Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Kevin debunks 2 myths about medical school

1. Medical students are really smart

There seems to be some kind of general assumption that you have to be really smart to do medicine. Not true. Medical schools come in all shapes and sizes and with that, different entrance requirements. While the kids over at WashU are probably phenomenal test-takers and would be considered “smart”, the average med school is quite different. People come from all walks of life and while we’re certainly not dumb, most of us really aren’t that smart. The majority of medical students would not hack it in physics, mathematics, even engineering. Hell, looking at averaged VR MCAT scores, most of us are bad at reading as well. Unlike some other fields, medicine doesn’t require its applicants to be the sharpest knife the drawer, only the eagerest. Those who have academic deficits can more than make up for in volunteer work, perhaps save a few African babies. So what people lack in intelligence, they make up for in good ol’ fashion gumption. This isn’t really a bad thing. Medicine is ultimately a service industry and intelligence alone isn’t always enough (unless you’re a neurosurgeon, then it’s probably good enough). But regular people out there: your doctor may be smarter than the average Joe, but that doesn’t mean he’s a genius.

2. Medical school is difficult

The materials covered in medical school are not difficult. Everything is mostly memorization and regurgitation. Rarely do you have to take what you know and apply it to a truly novel situation. Perhaps this will change in second year but so far, it’s been pretty mundane. That’s not to say classes are not time consuming. Memorizing a lot of random facts takes a decent amount of work, but then again so is laying bricks and neither is really that challenging. A lot of my non-medicine friends really believe medical school is the pinnacle of academic rigor and honestly I don’t have the heart to tell them otherwise. Instead, I play into their assumption and pretend I’m just busy all the time with work. Sometimes I’ll tussle my hair up a little bit before approaching some non-medical friends so I look a bit more frazzled (ok not really but I’m willing to go this far if they catch wind of my ruse).

1 comment:

Tor Arne said...

I'm being Comments On Really Old Blog Posts Guy here, but damn you guys hit the nail on the head with this one!