Saturday, April 28, 2007

Medical School Prerequisites

I was sitting at the computer Friday, and a bright resident noticed my fairly rapid hunt-and-peck typing method. I commented to her that I should have had typing as a prerequisite to medical school and it got me thinking...

My required medical school prerequisites looked something like this:

Chemistry with lab
Biology with lab
Organic Chemistry with lab
Algebra I, II, Trigonometry, Geometry, Calculus I

And as I look back on these prerequisites for medical school many years later, I realize that I can't remember a single organic chemistry formula, nor integral derivation from Calculus. Oh, I knew them at one time. But after medical school and the time required to cram countless anatomic relationships, diseases, microbes, and pharmaceutical names in your brain, the prior effort is lost forever. Sad, really.

Perhaps it would be better to take prerequisites that would come in handy throughout medical school and beyond. So for this, I am proposing a new prerequisite list to supercede the old:

Typing 101 and Speed Typing
Absolute must-haves for the Medicine of Today: Electronic Medical Record, Electronic Billing, yada, yada, yada. You want to get home before midnight? These courses are a must.

Chemistry is so passé and so useless in medical school (did I ever use this?). Psychology, my friends, is much more practical, especially in the context of repetitive handwashing. (Obsessive Compulsives can comp out of this course).

Critical to know in the era of Alternative Medicine. The importance of knowing which "house" you're in at various times of the lunar cycle, especially for ER physicians, is always valuable.

Socialism 101 and perhaps Maoism 203
- only for the providers in the health care sector.

Collective Bargaining and Labor Law
How many hours do you work?

Economics (Macro and Micro)
Never taught, but should be.

Gambling 307
Know when to walk away, know when to run.

Litigation 537 + Lab
(a graduate level course, to be sure)

... and last, but not least:

Dilbert Linguistics


No comments: