It ought to be hard to get into medical school
In answer to a recent (May 20) column “Is it too hard to become a doctor?” Yes, for some.
The standards required for professionals entrusted with life and death medical decisions should be extremely high, and some understandably will not make the cut.
The notion that certain people who are “above average” applicants to medical schools from “prestigious universities” and compassionate, however cannot make the cut academically is somehow an injustice or “tragedy” is nonsense. Frankly, I would prefer a doctor with average compassion and superior academic qualifications than the opposite.
To address doctor shortages, perhaps a greater focus on the sciences in schools may increase interest in medical careers among high potential students. Allowing physicians to spend more quality time with patients and less on red tape and paperwork may keep more in the profession longer.
Qualifications for medical school are understandably very demanding but selectively lowering the standards for medical school admission is not the solution. Underqualified students failing out only compounds the problem. Those who cannot make the cut can certainly pursue other rewarding and meaningful careers.
George “Papa Bear” Halas was the legendary coach of the Chicago Bears in the highly competitive National Football League. During training camp when a player did not make the cut, he would call them into his office. “Young man,” he would tell them. “Today’s your lucky day. Now you are going to find out what your true calling is in life, because it’s not playing in the NFL.”