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Saturday, December 24th 2005

What Can You Say…

Unprofessional medical students are more likely to make unprofessional medical doctors. Well, duh, kind’ve.

But as examples used in a post at MedPundit illustrate, a lot of this goes deeper. There’s evidence in the NEJM published study that the problem students lack empathy for patients or respect for authority figures. This is nothing that can be cured while in medical school.

I believe training in professionalism is a good thing for medical students but in many cases an attitude that was twenty years in the making, I don’t think, can be undone in four. The answer, if this is a major problem, which I’m not even sure the study shows it is, is to focus on medical student recruitment – making attitude and empathy, at the expense of grades and MCAT scores, a bigger part of the medical school admissions process.

You can check out Over My Med Body’s irked response (which I agree with) to MedPundit’s original post.