Educating The Next Generation Of Doctors Is Threatened

October 17, 2022

Education is at a turning point, especially in colleges and universities, and in the field of medicine. Will these institutions of higher learning fulfill their intended purpose of teaching and the development of the minds, social and moral precepts of the students?    

Your last visit to the doctor for an annual checkup revealed a problem that will require the attention of a specialist in the field of the particular condition you’re dealing with. This individual will avail you of his or her knowledge and experience, which may possibly require surgery, to remedy the problem and restore your good health.

The usual method for finding a specialist is to refer to the user guide that’s issued by your medical plan. And unless you receive a referral from the general practitioner or an outside recommendation, the individual you select will be a stranger. What is the first thought that comes to mind when you are confronted with this situation? You are of course concerned like most people would be, and part of that concern, aside from the surgery itself, is the expertise of the specialist that will perform the procedure.

Good health is of great significance, both for your own well-being and that of your family. It is imperative that the individual you will come to rely on is well-versed and skilled in performing the necessary care. But then how certain can you be? Will a visit to the specialist’s office, asking questions, discussing your condition, satisfy your concern and anxiety, and how is his or her bedside manner? You do notice there is a diploma in a frame on the wall, which says this individual graduated from a legitimate medical school and hopefully is qualified.

Years ago people in need of medical assistance did not have much of a choice, due to a scarcity of doctors, and there was no internet to do any research, so the alternatives were few. But today things are different; there are considerably more medical practitioners to choose from and the expectation is they know their craft. However, those things that have changed also include social and cultural norms and conventional standards.

Education has also gone through a transformation that places more of an emphasis on the mental and emotional state of a student, and not test scores, graduating even those whose performance has shown they have not met the standard requirement to advance. Hard work and merit seem to have fallen by the wayside. The belief among some is that schools seek to impress the bureaucracy and parents with high graduation numbers.

At one time meritocracy and standards of excellence were the hallmarks of education, but have since eroded, and this new dynamic has infected the entire system, from K-12 through higher education. This is where the medical practitioner you rely on must have achieved the necessary knowledge, expertise, and ethical standards to carry on in this important field of medicine.

There are members of the medical profession who have voiced their concern over what they believe is a lowering of standards, and deterioration of education in medicine. Recently New York University saw fit to fire Professor Maitland Jones; and what you might ask was the instructor’s infringement on higher learning, his organic chemistry course, which by the way he wrote the textbook on, was “Too Hard.”

The professor's students, undoubtedly a bunch of woke spoiled brats, complained to NYU that the inadequate grades they were given would impede their gaining admittance to medical school. According to the professor, “They (the students) were not coming to class, they weren’t watching the videos - that the professor with his own money produced, and they were not able to answer any questions.”  

Instead of dealing with the students for their negligence, ineptitude, and inability to do the work, NYU in a cowardly fashion, felt it was easier and less of a problem to dismiss the professor, who is considered the authority on organic chemistry; the study of organic structures is a vital and necessary course in the study of medicine.

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, Associate Dean of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania, criticized the senseless and outrageous decision by NYU, and stated the importance of organic chemistry, “Organic Chemistry is a very difficult subject. Doing well in the course in college has been a litmus test for medical school suitability. It demands discipline, the ability to think in three dimensions, memorizing complex structures, managing a series of chemical rules, and solving intricate problems. Its intellectual demands and need for disciplined study and problem solving are a must for doctors throughout their careers.”

What does all this mean; are we to surmise the quality, knowledge, and abilities of the doctors who we will have to rely on for medical care in years to come may not be that qualified? Are colleges and universities concentrating more on satisfying students’ demands and graduation rates, wanting to look good, and negligent in educating future doctors? Time will tell, hopefully for the better, for lives will depend on it.

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