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Starting Medical School at 12

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Excelsius, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem
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    I bet if someone had made a thread like that SDN would go ballistic. Well, yesterday I was listening to this radio program called "From the Top" where they feature musical prodigies and this one kid is not only a great piano player, but he started med school at 12 - Sho Yano. He wasn't even autistic. I think it's incredible and it shows how the vast majority of the population does not utilize the full capabilities of the brain at all.
     
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  2. Japika

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    That's amazing

    IQ > 200 wow
     
  3. JaggerPlate

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    This probably sounds cool from our perspective, but this kid's life sucks. He obviously didn't receive 1% of a normal childhood and while most kids are in jr high going to dances, playing sports, making friends, etc - the things that will make them into normal, happy people- this poor kid is studying 12 hours a day with 23 year olds. He will never have a normal life. I feel bad for him.
     
  4. Chemist0157

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    That was my first thought as well. As long as he enjoys it that's cool, but I don't want that for my (future) kids.
     
  5. EastCoastie87

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    I agree. He may have volumes upon volumes of academic knowledge stored in his brain, but he's missing out on the times where you learn the social skills needed to function properly in society. He may become a superb analytical physician but I bet he'll have issues connecting with his patients.
     
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  6. JaggerPlate

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    Yeah, hopefully it's his decision ... not one forced upon him.
     
  7. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    when i was 12 I wanted to play baseball, some others wanted to do the piano and still even others wanted to do ballet.

    I didn't want to study medical microbiology though.
     
  8. airplanes

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    Pretty amazing and ridiculous, I wish the best of luck to him...it can't be easy.
    But why does the existence of this boy genius show that the rest of us don't utilize the full capabilities of our brain? And..."he's not even autistic"? lol...was that necessary?
     
    #8 airplanes, Dec 1, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  9. Bibbed

    Bibbed Just call it.
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    Not to diminish the kid's achievement, but our current educational system sets the pace for our progression through academia. If the system instead had us in college at age 10 and going into professional school at age 12, I believe that there would be lots of capable children doing the same thing as this one.
     
  10. Twiigg

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    This article is from 2003. I'd be interested to see what he is up to now.
     
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  11. Bibbed

    Bibbed Just call it.
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    He's doing MD/PhD, so he's gonna be at that for a while.
     
  12. Bacchus

    Staff Member Administrator Physician Verified Expert 10+ Year Member

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    That's disgusting. It really is. He's 10 years younger than the normal med school population. He's not ready for med school.
     
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  13. SDN2013

    SDN2013 Athens
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    Thats why they are delaying his clinical training until he's 19. Good thing he chose MSTP
     
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    Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem
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    Judging from the article, his life definitely doesn't suck. He is studying not because he is forced, but because he wants to. Some kids are happy to play with toys. Others are happy to read. It's just a different medium. I am sure even many premeds here who have intraverted personalities didn't exactly spend their childhood playing in the yard. Also, one of the advantages of constantly reading and learning is that besides improving your IQ, it makes it much easier to learn. Therefore, I doubt that it takes him nearly as long to study something as it takes an average med student. This is a proof that the brain is the most amazing organ in the human body (and the most mysterious). I think that the only thing separating people like these from the rest of us is not their brain, but their motivation to fill up their brain with information. That's why the most famous scientists always point out that perspiration (hard work) is the most important thing in achieving anything. At an IQ over 200, this guy has a much higher IQ than Einstein (around 160). If he doesn't go on to make a great discovery, then we'll learn something very important about IQ tests and the brain. Even now I think we can say that high IQ doesn't = greatness. I am sure many people have had higher IQs than Einstein (such as Bill Clinton), but that did not translate into a great discovery. This reminds me of another quote by Einstein where he says imagination is more important than everything else. Both Einstein and Newton had an amazing sense of imagination. They both uncovered the greatest mysteries of the universe by thought experiments - a falling apple and a speeding train. This makes the IQ less significant (or less accurate).
     
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  15. OP
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    Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem
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    Why? It just proves that our educational system has A LOT of catching up to do. As the civilization advances, you'd expect to see some real "inflation" in the educational system too, like knocking off a year from age of students starting high school every 40 years or so. This kid had to be home schooled because no system could accommodate him. Doesn't it make you wonder how many other would-be prodigies are wasted if the parents are not motivated or educated enough to teach their children? I know of several other cases where the child turned out to be exceptional because one fo the parents really took care of the child's education.
     
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  16. Bibbed

    Bibbed Just call it.
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    per·spi·ra·tion
    n.
    1. The fluid, consisting of water with small amounts of urea and salts, that is excreted through the pores of the skin by the sweat glands; sweat.
    2. The act or process of perspiring.
     
  17. airplanes

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    Do you think the vast majority of the population is capable of such a heavy burden at a young age? I think not.
     
  18. Japika

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    not to start anything, but for all of you saying "it's gotta suck for him" or ...... you have to think, "what is it like"

    We have all heard of the "gifted" students in our middle school classes who were so smart, everything thrown at them just bored them to death, till they started to act out. You have to wonder, what must it be like for a 12 year old with an IQ of 200+.

    As for the difficulty of it. The kid probably has a perfect memory. Doubt he would have any problem reciting a medical school text book word for word if he wanted to. Question you have to ask yourselves, is it better he live up to his potential or waste it all bored out of his mind in middle school?
     
  19. JaggerPlate

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    Honestly, like I'm not trying to start ANY sort of argument here, but all academic, IQ testing, our system needs to catch up banter, aside ... you don't think there is something wrong with a 10 year old child studying medicine?? I have a brother close to his age, who is extremely bright, and spends his time playing guitar hero and soccer with his friends. I couldn't even imagine him slaving away for 12 hours a day behind a biochem book. I just don't see how this is good for this kid one bit? He's missing out on something that can never be replaced and we all need to function as adults ... a childhood. I also understand your point about a lot of pre-meds being introverted ... but I guarantee almost all of them still went k-12, made friends, played at recess, colored, etc. Don't you think there is something just fundamentally off about this situation??
     
  20. JeetKuneDo

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    This is a pretty impressive article. I agree with posters above that he's missing out on a lot of what comes with a "normal" childhood. IMO, I wouldn't want this for my children. You learn a lot of intangible skills and also learn a lot about yourself from junior high through high school. However, what he accomplished so far is very impressive, I gotta give the kid some props. :thumbup:
     
  21. disorder

    disorder isrdero
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    Me too. He should be "close" to finishing, or at least starting his rotations.

    I wonder if mental capacity can dictate the speed of acquisition and understanding of social behavior. If yes, then I think he should be fine. According to the article, it looks like he is self-motivated.
     
  22. MilkIsGood

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    his sister is at the university of chicago too.
     
  23. Slowpoke

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    there are a handful of child prodigies in the field of medicine, try wiki'ing, and if you can find it, watch the interview that 60 minutes did with Sho Yano - he is really something else. (In a good way)
     
  24. cyclin M

    cyclin M megaman
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    This kid is amazing and I only wish I could be half as bright as he is. His parents are some very dedicated people as well.
     
  25. alibai3ah

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    haha i can't believe you actually pointed it out, i just ignored it. But I would assume he meant to say "perserverance". ALthough I can't talk, this kind of thing would happen to me
     
  26. tiamat360

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    There's a quote, usually attributed to Einstein, that says genius is 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration. As in, genius takes hard work more than anything else. The use of "perspiration" is to make a half-rhyme with "inspiration."

    It is a bit weird if you don't know the quote, but this isn't actually one of the all-too-frequent misuses of English online.

    Ahem. Back to your regularly scheduled discussion of child geniuses...
     
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  27. JackInTheBox

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    Dude, do you guys really take everything that literally? The saying is from Thomas Edison and goes something like "genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident. They came by work."

    I'd agree that it sucks he won't have the same childhood we had, but who are we to say that we're better than him because of it? Nobody develops in exactly the same way, and for all we know, he could be more socially versed than any of us.
     
  28. mbe36

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    I have always been skeptical of these heavily accelerated children. I almost feel like the pressure hampers some of their talents.
     
  29. sguiliana

    sguiliana OCPM Class of 2013
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    lol
     
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  30. Bibbed

    Bibbed Just call it.
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    I'm just messing with the dude. Relax.
     
  31. chewsnuffles

    chewsnuffles is a series of tubes
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    I know this is different, but there was a time when education and hard work was valued more than the "soft" skills, and those times produced people such as oppenhiemer, feynman, and a host of biomedical researchers as well

    if they would have "tracked" along an modern educational timeline, they would probably have gotten bored and drank themselves into oblivion or something like that. we got the manhatten project out of em, and we could use the biomedical equivalent of the manhatten project in some aspects of medicine today as well
     
  32. Greonis

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    Unless someone here personally knows him, no one can really say whether or not he is at a disadvantage for not having the "traditional childhood" that the rest of us did. He is certainly remarkable, both in terms of his accomplishments and the age at which he made them. Only he can tell the world how his upbringing has affected him, whether for good or for bad.

    I'd say that, more often than not, pressure is a chief factor in the development of said talents. I personally believe that far more people in the world are capable of "Sho-like" accomplishments than we see, but they lack the chance to employ their talents due to a multiplicity of factors; luck, socioeconomic status, pre-determined expectations, and access to resources are but a few of the reasons (not related to intelligence) that could explain why it might be the case. Having parents that recognize the potential and encourage its development - as was the case with Sho - is essential. In most cases, I would guess that such talent is not detected or fostered, causing the children to grow up "normally" and not demonstrate their talents until a "normal" age.
     
  33. Retsage

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    Okay, a few points:

    1) The separation between genius and non-genius is not that the genius wants it more? No. I know we're all told that everybody's special growing up, but some kids are just much more special. This is genetic and physiological. Our brains, relative to his brain, will be very different.

    2) There are many brilliant people who have achieved nothing. But people who do achieve scientific greatness are also brilliant, IQ-wise. Saying Einstein only had an IQ of 160, not 200, is preposterous. Do you have any idea how brilliant one must be with an IQ of 160? The average medical student has an IQ of around 120-125, from what I understand. An IQ of 160 is more than four standard deviations higher than that.

    3) The famous geniuses of the past, talking about perspiration, are just being humble. Do not mistake it for truth. They did what they did because they were incredibly brilliant firstly. Ambition and hard-work are required, of course, but a dolt with both will get nowhere. A genius with both, if chance should have it, will succeed immensely.
     
  34. NTF

    NTF
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    Good for him. I'm glad he's doing MSTP so he won't have educational debt hanging over him if he decides he wants to do something different in his early twenties.

    I think he deserves the opportunity to stand on his own merits like his other fellow med students.
     
  35. zpiff

    zpiff Spaceman
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    For some reason I really like the phrase "heavily accelerated children". Also to put even more physics imagery into this statement I think "dampens" is a better word then hampers.

    Those crazy heavily accelerated, oscillating children!
     
  36. Twiigg

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    Haha! But I think you were serious. :nod:
     
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  37. Fibroblastman

    Fibroblastman A stumble prevents a fall
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    That's nothing. When I was 12... I almost had the complete collection of Pokemon cards. Almost.
     
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  38. kac714

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    how do you know you want to be a doc for sure at age 12?!?!
     
  39. Twiigg

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    Who is to say that studying biochemistry isn't his idea of fun? Fun is a subjective experience.

    I think this is great. I think this is good for him (if he enjoys it) and good for society. I think one of the noblest quests is the hunt for a better, more complete understanding of ourselves and the universe in which we live. I wish I had his similar drive for understanding. I would swap places with him in a second. It all depends on the individual. Just because his situation isn't a norm in our society does not mean we should try and diminish or take away from the great things he is doing and probably will continue to do in the future.
     
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  40. Twiigg

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    Maybe he won't end up being a doctor. He has plenty of time to change career paths. :D
     
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  41. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    Everyone says "as long as he is happy" but how do we know that is really what makes him happy? Many times kids show a glimmer of talent or genius and the parents push it so hard on them that they believe it is what makes them happy. Lord only knows how many gifted athletes I have seen become burned out later on. Who says it is any different with academics? Just because it isn't as common doesn't mean it is impossible.

    I honestly don't care what he does either way and I'm sure he can talk to people. I can't imagine ever being that smart simply because you are so far above everyone else, many conversations or daily interactions must feel trivial. I can't handle talking to ridiculously stupid people, but for him that is 99.9% of the population. Saying is high IQ and genius hampers his soft skills is stupid though. Goethe had an ungodly high IQ and he had a terrific eye for conversations and interactions. Doesn't mean he didn't have inner conflicts though.
     
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  42. Twiigg

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    No two brains are the same. On the microscopic level, brains are incomparably as different as two snowflakes. The brain grows fastest at younger ages. The way we are raised, the interests we take as children, the connections we form and reinforce throughout our lives are equally as important as genetic and physiological factors.

    I respectfully disagree. In my opinion, past and present geniuses all have one thing in common. They all see that an objective understanding of the universe transcends in importance the society that the human species has created. As thinking, reasoning, conscious animals, we have the tremendous opportunity to look beyond ourselves and try and understand the universe for what it is. This takes work. This also takes the ability to see what human society really is... exclusively human. We must get outside of ourselves and see the bigger picture. At least, that is how I understand the statements that have been referenced in this thread.
     
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  43. Chemist0157

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    Here's my baby rant:

    If applicants go to so much trouble to show schools that they are mature, sensible adults ready to go into medicine, and schools put so much emphasis on wanting students that are not just numbers, how does a 12 YEAR OLD get into medical school?? How could he possibly be ready for it, to be ready to deal with patients on a daily basis?? To deal with frustration, disappointments, and death?? Does all of that come with a really high IQ? He must be a really unique individual because my money wouldn't be on a 12 year old being a good medical student and a 16 year old being a good doctor.
     
  44. Retsage

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    No one is stating that any two brains are the same. That being said, the amount of difference in a genius' brain is undoubtedly greater than the amount of difference between any two average people. You can look at the studies of Einstein's brain for example.




    And these geniuses were still all a part of human society. As such, a type of noblesse oblige was expected of them. Just like somebody who went to Harvard will tell you they go to a school in Boston, a genius will tell you that anybody could succeed the same as he. It's a Western ideal and societal norm to underplay your nature strengths, and overplay your nurture abilities.
     
  45. closer23

    closer23 Liberal
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    .
     
    #45 closer23, Dec 1, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  46. Twiigg

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    The school's waiting for down the road when he wins the Nobel Prize. Then they have alumni bragging rights!
     
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  47. Chemist0157

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    Still, that's young. And that must be because he went MD/PhD I guess? I think someone said that earlier.
     
  48. Chemist0157

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    I wouldn't put it past them! ;)
     
  49. Retsage

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    Yeah, it's not about creating a worthwhile clinician (he's far too young, and probably socially inept), but an excellent researcher.
     
  50. Wylde

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    You can't judge the quality of someone's life based on an internet article. The article doesn't even include his opinion on things... it discusses him. It doesn't talk about how he is doing emotionally or if he would rather be doing something else.


    I do not think you understand IQ tests. IQ tests try to measure intelligence; they do not try and gauge the success or celebrity of someone. Since IQ tests are not trying to find the most successful people, we do not have to reevaluate the test simply because one person with a high IQ is not comparatively successful (eg making a "great discovery").

    Also, many "great discoveries" do not correlate with intelligence (or are not caused by great intelligence). Many discoveries are random or they are the result of assessing accidents in the lab. Many successes (in life) require more than just intelligence.


    I wonder how he, at the age of 12, can know that he wants to do an MD and a PhD. That's what I worry the most about: this kid could do many things, yet he has already decided on doing an MSTP?! I highly doubt he has been exposed to other fields or has incoorporated his future lifestyle into this decision. The kid may be able to handle it perfectly, but what advantages come from starting at the age of 12 - he simply cannot know that this is the best decision for him.
     

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