Medical students: Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.

by reestheskin on 29/07/2015

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One of the memes that keeps bugging me is the folly of pretending that we are training one-size-fits-all medical student / doctors. We select that way, and we think of clones that way. We need to be concerned about variance, too. We are not in the business of cloning, and diversity is our best strategy for change and improvement. This cannot be passive, but has to be something we do deliberately. Otherwise we end up with all these kids with grade 8 piano, and nobody who gets punk (yes, showing my age: jazz, blues, techno will all do, thank you). This is a quote from Bruce Schneier in his book ‘Data and Goliath’ that speaks to what I think:

There is value in dissent. And, perversely, there can be value in lawbreaking. These are both ways we improve as a society. Defending this assertion involves a subtle argument—something I wrote about in my previous book Liars and Outliers—but it’s vitally important to society. Think about it this way. Across the US, states are on the verge of reversing decades-old laws about homosexual relationships and marijuana use. If the old laws could have been perfectly enforced through surveillance, society would never have reached the point where the majority of citizens thought those things were okay. There has to be a period where they are still illegal yet increasingly tolerated, so that people can look around and say, “You know, that wasn’t so bad.” Frank Zappa said something similar in 1971: “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”