**In reaching for a future on a planet soon to have 8 billion inhabitants we have identified real obstacles to our survival in atavistic patterns of thought more consistent with small bands than megapopulations.We have talked about inequity and disproportion in access to the necessities of life.We have discussed the race to produce a model state that would embody the best of our past in a new future,and the need to alter those aspects of our society that protect a discriminatory status quo.(Policing) Dr Lindenthal introduces a program he created at the NJMS that indicates that the path to the future may just involve not only ideological shifts but also the demystification of many of our most cherished cultural institutions**cst
GOING AGAINST THE TIDE…JJL
Over a century ago,Oliver Wendell Holmes commented that,”A young man knows his patient,the old man knows his patient’s family,dead and alive,up and down for generations.He can tell you beforehand what their diseases their unborn children will be subject to,what they will die of if they live long enough.”(Oliver Wendell Holmes,MEDICAL ESSAYS.Boston Houghton-Mifflin,1891). Almost a century later,in his well received work,THE YOUNGEST SCIENCE NOTES OF A MEDICINE WATCHER,1983,Viking Penguin Books,1995 reprint).Lewis Thomas opined”If I were a medical student or an intern apprehensive that my real job caring for sick people, might soon be taken away,leaving me with the quite different occupation of looking after machines,I would be trying to figure out ways to keep this from happening.”
Most of us have witnessed the rapid erosion of the once pristine status of physicians, either experienced personally,anecdotally related by friends,family and colleagues,as well as robustly elaborated upon in many tomes. The diminished status of physicians gives rise to challenges both in the recruitment and education of future generations of practitioners.By exposing a broad spectrum of citizens to the intellectual rigors associated with entry into the field of Medicine,the MiniMed program of Rutgers-NJMS established in 2000,is dedicated at once to demystify while simultaneously inculcating a renewed respect for the field of medicine.The program goals are pursued by endeavoring to insure that students have at least a rudimentary knowledge of one of two of the basic sciences.
Members of our medical faculty deliver lectures at the same or similar intellectual level as those presented by the medical students.
By devoting much effort to rendering complex medical concepts comprehensible to the lay public.
By scheduling the program into the late evening,students are exposed to the physical demands of clinical work.
A significant portion of the program is devoted to role modeling.
In practice it means that our medical students conduct 90 minute seminars during which a)they present a prescribed series of lectures on health and medicine including but not limited to, basic pharmacology, heart disease, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases,addiction disorders and the doctor-patient relationship.Medical students also create their own lectures based upon subjects they are currently studying,describe their own motivation for entering the field of medicine,as well as their experience in applying to and attending medical school.Our hope is that by stimulating doctor-patient interaction,at the end of the 8-week,50 plus hour program , which includes electives involving medical librarianship,pathology,basic life support,cardio-pulmonary pathophysiology,students will have gained a renewed appreciation and respect for their physicians.
The program’s mantra is that an educated patient is the doctor’s best friend. there is reason to suggest that while the doctor-patient relationship will not return to the status quo ante,reciprocal respect can be enhanced by education.