Accelerated growth

Photo: 

The Arts and Science Faculty Board’s recent proposal to implement an accelerated medical program at Queen’s is innovative, but requires more consideration. The current proposal presents countless risks that could lead to medical graduates that are too immature and ill-equipped to perform their duties as doctors.

The accelerated program would accept students based solely on high school grades and extracurricular involvement and allow them to begin medical school after only two years of undergraduate education. This isn’t nearly enough time for them to gain the life experience and maturity necessary to become full-fledged medical practitioners.

The program is undoubtedly attractive to Queen’s because it’s so unique. Furthermore, it moves closer to medical programs in Europe and Asia that have proven to be successful.

However, the criteria for acceptance still aren’t stringent enough.

Acceptance to a medical school out of an undergraduate program is extremely difficult for a reason — it ensures a standard of quality that only the best-equipped candidates can meet.

There must be some sort of guarantee that those accepted to this program are of the same academic caliber as students accepted with a Bachelor’s degree — a guarantee that will be difficult to make.

Results from standardized testing of some sort, preferably the Medical College Admission Test, must be included in the evaluation process for the students to ensure this consistency is met.

The proposed program also fails to take into account some of the major challenges and upheavals that students face in their undergraduate careers, like managing stress and building relationships with their peers.

An undergraduate degree is an important time of exploration for students — a time for students to decide who they want to become and what path they want to pursue in life. By deciding that they want to pursue a career as a medical doctor in their grade 12 year of high school, the students are denied that important time of exploration.

Ultimately, the risks of this proposed program outweigh the benefits of innovation. Faculty Board can’t simply go forth with this proposal because it’s the first of its kind — they must fully consider all of the potential liabilities before making a final decision.

— Journal Editorial Board

This article has been updated to reflect the following clarification: Students are accepted into the program based on their high school grades and their extracurricular involvement.

Tags: 

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.