What’s The Purpose Of Medical School?

Authored by: Rishi F. — UCSF

I was lucky enough to spend years before matriculating working with midlevels and physicians, and I also have a lot of personal connections (and a few mentors) that really highlighted for me the difference between your average physician and your average mid level.

I think some of us forget that the average or even above average midlevel is not academic/well-read and even more commonly doesn’t even give a shit about that. I think the comparison is kind of a lie. You compare the 1% of midlevels to mediocre docs. Yeah, everyone knows that one PA who is awesome, but how many midlevels do you know walking around that engage in the level of academics even the average physician uses? I also think that the “break culture” and “it’s 3 pm and there is work to do but it’s quitting time” attitude is super prevalent for pretty much all non-physicians. I don’t really hold it against them. Sure, we can say that maybe they understand that we shouldn’t let the system fuck us over by overworking ourselves because admins want martyrs, but I think there is something to be said for the get shit done mentality that is instilled in even the laziest doctors that finish training. There is just a different expectation and professional courtesy to your colleagues.

When my CT surgeon yells that he could teach a fucking high school drop out to do his job during a temper tantrum I absolutely believe him. I also believe that you couldn’t get a high school dropout to work hard enough to do what he does for a living. The typical physician needs both and I think that is where I believe all this training actually contributes. Medical training (particularly the school part) desperately needs to change, but I don’t believe the reason is theoretically someone could just memorize some stuff and do the bare minimum and end up in the same place as someone who sought out the hidden curriculum.

I think the term high yield has really reduced how this journey changes you in ways you can’t measure with your board scores. I think that measuring your growth as a person overall is important and shows you that this experience can’t be condensed to 1.5 years of NP school. I would also hope that people who wanted to become a physician understood that meant more than memorizing Pathoma. I’m not saying be martyr, but understand you don’t make $$$ to dip at 3 pm and sort of understand what is going on level 2.

  1. I am really angry about this virus. I am 71 with several co-morbidity factors and I take care of father…

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