argument top image

Is medical education and medical training for US doctors too long? Show more Show less
Back to question

Medical professions are typically regarded with great awe and fascination. In most countries, becoming a doctor is the highest form of academic achievement and it is a source of great pride for individuals and their families. In America, it takes anywhere from 11-16 years to become a doctor. Some would argue that such a level of training and education is necessary. They are also fairly compensated for their efforts. Others would disagree by showing how places like India and Europe have significantly fewer training requirements but still produce capable and adept doctors. Why do people have such contrasting views on the topic and why is doctorhood in America so fiercely debated?

Yes, medical education and medical training requirements are too excessive. Show more Show less

In most European and Asian countries, medical students tend to skip undergrad and enter 5-year medical schools. Similar measures need to be taken in America so that more people will enter the healthcare industry and not feel burdened by the time and cost of training.
(1 of 2) Next position >

Other countries are able to shorten their training period and produce adept doctors

Many countries around the world only require 5-year educational programs. The UK and India are prominent examples of this system. Such countries are still able to produce amazing doctors and have world-renown medical facilities and hospitals. This is an indication that America can also shorten the training period and still be a world leader in medicine.

The Argument

For most prospective American students, the schooling required to become a doctor lasts about 8 years.[1] For Americans who are in accelerated programs, which have very low acceptance rates, schooling lasts around 7 years. But in countries such as India and the UK, only 5 years of schooling is required![2] Potential candidates enter a 5-year medical school program right after graduating from high school. This process is extremely advantageous in a lot of ways. For most students, the material they learn in undergrad is not correlated with medical school material. It does not prepare them to become doctors. Most people regard it as a detour in their path towards becoming a doctor. But, if these students could spend 5 years in medical school instead, they now have an extra year to learn about medicine and doctorhood. Despite this form of reduced training, doctors in countries such as India and the UK are still highly distinguished and some of the best in the medical field. US News recently ranked the UK as having the 6th best healthcare system in the world.[3] In India, due to strict standardized testing, only the highest achieving students are offered medical school seats. Countries that have shorter training periods are still able to produce amazing doctors and America could definitely still produce the best doctors in the world, even if they shorten the training period.

Counter arguments

3 of the top 5 best hospitals in the world are located in America.[4] Also, between 100,000 to 200,000 people come to America each year seeking medical attention.[5] This proves that American doctors are some of the best trained in the world. Leading cancer institutions, neurosurgery techniques, and pain therapies have been developed in America. All of these discoveries were made possible due to the unique educational and training program in this country. Although undergrad can be long or not entirely correlated with medical school material, it functions as a filter to figure out all those who are genuinely interested in medicine. The academic and training rigor ensures that only the most qualified and dedicated students become doctors. Such a high standard of healthcare is possible due to the medical education and training required in America.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-long-does-it-take-to-become-a-doctor#:~:text=Doctors%20must%20complete%20a%20four,become%20a%20fully%20licensed%20doctor./source.html
  2. https://www.gmc-uk.org/education/becoming-a-doctor-in-the-uk#:~:text=Before%20you%20become%20a%20UK,clinical%20training%20on%20the%20wards./source.html
  3. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/slideshows/countries-with-the-most-well-developed-public-health-care-system/source.html
  4. https://www.newsweek.com/best-hospitals-2019/source.html
  5. https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/executive_briefings/chambers_health-related_travel_final.pdf/source.html
This page was last edited on Monday, 17 Aug 2020 at 18:04 UTC

Explore related arguments