Exploring The Alternatives
Today, in order to become
doctor, one has to go to a
medical school, which is a four-year program costing hundreds of
thousands of dollars.
According to one survey, for every dollar that
the medical student pays, there are four dollars that come from other sources of
funding. Most people don't realize that 90% or more of
the M.D. faculty members are volunteers.
They aren't paid.
I find that incredible to contemplate. The real heart,
of medical school is provided free of
charge. It is the institution itself - the rigidity -
that is so expensive.
speaking, there are thousands of people with chronic illnesses who have educated themselves
about their conditions via the internet. They quickly managed to
become more familiar with their diseases than the physicians who treat
There is a wealth of non-profit web sites
dedicated to medical subjects
and authored by non-physicians. Though often extremely
information rich, they typically post a disclaimer stating that their
information should not be considered medical advice, and that the
reader should always consult a physician.
Such a disclaimer is
appropriate for legal reasons, but usually ludicrous,
because these sites are often generally
more substantive and accurate than the information provided by most
This is not a criticism of
physicians, but of the medical system. When doctors
are seeing thirty patients a day, they have little remaining time for
researching new medical developments.
After having been programmed by years of education to
practice with a particular style, their potential for creativity and
growth is severely hindered.
institutional education is rigid and
non-creative, directed toward learning information that is
mostly irrelevant and obsolete. Replacing the current structure
with a system that focuses on live patients and allows ample time for
the student to devise creative solutions via internet information
resources, technical support, and a worldwide communication network
would greatly improve the quality of healthcare.
The role of the teacher is not to lecture, but to be available when the
student is having difficulty or
requires advice. Lectures can be conducted via the internet.
Today's doctors tend to use ritualistic, formulaic approaches: weigh,
measure, take blood pressure, conduct a superficial examination, write
a prescription, and then move to the next patient. Good medicine
is a creative process; a process which must be developed from the
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