Thursday, November 6, 2008

Paging Dr. Opie

I was going to take a week off posting due to an upcoming weekend trip and the fallout from this year's election. During my Micro lab today my professor mentioned something which completely floored me. One of the Medical Schools in our region recently adjusted their admissions requirements. Then now look like the following:

Aside from how short the list is, are there can courses that you see which are missing? How about Physics, Calc and Organic Chemistry? Yes, it says you can take those as additional courses, but they are no longer requirements.

Calc I can understand somewhat most aren't going to need to use that logic, but it's still good to be familiar with summations and limits. Physics, again, is somewhat understandable, but the properties which you learn can be immensely helpful when thinking of certain bodily functions.

And then we get to Organic Chemistry... for those of you who have no idea what this class is about, ask any science or medical major what they think of O Chem and everyone of them will shudder. As one of my biology professors so eloquently stated one day, "Organic Chemistry separates the men from the boys." By the time I finished the year long course at least 60% of my class had dropped or failed. It is your first experience at truly how difficult and all encompassing course work can be... you know, the kind you get in medical school. It is the most difficult course I have taken (it only beats Biochemistry because that was merely a semester) and it really causes you to rethink if you really want to continue on this path.

Even without that, the knowledge you gain in the class is far more useful than most of your other undergrad courses. It lays the groundwork for Biochemistry, Microbiology, Cell Biology and others. You may not remember how to change an aldehyde into an ester, but you'll understand the movement of protons in aerobic respiration.

It seems unfathomable that the college would choose to move to such standards. Granted the MCAT will still test on the previous requirements, but apparently the school is going to start pushing the MCAT folks to follow their ideals. Lord knows if that will work, but it's a scary thought.

I realize we have become a nation of somewhat lethargic people, but when I go to a clinic to have a doc look at something, I would like to know that he was top of his game. I want the best of the best treating me, same goes for pharmacists and all other professionals, and I don't want standards dumbed down. It can't be to increase enrollment as, from what I have gathered, there were a half million applications to medical schools across the nation. Granted, applicants apply to more than one, but it's still a large number of individuals.

What are your thoughts on this item? Would you feel comfortable going to a doctor in eight years knowing they were admitted on this practice?


Anonymous said...

That sounds easier. I have to take a year of biochemistry. In freshman year, the calculus course is only a semester long and teaches you about dosages, IV bolus dose, IV infusions, loaded doses, steady-states etc. Physics, Orgo, and Calc are all required in my school. There are plenty more tortures awaiting me for these long six years.

Frantic Pharmacist said...

I attended a university where, to be admitted to the med school, you didn't necessarily need a science-related degree. You could have a degree in music, sociology, English, engineering, whatever. Also, the med school was run more on a small-group, "self-learning" philosophy. I never understood how you could be a good physician without these basic courses. Their claim was that people skills were just as important, and their graduates were just as successful.
I guess you can have bad doctors who were 'rigorously' trained, and good ones who were trained non-traditionally...