Doctors are some of the smartest people that I know. I’m not just boasting because I’m a doctor; I really have a significant amount of respect for those trained in the medical industry. But, honestly – some doctors can be downright dumb! That is, when it comes to social interaction and effective communication, some doctors have placed little to no importance on hearing alternative opinions from their nurse colleagues, or talking kindly with patients that are emotionally distressed. I have met many smart doctors like this, who are just not pleasant. These doctors are simply smart assholes and we should stop allowing this type of behavior.
This month, an article about this very topic was posted on the New York Times website. The article by Gardiner Harris, ”New for Aspiring Doctors, the People Skills Test,” points out that this disappointing trend may change now that a handful of medical schools are requiring a social skills test as part of their admissions standards. “At Virginia Tech Carilion, the nation’s newest medical school, administrators decided against relying solely on grades, test scores and hour long interviews to determine who got in,” says Harris, “Instead, the school invited candidates to the admissions equivalent of speed-dating: nine brief interviews that forced candidates to show they had the social skills to navigate a health care system in which good communication has become critical.”
Now that’s a plan for eradication of unkind and inflexible doctors, and I believe it will only make the quality of our medical force stronger – rather than limited. There is always another doctor with a compassionate disposition that is just as smart or smarter as the socially rude and candidate who might be disqualified by this line of testing.
The testing has been cleverly compared to speed dating, and some of the top medical schools are integrating it – including Stanford, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Cincinnati.
The scenario at Virginia Tech Carilion medical school includes “26 candidates [who] showed up on a Saturday in March and stood with their backs to the doors of 26 small rooms. When a bell sounded, the applicants spun around and read a sheet of paper taped to the door that described an ethical conundrum.” Applicants have only 2 minutes to brief themselves with the ethical issue at hand, and then proceed into the room where an interviewer awaits their arrival. After spending eight minutes interacting with the interviewer, the aspiring doctors exit the patient rooms and proceed to the next door, as the interviewers score their social performance.
The bottom line is that while the medical schools take action to weed out socially challenged doctors, consumers and patients can also voice their opinion by choosing to boycott mean doctors. Patients/Clients should always pick a nice person who has good energy and vibes. If you are currently seeing a doctor with poor manners, you should walk out of the office. Would you allow any other professional to treat you like shit? No! So don’t let a doctor do it. Don’t believe the hype about superior doctors. There is always another good doctor – with less of a superiority complex.
And please America – START PAYING GOOD DOCTORS FOR THEIR SERVICES AND GIVE THEM BONUSES LIKE COOKIES AND FLOWERS AND HOLIDAY CARDS. And tell lawyers to lay off.