Posted by: Chris Maloney | August 31, 2011

Getting Your M.D. Online: When Does Digital Replace the Classroom?

Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University

Image via Wikipedia

I was just discussing the problems of being an N.D. with a pharmacist, and he was thankful that at least M.D.s weren’t given out online.  But they are.  IUHS provides for at least half of your M.D. to be done digitally, providing an online experience for would be M.D.s who can sit for clinical boards here in the U.S.  (There are other sites that will sell you a degree without any training, but it’s hopefully less likely you could end up working in a hospital.)

So if the classroom is digital and interactive, does it really matter?  Yes, because M.D. students often put 120 hours a week in hospitals as unpaid labor.  That’s their education, not the classroom.  In a world where every other degree can be purchased online, and legitimately, having an M.D. from hands-on learning should matter.

As an N.D., hands-on learning should matter as well.  I was reminded recently of Amy Yasko, a biochemist who added multiple degrees to her name very rapidly, including a correspondence degree as an N.D.  Here in Maine that’s a no-no, but there are multiple states that still don’t recognize the difference between a four-year, licensed N.D., and someone who took online courses.  I thought it was less of an issue with Dr. Yasko, because she claimed previous M.D. training from Yale, but I found out recently from a Yale person that she never saw patients or was trained.  (Here’s all the research I did on her with the update.)  So it really does matter, especially since she’s working primarily with autistic children.  It is possible to be a good healer without training, but claiming the training and the credentials is a no-no.

How can patients know a good doctor?  The same way they always did, but asking friends and neighbors for a doctor they love.  It doesn’t matter how many letters are after someone’s name, it matters if he loves his patients and they love him.  Medicine is an art on top of a science.  Find someone who has mastered the science and excels at the art.

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