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

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. However, 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?

No, such a high level of education and training is necessary for top-notch healthcare services. Show more Show less

Doctors have to make decisions every day regarding people's lives and livelihoods. Every surgeon, specialist and primary care doctor needs to have enough training and education to take on this responsibility. This process should not be rushed.
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Such a huge moral responsibility should not be placed on them without sufficient training

Doctors have one of the most demanding responsibilities. They are in charge of the very lives of people and their actions can help or hurt families and societies. People should not be thrown into such demanding situations without appropriate training and education.
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Context

The Argument

Being a doctor is a huge honor as well as an enormous responsibility. They are solely or primarily in-charge of people's wellbeing and even their lives. In most corporate or retail jobs, if someone were to make a mistake, the worst consequence is that the client does not get what they want. But in medicine, a seemingly simple or honest mistake could end someone's life. In the United State, 215,000 people die each year due to medical errors. [1] In fact, it is the third leading cause of death in the US. If the training or education period was shortened, there is a higher chance of such errors occurring. When it comes to being a doctor, and being responsible for someone's life, there is no room for negotiation regarding how long or how much they need to train. These requirements exist for a reason. They are put in place to help doctors perform their duty to the public as best as possible. Doctors and medical school students would wholeheartedly agree that any training that helps them become better at treating people is essential. Society should honor this commitment as well.

Counter arguments

Shortening the period of education and training, would not mean that doctors are ill-equipped. It simply means that the system would become more efficient in teaching them how to be good doctors. Most people in the medical field would agree that during the 4 years spent at undergrad, they did not really learn much about what it means to be a doctor. If the time spent at undergrad was shortened, it could help most of them with repaying loans and it would not stop them from becoming well-trained and well-educated doctors.

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Rejecting the premises

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Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-america.html#:~:text=According%20to%20a%20recent%20study,after%20heart%20disease%20and%20cancer./source.html

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 2 Aug 2020 at 19:55 UTC