Here’s another death of common sense story:
Would-be California medical students with learning disabilities filed a discrimination suit Monday saying their prospects of becoming doctors are being thwarted because they aren’t given enough time on the medical school entrance exam.
Do you remember the episode on ER where a patient was rushed into the hospital with severe head trauma and Doctor Green had to go to a quiet room to think about what to do? No, me neither.
(Not every doctor works in an ER but even general practioniers must think quickly if they expect to see enough patients to earn a good living.)
Even more shocking than the lawsuit is the response of the American Association of Medical Colleges. Instead of making the obviously correct argument that time is a legitimate testing hurdle for a physician they argue that the students involved are not disabled enough! If only they had failed more of their undergraduate classes then the AAMC would give them special accomodation. Really, I’m not making this up.
About the only saving grace in these stories is that the underlying assumption is usually wrong. Fact is, there just aren’t that many slow geniuses. Speed and quality of thought are correlated. (How else to explain my co-blogger? See here for more systematic evidence.) If there are other hurdles, these same students will soon be selected out. As a professor, I have seen this many times. Of course, that just means more lawsuits.
Thanks to Right Side of the Rainbow for the pointer.