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Organizers Plan Online Medical School

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the patient-died-you-must-reload-a-saved-game dept.

Education 170

slashdot_commentator writes "Job has you down? Thinking of starting a second career? How about finally getting that medical degree you've been putting off? A group of more than 50 schools in 16 countries are working to create an online medical school, in part to combat the "brain drain" that occurs when medical students go abroad for their education but do not return later. ... Organizers said that because degrees would be granted by individual participating schools, all of which are accredited, students should not have to worry about accreditation problems."

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When will they learn? (-1)

Sir Bard (605512) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428285)

I'm a linux sysadmin that deals with pedal powered 802.11b networks and I learned everything from HOWTOs when will people learn degrees are meaningless.

Gosh, you're absolutely right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428612)

In fact, now that I've realized the error of my pointless pursuit and attainment of college degrees, I've just put a gun barrel in my mouth and have pulled the trigger. My brains are now splattered in a gooey mess on the wall behind my chair.

Thank you, sir! How else could I have come to the realization about just how pathetic and pointless my life is?

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Dexter's Laboratory (608003) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428287)

Fylking Post! Äntligen!

How nice (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428300)

Ronald M. Harden, director of Dundee's Center for Medical Education, says students could be based at any of the participating medical schools, in a hospital, or at home. The approach, he says, "would ensure that the right learning is available for the student at the right time and in the right place."

Heh. Yeah, and it also ensures that the money flow to the university doesn't get interrupted. But I'm sure that never occurred to them. :-)

Weeelll doggie... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428303)

Now Jethro can be a double-naught spy *and* a brain surgeon.

As my father/doctor always said.... (1)

UnidentifiedCoward (606296) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428310)

"Hi, everybody! I am Dr. Nick!" Not really, but he did/does say this:

"No one is too smart that they have to go to med school in the Carribean or for that matter on the internet."

Which raises some interesting questions about board certification if you ask me.

Re:As my father/doctor always said.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428499)

in english please

Re:As my father/doctor always said.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428670)

it's not off topic.

i too, fail to see, what the hell the person was getting at...

1-800-DOCKTORB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428695)

The "B is for Bargain

boon to cheaters (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428313)

I can just see it now - people get the symptoms, then tab over to google and make a lightning-fast diagnosis.

The idea,s a bit sick (pun intended)

Re:boon to cheaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428341)

The idea,s a bit sick (pun intended)

What about the bad grammar?

Re:boon to cheaters (3, Funny)

billd (11997) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428502)

The idea,s a bit sick (pun intended)

bit .. internet, yeah I get it ;-)

Re:boon to cheaters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428785)

NHB Radio [nhbradio.com]

Funny Stuff.

Been Done (4, Insightful)

mwalker (66677) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428318)

As I recall, right in the middle of the dot-com boom Microsoft started an online, collaborative center for Medical education by buying out a bunch of sites. It was called the "MSN Healing Zone" and didn't last for very long...

Re:Been Done (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428566)

I wouldn't assume that any endeavor would fail just because MS has botched it in the past.

-jcr

Re:Been Done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428597)

I remember that, but I don't recall why it failed. Anyone know?

Re:Been Done (2, Insightful)

Operation Mongoose (532374) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428631)

Oh ya, the Healing Zone. As I recall when that started to lose cash, Microsoft totally burn-bagged it, shut the whole thing down, sold the domain name, sent everybody home... nothing left but Aeron chairs and flourescent lights in under a week. Truly an American story.

I worked at Healing Zone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428644)

I did coding for them on their backend(interestingly, although it was owned by MS, the servers were BSD. Go figure.) The reason it went down was because MS had no idea what to do with it. I don't think I ever heard a peep of advertising for it, then suprise, suprise, it went under because no one visited it.

To this day the employees are convinced that MS bought it to prevent it from competing with some service MS had planned for the future.

General Practitioner or Specialist? (-1, Troll)

Inthewire (521207) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428320)

I ask because there is already a site that will help you become a proctologist [goatse.cx]

Re:General Practitioner or Specialist? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428589)

Damn. That was the first funnny, non-ascii goatse post I've seen. Good work.

Good idea, but... (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428321)

University of Phoenix along with a few other schools already have online programs for undergrad and graduate degrees.



The classroom part of this can be done online. But what about the labs and the on the job training? Many hospitals are teaching hospitals where the medical students work alongside doctors.

Dr. Nic (4, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428328)

"Did you go to Hollywood Upstairs Medical School too?"

So it will go something like this... (5, Funny)

lobos (88359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428329)

I'm so excited to have you as a patient. I never had to cut anything open in med school and this is my first chance!

Great Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428330)

Sounds like a very good idea. Now lets all get a medical degree through online...

Bad idea (3, Insightful)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428332)

Online schools deprive you of needed experience and interaction -- and that's particularly bad for the field of medicine, which requires LOTS of hands-on experience. Even worse than cassette tape courses at colleges, online degrees in general are a joke that the vast, vast majority of people flunk out of or quit.

The idea is a total waste of money -- there is no way that the brain drain will stop until for-profit Healthcare corporations quit hiring so many H1B doctors for wages that are much lower than doctors here yet are still higher than those in the third world; that goes for just about every other erudite profession, as well.

Re:Bad idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428346)

Man, Kelly Osbourne isn't sexy. You need a new name.

Re:Bad idea (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428384)

Online schools deprive you of needed experience and interaction

Pssst, Bob! I accedently screwed up really big on a patient, but she does not respond to the reboot command. How do I start over?

Re:Bad idea (5, Informative)

Frank of Earth (126705) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428479)

Did you even read the article?

During the first two years of the curriculum, about 70 percent of the students' time would be taken up by distance learning, and the remainder by working in a community setting like a clinic or hospital. After that, the proportions would shift to about 30 percent computer-based learning and 70 percent working in a practice setting.

I don't know what's worse, the post or the idiots that modded it up.

Why ask? (3, Insightful)

mekkab (133181) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428550)

When you know the answer is "NO"!

The inevitable answer is that this will open up the medical degree experience for many- some will do nothing with it and some will flourish and become star doctors.

Bringing up an idea without any research or (even better) empirical results on slashdot is giving the professional naysayers far too much grist for the mill.

I'm sure if you said "What if we started a global network! And have it initially funded by the government..." on the 1950's version of slashdot all those schmucks would have said "What, and call it the internet? hah! It'll never work!"

Re:Why ask? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428664)

Other have called this "Slashdot Naysayer Syndome"... or SNS for short.

Re:Bad idea (1)

bug1 (96678) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428520)

Was your post inteded to as a troll ?

"Online schools deprive you of needed experience and interaction"

Most online or distance education courses ive seen have a mandatory block period where physical attendance is required to complete prac's

"The idea is a total waste of money"

The cost of attending and running an online course should be (havent seen figures) a small fraction of the cost of traditional uni's.

A traditional uni has heaps of people turn up to lectures to watch and listen to some old guy read a few pages out of a text book.
Reading is a pre-requisit to entry to university, WTF cant students read the textbook by themselves, and why cant they read it via a web browser.

Comminications is essential to learning, but you only need it when you need assistance... thats what tutorial sessions are for, no reason they cant be done over the net.

University should be about learning, not just a factory that takes a raw material (people) and prepares them (as graduates) for consumption by industry.

Re:Bad idea (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428632)

It isn't just the third world, Tiger. Here in Canada we import our crappy doctors from the third world and then send our good doctors to the US where they can make more money. Of course that's what we get for having socialized healthcare.

And our elite software developers generally make about half of what the average American "IT professional" gets. I'd have half a mind to cross the border myself if it wasn't so dirty and crime-ridden.

i can't wait... (0, Offtopic)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428335)

10:1 says they set this on in ISS, and i'm dying to see the screenshots when the goatse guy shows up in the anatomy section after the kidies get their hands on it...

Re:i can't wait... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428359)

10:1 says they set this on in ISS, and i'm dying to see the screenshots when the goatse guy shows up in the anatomy section after the kidies get their hands on it...

He just might be a legitamate case study example right now. Gotta learn about assectemies from somewhere.

Re:i can't wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428539)


10:1 says they set this on in ISS
/me wondering why they would put this on the international space station. (the latency would be a killer)

Just don't let it... (1)

groman (535485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428342)

Just don't let it turn into another University of Phoenix...

Re:Just don't let it... (1)

Jahf (21968) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428373)

Curious, what's wrong with UoP? I have a couple of friends who are considering it as a way to complete their degree while working. I've considered it, too, but never seem to find the time.

Re:Just don't let it... (2, Interesting)

apropos (12176) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428734)

There's nothing wrong with the University of Phoenix that isn't wrong with other schools. The only folks who hate it are those who tried and failed. I've done both traditional college (for 3 yrs) and UoP, and I'll take UoP any day.

I learned more and I was challenged a hell of a lot more. At UoP I actually learned to communicate with people (horror of horrors!). After all, a good part of your grade depends on how well you can communicate and work with a learning team.

After nearly two years of writing around 6 or 7 papers every five weeks, I find myself panicking and looking around for material to research and write a paper on. Blog time! Yes, somehow open source, Buddhism and B-school can make for a blog - at least it's not the strangest one out there.

Some folks just can't hack that. And BTW - I made it through my entire Bachelor's degree without ever firing up any of the MS Office suite. I used Open Office all the way, even back when it was still fairly beta. Their #$!$ website works only with IE though. They know me by name on their complaint line by now.

My favorite part was in statistics because of the Math thingy in OOo. I could make those formulas look absolutely beautiful.

Well, there *was* MS Project... but I did do a presentation on sourceforge during that class just to make myself feel better. I sold it as "the future of collaborative project management". I got extra points. :-)

The hospitals going along with this ok? (2, Interesting)

B1ackDragon (543470) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428343)

I wonder if they'll have a problem convincing local hospitals and medical centers to let students who learned all they know online work for them. It might work, and well, but I can forsee a lot of resistance to this at first.

Re:The hospitals going along with this ok? (2)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428477)

Two words: lower cost.

John Hopkins might not go for it, but the Samaritan General Hospital in Moses Lake, WA would love it to pieces. After all, the doc will still have a medical degree from an accredited school.

No way... (2, Funny)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428345)

Not a chance that I would go see a doctor who got their degree online.

Dude (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428352)

didn't microsoft already do this? MSN healing zone?

operation (5, Funny)

rc27 (601744) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428355)

For gross anatomy, everyone will be mailed their own copy of the Operation! board game. These guys will be very good at diagnosing and fixing charlie horses and wrenched knees.

Re:operation (2, Funny)

pulski (126566) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428424)

For the cost of medical school, they had better at least include the batteries and maybe a spare rubber band.

Sweet! (-1, Offtopic)

chainrust (610064) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428356)

Another irrelavent internet company is starting up!
Does anyone know when the IPO is?

Hmmm.... (4, Funny)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428357)

Mental image pops to mind:
The scene: A tense operating room. The patient lies on the table, cut open from stem to stern. The nurses watch intently as the doctor begins to cut...

Doctor: Now, lesse, I just snip this here and... -=gush spout pour=- whoops! It never did that before!
Nurse: Doctor! You've severed the artery! Quickly, do something!
Doctor: No, no, it's no problem. Just hit F5 for me, would you?
Nurse: ??!??
Doctor: Now, someone else open me up a new window so I can check the online medical help, and we'll be just fine.
Nurse: &%*#%^!^@#!!!
Patient: Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

C'est fin.

Med School vs. Internship (2, Informative)

ChrisNowinski (606426) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428358)

Medical School is a great deal like Law School - memorization and understanding of the relevent background material. People who are saying "they don't get hands on live patients" misunderstand what medschool *IS*.

Only after medschool, when you are an intern, do you get to work with patients, and only with the supervision of a resident. No character on ER (except for some one-episode people who are trying to figure out what rotation to join) are med students. Rather, they are all interns or residents.

I hope this helps in your evaluation of the feasability of this program (MHO - somewhat feasable, but may lack hands-on cadaver work.)

Re:Med School vs. Internship (3, Insightful)

akookieone (530708) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428400)

This isn't true. I just spent the last 5 years watching my wife and all her friends go from taking the MCATs to becoming interns. First year is alot of studying, but you do the whole cadavar thing. But in first year, and even more so in second year, you learn the physical exam and patient interviewing. They do rotations all 3rd and 4th year, including doing a sub-internship as a 4th year where yes, you are even playing the role of an intern. And BTW - there are med students on ER, though no longer including Lucy since she departed the show the hard way.

Re:Med School vs. Internship (1)

Urox (603916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428560)

While you and several others brought up the relavant point that there *is* (and *must* be) hands on training in medical school, you seem to have fallen into the tv trap:

ER the tv show is NOT representative of an actual ER. How do I know this? First off, it's tv = sensationalism/drama/keep viewers interested. Second, I've done a fair amount of volunteering in hospitals (on my way to getting into medical school).

If you take a look at the MSAR(Medical school admissions requirements book: the bible for applicants) you can read the 4 yr curriculum of any medical school.

Re:Med School vs. Internship (4, Insightful)

Bowling Moses (591924) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428435)

I disagree. I have a friend who is starting out at med school, and the very first week they had her and her classmates assigned to a doctor to accompany him/her on their rounds and to get them started up taking blood pressure, reading charts, real basic stuff. What they were *really* supposed to be learning was how to act around patients with tact and confidence. Lets face it; if the Dr. acts like a schmuck when you come in for whatever, you're not going to trust them. Also, like you mentioned there is nothing quite like working on a cadaver--when I was an undergrad I had to dissect quite a few organisms to understand physiology and the computer simulations while good are not as good as the real thing. Plus if you're working on a cadaver, it hammers home that you're going to be working on *people* like no computer simulation ever could. As for the wrote memorization biochemistry for med students or whatnot, I don't know about you but my lecture/memorization courses were *always* accompanied by labs to help you understand the material in context. These online degrees are generally inferior and I sure as hell don't want my doctor to have been "educated" in one.

Re:Med School vs. Internship (5, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428438)

Actually, as one who completed the first two years of medical school and then progressed to a Ph.D. program (don't know if I will go back), I can tell you that there is a tremendous amount of first hand experience that needs to occur and cannot be duplicated in a virtual environment. Many schools are now starting to integrate some pateint exposure to medical students in the first two years for instance. As for other "tangible" experiences, I only have to cite gross anatomy. This class absolutely must be taken by medical students and there is no virtual substitute for actually physically taking a body apart and learning where cavities are and how things fit together. For instance, where does blood pool when you have an internal bleed? How do the sinuses in the head relate to other structures? etc...etc...etc... This is possible to learn from an "academic" sense, but honestly, there is no substitute. Additionally, most gross anatomy classes are the first opportunity medical students get to touch bodies, and believe it or not, respect for the human body, and the sacrifice the donors made is something else that is an important experience.

As for the intern bit, yes, most physicians learn most from the first post graduate year, but you ABSOLUTELY do touch patients before your internship. You get to intubate, learn how to ascultate heart and breath sounds, interview patients assist with surgeries, set broken bones, suture wounds etc...etc...etc... all in your third and fourth years of medical school. Typically under the supervision of attending and senior residents of course.

I would be truly scared of anyone who did not have that experience before starting an intership and residency.

Re:Med School vs. Internship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428750)

As a gross anatomist I agree with your conclusions about the need for hands on experience in the anatomy lab and would go a bit further and say that most anatomy courses need to be directed towards real life/practical anatomy and most courses need to be extended to at least 9 months rather one semester.

Re:Med School vs. Internship (1)

Rainier Wolfecastle (591298) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428451)

I don't know how things are in the States, but in South Africa, med students start learning anatomy (on cadavers) and some surgery from the second year of the six year program. Yes, there is a lot of cramming to do, but at least from my experience, there is a ton of hands-on stuff that gets done as well.

Re:Med School vs. Internship (0)

papabear1 (69781) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428490)

I would like to state here that every med school that I have had dealings with does have some component that is "hands on" (it sounds so wrong to pphrase it that way).


The real problem is with doctor's bedside manners! This is something that makes human interaction crucial as a part of the learning process! No one likes dealing with a doctor who is secretive and uninformative when it comes to recieving a diagnosis do they?


I just can't see how an important part of such a demanding occupation, ie making a patient feel comfortable under very awkward circumstances, can be imparted online!

Re:Med School vs. Internship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428690)

Wrong. After your comment about the show ER, I suspect a troll, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

I am in my 4th year of medical school. Yes, the first two years is mostly book work that involves memorization and the introduction of a number of concepts.

After that, medical school turns into mostly working on the floors and with your own patients. For example, I just worked in a real ER. I saw my own patients, made a differential, ordered labs, and did my own procedures. Of course, this was all done under the supervision of an attending physician.

I've also done a sub-internship on the floors, where again I have my own patients, write my own orders and do most of the work...with supervision.

Currently, I'm in the intensive care unit. Same drill. My entire 3rd years was much like this. What you are saying is emphatically not true. Now, not all hospitals that have residents also have medical students because the hospital may not have a medical school afficliated with them. Perhaps this is the cause of your misunderstanding.

As long as this virtual program can guarentee the type of experience we get in a real medical school, then I say go for it. This is a big 'IF' however.

puck

Re:Med School vs. Internship (1)

puck01 (207782) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428713)

Wrong. After your comment about the show ER, I suspect a troll, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

I am in my 4th year of medical school. Yes, the first two years is mostly book work that involves memorization and the introduction of a number of concepts. Even then, however, clinical experience is intergrated into lectures.

After that, medical school turns into mostly working on the floors and with your own patients. For example, I just worked in a real ER. I saw my own patients, made a differential, ordered labs, and did my own procedures. Of course, this was all done under the supervision of an attending physician.

I've also done a sub-internship on the floors, where again I have my own patients, write my own orders and do most of the work...with supervision.

Currently, I'm in the intensive care unit. Same drill. My entire 3rd years was much like this. What you are saying is emphatically not true. Now, not all hospitals that have residents also have medical students because the hospital may not have a medical school afficliated with them. Perhaps this is the cause of your misunderstanding.

As long as this virtual program can guarentee the type of experience we get in a real medical school, then I say go for it. This is a big 'IF' however.

puck

Re:Med School vs. Internship (2)

aswang (92825) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428745)

Not actually true. All AAMC accredited med schools require hands-on clinical patient contact for 3rd and 4th years, most schools introduce it in the 2nd year, and a good number even start in 1st year. 3rd and 4th year are when you do your clerkships (more commonly called "rotations")--the scope of your responsibilities tend to depend on the site you're at. It can be as inane as simply following a resident physician around, or it can be as demanding as actually completely managing the patient, requiring an attending physician only to sign the prescriptions and the chart.

Right now I am doing my Emergency Medicine rotation at Cook County Hospital right now (which serves as the facade for E.R. the show; the insides are radically different to say the least) and while all the people in white coats may be performing like physicians, a good number of us are just 3rd and 4th year med students.

To actually become a physician requires a lot more than just reading out of books. For one thing, a good chunk of what you need to know isn't even written in books yet--some things only exist in the minds of clinicians, and for another thing, as many of my preceptors are wont to say, patients don't really read the textbooks, and for another thing there's no way to learn procedures without actually doing them.

Not just books (1)

The Tyro (247333) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428771)

There are several curriculum structures in place for US medical schools (can't speak to the ones outside the US). Most schools subscribe to the traditional path where basic sciences are taught in the first two years, and clinical medicine in the last two years.

There is a less-common curriculum where clinical medicine is mixed in all along the way, with no division between basic science and clinical. I don't think anyone has demonstrated the superiority of one path over another... but I digress.

Becoming a doctor is much, much more than just taking in the material (which, BTW, is so vast that doctors specialize to be deeply educated about one thing, rather than superficially knowlegable about many things).

There is a process by which one BECOMES a doctor, far more than just the facts. There is a medical community, philosophy, a work ethic, a merciless (and pathological) schedule, and a whole way of interacting with other people and the world. It is difficult to explain, and you don't see the change while you are going through it. It's only in looking back that you can appreciate the changes that a career in medicine imposes.

This curriculum might work... but ONLY for a few of the basic sciences. Another poster already made the point... you MUST have hands-on... The wacky "no cadaver/no animal lab" people are fooling themselves... there is NO substitute for using your hands. Think I'm full of it? ask any surgeon. Mechanical skills are learned by doing, not by looking at a screen (try learing to type while never touching a keyboard).

Brain Drain on Developing Countries? (1)

d_redguy (611579) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428361)

The goal is to counteract the "brain drain" of students from developing countries who, having left to pursue a medical education, often don't return.

The key here is the developing countries bit. Is that Ethiopian kid gonna log into AOHell and get his doctorate? I think not.

you get rushed into the ER.. (0, Redundant)

ejaw5 (570071) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428363)

Who would you rather have cutting you open and tinkering with your internals? Someone who's had years of hands-on experience and hardcore studying or someone who got their degree online?

IMHO, In the world of medicine, there is no such thing as "virtual".

Re:you get rushed into the ER.. (2, Informative)

Urox (603916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428584)

Then obviously you haven't been following medical technology.

Surgeons have been performing surgery remotely! Through a computer!

Hell, I even helped develop a virtual laparoscopic surgical simulator (3d spacial recognition and other goodies). Know where surgeons currently learn? On live patients. Wouldn't you rather have a surgeon who's gone a couple rounds with a simulator rather than someone who has no experience?

Excuse for porn (5, Funny)

rossz (67331) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428372)

Just say you are studying to become a gynecologist.

Re:Excuse for porn (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428455)

Excuse for porn: Just say you are studying to become a gynecologist.

Can't wait to see your face when they assign you to where the biggest demand is: Geriatric Gynecology.

Re:Excuse for porn (2)

rossz (67331) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428501)

EWWWW!!!!! I think I'm going to be sick, you bastard!

Re:Excuse for porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428463)

just my own opinion, but if someone tells me that they are studying porn to become a gynecologist, I'd find them to be more than a tad er, creepy...

um, riiight (1)

tahini (151131) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428600)

Because after seeing STIs, uterine tissues, botched abortions, prolapsed uteri, fistulae, dumb knocked-up chicks of all variations and tubal ligations all day, you'll be SO GLAD to get home and whack off to some normal girlies.

Right? Hahaha.

What you study is a small part of med school (4, Insightful)

akookieone (530708) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428381)

IANAD, but I'm married to one. And having seen her go through Harvard Med, all I can say is that what she learned that was bookish or memorized was only a small part of her education. And I don't mean things as obvious as surgery, which you really don't learn as a med student anyway. Here is a short list of things you don't learn studying a screen: clinical judgement, the physical exam (how does a healthy liver feel?), reading films and slides, not to mention patient interaction in order to get as close-to-accurate info as possible. Pretty quick in med school, you start working wiht patients, and just getting comfortable and good at the interview, exam, and writing a good note about it is not easy.
If you can put it online to learn it, you can also go online to look it up. I want a doctor who has the skills, perceptions, and judgement you get by doing.

I don't know if my skill set is transferrable (4, Funny)

Snafoo (38566) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428388)

As a net.admin forced to spend most of his time with windoze boxen, I'd be tempted to simply power-cycle the patients. Is this correct medical procedure?

Oh wait: it [pbs.org] is [nitcentral.com]

They power-cycled my grandfather (1)

pulski (126566) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428456)

He had an irregular heartbeat and their solution was to stop his heart, then use a defribulator to kick him back into gear. (It worked)

Scary. I can't imagine being the first patient to volunteer for that one.

heart-stopping operations (1)

Urox (603916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428703)

They completely stop the heart of anyone who's getting bypass surgery. A little hard to work on something that's not only a moving target, but squirting at you when you attempt to connect the bypass if it were still beating.

Great news!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428393)

With the tens of thousands of hours I've spent online, I'm qualified to be a gynecologist.

Halfway there. (5, Interesting)

Shook (75517) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428409)

Whether it scares you or not, my medical school can be mostly attended online, as well.

All the lectures are recorded in RealAudio, and most of the lecturers show slides in PowerPoint (available for download). The ones that use standard overheads put the handouts in our mailboxes. The students pool together to make transcripts of the lectures, which are very high quality. Tests are online.

The upshot of this is about half of the class rarely attends lectures. Some students NEVER attend the lectures, live 2 hours away, and drive in once a week for the clinical stuff in the hospitals. Just today, a review lecture had an attendance of 14 people out of 160. (I was there because I had to record the RealAudio)

This is just for the first two "basic science" years. Years 3 and 4 are in the hospital wards, getting hands-on experience. Obviously, that can't be done over the web.

I've found that in med school, there is more of an attitude that the students are in charge, and an acknowledgement that people learn in different ways. The faculty will generally go out of their way to make sure you can get all the material. The students are motivated enough to learn on their own. If they learn best by skipping class, the faculty is OK with this.

Re:Halfway there. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428544)

which school?

Operators are standing by! (4, Funny)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428418)

Act now, and we'll mail you a cadaver -- FREE -- with your enrollment!

Re:Operators are standing by! (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428565)

Act now, and we'll mail you a cadaver -- FREE -- with your enrollment!

The only way some of us will ever get a date

Re:Operators are standing by! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428708)

better than the old days of Medical School when you had to get your own Cadaver.

Anyone got a shovel?

Awesome Idea , but I think the point was lost (3, Insightful)

ThundaGaiden (615019) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428429)

Really cool scheme very much like the paperless college ideas that have been floating around

I don't think that the idea is to let more people study medecine , more along the lines of everyone who is studing it and will be studying it, will be using the same resources

ie. I'm studing in Athens and decide to move to London to study then I'll be using the same material as long as I go to a university that is part of the group and I would have to worry about having used diff. text books and such

Standardisation

Oh well that's just my take

Re:Awesome Idea , but I think the point was lost (1)

CrypticOutsider (615336) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428684)

Standardisation

But is Standardization really a good thing. Isn't product differentiation what different schools are supposed to be about. You'll see curricula based largely upon a critical board-type exam, but aside from that.. that's where the interests (and perhaps the quality) of the professor come into play.

If you think about what you're really paying for at a prestigious university (not why people enroll, but the cost), a large part of it is the research (subsidized by taxpayers of course). So, naturally, a professor at the forefront of a field (at least in his own mind) will usually have you use his book and teach the class differently than someone who doesn't do active research in that area (or at all).

Sign me up.. (2)

mlknowle (175506) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428437)

I'll sign up - just for the interesting conversations with the FEDEX driver then they deliver the cadaver to my home every few months...

"You know there is a dead body in here, right?"

Obligatory jokes... (4, Funny)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428452)

"Brings a whole new meaning to "Blue Screen of Death", no?

Great, that's all I need; my doctor slips up while I'm on the operating table and he spends the next 5 minutes making motions with his hand as if to hit the "back" button on a web browser.

me: "Something wrong, Doc?"
doctor: "No.. at least... I don't think so. It's just that I've never seen a real live patient before; at least not I. R. L."

"Damn, nurse... brain surgery is sooo much easier when you can use two hands!"

nurse: "Doctor! Doctor! Have you ever had experience with this kind of disease?!
doctor: "Of course I have! Level 34, just before I grabbed the RailGun."

wife: "Doctor, is my husband... going to die?"
doctor: "Nah, if it gets too bad, I'll just pull the plug on the router and it'll look like we lost the connection. Then I'll try again."
*doctor smiles while the wife wonders what the hell he's talking about*

In other news: I'm a pilot! (4, Funny)

strictnein (318940) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428464)

I've been using Microsoft Flight Sim since it first came out!

That makes me a pilot!

It wouldn't be hard to cheat with this... (1)

pilot1 (610480) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428466)

Is it just me, or could someone who knows what he's doing cheat on tests, or whatever there using online? Even if it wasn't altering the scores, it probably wouldn't be that hard to give yourself extra time on a timed test/exam.

Costly (5, Informative)

Frank of Earth (126705) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428468)

Initial financing for the project, amounting to $140,000, came from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.

$24,917 * 7 = ~175k

Which, ironically, is about the cost of the tuition for the 7 years of med school for only one student. If they get two students, they will already be doubling their money ;-)

HowTo become a doctor [howstuffworks.com]

I've tried this.... (3, Informative)

Crocuta (556505) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428471)

I've taken two courses online in the past couple of years. Both were pretty miserable.

The general way an online course works is through the extensive use of message boards which allow the students to interact with each other. Real time chat and whiteboard software are also used. Supporters claim that the experience equals that of a real classroom, but my first hand experience is that it does not. Several days ago, I was discussing online classes with a former instructor of mine. His wife teaches some online courses and she contends that her online students are getting perhaps 60% of the education they could receive in a physical classroom - and this is from an instructor who in my experience truly cares about her students.

The first course I took was Intro to Philosophy. The instructor would post a weekly lecture and assign all the typical reading required in a Phil 100 class. Then you had lists of questions to answer and post to the board where everyone else was supposed to respond to your answers, and you responded to theirs. Then you responded to their responses, etc, etc, etc. One day I got tied up and couldn't log on for almost 36 hours - there were nearly two hundred new messages waiting. I ended up dropping the course after the second week because the sheer amount of material combined with math and chemistry courses was overwhelming.

This summer, I took and completed a humanities course entitled _Survey of World Literature_. The class received absolutely no input from the instructor other than the weekly lecture. The only time the instructor made her presence known was to answer direct questions posted in a special ask the instructor board (usually of the I forgot to do an assignment can I please turn it in late whine.) Wildly inaccurate and misguided posts from students went unchallenged by the faculty member in charge. I suspect that the instructor may not have even read the individual postings, but I can't prove it.

Online courses may be very good for people of a particular personality - one who is very self driven, who isn't really into the face-to-face interaction of a classroom setting. In general however, I just don't feel like the technology has reached a point where the education delivered is of the same caliber.

Crocuta

Re:I've tried this.... (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428599)

I think good questions are more important than bad or large numbers of answers? Perhaps more especially in Philosophy it's necessary to have a working hypothesis 'in mind' whilst culling relevant material. The PC and the net have fundamentally changed forever the idea that someone new to a subject can hope to peruse the revlevant material simply because the amount of data is overwhelming. The Guttenberg revolution is an ancient era and polymaths like Goethe may be a thing of the past simply because of the amount of material Information Techonology makes available. It's interesting the article spoke to 'developing nations'. There is now a double divide between the developed world and the developing world. There is the divide of literacy and now the divide of Information Technology. It'll be interesting if the Information Technology can be made to help in lessening illiteracy or if the one will act to deepen the divide. There is too computer illiteracy to consider and this with the physical barrier of ownership of the hardware exacerbates the problem.

*** BAD PUN ALERT *** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428498)

Can you trust this system? It may not turn out being all it is quacked up to be.

Reserve Your Online Nic (2, Funny)

Quirk (36086) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428504)

I'm regestering with the nic "Hannibal Lector"

Don't Worry... (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428508)

I'm sure your doctor got his MD at Devry!!!

Could be worse, he could of used to be an MCSE!!!

who needs medical school? (2)

Savatte (111615) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428524)

I go to the one source that has all the answers: Ask Jeeves [ask.com]

This is a great idea - should be more of it! (2)

Howzer (580315) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428528)

All the "Dr. Nick" type comments miss one essential truth about non-online medical training, and that is:

Q: What do they call the person who graduates bottom of their medical class?

A: Doctor.

I, for one, think any new well-researched, diagnosis-focused, detailed and systematic way of partially training doctors (read the fsking article!) is to be welcomed.

Finally! House Calls! (2)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428543)

Oh wait..the house calls would be by a virtual doctor... Never Mind!

Re:Finally! House Calls! (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428742)

virtual reality


virtual sex


virtual medicine


virtual sexually transmitted diseases?


virtual treatment?


And who's gonna treat the cyborgs?


2 years in classroom. (1)

sjanich (431789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428571)

ONly the first two years of med school are in classrooms.

The second two years are clinical/hands-on, all in the field in mini-internships. How do you do the clinical stuff on-line?

Hi! I'm a Doctor! (2, Insightful)

zapatero (68511) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428577)


Excuse me while I chime in here. I'm not a real
doctor but I play one on IM. Clients often ask me: "Doctor, why is it that I feel bad." And I chuckle and I say, "Listen to me SuckMe93, I've had lots of patients like you: People that just don't feel good. I've seen them come and I've seen them go. But in the end it all works out. It's like the skaters say: 'It's all good.'"

Now my point is, we're all doctors aren't we? I mean we take a little, we give a little. We wake up, we feel good. We sleep, and then we swim in the sea of life and we heal.

Thanks for listening,

- The Doctor.

Quincy (2)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428616)

Ahh, will the students still have the opportunity to watch an autopsy? I remember a Quincy episode when he was due to teach a class of med students, but needed to do some investigating and couldn't get out of the class... and then made the entire class all pass out/throw up within minutes!

I have a friend doing a Medical related degree at Edinburgh (not sure precisely which kind), and she said their compulsory module on autopsies wasn't initially fun (half the class didn't stay conscious long enough). But they are taught hands on experience from the very beginning.

Given the state of the British NHS (overworked, underfunded yadda yadda), I'm not sure how much it will affect the 'brain drain' in that they still could end up going overseas anyway.

Brain Surgery for Dummies (2, Funny)

clevelandguru (612010) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428635)

Where do I get these textbooks?

I can see it now... (2)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428650)

So what would you do if an unforseen problem arises? Like say the patient goes into cardiac arrest?

Oh don't worry, I just reboot the system and start over.

Cheating with these "Virtual Patients"?... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428667)

Cheating's going to be horrid, of course - it's probably bad enough in the real world med schools already. It'll be even worse when these "virtual patients" that they're touting start having their solutions posted on websites. I'm willing to bet that they won't be making an individual case for every student, so even with random distribution you'll probably end up with something someone has already had before. And solved. And posted answers on the 'net.

Beta testing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4428682)

So can I sign up for the Beta and get my MD for free?

SPAM: Doctor Approved (1)

nackrm (571581) | more than 11 years ago | (#4428753)

Will this all mean that I'll be getting more spam asking me to get my "U N I V E R S I T Y D I P L O M A"? Cuz that's something I really need more of. Next thing you know, they'll come out with a book Learn Cardiology in 21 Days. I know I'm going to go out and buy one the day they come out. Something to sit on the shelf so I can pull it down in case I cut my finger off or something...
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