20 August 2009


Groupthink reigns in many sections of the American populace. To wit, nowhere in one of the proposed health-care bills before Congress (sponsored by Reps. Dingell, Rangel, Waxman and others) does it indicate that "intellectual standards" will be lowered for admittance to medical schools. That is the conclusion of some political bloggers who have led some people into a feeding frenzy embarrassing to behold. One does not like to witness such baseness springing forth from fellow countrymen.
Some sections of the proposed bill (beginning around page 880) are designed to recruit pre-med students to the domains of family medicine, general pediatrics, general internal medicine, and geriatrics--non-specialties, all--and then give some preference to those medical schools which have established programs that recruit from minority and disadvantaged populations (who could be white). As far as I know, most medical schools do this already.
And, recruitment does not necessarily mean lower standards. Let's say the University of Kentucky Med School recruits students from the Appalachian region of the State, then it would receive some preference under the proposed bill. One impetus for this type of program is to encourage doctors to return to those disadvantaged areas from which they are recruited, such as Appalachia.
Remember: by about 2047 there will be no majority ethnic group in the U.S. I'd say it would be advantageous, looking forward from the present, that we have a cadre of doctors who are Hispanic, black, and others, including Native American, trained to work in those respective communities.

Social engineering? I suppose so. But let's say there is a bright black or Hispanic student from an inner-city school who shows promise and desire to become a family or general pediatrics or geriatrics doctor--if you do not support the part of the proposed bill that would encourage med schools to recruit from those populations, then what better ideas do you have? Can you think this through without recourse to accusations of imaginary racism, Hitlerism, and take-away-your-freedomism?

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