Fully [H]
Apr 10, 2003
Medical schools typically recruit students by choosing candidates that can memorize tables of organic chemistry compounds and other rote memorization. Jefferson Health CEO and Thomas Jefferson University president, Dr. Steven Klasko suggests this is designed to "suck the creativity out of physicians," and creates competition instead of collaboration. He believes this is the wrong way to find new candidates as critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and empathy are important also. Thus medical schools should follow the path of tech companies and recruit the most creative people that actually listen to patients and can critically think how to solve medical issues on the fly. Tech companies aren't interested in your transcript; they're interested in your creativity.

Others in the medical field agree with the sentiments of Dr. Klasko such as emergency room physician Bon Ku. "'We still need the basic memorization of scientific knowledge, but no human can possibly keep up,'" Ku told CNBC. "'Medical knowledge is doubling at this crazy rate. So instead there should be a greater emphasis on creative problem solving.'"

"We need to make medical students more human," Klasko said in an interview. "The way things are today is that you can be the most antisocial person in the room, but if we train you to pass a multiple choice test you can go and treat sick patients." Klasko sees a future in which technology will be used to provide an immediate list of drugs for a particular case and offer clinical decision support tools to make a diagnosis. That will free doctors up to spend time listening to their patients, improving their surgical techniques or learning new skills.
Promoting the development of critical thinking skills over memorization should be the goal of all educational programs, not just those in the tech and medical industry.

Nothing irritates me more than co-workers that don't know how to even approach a problem if there isn't a) a written procedure on how to resolve it, and/or b) haven't encountered it before.
Over the years I've learned there are people who live and breath hardware or software. When they go home from the job they start working on their own hardware or software because they love doing it so much. These types of people are the best at what they do and are the ones you want working for you. They exists in all areas; doctors, car mechanics, game designers, airline pilots etc... The rest are just there for a paycheck and do the very minimum to get by.
Exlink, that is why those individuals are destined to be Administrators or helpdesk, those that dig in and figure out how to fix problems move on to be engineers.

Regardless, I wish more companies and recruiters that were actually doing the interview process would actually consider a background and creative problem solving of people rather than looking to tick overly narrow skills checklists.

Troubleshooting as a skill. MF if I'm working as an engineer Problem Solving is PART AND PARCEL for what I do. I don't specifically call out troubleshooting because that's just identifying the problem. gRRR.. Anyway.. off of my mini soap box.
medical school enrollment is mostly based on how much you can shill out $ for, not the actual quality of the candidate. ( well it was 3 decades ago maybe )

and you don't need to be creative in most cases . Just the ethical integrity to not squeeze as much money out of the customer
As someone with neuropathy and dozens of specialists visits and thousands in medical bills for 10 years with docs still "uncertain on causes"... its frustrating. often you can watch doc's "think" and it almost seems like they are seeing if it fits one of their memorized diagnosis, if it doesnt they dont know what to do.

its nuts. some of them dont even know new medical terminology, studies, nutritional alternatives etc.
Some medical schools are already doing this. University of Illinois just opened a medical school last year as the first engineering based medical school in the world.

Essentially they find that engineers who typically are good at creative thinking, are better candidates that students who are science nerds
It's akin to this. Scientists invent solutions to problems. Engineers take known available data and creative thinking to solver or bypass a problem. If that solution is a code change based on something we have created or have access to great. Sometimes it's more of a work around that actually prevents the problem from occurring in the first place. It's up to the developers/scientists to create a solution to that very specific issue. But without the engineers feedback on how the symptom was resolved it is a much more difficult process for the scientist/developer.

Too many companies expect scientists/developers to be problem solvers. They are not... they test their solution in a vacuum by design. It works in the vacuum then they stop worrying about it until an engineer tells them how the real world broke it.
This is very important in the medical field and the best doctors I know of and/or have mentored under all would support change of this sort. However, framing it as "do as the tech companies do" is not a good way to explain it exactly, lest it come with the baggage and issues of that industry. Medicine in the US is basically hurting badly for several, fixable reasons but the most severe are due to the insurance companies and other middlemen treating healthcare as any other industry where maximum profit is expected; Physicians, other healthcare providers, and patients all suffer. We need to change this trend ASAP and institute whole new policies in how we look at and fund healthcare, but the selection and training of physicians is an important element as well.

We're currently going towards a Physician shortage, especially non-foreign physicians in the most needed specialties. There are many reasons for this, but changing medical school entrance (and costs) will go a long way to helping. If you look at the current MCAT and for that matter the Pre-2016 variant (the one I took a few years ago ) , there's a ton of focus on things like organic chemistry and lots of other test material that really isn't pertinent to real medical practice. With the exception of some doctors doing research work etc.... the vast majority of the kind of info from the MCAT isn't necessary nor conducive to patient care, where such things are easily looked up if necessary. Success on the MCAT is, like many standardized tests, more about your ability to take a particular test (and have the resources, mental or financial etc..) to do so and many docs I've spoken to would have it removed entirely. Others favor a complete rewrite in the fashion of actual medical practice, rather than just testing what everyone remembers from their chemistry/bio classes or solving logic problems. For instance, something like a mock-diagnosis would be a good place to start, where information on certain conditions were made available in the test materials and it would be up to the test taker to apply that to the symptoms and history the patient offers. Over reliance on rote memorization actually sends the wrong message about modern medicine because doctors SHOULD be encouraged to look up things when they don't know, rather than bullshit their way through!

As someone with neuropathy and dozens of specialists visits and thousands in medical bills for 10 years with docs still "uncertain on causes"... its frustrating. often you can watch doc's "think" and it almost seems like they are seeing if it fits one of their memorized diagnosis, if it doesnt they dont know what to do.

its nuts. some of them dont even know new medical terminology, studies, nutritional alternatives etc.

The insurance industry is to blame here, as everything is distilled down to a particular ICD-10 diagnosis codes (fun fact: these were originally designed for scientific, epidemiological use NOT for billing. THere's even an ICD code for decapitation!) and CPT codes for procedures, in order to be billable. Insurance tries to weasel out of paying anything they can and have stupid policies like "You used the CPT code for removing a sebaceous cyst 3 times because the patient had 3 of them. The first one we pay X, the second we pay 0.5X, the third and beyond we only pay 0.3X" This kind of thing, along with some other factors, have created a culture where "I don't know but we'll keep looking" isn't really acceptable, and a code for a symptom in and of itself may get fought without attaching it to a diagnosis of some kind. Of course, this can have ramifications down the line for the patients depending on the diagnosis used. There can also be something of a culture where people focus on certain symptoms or a catch-all diagnosis of exclusion, when they really should be looking for the underlying cause for that particular patient. While individual doctors can vary of course, I have noticed that certain fields seem far more conservative and resistant to this than others.

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles and for what its worth, neuropathy is a symptom that can be caused by an absolute ton of things. Some are the easy things to look into first (ie nearly the first question to ask is "Are you diabetic"? ), but many can be harder to diagnose requiring time, knowledge, and the inclination to look deeper into that particular patient's problem. I know you've seen specialists but if you're not satisfied, I urge you to look into Functional Medicine. This approach is predicated taking the patient holistically and looking into things accurately, using diagnostic and treatment methods from various modalities instead of just the most common mainstream standards of care. Note that this is not simply the same thing as "alternative" treatments (which themselves can range from the useless to the viable), but rather an approach to use the entire "toolbox" so to speak, when most others basically see only nails because they're only taught to use hammers. The only real downside to functional medicine is that many practitioners do not take insurance (for various reasons too lengthy to go into here), so it can be expensive to pay out of pocket. However, since these docs don't take insurance they also can bill as they choose so they can make exceptions; never be afraid to ask about payment plans or explain your situation. If you have any questions just let me know and I'll try to help.

Overall we need to revamp medicine right down to how we educate, or even qualify for said education, our potential physicians.
Hasn't the medical industry been around since... i don't know... ancient civilization? They've probably learned a thing or two in that time about training.

Maybe the tech industry should be mirroring techniques from them.