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View Diary: Study debunks myth of doctors fleeing Medicare (55 comments)

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  •  planned scarcity (0+ / 0-)

    I was listening to some students coming back from their first week of medical school.  We were all on the bus.  Their banter was not at the level you would expect from the best of the best, they were all white, and none looked like inner city kids.

    This problem with the apparent shortage of doctors, and the apparent refusal to economize like every other sector of the US, is totally created by a medical school system and the AMA.  Recall that the AMA did no even accept black members until the late 60's.  That black doctors only make up less than 5% of MDs.  That medical schools are increasing students, arguably at a slower rate than population growth, but residencies are expected to be scarce.

    All these create a fake scarcity created by greedy people. These scarcity allows MDs to pick and choose clients in a way that, say, engineers, do not. At least we should expect to see the medical profession more closely resemble the general population, unless we believe that white males are intently better doctors than others.

    One can say this is necessary because doctors go to school for so long, but all doctorate program(PhD) are around 10 years, and all require several postodocs which typically mean you are not on your own for often 15 years.

    One can say that with a doctor lives are on the line, but if that were true one would do exactly opposite of what is done now.  One would accept many more into medical school than residencies are available, accept only the best of these into residencies, and then have no expectation that they will complete it.  Right now med students appear to be surprised that they do not get residencies, which means that when everyone did, it might have meant that some unqualified persons got through.

    If medical school were a more competitive environment like engineering, perhaps doctors would see their job as a privileged rather than a favor they are doing for society.

    •  As a physician, all I can say here is, "huh"? (5+ / 0-)

      The AMA is NOTHING.  It is a voluntary association that over half of physicians aren't members of.  They have no authority or power to regulate or oversee physicians.  Why the public still gives the AMA the mantle of being the voice of all physicians is a mystery to me and most other physicians.

      And what's with your theory that that medical school and residency should be a pyramid scheme to get rid of "unqualified persons"?  I went to a state medical school and took out expensive loans (the interest rate was 9% then) to get through.  Medical education is expensive.  In your proposed pyramid, many M.D.s would be left with out prospects for employment in medicine.  That would be a huge waste of taxpayer money, since taxpayers fund medical schools and guarantee student loans.  Also, how is this supposed to solve the shortage of primary care physicians?

      As for your last paragraph, medical school IS harder to get into than engineering school.  More than half who try, don't ever get in, and that's after earning a bachelor's degree in a course of study that is math and science heavy, while maintaining excellent grades.

    •  Having worked in the admissions (1+ / 0-)
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      tb mare

      office of a mid-sized, highly regarded med school, I can tell you your post is full of holes, lowt.

      This was the situation when I left the job 14 yrs ago:  Many thousands of applications, then 600+ or so interviewed, and only 100 or so spots in an incoming class.  The goal for each class was 10 - 20 minority applicants.  The admissions committee worked very hard to see that each class was balanced not only by race, but by background, by sex, by outside interests & talents, by age, by......almost any characteristic one could think up.  

      They wanted hockey players, they wanted a basketball team, they wanted a piano player for the class play; they wanted Catholics, atheists, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Humanists, Episcopalians, Eastern Orthodox, Buddhists, Baptists, they wanted students from a variety of states, regions, countries (if they had a green card), and undergraduate schools (public & private).

      They wanted people for international medicine, people who had an interest in research (MD/PhD program), people who wanted to go into Family Medicine, people who would work in clinics, people who would work for drug companies, people who would teach in med schools, people with an interest in medical informatics, people who wanted to be surgeons, people interested in psych, etc etc.  

      I agree 110% with blugrinrdst.

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