Promoting Poorly-Equipped Medical Students

An interesting commentary (SA Santen et al. NEJM 2019; 381: 2287-9): “Kicking the Can Down the Road –When Medical Schools Fail to Self-Regulate”

Key points:

  • Medical schools have only a ~3% attrition rate
  • Some students, perhaps 1 or 2 per class, matriculate even though the dean(s) “would not allow [them] to care for their family” due to either academic limitations or unprofessional behavior
  • The authors note that there is a low likelihood of legal liability of dismissal as long as there is adequate documentation and as long as schools do not deviate from due-process

My take: This concern of advancing the medical careers of problematic individuals is limited to a small number.  However, it is NOT limited to medical school but applies as well to residency & fellowship programs.  In addition, of course, promoting suboptimal individuals is not limited to the field of medicine.

Related blog posts:

“More People Than Ever Want To Be Doctors”

From NBC News: “More People Than Ever Want To Be Doctors”

More people than ever want to be doctors, a new survey shows. Enrollment is up 25 percent this year over 2002, with more black applicants and Hispanic applicants being accepted.

More than 52,000 people applied to medical school in 2015 — up more than 56 percent from 2002 — the survey by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) found…And 20,630 were enrolled, a 25 percent increase over the 16,488 enrolled in 2002….

“The number of Hispanic or Latino enrollees increased by 6.9 percent to 1,988, and the number of applicants increased by 10.3 percent to 4,839,” the AAMC said in a statement.

“African-American enrollees rose 11.6 percent to 1,576, while the number of applicants increased by 16.8 percent to a total of 4,661.”

Disco is Dead