12 February, 2007

social engineering and medical students

So we are expected to swallow the load of utter bollocks that there is no "social engineering" in the selection of medical students, are we?

If there is no "social engineering" then where the hell are all the Australian Viet-Nam War veterans who commenced studying Medicine in Australia AFTER Returning-from-Active-Service???????

Regardless of how many Returned Servicemen became doctors after the Second World War ...... there were only 2 [two] out of a cohort of 59 000 [fifty-nine thousand] identified as being ex-diggers who commenced study, graduated and became licenced to practice medicine in Australia after risking their lives in the Viet-Nam War ...... that's 1 in 29 500 ..... yet we are spun this nonsense that there is no "social engineering" in the selection of medical students.

There was certainly no lack of talent among Australian Viet-Nam War veterans - entry standards for the RAN, the RAAF and the ARA were exceptionally high; so high in fact that when National Service [= military conscription] was introduced, many university students failed to reach the minimum psychological and intellectual standard required for entry into the Army! Yet these war veterans were kept out of certain professions - such as Medicine - by very dodgy selection processes.

Many of these war veterans became registered nurses, ambulance paramedics and other health professionals so there was certainly no lack of ability to study difficult and ever-changing subjects and then to apply that knowledge successfully in their professional work; they dealt with emergency situations, conflicting priorities and complex ethical issues on a daily basis ...... yet only a token few were allowed to become doctors.

Read for youself the Letter-To-The-Editor in "The Weekend Australian" of 10~11 February 2007 by Bruce Robinson, Acting Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney

and journalist Janet Albrechtsen's blog and article in "The Australian" of 7 February 2007

Had Viet-Nam War veterans be allowed and encouraged to become doctors, many - if not most - would have gone to bush towns and Aboriginal communities so the shortage of doctors in rural and remote parts of Australia would not have reached the crisis we have today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why on earth do you think Vietman Vets are particularly smart. Most were conscipts and selected by ballot across a pretty broad section of the community. Thus they were of about average intelligence.
Why did you expect them to become doctors? They were not school leavers, they were 19 or 20 when consrcipted and had allready embarked on whatever job, trade training, or university degree seemed suitable. Why would they want to switch to medicine after a year or two in 'Nam, or be able to?
Assuming any vets had become doctors why would they be more likely to work in country towns than other doctors? Most were just as suburban as the average Australian.