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Was your PA program "woke"?


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Unfortunately 34 years ago there was a creeping paternalistic touchy feely element to the MEDEX program, that from what I hear has now consumed the program. It's been my observation that the PA profession in general is dominated by this "Woke" mentality since the origins and fortress of this "Woke" tripe is academia!! The current profession is diametrically opposed to what those who brought me to aspire to become a PA demonstrated in their lives and practice(US Army PAs).

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11 hours ago, sas5814 said:

My PA program was the Army. We were woke at 5:30 for PT. That was about as woke as we got.

Went to a PANRE class last year, talked with a guy who now teaches at the Army program.  He was telling me about how they now require a ROTATION in LGBTQ practice.  He was so disgusted with that he put in his retirement request.

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Sorry, it wasn't behind paywall at first.  I don't have subscription and was able to read it, but now I can't either.

The gist of this opinion piece (by a physician who, I believe, was dean of curriculum or something like that at a medical school), was that medical schools are now run by people with Doctorates in Education who feel the need to force social justice education (climate change, gun control, race, immigration, etc) into the curriculum instead of focusing on medicine.

Edited by Boatswain2PA
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I'm a subscriber...here you go!
 
 
By  Stanley Goldfarb

Sept. 12, 2019 5:54 pm ET

The American College of Physicians says its mission is to promote the “quality and effectiveness of health care,” but it’s stepped out of its lane recently with sweeping statements on gun control. And that isn’t the only recent foray into politics by medical professionals. During my term as associate dean of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, I was chastised by a faculty member for not including a program on climate change in the course of study. As the Journal reported last month, such programs are spreading across medical schools nationwide.

Why have medical schools become a target for inculcating social policy when the stated purpose of medical education since Hippocrates has been to develop individuals who know how to cure patients?

A new wave of educational specialists is increasingly influencing medical education. They emphasize “social justice” that relates to health care only tangentially. This approach is the result of a progressive mind-set that abhors hierarchy of any kind and the social elitism associated with the medical profession in particular.

These educators focus on eliminating health disparities and ensuring that the next generation of physicians is well-equipped to deal with cultural diversity, which are worthwhile goals. But teaching these issues is coming at the expense of rigorous training in medical science. The prospect of this “new,” politicized medical education should worry all Americans.

The traditional American model of medical training, which has been emulated around the world, emphasizes a scientific approach to treatment and subjects students to rigorous classroom instruction. Students didn’t encounter patients until they had some fundamental knowledge of disease processes and knew how to interpret symptoms. They were expected to appreciate medical advances and be able to incorporate them into their eventual fields of practice. Medical education was demanding and occasionally led to student failure, but it produced a technically proficient and responsible physician corps for the U.S.

The traditional American model first came under attack by progressive sociologists of the 1960s and ’70s, who condemned medicine as a failing enterprise because increased spending hadn’t led to breakthroughs in cancer treatment and other fields. The influential critic Ivan Illich called the medical industry an instrument of “pain, sickness, and death,” and sought to reorder the field toward an egalitarian social purpose. These ideas were long kept out of the mainstream of medical education, but the tide of recent political culture has brought them in.

As concerns about social justice have taken over undergraduate education, graduate schools have raced to develop curricula that will steep future educators in the same ideology. Today a master’s degree in education is often what it takes to qualify for key administrative roles on medical-school faculties. The zeitgeist of sociology and social work have become the driving force in medical education. The goal of today’s educators is to produce legions of primary care physicians who engage in what is termed “population health.”

This fits perfectly with the current administrator-rich, policy-heavy, form-over-function approach at every level of American education. Theories of learning with virtually no experimental basis for their impact on society and professions now prevail. Students are taught in the tradition of educational theorist Étienne Wenger, who emphasized “communal learning” rather than individual mastery of crucial information.

Where will all this lead? Medical school bureaucracies have become bloated, as they have in every other sphere of education. Curricula will increasingly focus on climate change, social inequities, gun violence, bias and other progressive causes only tangentially related to treating illness. And so will many of your doctors in coming years.

Meanwhile, oncologists, cardiologists, surgeons and other medical specialists are in short supply. The specialists who are produced must master more crucial material even though less and less of their medical-school education is devoted to basic scientific knowledge. If this country needs more gun control and climate change activists, medical schools are not the right place to produce them.

Dr. Goldfarb is a former associate dean of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

 
 
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18 hours ago, Boatswain2PA said:

Especially if you lack the cognitive abilities to actually have a discussion with someone whom you may disagree with.  If that describes you, just post 1-2 sentence replies that are irrelevant to the topic.

"Please talk to me guys, please please."

Edited by mcclane
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Unfortunately patients are real people and things like climate change, race, sexual orientation, immigration do affect the medical issues we may encounter when providing their care. Do I think medical education should be entirely centered around these things? No. But I do think ignoring them in the society we have today is short-sited and narrow minded. If you don’t think climate change is going to affect people’s health I think you will be in for a rude awakening. 

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My program in Texas  in the 90s was - be there when we tell you, don't whine, figure it out, don't whine.

If you couldn't learn in our setting - you were hiding in a broom closet somewhere.

We WERE taught to treat a person - not a condition and to actually look into things such as lifestyle, economics, etc.

Inner City Dallas is a culture all its own.

My first history taking lessons included "well sir, why DID she hit you with the beer bottle? repeatedly"

Some of my patients didn't have running water and many lived in third world conditions. 

I was taught to treat everyone - everyone - the gang banger who just shot a cop and the hooker who got beat up and the kid who was abused and the low income housewife and the Dallas Cowboys football player who hit an overpass  - everyone deserved my best efforts.

So, woke or whatever - our world is a mess and it does affect our patients. You have to check some personal things at the door and treat the patient.

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I would agree with the author if I didn't feel like the claims were being grossly exaggerated. It seems to fall under that whole false mantra repeated ad nauseam lately of educational institutes being utilized to "brainwash" American kids into liberal agendas. For that reason I question the motivations of the author publishing this, and think the article is really just trying to showcase "how crazy liberalism has gone!", and then paint administrators as 'elitist liberals' trying to push their way into medical program curriculum.  It's a tired trope, wedge issue, and tool to sow division. If the author shows me evidence, I'll be inclined to agree, otherwise this seems pretty low effort sensationalism.

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Guest thatgirlonabike
5 hours ago, Reality Check 2 said:

 

I was taught to treat everyone - everyone - the gang banger who just shot a cop and the hooker who got beat up and the kid who was abused and the low income housewife and the Dallas Cowboys football player who hit an overpass  - everyone deserved my best efforts.

So, woke or whatever - our world is a mess and it does affect our patients. You have to check some personal things at the door and treat the patient.

That's fine for the catch and release aspect of the ED.  But in primary care you CAN'T treat the homeless hooker, like the abused kid, like the underserved housewife like the football player.  And if you don't have some understanding of the social determinants of health care you will fail as a provider.  

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