World Health Education Initiative



First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win. Mahatma Gandhi

Frequently Asked Questions
Part Two

Q. The students in medical school often strive to be the best and most educated.  How could someone who surfs the internet have more knowledge about diseases and conditions than these students?

A. Because they are not following the familiar model of memorizing data, passing the test, and forgetting.  They are engaged in self-motivated and self-directed medical study purely out of curiosity, or because either they, or a loved one, have an illness.  They are able to focus on learning without any bureaucratic distractions.  Love, rather than a desire for "success", motivates them.

Q. Don't some people say that we should not believe all of the information that can be obtained on the internet?

A. Yes, this is good advice.  Remember, some people also say that it is wise not to believe all of the information learned in schools.

Q. Instead of getting rid of medical institutions and proposing an
entirely new system, why not simply require practicing doctors to continue their research on new diseases and conditions?

A. We're not getting rid of medical institutions.  We are giving people  an alternative to the current model of education, which is damaging to creativity.  Furthermore, if the typical medical practitioner sees thirty patients a day, he usually does not have time to do research.

Q. Will these internet classrooms really provide the fundamental education for a medical student?

A. Education is not something that you inject into somebody.  In the end, all students teach themselves.  The internet is only a resource, but virtually unlimited in it's scope, cost effective, and highly flexible.  It is available 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week. There is no need to commute to get there.  The internet is only one aspect of the program.  There would also be the student-doctor relationships, discussion groups, and other resources of the student's choosing.  The student would design a program that works best for him.

Q. Donít the existing medical schools determine whether or not the student is really ready to become a certified doctor?

A. Partially, but not adequately.   In addition to the requirements of  each individual medical school, each state has written examinations that must be passed.  Also, each medical specialty has a board that administers it's own written and oral exams.  In my opinion, the examinations conducted by the specialty boards are the most relevant to what the doctor will actually be doing.  Written exams measure only a small part of whole-brain functioning, and our emphasis on them is at the very core of the dysfunction that plagues our educational system.

Q. Instead of requiring a four-year college education, why donít   medical institutions let dedicated and successful high school students into their four-year program?

A. Theoretically this is possible, and has happened in a few cases.  But because medical school admissions are so competitive, this is a rare occurrence.  In our culture, we believe the notion that an individual's worth as a person is dependent upon his graduating from college.  Many people attend college, not out of an innate desire to learn, but primarily because our culture places such a high value on formal education.  Unfortunately, college is expensive, inefficient, and often irrelevant to their lives.

Q. Instead of focusing on rare conditions, why donít medical schools make the more common diseases their main focus?

A. The more common conditions are often the least understood.  Traditionally, medical schools have a base in a large teaching hospital.  Often this is a general hospital, which admits mostly indigent or severely ill patients, and in doing so, skews the patient population.  For example, a student might see a huge number of end-stage chronic alcoholics who dying of delirium tremens and cirrhosis of the liver.  This same student may see common conditions very infrequently.    

Q. Instead of requiring so much money to go to a medical school, why not lessen the cost, and make it more affordable?

A. Because institutions have a huge overhead.

Q. Instead of providing free internet classrooms for pre-medical students, why doesnít the government offer the medical institutions that exist today at a lower price?

A. The government already subsidizes medical education to a large extent. Combined, the government and private donors spend four dollars per every one dollar spent by the student.

Q. Donít a lot of students prefer the in-
classroom environment in order to learn the necessary information?

A. I don't have any statistics, but my private polls tell me that the overwhelming majority of students would prefer the model that we have proposed.  Keep in mind that in this model, there is nothing to prevent an individual from taking classes.  The student should have freedom of choice, as long as the public is protected.

Q. Won't the test required for the student who has completed his   online education be exactly the same as the memorize, pass the test, and forget type?

A. In the new system, there would be a much smaller emphasis on written exams.  An exception would be the use of tests as a teaching tool.  The tests would contain only relevant information with the trivial questions weeded out.  Students would be motivated by love and an innate desire to learn, rather than by a fear of failure.

Q. What is the significance of the oral exam?

A. Oral exams measure judgment and other aspects of mindfulness that written tests do not.  When the examiner is convinced that the student grasps a certain topic, he can change the subject and cover a lot of ground more quickly.  These exams frequently have people acting as patients.  The examiner can watch a student conduct an examination and evaluate his approach.  Oral exams tend to be much more relevant and meaningful.

Q. What determines the length of the assistantship?

A. Generally, the assistantship would end when the student felt that   his rate of learning in that particular environment had declined and it was time for him to pursue other avenues.

Q. Isnít the information in the textbooks relevant to the childís education in school?

A. Frequently it is not.  Everyone learns differently.  For example some people are left-brain dominant, which means that they are good with words and numbers.  Others are right-brain dominant, which means that they are very creative, but often have difficulty learning from a book.  When a student is allowed to be in charge of his own education, he will choose the methods most conducive to his learning.

Q. How can we be assured that the doctor will be competent and that the public will be protected?

A. Today, a future doctor receives thousands of tests along his path toward receiving his M.D.  The only meaningful test, however, is the final exam, because it is the only tool that measures what he has remembered after his long educational trek.  Today, there are no oral exams required in order to become a licensed physician.  This is a defect in the system, because oral exams measure a much larger percentage of whole-brain function, including judgment and approach to the patient.  Our approach would require extensive oral exams.  Today, a license to practice medicine allows a doctor to practice in any specialty, including surgery.  Common sense tells us that no doctor is competent to practice in all specialties.  We would allow a doctor to practice only in those areas in which he has proven his competence.  Today, there are no assessments of character required in order to practice medicine.  The tedious required educational process is damaging to character.  We offer proof of this here.   Our proposal for medical education would offer a continuous evaluation of character in the form of close, continuous, intimate relationships with practicing physicians.  We believe that our proposal would produce physicians of much greater competence, compassion, and creativity, along with a more accurate verification procedure to assure quality control and protect the public.

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