Akhilesh Pathipati, writing “Our doctors are too educated” in the Washington Post (emphasis mine):
U.S. physicians average 14 years of higher education (four years of college, four years of medical school and three to eight years to specialize in a residency or fellowship). That’s much longer than in other developed countries, where students typically study for 10 years. It also translates to millions of dollars and hours spent by U.S. medical students listening to lectures on topics they already know, doing clinical electives in fields they will not pursue and publishing papers no one will read.
We’ve done an amazing job in medicine findings way to fill years with reasonable-sounding and potentially useful activities and then pretending they are not only worthwhile but necessary.
Unless there were constraints placed on med schools or the AMA in lobbying I dont see this as a possibility.
It’s mostly not possible, which is the sad part. Medicine is mismanaged with deeply entrenched bad habits at every level.
The premed and school components, however, are somewhat mutable. Ironically, it’s the most selective schools here that have the power. A state school doesn’t have the clout to go pass/fail or really change their curriculum for fear of hurting the success of their students, but Harvard can do whatever it wants and it’ll be fine. The pass/fail grading that is slowly sweeping the nation is an example of this trend, though there have been unintended consequences there as well.
We’ve kind of boxed ourselves into a corner as well since we need to have more busywork in school than PAs/NPs do, no matter how useless, in order to keep our street cred.
Good on you to recognize the “publishing useless papers” thing too. Research solely for the sake of career advancement does not advance the state of science. But I suspect it’ll be at least a few years if ever until the scientific establishment publicly figures this out (their interests here are too vested as they are also constantly trying to advance their own careers and need all the temporary underlings and useless papers they can get).