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Medical Schools and quality of physician
Old 02-03-2010, 10:01 AM   #1
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Medical Schools and quality of physician

I found this interesting as I was curious as to which college Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's physician at the end, went to. I always figured he was a quack, because--with all Jackson's money--why would he find some obscure physician in Houston to treat him, and then demand said physician give him treatments that even non-medical folks like me know are dangerous and foolish to do (another article stated Murray was in debt something like $780K at the time of hire, so he needed that job with Jackson for sure...the guy was between a rock and a hard place I guess)?
So, I find this Murray went to Meharry Medical College in Nashville, 6th from bottom of this list, where your MCAT needs to be a mere 7.5 score and your GPA only needs to be a 3.1 (isn't that a C grade average?).
So, I feel my theory is right about Dr. Murray; however, I am going to pay more attention to where my physician went to school from now on.

And I'm thinking that the quality of medical education has a strong effect on the quality of care you receive when you are ill. Do others agree with me on this or have opposing views?

I'd love to hear from some of our medical pros on this board about the issue of physician care and quality of the attended medical school. If anyone knows, it's you medical professionals.

Here's the link--so scroll down--to the medical college rankings:

Does someone with a 2.7gpa and a 36MCAT stand a chance at Sackler? [Archive] - ValueMD Medical Schools Forum
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:39 PM   #2
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My DW is an RN who has taken care of premature infants for over 35 years. She has advanced life support training, she does ECMO which I have no clue. She can intubate an infant and start ivs and has protocols for resuscitation. She had to retake one of her nursing classes. She recalls her gpa was just under 3.0 for nursing school. I find it amazing the amount of lives she has saved and the rewards she has received in her career.

So in my opinion GPA and how well you do in medical school. Does not determine what kind of care giver you will be.

Of course you were talking about Doctors. So i guess my thing was all for naught. Needless to say. I respect anyone Doctors,Rns,Lvns,paramedics, etc etc a great deal
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:24 PM   #3
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How does one find out where their Dr attended school without paying for the information?

I recently started seeing a new PCP, and I say without any doubt she is the best Dr I have ever seen. I think the key for her really is her personal manner. She truly cares about her patients. Her motto is if it is not good enough for her it is not good enough for her patients.

As to MJ, one would have figure that with the financial resources at his finger tips he could see any Dr he wanted to. Why he would choose that particular Dr does seem a bit odd.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:05 PM   #4
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Ho
As to MJ, one would have figure that with the financial resources at his finger tips he could see any Dr he wanted to. Why he would choose that particular Dr .
Because MJ cold get the prescription he wanted that way?
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:02 PM   #5
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How does one find out where their Dr attended school without paying for the information?
Call up the local Medical Society and ask. At least, I did that 35 years ago and it worked nicely. They told me yes, that doctor was qualified in his particular specialty and told me where he went to school and other qualifications.

As for MJ, I think yakers is right. I suspect he was looking for a semi-legal drug dealer (not a real doctor), and found one.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:41 PM   #6
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Don't worry, Orchidflower, half the doctors in America graduated from the bottom half of their class. And three-quarters of them couldn't make the top 25%...

I think grades and GPAs are what you fall back on when you have no experience. If you survive the process of gaining experience, then grades & GPAs become irrelevant. Lord knows that was true during my career.

Our local clinic has a wall of cardholders with our doctors' names & contact info. Next to each of their cardholders was a letter "A", "B", or "C". It turns out that they're residents organized by teams, not by GPAs or final exam grades.

Frankly, I prefer residents. I've seen too many burned-out GPs, or skilled specialists who allowed themselves to be forced into a 15-minutes-per-patient hamster wheel. Residents don't have enough experience to have fallen into those traps yet. They're still curious, they're generally willing to admit ignorance, and they don't have the street cred to be arrogant or unfeeling. If they think they need help then they actually go get it, and they know that they've not very good with obfuscational jargon or an "I'm the doctor" attitude. I find them much less intimidating for a reassuring educational chat than a grumpy guy who's 30 pounds overweight, smells like tobacco, is obviously exhausted, and always looking at his watch.

Jackson had a well-known lawsuits reputation as a slow payer. I can't imagine many doctors desperate enough to shrink their entire practice down to one patient who might or might not come through with a paycheck. They both found exactly what they were seeking, although the price they're paying turned out to be much different.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:16 AM   #7
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My Training, by Rich_in_Tampa

Back in the late 60's, I chose to skip medical school after finding a book of matches with an ad that said "Got what it takes? Learn medicine at home in just 8 weekss."

I worked like a fiend for those 2 months and graduated first in my class (I'm just guessing there). It was not easy - lots of pictures with so many labels to remember, practice knotting and unknotting my shoelaces over and over until I got it down, and repeatedly removing gizzards from poultry discarded by the grocery store (just in case I ever had to urgently remove a gizzard from a real patient). One of the two textbooks we used had over a hundred pages.

Eventually, things started to click, and I knew I had mastered this profession. Looking back over who I was before and after those gruelling 8 weeks, I knew I was a changed man. The rest is history.

Back then they weren't so strict about grades and licensing.

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:05 AM   #8
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And I'm thinking that the quality of medical education has a strong effect on the quality of care you receive when you are ill. Do others agree with me on this or have opposing views?

I'd love to hear from some of our medical pros on this board about the issue of physician care and quality of the attended medical school. If anyone knows, it's you medical professionals.

Here's the link--so scroll down--to the medical college rankings:

Does someone with a 2.7gpa and a 36MCAT stand a chance at Sackler? [Archive] - ValueMD Medical Schools Forum
Having been through the med-school drill with DS, I found your link interesting in that it appears that many schools that I'm familiar with have seen quite a drop in their MCAT scores, although the GPA's look similar.
If I could have one, and only one factor to use to choose a newly minted attending, it would be--what residency program did he/she go through, and how did he/she do. After that, it's all experience and attitude in my book.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:06 AM   #9
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I worked forty years with Physicians who graduated from all types of schools . It takes a lot more than a great school to make a great Physician . It takes practical sense , experience,ability , morality and great at interpersonal relationships . I've worked with Physicians who graduated from the top schools but were not anybody I'd go to . So I would not base my pick of a Physician solely on that . I usually ask around the medical community to find out who to go to .
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:12 AM   #10
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I'll take my University of Nebraska GP over my Harvard specialist any day of the week.

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Old 02-04-2010, 10:07 AM   #11
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I don't think I have ever been in a physician's or lawyer's office or dentist's that didn't have his college diplomas/credentials framed and on the wall. That should give you a lead as to what college he graduated from I should guess or, at least, a place to start digging.

JPatrick: How would I check residency program status? I assume they might be graded? Or not? This is a great idea if I just could find out which residency programs are best.

Listen, folks, we just had a bad experience last year with a G.P. my mother was using. She got out of the hospital, went to him for the after-care exam and he "forgot" to renew her meds. I assumed--yes, never assume I know NOW--she was off the meds she was taking before as he looked over her information seemingly thoroughly, gave her some suggestions and dismissed her. She ended up in the hospital again a couple weeks later because of his mess-up. She needed those medications!
Needless to say, we dropped him like a hot potato when we realized why she ended up in the hospital again. A sloppy physician can kill you...or, at the very least, make you more ill.


(By the way, from what I read, Dr. Warner asked the Jackson camp for a $5 Million "retainer" to be Jackson's personal physician and was turned down as being way too expensive. Not sure what the deal ended up being, tho.)
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:12 AM   #12
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I would bet that Michael Jackson wanted an African-American doctor, which would narrow his choices.

It was easy to find out where my dr. went to medical school (Germany)--I just asked her! I can't imagine though that you couldn't find out just by using Google.

Over the holidays we talked to two young men in medical school (one in a residency (pediatric cardiology), one in third year (thinking of ENT) ). They are quite concerned about the future of their profession.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:30 AM   #13
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My Training, by Rich_in_Tampa

Back in the late 60's, I chose to skip medical school after finding a book of matches with an ad that said "Got what it takes? Learn medicine at home in just 8 weekss."

I worked like a fiend for those 2 months and graduated first in my class (I'm just guessing there). It was not easy - lots of pictures with so many labels to remember, practice knotting and unknotting my shoelaces over and over until I got it down, and repeatedly removing gizzards from poultry discarded by the grocery store (just in case I ever had to urgently remove a gizzard from a real patient). One of the two textbooks we used had over a hundred pages.

Eventually, things started to click, and I knew I had mastered this profession. Looking back over who I was before and after those gruelling 8 weeks, I knew I was a changed man. The rest is history.

Back then they weren't so strict about grades and licensing.

Did the medical diploma include a set of these?



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Old 02-04-2010, 10:32 AM   #14
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If a doctor has an active license he or she has been vetted thoroughly. Most states have a board of medical examiners which provides basic information on all providers with a web site.

All kidding aside, my medical school did not use a grading system at all. No mandatory exams, no grades, but an intensive system of mentoring, tutoring, self-assessment exams and, ultimately, the externally required National Board of Medical Examiners exams. Perhaps not surprisingly, the classes generally scored very highly on the latter.

I don't think there is much benefit to the patient in trying to correlate doctors' grades with quality of care; medical school does correlate vaguely with undergraduate GPA but in this pool of very studious candidates it's like distinguishing between fractions of a percent. Indeed, some argue that to be in the top % for grades, you almost have to be someone who has no life outside of school and profession.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:54 AM   #15
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JPatrick: How would I check residency program status? I assume they might be graded? Or not? This is a great idea if I just could find out which residency programs are best.
up being, tho.)
I don't know of a one stop shop to learn the staus of residency programs.
Med students seem to have a feel for the best programs, but I don't know their source of info. Lots of networking I suspect.
DS is in EM, so his goal was to find a well regarded program in a very busy trama center with the hope he could experience at least one of everything in EM. Thus far it is working.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:52 PM   #16
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What red flagged Jackson's choice of physician for me was the area Dr. Warner practices in. It's a really low class hood area in Houston. You won't catch me running around there after 6 pm.
Why would he go to a physician that practices in an area like that when there are so many fine African-American physicians out there in nicer neighborhoods--and in L.A.? Why get a physician all the way in Houston? If it doesn't smell right....
Jackson wanted someone who would dispense his favorite drugs easily, and he found the right guy: someone who was in deep debt and desperate.
I'm sure Warner figures that the "easy" money came hard to him now.

Anyway, that's what started me wondering about where a physician studies and how it effects the eventual care you and I get. After last summer's fiasco, I'm checking these physicians and other professionals out more before I book with them from now on.
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:40 PM   #17
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Doctor intelligence and ability is like anything else- it's on a bell curve. At least with respect to the intelligence part, you are fishing at the low end of the curve with some of these lower ranking schools.

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Old 02-04-2010, 04:58 PM   #18
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My - experience - beware the experience of one - is that age and size of student loan seem to have a sub conscious effect.

I try to find foreign older doctors who look like they have their loans paid and don't jump to complicated stuff seemingly automatically.



heh heh heh - of course my current doc up here went to high school in Metaire - no idea on Med School. .
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:22 AM   #19
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Interesting point, unclemick, but my mother used an American older physician who is very established. Maybe the American part was the mistake?
When I realized that he put mom in the hospital for 3 weeks each time--when two visits were really unnecessary (at least for 3 weeks each visit) on hindsight--and even for the one visit that was, she did not need to be in there for 3 weeks. I've figured out that he just left her in there each time because 1. he forgot about her (it isn't like he came to see her after the first time she was in, and then it was only a few times) 2. he got paid for "checking in on her" at the hospital when he didn't really check on her at all.
By the way, I took that specific physician off the case while she was in the hospital the last time, and used the hospital physican who was wonderful, so I was glad we did it before she left. I was really hot about all this as you can imagine.
This experience was a real eyeopener for me--not that I haven't heard a surgeon BIL talk about the business-side of medicine more than once. Some don't go into it for totally "ideal" reasons...sadly.

What's even more scary is that hospitals seemed to not question this physician's motives, and, since my mother is so old (90 then), they just assume she should stay in there and then go to a nursing home. They weren't correcting/repairing anything. She was just in bed doing nothing all the time. Boy! When you're old you better have someone in there fighting for your rights, because I see how little consideration is given to the oldsters feelings. You're old, so you should go somewhere to die and not bother anyone.
Seems to be the attitude, anyway.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:52 AM   #20
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All the medical professionals at my docs office have their bios on the office's website. Includes their university and where they did their internship.
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