Have you heard of Seth Godin's free education manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams?
In this manifesto, he discusses the history of education in America. How it was tailored to create "cogs in an industrial machine" rather than the much-needed linchpin's necessary to drive future innovations.
"School has become an industrialized system, working on a huge scale, that has significant byproducts, including the destruction of many of the attitudes and emotions we’d like to build our culture around."
"In order to efficiently jam as much testable data into a generation of kids, we push to make those children compliant, competitive zombies."
At times I fear the education of doctors and PAs has headed in a similar direction.
While attending conferences or reading through required CME I fear we have become cogs in a pharmaceutical machine.
One trick ponies taught to think pill first, everything else a distant second.
If we want to create great PAs of the future it starts with giving our current generation of students the tools they need to overcome the cognitive dissonance that resonates in today's medical field.
The one that sees an obese, diabetic patient with hypertension as the perfect candidate for Metformin and a new script for Lipitor. Rather than a perfect case for the intense lifestyle interventions and hard work necessary to actually improve long term health.
I am afraid many in today's generation have allowed themselves to be limited by fear.
Industrial, scaled-up, measurable structure means that fear must be used to keep the masses in line. There’s no other way to get hundreds or thousands of kids to comply, to process that many bodies, en masse, without simultaneous coordination.
A Physician Assistant Education of the Future:
Now students have access to more than just the medical textbooks and the best advertising big pharma has to offer.
We can break the cycle of prescriptions and compliance.
With this comes empowerment and better health care for our patients.
Also, a greater responsibility.
To be advocates for our patients, pioneers of new innovations that offer integrated approaches to health care solutions.
Not passive observers to a health care industry plagued by misinformation, a pharmaceutical focused approach to patient health at a cost to our patients that is truly non-sustainable.