The YouTube algorithm hit me with this:


Okay, that was funny.  Probably funnier if you were in medicine and really got the jokes.

But it makes me curious about something.

Why in the fuck does medicine make med students do this?

It seems like a needless and expensive waste of time.

I briefly dabbled with the idea of med school instead of getting my PhD, based on some research I did in orthopedic bio-materials.

The ONLY field of medicine I had interest in was orthopedics.  Putting screws into bone.  Human carpentry.   That’s it.

Why would someone like me have to do a  nephrology or pediatrics rotation?

Instead I’m an engineer.  I’m a professional engineer.  I, like a doctor, have had five years in internships and passed two sets of board exams to earn a license to practice.

I didn’t have to intern with a civil engineering firm, a mechanical engineering firm, a structural engineering firm, a chemical engineering firm, etc., to get licensed in my field.

I work on a team where there are engineers of other backgrounds who have expertise I don’t have.

Doesn’t it make more sense to train doctors in the field they want to learn and tell them “if you don’t know something, call in someone with that speciality.”

Trying out a few different field might make sense for some who is unsure what speciality they want and then they could try a few.  But this rotation system seems like something that could easily be gotten rid of.

Then again, I’m absolutely convinced that medical education is a cartel created to artificially reduce the supply of doctors to the public, driving up the salaries of doctors disproportionately.  So maybe the inefficiency of the system is the goal.


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By J. Kb

4 thoughts on “Can someone with an MD explain this stupidity to me”
  1. Medicine is not science. It is an art, and it is full of superstition. Look at how they treat sterile gowns. If anything goes below the waist, it’s no longer sterile, even if it didn’t touch anything, or touched a part of the gown that was in the same package 30 secs before…

    1. Medicine seems to be highly biased in (at least) two respects. “General” medicine (e.g. current standard of care) is highly resistant to changing what has worked in the past, even if there’s no verified reason why. The sterile criteria you mention are an example of that. While surgical procedures, equipment, prosthetics, etc., have changed in the past 20-30 years, for instance, many of the fundamental “mechanics” are similar.
      The other? A pretty thorough resistance to ever saying “We were wrong” or “I am sorry,” or any variation that would indicate that someone made a mistake.

  2. Simple explanation.
    If you screw up, you go out and purchase parts to replace the one(s) you screwed up.
    If a doctor screws up, they cannot run out to the supply house and get a replacement heart.
    Aside from that, there is really no difference between a doctor and any other well trained technical field. An auto mechanic does what? They diagnose the problem, prescribe a remedy, and put that remedy into place. How is that different than a doctor identifying the disease, or the organ requiring surgery, and prescribing a solution? It isn’t, with the exception of… what if they screw up?

  3. Cross discipline I think has value because it at least gets you to think and consider the other systems outside of your specialty.

    So frequently we see specialists or general medicine/internists who don’t consider what their doing and the impact other things have the whole picture. They just look within their narrow tunnel visioned scope. This is one of the few places it might actually make sense, but unless a dr already is open minded it probably won’t make any difference anyways.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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