Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Dumbing Down Medical Practice

No one is paying attention to this, but armies of social justice warriors have been hard at work dumbing down the medical profession. The next time you get sick, you are more likely to find a physician who believes in social justice and less likely to find a physician who is fully informed about medical science.

In part, it’s about diversity and affirmative action. In a generally good expose of what is going on, Devorah Goldman sees no problem in politicizing the profession in order to have more diversity. And yet, when you are looking for a physician, what matters more political correctness or scientific knowledge?

Under normal circumstances this would simply tell all consumers of medical care to avoid any physician who might have gained his credentials through a diversity program. Now, however, the American Association of Medical Colleges wants to test medical school applicants for ideological correctness… and concomitantly to downplay their knowledge of science.

Leading the march is a psychiatrist named Dr. Darrell Kirch. One understands that psychiatry has improved significantly over the past century, offering far better pharmacological treatments than were henceforth available. And yet, psychiatrists are more like witch doctors than are most medical professionals. And Kirch, in his zeal to reform the medical profession, seems to be leading the march. One notes that his reforms have nothing to do with science.

Goldman exposes his radicalism and his fanaticism:

Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and CEO of the AAMC, expressed his vision in a candid 2011 speech at the University of California, Davis: "I am a man on a mission. I believe it is critical to our future to transform health care. I'm not talking about tweaking it. I'm not talking about some nuanced improvements here and there. I'm talking about true transformation."

One sees that the new requirements for medical school admissions are designed to produce more minority applicants, and to overlook weakness in science courses in favor of things like upbringing and life experience. Again, when you seek a physician, what matters more: how the person grew up or how well the person knows medicine:

A series of new guidelines (some of which have yet to be implemented) called on medical school admissions teams to place less emphasis on applicants' grades, changed the requirements for letters of recommendation, and altered the standardized application by requesting a great deal more information about students' upbringing and life experiences. The AAMC is also planning to add "situational judgment tests"—carefully crafted interviews in which applicants will be presented with a variety of hypothetical scenarios involving ethical conflicts—to the current admissions requirements. Along with the new MCAT, these changes are part of Kirch's plan to shift the focus of medical-school admissions toward a "new excellence," a standard based less on test scores and more on "the attitudes, values, and experiences" of applicants.

Naturally, Kirch wants to de-emphasize facts and offer more humanities oriented medical training. Again, since minority applicants do less well in science courses, these new requirements will be filling the ranks of the medical profession with underqualified physicians: what will that do to the quality of health care in this country?

He has repeatedly expressed his desire to move medical studies "away from the accumulation of facts" and toward "a new paradigm." Whether this is scientifically sound or not, it has become the norm in many pre-med programs, which now offer "interdisciplinary" majors such as Columbia University's "Medicine, Literature and Society" track or Cornell's "Biology and Society." A number of medical schools have also revised their mission statements to better align with the AAMC's principles.

Naturally, Kirch also wants medical professionals to be part of the social justice movement. It’s not enough to treat illness. They must advance a political agenda, fight racism and sexism:

Kirch often insists that social justice is the neglected core tenet of medical ethics; in a 2015 essay, he praised the White Coats for Black Lives movement, a medical-student organization inspired by Black Lives Matter, for "sparking dialogue rather than division" by "staging on-campus die-ins." White Coats for Black Lives lobbies, among other things, for the creation of "national medical school curricular standards" that would mandate the teaching of "structural racism" and "unconscious racial bias" in medical schools.

Again, medicine is no longer about science. It’s about empathy. Kirch does not use the word, but one understands that the new generations of healers will feel your pain, but will not know how to treat your illness:

In an announcement reported by the New York Times that year, Kirch explained, "The goal is to improve the medical admissions process to find the people who you and I would want as our doctors. Being a good doctor isn't just about understanding science, it's about understanding people." One new section of the exam, entitled "Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior," requires test-takers to respond to multiple-choice questions in which both the question's premise and the available answers are, at best, often distantly related to medicine.

The AAMC is imposing its ideology by the way it skews questions on the new version of the medical school standardized tests, the MCATS:

One MCAT practice question (from a collaboration between the AAMC and online-education nonprofit Khan Academy), for example, asks whether the wage gap between men and women is the result of bigotry, sexism, racism, or biological differences (no other options are provided, and the "correct" answer is sexism). Another asks whether the "lack of minorities such as African Americans or Latinos/Latinas among university faculty members" is due to symbolic racism, institutional racism, hidden racism, or personal bias (the correct answer is institutional racism). Yet another asks test-takers to select from a list of debatable definitions for "the terms 'sex' and 'gender.' "

Another leading executive at the AAMC confirmed that it did not care as much about professional competence, but was seeking to produce a cadre of physicians that was diverse and that cared about justice and equality:

In response to questions about these developments and their effects, the AAMC's executive vice president, Dr. Atul Grover, referred to a set of core principles guiding the organization's recent work. An AAMC report outlining those principles describes the organization as "a powerful voice for compassion, equity, and justice" on behalf of the nation's academic medical institutions, and stresses the importance of "advancing a well-trained, culturally competent, and diverse health and biomedical workforce." Grover further explained that the revised MCAT "tests students on the knowledge and skills that future physicians need to practice in a changing health care system and serve a changing patient population" and establishes a foundation for learning "about the socio-cultural and behavioral determinants of health."

The AAMC has given up on medicine, has given up on science and medical technology. They are no longer training physicians. They are training medicine men, or  medicine women, or even medicine persons.

Within a few years, regardless of where the money is coming from, the new motto will be: Don’t get sick in America. Or better: your shaman will see you now.


Anonymous said...

I already see the effects of this. Young physicians ask questions such as "What do you think is wrong?" and stare more at a computer screen rather than making observations that lead towards a diagnosis.

Sam L. said...

Kirch and the AAMC want us to die. Earliy/ier.

Deana said...

This is panic inducing material. This nauseates me. It is evil to destroy students this way - not to mention the lives of patients.

ASM826 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ASM826 said...

I meant to be commenting on your latest post, although I think this is an interesting post and did link to it.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you... I just added Borepatch to my own blogroll.