Coronavirus pandemic has exposed flaws in medical education

The battle against a viral epidemic has been handicapped by another epidemic: the spread of “social justice” as an overweening concern of academia, including medical education. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a former associate dean of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine lets us now that medical school needs an “overhaul.”

…many doctors haven’t been adequately trained in medical school to deal with a situation like this. 

Most medical schools don’t require students to do coursework on pandemic response or practical preparation for a widespread and sustained emergency. American medical training as a whole doesn’t include a strong grounding in public-health issues or disaster preparedness. Instead, two of the nine specific curricular requirements decreed by the body that accredits medical schools are focused on social issues in medicine, including “the diagnosis of common societal problems and the impacts of disparities in health care on medically underserved populations,” particularly “in a multidimensional and diverse society.” None mention public health or epidemics. (snip)

…the medical profession should abandon the fantasy that physicians can be trained to solve the problems of poverty, food insecurity and racism. They have no clinical tools with which to address these issues. The public may not realize that well-funded organizations like the Beyond Flexner Alliance advocate for devoting a substantial part of medical-school teaching to social and organizational topics.

Political correctness, with its obsession on victimology, is a plague, although few realize that the biggest victims of the plague are the ostensible beneficiaries of its targeting. The current focus on the high rates of Coronavirus infection and morbidity among African Americans treats any mention of behavioral remedies as anathema, discouraging the immediate and practical measures that could reduce this awful toll in favor of anger at abstractions such as differential access to health care. That is a problem for longer term remedy.

Pandemics are a corollary of globalism. Medical education should prepare physicians for this “new normal.”

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Graphci credit: Eliot Lash