Frequently Asked Questions Part Three
Q. What do you mean by saying that
doctors are the third leading cause of death in the United States?
A. This statement is validated by the
July 26, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical
Association, Volume 284. These deaths are due to errors made by
doctors in the course of their treatment. Most often, these
fatalities are the result of a doctor prescribing an inappropriate
Q. Are you suggesting a college
A. No, I am suggesting a free, open
system in which the student designs his own educational program.
Q. You state that there are a large number of non-profit websites
on medical subjects authored by non-physicians. You
also state that many of these sites are extremely information rich, and
usually more substantive and accurate than the information provided by
most physicians. Since anyone with basic HTML skills can
create a medical website, how can the layman discriminate between
valuable information and nonsense?
A. We are
referring to illnesses that are somewhat outside of main
stream medicine, such as chronic fatigue syndrome. In these cases
it is frequently difficult for both doctors and non-physicians to
distinguish which treatments are effective. Furthermore, when
dealing with such an illness, everyone responds to treatment
differently. In these instances, it is good to be part of a
support or discussion group of patients who suffer from that particular
condition. Such individuals will provide a lot of valuable input
pertaining to treatment options, and will do so without financial
motivation, and in an unbiased fashion. Often, these groups will
contain some very scholarly people who have studied these medical
conditions in depth and are good critical thinkers.
Q. You state that the root-cause of our current healthcare
problems resides in our system of medical education.
What are the first steps that need to be taken for us to revamp this
A. Since the general public does not
understand that our system of medical education is at the
core of this dysfunction, we must educate them on this matter. We
must also educate the existing army of healthcare reform activists,
because this concept may be new to them. We need to help such
activists focus on root causes, rather than vague symptoms. We
need activists to focus on concrete solutions, rather than vague
notions. We must pass regulations at the state level that will
allow for the creation of an alternative pathway for becoming a doctor,
a pathway that we have described. Once one state does this, the
rest of the country will follow. It is likely that the rest of
the world will follow our example.
Q. Isn't rote
memorization crucial for a medical student to learn the huge
volume of knowledge necessary to practice as a physician?
A. Please refer to our page on
how memory works.
It is difficult to memorize
material from books or lecture notes, and even more difficult to retain
that information for a long period of time. When the student is
seeing live patients, face-to-face, he will read about illnesses and
their treatments and associate this knowledge with actual patients.
Not only is this a more natural and pleasant learning process, this
association process is far more conducive to long term memory.