Frequently Asked Questions
Q. The students in medical school often strive to be the best and most educated. How could someone who surfs the internet have more knowledge about diseases and conditions than these students?
A. Because they are not following the familiar model of memorizing data, passing the test, and forgetting. They are engaged in self-motivated and self-directed medical study purely out of curiosity, or because either they, or a loved one, have an illness. They are able to focus on learning without any bureaucratic distractions. Love, rather than a desire for "success", motivates them.
Q. Don't some people say that we should not believe all of the information that can be obtained on the internet?
A. Yes, this is good advice. Remember, some people also say that it is wise not to believe all of the information learned in schools.
Q. Instead of getting rid of medical institutions and proposing an entirely new system, why not simply require practicing doctors to continue their research on new diseases and conditions?
A. We're not getting rid of medical institutions. We are giving people an alternative to the current model of education, which is damaging to creativity. Furthermore, if the typical medical practitioner sees thirty patients a day, he usually does not have time to do research.
Q. Will these internet classrooms really provide the fundamental education for a medical student?
A. Education is not something that you inject into somebody. In the end, all students teach themselves. The internet is only a resource, but virtually unlimited in it's scope, cost effective, and highly flexible. It is available 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week. There is no need to commute to get there. The internet is only one aspect of the program. There would also be the student-doctor relationships, discussion groups, and other resources of the student's choosing. The student would design a program that works best for him.
Q. Don’t the existing medical schools determine whether or not the student is really ready to become a certified doctor?
A. Partially, but not adequately. In addition to the requirements of each individual medical school, each state has written examinations that must be passed. Also, each medical specialty has a board that administers it's own written and oral exams. In my opinion, the examinations conducted by the specialty boards are the most relevant to what the doctor will actually be doing. Written exams measure only a small part of whole-brain functioning, and our emphasis on them is at the very core of the dysfunction that plagues our educational system.
Q. Instead of requiring a four-year college education, why don’t medical institutions let dedicated and successful high school students into their four-year program?
A. Theoretically this is possible, and has happened in a few cases. But because medical school admissions are so competitive, this is a rare occurrence. In our culture, we believe the notion that an individual's worth as a person is dependent upon his graduating from college. Many people attend college, not out of an innate desire to learn, but primarily because our culture places such a high value on formal education. Unfortunately, college is expensive, inefficient, and often irrelevant to their lives.
Q. Instead of focusing on rare conditions, why don’t medical schools make the more common diseases their main focus?
A. The more common conditions are often the least understood. Traditionally, medical schools have a base in a large teaching hospital. Often this is a general hospital, which admits mostly indigent or severely ill patients, and in doing so, skews the patient population. For example, a student might see a huge number of end-stage chronic alcoholics who dying of delirium tremens and cirrhosis of the liver. This same student may see common conditions very infrequently.