We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The fact is that the MCAT contained, until 1977, a major component called "General Knowledge." This covered areas like history, geography, art, music, psychology, and literature, and was far too broad-ranging to possibly study for. I don't know why that part was removed.
"The public are idiots. I want Dr. House to diagnose me."
No you don't! In case you hadn't noticed, every patient Dr. House treats has a near-death experience under his care and is saved only after immense (and sometimes pointless) suffering. Wouldn't you prefer a doctor who's not such a big Drama Queen?
The article talks about adding items like cultural awareness and social sciences, which may seem "soft," but it's probabaly just a continuation of the slide toward professional trade school. Just imagine the indoctrination that the new med school students are going to receive as we head into the meaty part of the Affordable Care Act.
Yeah, I'll take Dr. House, if he isn't driven out of the profession by 2015!
A middle aged friend just finishing his nursing degree (he'd been a volunteer EMT for years) says that nursing training is following the same trajectory. He was horrified by the "there are no wrong answers" refrain and the dumbing down of required sciences.
It seems to me that a broad-based general knowledge of subjects such as art, music, psychology, literature would give one good knowledge of the culture that one's patients live in, give the physician a way to connect to them and may even help them to understand at least the rudiments of patients' livelihoods and avocations, which should in turn help understand the stresses and conditions that might affect their illnesses. Otherwise you're treating a collection of symptoms without getting a grip on the patient as a whole.
I don't really care if my diagnostician can tell the difference between Bach and Beethoven organ pieces, I want one who knows the difference liver and kidney organ pieces.
Bedside manner? Listen to me, and try to answer my questions. Call me an idiot (like House does) if you want, but pay attention.
Sure, it is better for me if in addition to those you are also nice to talk with. And I would be pleasantly surprised to find that you know esoterica such as that the actual "Potemkin villages" were real, not fakes. Or that Aristotle liked to play "horsey" and be ridden by hetairae. But do I believe that means you are a better medical doctor? Nope.