Great Minds, Etc...

Brad Plumer jumps on a hobbyhorse of mine, namely, the need to build more medical schools. There are a mere 125 in the nation, and the competition is so intense that a B here and there disqualifies you. Fast forward a few years and doctors are so overloaded that they make patients wait hours but can only offer them minutes. Residents are in such high demand that they work inhuman shifts and their exhaustion leads to mistakes. Sounds like we need a supply increase.

Further, can anybody explain why the pre-med track makes sense for anyone who wants to be a primary care physician? In that job, which mainly consists of treating basic cases, reassuring harried parents, and referring complex problems, interpersonal abilities are the most important attribute. Yet the training ground is an absurd load of sciences that prizes the workhorses above the socially-adept. Maybe we can create a separate track for those wanting non-surgical, non-specialized, non-research based practices? Maybe we can codify Nurse Practitioners (who I've always found to be excellent, often superior, doctors) into an education path? What say you, world?

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