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Thursday, January 4th 2007

The Real World

I’ve always had a kind’ve mixed admiration the guys in my class who went out and lived life and then came back to medical school. Should such experience be a prerequisite?

I was out in LA where all my college buddies forwent graduate school to enter the workforce. Like my mixed admiration for those who went out and accomplished things after college but before medical school, I had mixed feelings.

God forbid I’m ever sitting in a cubicle. Not only does it seem boring but, and I mean no offense, it just seems pointless. Will the market crash if you’re not in your cubicle? I can honestly say I stopped just shy of entering the “industry” because I wanted to do something that would make a difference.

And not all of that is selfless and noble, I was literally looking down the line and thinking, “I want to feel my life meant something at the end.”

At the same time, I’ve never held responsibility to someone else in a real world situation. Having bypassed real world experience, having lived my adult life in a classroom, I’ve basically, as many medical students, held responsibility only to myself.

Sure I’ve had jobs and volunteer experience. But pushing a patient through a hospital or filing medical charts falls a bit short of the responsibilities as a health care provider (even a 3rd year medical student).

As well, I know nothing of such a large part of the real world. I’ve seen so little from my chair in the lecture hall.

Of course the medical education system seems to have been turning out reasonably competent physicians for decades upon decades, so this, as many system changes are seems to be based on over thinking rather than real observation.

I can’t even say that all those in my class with real world experience have a “better”/more even keel point of view on the situation. I would be interested to see if they fall higher in the class ranking generally. Such a finding might not surprise me.

In anycase, for those two reasons, should work/volunteer/life experience be a prerequisite in between undergrad and medical school?