JAAOS.
     
  27. Institute

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    Quick caveat: You might consider yourself extremely intelligent, but your confrontational demeanor is what will set you back.

    In addition to this derailed argument regarding scientific journalism, it should be noted that all the notable publications have been plagued by some sort of 'special interest', which has demeaned the credibility of these 'prestigious' texts. To add, NEJM hasn't exactly had the cleanest of roads, often being blighted with contributing articles that have been consumed by a vested interest from a major third-party. That's not to say that these journals wouldn't be a great place to have an article published; I'm sure many would be readily obliged to have an article in there. However, how do you take a reputable publication seriously if they're so quick to allow their interests to get in their way of rationale thought.
     
  28. halekulani

    halekulani Member
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    what's the article title/authors?
     
  29. MacGyver

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    The folks at Nature obviously dont know what they are talking about. If they were talking about PhD grad students, they should have said so. A grad student is NOT a medical student.

    Grad students and med students live in 2 totally different worlds. To lump them together like Nature did is beyond stupid.
     
  30. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Funny, the opposite has happened to me now that I'm IN med school.....never had to read science journals as a programmer, now they have me do it for a grade. :scared:
     
  31. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    I thought medical students are graduate students. They just aren't PhD students. Damn it, my parents are going to be pissed that they're paying for another undergrad degree.
     
  32. Noeljan

    Noeljan Senior Member
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    I like to complain about Nature as well, though it's a great, prestigous journal I would love to publish in, I hate having to present papers from Nature in class or seminar, because they don't describe their methods well enough. They reference back everything, and it makes it really tough as a lowly grad student figuring out what they did half the time:laugh: They are too good to have to describe methods in enough detail:) :)
     
  33. Stolenspatulas

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    I may double major in French and Spanish during medical school (but I hear residencies don't really care what you major in)
     
  34. soeagerun2or

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    In the medical jargon world getting an MD is an undergraduate medical education and residency is graduate (thus the ACGME - Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education).
     
  35. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    or is residency just your second round of graduate school? maybe the MD is our masters, and the residency is the PhD?
     
  36. jjmack

    jjmack Senior Member
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    what if you already get a PhD with your MD? hmm
     
  37. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search
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    I would think that residency should be a type of "post-graduate" education, and medical school "graduate."
     
  38. sciencewonk

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    Everyone on here is missing the point, including this poster. Medical schools run graduate programs. If you would step outside your pre-med bubble, you would realize this. The article is talking about students going into PhD programs at med schools and the difficulty of new med schools to recruit top research-oriented (MD or PhD) students in order to justify the claims that the schools will bolster bio-tech startups in the community. I REPEAT, IT IS NOT SAYING THAT ESTABLISHED MED SCHOOLS DONT HAVE QUALIFIED APPLICANTS.

    How this turned into a thread bashing highly-regarded scientific journals is beyond me, oh wait - commenting randomly happens all the time. Another thread in the toilet.
     
  39. sciencewonk

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    To the OP, don't post threads with misleading titles.
     
  40. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats
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    :thumbup: +1

    Did the OP even read the quote he copied in? It is obvious that author was talking about the research portion of medical school. No journal would ever publish a statement claiming that med schools are having to recruit med students from "outside the United States and pay their full tuition and stipend costs" to fill up spot.

    Its rather arrogant and juvenile to criticize an article published in Nature as a premed...unless you yourself are getting published in such a prestigious journal.
     
  41. soco

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    There are many problems with this post.

    -First of all this article is not just about research. The research part explores the argument that it creates biotech revenue which is just a couple paragraphs; it comprises a small part and is not the purpose of the article.
    -The other part that you glossed over is the whole training medical students to treat patients across America, FYI that is the purpose.
    -You blew up one FSU PhD quote and said it is representative of the piece. The statistic about PhD programs was put out there to argue that PhD have to go extraordinary lengths to fill positions. Then...
    -The quote is used as a comparison tool to foreshadow or describe what medical schools might need to do to produce doctors that will solve the physician shortage. Which is why they included the part about low minority matriculation because it's argued they go to underserved areas.
    -The not qualified applicants part was geared most likely to describing the behavior of doctors not going to where there is real need in the communities.


    The argument here is that schools cannot find enough pre-meds to go (once they become doctors) to where there is a shortage. That is a flaw in MD students. In that sense, they can't find qualified students.
     
  42. soco

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    That's why I separated that section from the first part and entitled it:

    "Talking about medical research positions:"


    ...
     
  43. soco

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    How is it misleading, is it not the whole theme of the piece?
     
  44. Gut Shot

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    I just read the piece. Nature is not saying that premeds are unqualified. What one of Nature's correspondents is saying is that critics of these new expansion medical training & research enterprises question whether there are enough qualified students who will want to go to them. He's not saying that qualified students aren't there, but that these critics (again, not Nature) are unsure of the qualified students will actually apply to these places if/when they're built. I can explain it a few more times if you like. Perhaps a flow chart and sock puppet demostration will be helpful if you're still not getting it.
     
  45. sciencewonk

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    The purpose of the article is to demonstrate how some states are developing medical schools in order to alleviate a current/projected physician shortage in rural areas.
    I realize that the research is not the whole story here, but since it is the part in question, it needs to be emphasized. This is because med schools are sold in part to their communities with the promise of revenue in return from research.

    The part you base your claim is the one you quoted and this:
    Where is it saying that that US pre-meds are not qualified? There may be disparities in representation, but noting to the effect that has set this thread off. Therefore, my point was that stating that somebody thinks that current pre-med students are not qualified for medical school (see thread title) is false. Current pre-meds are qualified, but they don't go on to practice back in their communities. The logic in your final statement is faulty - there is no flaw in the applicants, only in the system they practice in. The article address this issue a number of times, including:

    Fix the system, not the students.
     
  46. soco

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    I understand what you are saying but disagree with the assertion that there are enough qualified applicants. If there were enough qualified applicants then there wouldn't be a huge push for URM and medical school deans wouldn't entertain the idea of requiring physicians to serve a certain amount of time in under-served areas like many physician grants already do.

    Perhaps we differ on what "qualified" means. Are we qualified in the sense of training? Yes. Are we qualified in the sense that we recognize areas of need and go to them? No.

    Will building more medical schools to produce more people who will not go to areas-of-need help? No.

    And if you would post the sock-puppet explanation on youtube I think we would all really enjoy it.
     
  47. Gut Shot

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    Then you agree that your thread title is, in fact, misleading.
     
  48. soco

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    ?
     
  49. The Buff

    The Buff The Big Cat
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    Your second definition is nowhere near what "qualified" means. Maybe "short-sighted" or "nobody wants to work for cheap in the middle of nowhere", but not qualified. Plus, neither of the definitions that you wrote above reflect the title of this thread.
     
  50. Biscuit799

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    hahaha:laugh: ... I started reading that book last week, and I'm about half way through it.
     
  51. randomapplicant

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    What bothers me about the article is this transition:

    "
    That is either poor, disjointed writing, or an intentional arrangement of the argument to make people second guess the author's point.

    Either way, 1/2 of you are ridiculous for getting into a pissing match over impact factor, and the remainder of you (fine, us) are ridiculous for wasting life over the definition of qualified.

    Nonetheless, if we're going to start derailing threads, let's at least bash on expansion in general (*cough* for-profit osteopathic schools *cough*) instead, because I'd be a bit more entertained.
     

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