Medical ‘exams’?

I hope he knows where to put that finger

I hope he knows where to put that finger

Over the last 15 years, I’ve witnessed the introduction of exam regulations such that examiners may not penalize students for bad spelling, bad grammar, and the inability to muster arguments.

Now, let it be known that I yield to no one in my enthusiasm for the worship of mediocrity, but there are consequences for medicine.

One letter altered in a word can change meaning: it could be the opposite of what was intended. One letter or syllable altered can mean an entirely different drug. One letter or symbol altered can increase or decrease a dosage by a factor of 100. An inability to organize thoughts logically signals an inability to formulate a treatment plan. And so on.

Students with certain conditions are allowed extra time in exams. I wonder how they will manage when they are on duty in the emergency room. Is it unreasonable of me to hope that they will not be there when I need attention? I know of one who claimed extra time on the basis of being able to read only the first syllable of a word, then guessing the rest. Tolerating that doesn’t have much to recommend it when over 70 drugs begin with ‘chlor’.

What drives this? Partly political correctness, and partly disability legislation.

Medical education is not alone in suffering from the baleful influence of theorists who lack common sense and practical experience, but it is one of the few areas where the consequences of such idiocy can be fatal. The public needs to know. When I need the services of a medical professional, I would like them to be competent and knowledgeable.

I think I shall form a new society: the Association for Restoration of Sanity in Education. ARSE. Also a new blog for the exposure of such lunacy. I am seeking a title for the blog. A colleague suggests Rumbling Rectum. Other ideas welcome.

2 thoughts on “Medical ‘exams’?

  1. A reasonable question. I heard of medical students who had a problem with touching human bodies (live ones!). I think they were allowed to graduate. God only knows what they’re doing now.

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