Yale's med school is jumping aboard the bandwagon for increasing diversity in its student body, aiming to include more LGBT students. I can't see how aiming at quotas (or "goals" or some other euphemism) for this or any other type of student will improve the overall competency of the medical profession. I can see the reverse of that.
Medical school admissions people apparently think that medical training has been going too much toward students with demonstrated aptitude in science and the nation would be better served if more medical students were chosen on other grounds, including geography. In today's Pope Center piece, Duke Cheston, a recent UNC graduate who majored in biology, writes about the shifting emphasis in med school admissions.
The mania over "diversity" (that is, preferences for certain people whose ancestry puts them into an "underrepresented" category) has swept through most of American higher education. It's bad enough when, say, English departments fret that they aren't adequately "modeling diversity," but far more worrisome when medical schools do. In this Pope Center article today, I write about this disturbing phenomenon.
Theodore Dalrymple comments in the Telegraph on a government requirement that new nurses in the UK will have to hold a degree-level qualification beginning in 2013. Dalrymple sees no intrinsic reason why nursing can't be taught at university. But he questions whether our whole ideal of university training hasn't become culturally distorted. Here's a quote:
Unfortunately, power and status – unlike wealth and knowledge – are zero-sum games. The importance of power and status to the leaders of nursing became clear to me when I read the coursework a state enrolled nurse had to do for conversion to state registered nurse (in the days when these two levels of nursing still existed). The coursework had almost nothing in it of a technical nature: it was all a subdivision of what might be called resentment studies. Foucault was more of an influence than Florence Nightingale.
BTW, according to Amazon, Dalrymple's new book is supposed to be out any day. But you can read an extract from the book here.
The remarks below were sent in from Dr. Jeremiah Reedy, who serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Scholars and was the founding president of the Minnesota Association of Scholars. Dr. Reedy taught Classics at Macalester College from 1968 to 2004.
The daughter of a friend from South Africa just earned an M.D. degree from a medical school in England. It only took her five years---that is five years after graduating from high school. Last summer a former student who lives in Cyprus introduced me to her brother who had just finished law school in Athens. It took him four years, and again it was four years after graduating from high school. I know that medical and law faculties in the U.S. want students who are broadly educated and have read widely. Given the fact, however, that many students today are not getting what has traditionally been known as a liberal arts education but are instead being indoctrinated with radical politics, wouldn’t it be a good idea for U.S medical and law schools to accept students immediately after completion of high school? This would be an especially good idea in medicine since, if Congress passes a bill that provides universal health care, there is going to be an acute shortage of physicians. Not only will there be a huge increase in the number of people who want to see doctors, but many physicians have said they may retire early if we have government health care. A possible by-product of what I am proposing could be that students and teachers would begin taking high school more seriously. Any reactions?