World Health Education Initiative



First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win. Mahatma Gandhi

Frequently Asked Questions
The following are reasonable questions, submitted by our readers, and our responses.

This page contains a living discussion.  It is updated frequently, and we invite your input.

Q.  Don’t the twelve years of pre-medical education give the student a universal education?

A.  The term "universal education" is a jargon manufactured by the institutional educational system.   The student is led down the primrose path in ways that turn out to be irrelevant to his or her life and future.  It is damaging to the healthy development of mindfulness. This question requires a complex response; an explanation that cannot adequately be provided in a few brief sentences.  Please see: Education Reform.  Read it carefully in order to receive an adequate answer to this inquiry.

Q.  Aren’t tests relevant in order to measure what we have learned?

A.  Occasionally, tests are valuable.  But frequent testing coupled with forced memorization is damaging to healthy mental development.  Written tests only measure a small portion of what has been learned.  They are valuable as a learning tool when the atmosphere is friendly and non-coercive.

Q.  Aren’t the internet programs going to require the same tedious testing procedures?

A.  No.  In order to appreciate this, we need to reevaluate what healthy education consists of.  The internet would be used as an information resource and a teaching tool.

Q.  If the internet programs are utilized then what will happen to the existing medical institutions?

A.  My speculation is that they will adapt their educational systems, making them healthier for aspiring physicians.  I believe in free choice, and would not attempt to force individuals into any particular system of learning.  Some people may choose the traditional educational route.  In all likelihood, the number of students following the traditional path will dwindle.  Medical schools will serve as research centers, holding seminars and workshops which students and practicing physicians can attend on a voluntary basis.

Q.  Instead of utilizing internet programs why not fight to lower the cost of medical schools?

A.  Medical schools are intrinsically expensive.  These institutions have many elaborate buildings, a large paid staff, and a number of other bureaucratic expenses.  Additionally, trying to fight a battle against an institution is futile and unproductive.  Rather than attempting to change the medical schools, I advocate providing an alternative.

Q.  Doesn’t the
competition in medical school also test the student's ability to handle the demands of being a physician?

A.  Long term stress is not healthy for anyone.  It is damaging to mindfulness as well as physical health.  Students shouldn't be putting in a 70 hour week and doctors shouldn't be seeing thirty patients a day.  Their lifestyle should be more

leisurely, and this will be better for both the doctor and the patient.  The student will be able to choose his own specialty, and would not choose general surgery or emergency medicine unless that suited his temperament.

Q.  If that pattern of 'pass the test and forget' exists, then why not incorporate more hands on experience in medical school?

A.  We would still encounter all of the obstacles of changing an
institution (mentioned above), and neither you nor I are powerful enough to do this.

Q.  Will the broad-based courses provided online be sufficient enough to prepare the student to be a certified doctor?

A. The scope of medical information on the internet is much more vast than that provided by any institutional program.  But we will not rely on these internet resources alone.  We will also have the doctor-student-patient interaction, starting very early in the educational process, and peer discussion groups creating a very memorable, impactful experience. 

Q.  Instead of completely changing the medical requirements why don’t we focus on strengthening what we learn in medical school?

A. The entire foundation of premedical and medical education is flawed from the ground up.  This would be like trying to build a house on a foundation of sand.

Q.  Are these distant online learning courses really going to fix the root-cause of the problem?

A.  No.  The root-cause of the problem is more complex.  We need to reexamine the flaws in traditional education.

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