Studying Medicine: Medschool vs Real World

in STEMGeeks2 months ago

It's been on my mind to write something about the subject matter for weeks. Let's say layman decides they want to study medicine without going through formal enrolment and getting a Degree in Medicine, how far can learning by copying the modules would this person realistically reach?

Note: Assume they are serious about putting in a lot of hours self studying the subject. They have access to internet, modules and the recommended reference material. I'm using my experience with our medical educational system where it took me four years to complete the program and get a degree, and another year for post graduate training hospital exposure to qualify for a licensure exam.

If they were diligent and commit to studying the academic parts of the learning experience, the first three years in the program would be a breeze. The bulk of the academic life is just reading, memorizing, familiarizing concepts, and all the theory related to the practice. An individual with an above average IQ with the passion to pursue the self study can survive this part.

For people that have thrived well on written exams, if they had built a good foundation from start to finish on these first three years, passing the board exam would not be an impossible task. The licensure exam relies on theory anyway, the things you learn first hand may not applicable on ideal settings asked on the questions.

This has been a pet peeve of mine during exposures at the hospital. The struggle to perform the ideal practice will always be there in a third world country where resources are too limited and we got to be resourceful or cheap out on supplies just to make things work. Then in comes the board exams that asks us questions on what we're supposed to do when it's unlikely that we'll get to apply most of them.

Yes, it is possible for licensed doctors to pass just by burying themselves in books soaking up the theories without any practical skill set in the area. The fourth year and the post graduate hospital exposure is the clincher where one gets to develop their clinical eye, and real world practical clinical skills to trouble shoot and workaround the hospital environment.

In theory, you have to be professional but in practice you'll be surrounded with ego and have to know when to bark or stand down. The medical field has always been about being mindful of how your conduct is with your seniors, appearances, and actual knowledge with skills applied. None of that is ever tackled on the medical books one just reads on the module.

Again, it's really possible for one to get a license passing the medical board exam without ever learning anything for real life clinical experience. Because those exams are just built around theory. It's a recurring phenomenon to see some newly licensed doctors not be confident or capable in the area as they barely suffered hardships while training as a clerk.

When an intern gets cuddled from work too much, they have a high likelihood of being a problematic resident in their future career. I'm seeing a terrible trend happening lately with my juniors and interns. Ever since they were pulled out from hospital work due to pandemic and their learning experience relied mostly on Zoom meetings, their practical clinical skills started rusting.

The incoming generation of interns complain of the smallest paper work asked of them. My generation had thrice the workload but none of us had any audacity to cry about it and raise the concern on the higher ups. The incoming generation have less experience doing in hospital work and living a 36 hours straight duty becoming a zombie every 3 days and that's really alarming.

The current trend is a lot of drop rates with residency training due to hardships encountered in the real world. When a lot of doctors choose the easy life, easy money, and not specialize, there would be a shortage of specialized physicians and the end result is a limited number of choices for patients to go to and more expensive health care costs.

A bookworm can get a license easily, but when it comes to having a grit to keep working on the profession, those two additional years can make or break one's character if this is the profession they really want to set out for in their life. I recall being asked about my expectations of medicine prior to enrolment by a doctor, I said it would be easy.

They raised an eyebrow and I didn't understood it immediately but I know I said something stupid. Well I got what they meant after going through the program. It wasn't all easy but it wasn't that difficult if I just only viewed the experience from the academic side. I still won't take back what I said about medicine being easy to pass (as I was only mentally referring to the school portion of the career), but the profession once you get a license is a different story.

I don't recommend anyone to study medicine unless it's really what they want to do in life.


This is the gross section of the breast specimen I mentioned on my previous post. I was relieved to see the mass was just a firm solid one but then hopes went down after seeing the thing had an encapsulated cyst containing a fungating and friable mass inside on top of another solid mass. Now entertaining a papillary breast neoplasm which shifts the case from benign to malignant


@adamada was here

Posted with STEMGeeks


Darn, I was hoping that's a picture of grilled chicken.

By coincidence I ate chick during and after dissecting this at lunch time. Gotta multi task at the lab ignoring no food policy cause I'm a rebel.

Sounds like hepatitis.

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