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What Happens To Doctors Who Cheat In Medical School, But Don't Get Caught And Manage To Graduate?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dr.Scorpiowoman, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. Dr.Scorpiowoman

    Dr.Scorpiowoman Golden Member

    May 23, 2016
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    This question was originally posted on Quora.com and was answered by Shulamit Widawsky, Mental health professional and writer


    There are many professions where graduating from school with a degree in that field is enough to get you a job.

    Medicine is not one of them.

    Graduating from medical school is only one step.

    To get accepted to medical school requires a lot, so it’s hard to get in. But let’s imagine someone got in from giving bribes or something.

    Graduating from medical school gives that person the right to apply to a residency program. These programs are also competitive, and a student who has gotten through medical school by cheating—well, they would be noticed for not having been impressive in their general “participation” in classes, right? They would be hard pressed to get good recommendations from their professors, which means they will have trouble getting into a residency.

    94% match rate in 2018 for U.S. allopathic med students means that 6% of medical school graduates did not get a residency, and had to scramble for other options. Most of that 6% will find a place of some sort, but they may not be impressive.

    Now the cheater is in a residency where they are no longer taking tests, but actually acting as doctors, under the observation of experienced doctors. If they don’t know what they are doing, they are likely to get thrown out of the residency, and never manage to become a doctor licensed to practice independently.

    Medical school (at least in the U.S., can’t speak for other countries) is not just a bunch of written tests to pass (though of course there are many of those). They have to prove their abilities in a variety of hands-on ways, with their medical professors watching and determining if they have learned properly.

    It isn’t high school where they can cheat on tests and buy papers. Not that it is easy to do that all the way through high school, but it is close to impossible to cheat one’s way through medical school.

    Given how hard it would be, one is left to wonder why anyone would want to become a doctor who was utterly unprepared to become one.

    What would be the point of that scam? Money? There are far easier scams to make money. Drugs? Same.

    It seems like the idea of cheating all the way through medical school is something that only people who have not seen what is required in medical school and in residency could imagine happening.

    It isn’t, actually something that could happen.

    Could there be one or two doctors who cheated their way through medical school and residency? I think it is much more likely that someone could put up a shingle and claim to be a doctor (especially in a small town or rural area) who never actually ever went to medical school. And I don’t think that’s something to worry about, either.

    Nowadays there are too many cross-checks for license numbers and such, for anyone to be able to prescribe or get hospital privileges.


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