How Smart are Medical Doctors?

Medical Doctors Ranked First with Highest IQ amongst job professions

How Smart are Medical Doctors? An interesting study published by the University of Wisconsin suggests that doctors (M.D or equiv O.D, dents, etc) have the highest IQ on average.

How Smart are Medical doctors?

Though I’m not a huge supporter of IQ tests but I would say that most doctors are somewhat smart. However, I would further add that, having a high IQ does NOT make good doctor.

Being a good doctor requires more than just book smarts. It requires strong work ethics,  commitment and clear communication skills. Understanding basic science and pathology requires you to be smart. Facing death and the sickness of others requires human compassion.

A often neglected, but perhaps more important measurement is Emotional intelligence. Doctors with high EQ care for their patients better.

Medicine is both a science and an art. Doctors have to understand bio-mechanisms and lab tests as well as human emotions and feelings. People who are aware of their own emotions and can empathize with others will be more likely to give excellent patient care.

Unfortunately, the ever increasing emphasis on test scores (GPA, MCAT, USMLE) may be a bad sign for our future doctors. We are increasing our IQ statistics but consistently neglecting our EQ measurements. Medical schools have acknowledged these problems and have begun pushing for more arts and humanities in medicine.

People don’t care how much you know–until they know how much you care.

A higher EQ is beneficial for doctors too. A patient is more likely to trust their physician and disclose information if they know their thoughts and ideas will be respected. Even though medical knowledge is growing exponentially and as physicians, we will continually learn medicine, we must not neglect our emotional education either. Doctors treat patients, not diseases.

47 Responses to How Smart are Medical Doctors?

  1. FuckPatchAdams says:

    Are you seriously arguing that being nice to patients trumps the competency of your care? I can be the nicest person you’ve ever met but if I fail to diagnose your brain tumour I’m still going to get sued and you’re still going to die. Good grief.

    • relax says:

      As someone who is a practicing physician, I can tell you that medicine requires a lot more hard work than raw brain power. My biggest challenge is getting patients to change their behavior, i.e. managing their diabetes or heart failure etc. That is what prevents admissions and readmissions to the hospital. Furthermore, doctors are more commonly sued for not looking than not knowing. Additionally, providing quality care for patients doesn’t always mean getting the top score in O-chem, sometimes you actually have to get up in the middle of the night and drive to the hospital to see a patient. As silly as that sounds, some doctors refuse to do that. That’s when bad things tend to happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      If u wanna date a doctor, come here. LOL

    • FuckDoctorsWithBigEgos says:

      Having Empathic qualities are just as important as having medical knowledge under your belt.

      Suppose someone comes in with the beginnings of a serious illness, but this person’s doctor decides to ignore what the patient says because it disinterests him or because he thinks he knows better about the patient’s own body. Later on down the road it turns out this patient has a full blown serious illness, and the doctor didn’t catch it because he didn’t want to hear the patient out. Doctors seem to want pure physical results that they can see- lab results, patient’s vomiting blood, whatever. But they often times ignore the most important process about medicine, which is analyzing the patient as a whole and listening to what is going on in their body from their perspective. After all, a doctor doesn’t know shit about how another person experiences illness.

      • rayz says:

        yes finally a person with balls to say what most doctors never will admit too i.e. the truth !! you nailed it thank you. doctors are not willing to even acknowledge that a patient can even think let alone know what is happening inside their own body. thanx again for speaking the truth

        • Jacky says:

          As a current medical student, I would say the trend of practice is changing, in terms of emphasizing more patient interactions in our practices today. I know my school heavily pushes patient oriented care, paying close attention to what patients say, and orienting care with the patient in the center. Sometimes this becomes a challenge because our health SYSTEM, not necessarily the individual physicians, are making it imperative that we move through patients quickly. This need to treat health care like a business is detrimental to both patients and PHYSICIANS. Even if we would love to spend an hour with each patient, it’s financially not feasible. It’s sad that as a physician, if we want to keep our practices open, this game is something we have to play.

    • Alex Ziegler says:

      Studies have shown that when it comes to litigation those who are much more likely to be sued are not the “bad” doctors. They are the doctors who had poorer relationships with their patients. So an arrogant doctor, who is a very good surgeon is also more likely to be sued by his patients, not because of the surgical performance but because of his relationship with his patients. Look it up

      • jude says:

        This is so true… I’m a nurse and deal with this. Sure, incompetence is incompetence, but people are people as well, and well they’re treated goes a long way

  2. medaholic says:

    I don’t know where you inferred that I said being nice is more important than competency of care. Almost all doctors are smart and competent at what they do. Otherwise, they would not have gotten in and graduates in the first place. However, I am saying that doctors with empathy and human compassion are much better than just doctors with their book smarts.

    • futuredoc says:

      I agree. I think an EQ test should be a 2nd admissions exam.
      MCAT + EQ test.

    • medaholic is one bad doc says:

      Seriously medaholic? All doctors must be intelligent to make it as far as they do. The argument is this: I would be a much better doctor if I invested myself in my patients emotionally. Doctors who are emotionally invested will make a significantly greater mental investment in diagnosing their patients and caring for them… because they actually care about the outcome.

      • medaholic says:

        Hi – I’m not sure what you are getting at your comment, if you would like to clarify, perhaps I can respond better.

  3. Sunny says:

    Really Medaholic? Do you know what they call the person who graduates last from medical school? I’ll give you a hint; Doctor.

    • Keratos says:

      My medical school started out with about – I dunno – 600 applicants. We accepted 200 “A” students. We finished up with about 176. # 176, whoever that was, passed everything and graduated last in his or her class and is called Dr. – true enough. But he or she was # 176 of 600 if you look at it that way, or #176 of 200 if you look at it another way. Of course with all the hassle and crap doctors have to deal with now, and much lower pay these days, med students are overall a less gifted group now than they were in the ’70′s

  4. Billy Jr. says:

    Face it. In my vast experience, doctors are largely a joke, save a few specialists who actually have a clue, and give rat’s behind. All of you would-be and practicing doctors should simply cut the superiority act. Look at yourselves critically, and you may just end up being far better at what you do. Ignore me at your professional peril.

    Out. Now go ahead and ban me. I’m much too correct. This much I know. What I’m impressed with is a down to earth, communicative and caring doc, who also possesses knowledge. When I find one, I’ll let you know. Not an imbecile who thinks he knows everything, yet never heard of the supplement called Garlique.

  5. medaholic says:

    @Billy Jr. : I wouldn’t go as far to say doctors are a joke, after all many do go through many years of training and long hours at work to become competent in their field. But I do agree with you that doctors with superiority complexes are bad news.

  6. Josh says:

    Completely agree! As someone planning on going into medicine I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum. While being very smart can make you a good doctor I don’t feel you can be a great doctor unless you possess both.

  7. Dr. Castle says:

    Entering into a medical school usually requires a good undergraduate program in a university that the student excelled in earning a GPA that places them in the top 10% of the class (on avg.). Then depending on the nation but I am assuming in Canada or the US, they require to get usually 30+ on the MCAT which is a standardized test where the median is 8/15 for each section of 3 total sections. In addition, they require a great resume showing volunteer, physical and hobbies that provide a well rounded image, 3 recommendation letters that speak of the character of the student, and then go to a medical interview in which usually around 1 in 4 get selected to enter into the medical school.

    Following that the student needs to do 2 extremely heavy years of medical sciences, then 2 years of hospital rotations with 2 board certification exams the first of which is an 8 hour exam with 322 questions. The passing mark on all these tests as well as in the medical school is usually around 70%.

    Then the student does 3-5 years as a resident at a hospital where they usually work 80 hours a week, and thats not a typo. In my time it use to be as high as 110 hours a week. You basically live in the hospital for those years. After you finish all of this you are left with about a 200,000-300,000 USD debt.

    Due to all of this, doctors are very highly regarded in the proximal working environment. We know we can only “recommend” to the patient what to do, but because of the trust the patient instills in the doctor, we are obliged to assume that the patient will blindly follow this advice so we better know what we recommend.

    The nurse’s primary objective is to to facilitate the care of the patient, and assist the doctor. The doctor’s primary objective is to diagnose you and then offer you with your possible treatments. It does help if a doctor has socializing skills and smiles but it is not as big a deal as you may believe. With the expansion of preventative medicine though and “team-think” and “group-based” medical care it is becoming more important.

    • ilstn2u says:

      Dr. Castle,
      I understand that training is intensive for doctors, but it is also intensive for mental health professionals and many other caregiving professionals. Based on the stats, doctors are not necessarily smarter than many of their patients, just have more book knowledge. As a therapist, I think I have a pretty good handle on human behavior and why people do what they do, but unless they believe I understand them, and they believe I really care, they will never choose to work on changing their behaviors. I don’t think medicine is all that different. Why should I come and see you about my physical ailments if you don’t care. I currently see a doctor, who is not very aggressive about my physical well-being, particularly for my age, and because I care about my physical well-being and am an educated patient, I tell him what I need and he does it. I continue to see him, not because I think he is a great doctor, but because he cares and I can’t seem to find one in my community who will listen to me, not act like he is an arrogant, know-it-all bastard, and provide me with quality care.
      All your education does not mean a thing, if you do not listen to and care about your patients. And, if you are disinterested in your patients, I bet you have trouble keeping or getting along with your nursing and office staff as well. Just saying.

  8. amy says:

    @Dr.Castle i know that just b/c they go thru voulenterr work doesnt mean anything. i know students who have done the voulenteer hours but with no REAL self-enhancing benefits because they just went but did not particpate with there heart. Also Anybody can get a good recommendation. If you kiss peoples asses an make them fill good an you “know” people than it is not a problem to get a exceptionally good recommendation! :D

  9. T. says:

    We’ll i’d like to comment on the first blog post. Anyone who’s name is FUCKPATADAMS…well thats all you need to see to determined where or not you should take what they say seriously.
    Truly, it’s hard to believe that someone with such a ignorant response practices medicine. I remember before i started med school working as a paramedic for a fire department and something i learned and have embraced whole heartedly. You treat the patient, not the symptoms
    Partly why i’ve chose to be a DO rather than a MD. This is not to say MD do not do the same thing, it’s just whats worked for me.
    Thanks

  10. Debora says:

    Give me Dr. House or Dr. Feelgood ANY DAY!

  11. Dr. Castle says:

    @Amy. This is a very poor assumption on your part. In my experience medical doctors and students are not significantly different from other relatively intelligent individuals. As you can clearly see even if these results were true and accurate there is still huge overlap between the professions, especially those requiring post graduate studies which medicine is (at least in Canada and the US).

    To assume that medical students simply collect these letters of recommendation, volunteer hours, previous job experience, and unique characteristics that make many special, while other students actually have “heart” is not true, and very insulting not only to physicians but to those writing these letters as well. It may be true to some extend that some students get these hours without “heart” but that is no different than any other students.

    To put it bluntly, medicine is an extremely lucrative field that has a positive image in the society inlarge, pays well, has amazing job stability, and in itself is an accomplishment. There is a reason why on average medicine is the hardest field to get into. Look at your average national requirement for any other profession and they will almost always fall short of the requirements to get into medical school, why? Because there is a large competition for it, why? Because of the reasons mentioned above and not a huge number of available spots. As a consequence who gets into medicine? Usually those with the most passion, highest grades, most contributions in their lives up to that point etc. Does this mean that a very intelligent, well-rounded person can’t be in a different profession? Of course no. Does this mean that all medical students are extremely intelligent well-rounded individuals that have amazing grades? Of course no. But when you take the average medical student they generally are among the top, as you should expect them to be. I understand it’s fun sometimes to poke fun at certain professions, and stereotypes such as the nerdy engineer, the sloppy physician that never sees daylight, and the evil lawyer that sold his/her soul to enter law school, but if you actually reflect and critically think, I think you will come to a slightly different conclusion.

    • medaholic says:

      @ Dr. Castle – I think you summed it up nicely. It’s a variety of factors that make medicine appealing and as a result such a competitive field.

    • bananabender says:

      Entrance to medical school is only highly competitive in the relatively few countries where medicine is a highly paid and prestigious profession. Almost all these countries are in the Anglosphere (US, Canada, Britain, Australia, NZ).

      In most other countries medicine doesn’t offer high status or large salaries. Medicine is simply considered to be an ordinary middle class job like teaching or engineering. Medical students in these countries are typically solid but unremarkable high school graduates (top 1/3 of students). Medical degrees are 4-6 year undergraduate programmes. These medical degrees are free or very heavily subsidised. The (vast) majority of medical students in many non-English speaking countries are female.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Medical Students certainly need to be exposed to the humanities. I work for a College of Medicine at a University in the U.S. and interact with M.D./PhD medical faculty, staff, and students. I have noticed that there are quite a few who have the superiority complex while I have also noticed that there are those who are compassionate. Those who are compassionate are most likely more involved, such as being class President, selling t-shirts, fundraising, etc. But, holding a Master’s in Communication, I must stress the importance compassion, humanities, and arts or at least the lack there of. For example, and on a technical communication standpoint, I have noticed that most students, even those with the superiority complex do not know how to write well. Sure, they have the basics down, but there is so much more they are not aware of such as the use of colons, semi-colons, and other technical devices, punctuations, etc. I actually manage a group of the most elite selected to accurately report the curriculum being taught and must say that they don’t seem to be very savvy in this area.

    In addition, a lot of medical student have no idea what it means to write an original research paper such as an article with abstract and most certainly not a dissertation which is required of a PhD. I believe that MD student need to be exposed to such elements and even be required to complete an original research project/dissertation so that they understand the other functions of the social academia, not just the hard sciences. They need to understand this humanistic side of the world so that they can create/become compassion/compassionate. Most just go through a four year program after the bachelor degree in most likely some hard science area and then after their residency are ready to practice, even during their schooling are exposed to interactions with others. In addition, it scares me when I think of the NBME subject and USLME tests being multiple choice. For my master’s degree, I had to write about complex theories, qualitative writing, knowledge, experience, research, communicate and present as well as the quantitative side: statistical analysis, communication and theoretical formulas.

    In general, I feel that medical students are really out of the loop from society and its humanistic, sociological sphere. Most doctors think just knowing formulas and hard science knowledge gives them an accurate ability to perform in the medical field. That is not the case. This is why many doctors become serial killers. Yes, as surprising as it may sound, this is true. I recently conducted research in the area and found that doctors have the highest rate of suicide of any profession. Every year, between 300 and 400 physicians take their own lives—roughly one a day (Noonan, 2008). Check out the abstract to my article:

    DOCTORS WHO KILL:
    A THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE REASONS WHY & POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO REGULATE OCCURRENCES

    ABSTRACT

    The U.S. Institute of Medicine estimates that each year between 44,000 and 98,000 people die as a result of medical errors (Kohn et al., 1999). While reckless, incompetent, inept, mad, or just plain dangerous doctors have contributed to these errors for as long as medicine has been practiced, medical serial killing is a relatively new phenomenon (Kaplan, 2009, p. 3). Existing literature is largely anecdotal and limited to reporting on a collection of killings committed by doctors and on topics such as malpractice/negligence, abortion, assisted suicide/euthanasia, Nazi medicine, and occasionally on suicidal physicians. However, emerging research reveals a different kind of killing, one in which behavioral changes in doctors cause them to engage in medical serial murder. As a result of this new phenomenon, the current study provides a review on reasons why doctors murder their patients. An overarching theoretical section is developed with an explanation provided for each reason. In addition, policy recommendations are discussed on how to help regulate such occurrences by way of identifying a collection of red flags common to a high percentage of them.

    Copyright © 2011

    • You're not only wrong, you're stupid as well. says:

      Your abstract is truly a poor piece of work. You are preaching poor writing technique and use of language among doctors, yet fall well short yourself. An abstract should be a summation of what you did, why you did it, and why others should read it. At no point should it include references (as these are used to strengthen and support your argument in the body of the text). Look at Google Scholar, or any other peer-reviewed website if you don’t believe me. It seems that if you are teaching medical students these techniques that you are the problem. Also, from what I can garner, your paper deals with pseudo-scientific nonsense and psychological rhetoric. I guess that is the difference between a science degree and a communications degree (honestly communications degrees are a joke at my University. What did you major in? Film studies?).

  13. Anonymous says:

    9 Signs You Should Fire Your Doctor (on lack of compassion)

    Staying with a doctor you’re not happy with is as harmful as staying in a relationship you know is bad because it’s easier than making a change. But parting ways may be the healthiest move. Here are nine signs that it’s time to fire your doctor. (For simplicity, the references below are to male doctors, but men don’t have a monopoly on unacceptable behavior.)

    1. You don’t mesh. You and your doctor don’t need to see eye to eye on everything, but it’s helpful if you work well together. If you want a partnership, for example, a doctor who spouts commands is not the best fit. If you value warmth, you may not be able to build an effective relationship with a physician who seems formal or distant. “Some patients like doctors who are very direct and blunt,” says Washington, D.C. based family physician Kenny Lin, who blogs for U.S. News. “And some patients can’t stand that type of doctor because they think he or she isn’t empathetic enough or doesn’t provide enough options.” When there’s a mismatch, neither person is at fault—but it could be grounds for termination.

    2. He doesn’t respect your time. Do you routinely wait an hour to see your physician only to feel like he’s speed-doctoring through the visit? You should never feel like you’re being rushed. If your doctor doesn’t take the time to answer your questions or address your concerns, there’s a problem. The medical community is becoming increasingly sensitive to patients’ precious time. When they’re late for an appointment, some habitually tardy doctors have even begun compensating patients with money or gifts. If your doctor’s chronic lateness makes you grind your teeth, why stay with him? Hint: If you’re evaluating a prospective physician, investigate his timeliness beforehand.

    3. He keeps you in the dark. A doctor should be open and thorough about why he recommends a certain treatment or orders a specific test, and he should share all results with you. “If a doctor doesn’t explain himself, or at least not to your satisfaction, at that point a doctor is bad,” Lin says. “I know doctors who have drawn blood or run a bunch of tests without telling patients why they’re doing them and what they mean.” It’s also important that a doctor uses terms you understand, rather than complicated medical jargon; otherwise, explanations are meaningless. Your health is too important to feel confused or uninformed.

    4. He doesn’t listen. Does your doctor hear you out without interrupting? “It all comes down to communication and whether you feel like you’re asking questions and they’re not being answered,” says Carolyn Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. She recalls visiting a doctor for a second opinion on whether she should go through with a procedure recommended by her dentist. “He made a big leap—that I didn’t want to have it done because I was afraid of the pain—and kept reassuring me that it was virtually pain-free. That’s not what I was asking. After three rounds, I concluded that we weren’t going to get to a productive place, and I didn’t go back.”

    5. The office staff is unprofessional. The receptionists are the link between you and the doctor. If they blow you off—or neglect to give your message to the physician, say about side effects of a new medication—your health could be at risk. Even if you like your doctor, a bad office staff could signal it’s time to look elsewhere.

    6. You don’t feel comfortable with him, or wonder about his competence. Doctors need to know intimate details you may not even share with friends or family members. If you’re unable to disclose such facts, you and your doctor may not be the right match. A sense of unease about his decisions and recommendations, even if you can’t say exactly why, is also a perfectly legitimate reason for cutting the cord, says Don Powell, president of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, a nonprofit that promotes healthy behavior through wellness programs and publications. Beware of sloppy medical mistakes, too: If your doctor prescribes a medication to which you’re allergic, and you know that information is in your history, a separation may be in order.

    7. He doesn’t coordinate with other doctors. Your primary care physician should be the quarterback of your healthcare team, managing each step of the medical process. That means keeping track of specialists’ reports and instructions and talking with you about their recommendations. If he’s slacking, an important piece of your care could slip through the cracks.

    8. He’s unreachable. A good doctor is available for follow-up questions and concerns. Patient advocate Trisha Torrey, author of You Bet Your Life! The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes, recalls the time her husband developed severe tooth pain on a weekend. His dentist’s voicemail included a cell phone number and a promise of a quick response, but he never heard back. An emergency clinic visit and root canal later, he told his dentist she was fired. A growing number of doctors are making themselves available to patients via E-mail, text message, and Skype, and at the very least, you need to know that in an emergency, you won’t be left hanging.

    9. He’s rude or condescending. Time to part ways. Same goes if he trivializes your concerns as though they’re not valid. One of the clearest signs you should move on is if he walks out of the room while you’re still talking, says Clancy. That’s what happened when her sister met with a surgeon to determine if her daughter should go through with a procedure. “When my sister finished asking her question, the doctor was gone,” Clancy recalls. “She called me afterward and I told her, ‘You have to find someone else. You’ll regret it if you don’t.’”

  14. flewgy1 says:

    everyone, leave doctors alone, they put in the hard work to get to where they are and because of that they deserve it, start complaining after you spend 15+ years getting educated to save people lives, i do still agree about the superiority complex tho

    • RightOn says:

      What about Physicists and Scientists? What is 15 yrs? NADA. These people spend their ENTIRE LIVES doing Science. Lets not even talk about comparing the IQ of a doctor to a Physicist! It would be an insult to a Physicist.
      Do you know who the most tech un-savvy people on the planet are??? Doctors.

      And what do these scientists make? Peanuts.

  15. Laurie says:

    This doctor gave me a diagnosis of cancer, then asked me to step across the hall to sign surgery authorization forms. He asked the clerk to set up a date for surgery. He then went directly across the hall, I followed. He open the door to the small room, greeted the patient inside, & shut the door leaving me standing in the hall. When I returned to the clerk & she asked me what date would be best for me I said I would get back to her. I never did. My time spent there from beginning to end was maybe about half an hour. I decided to go with another doctor.

    • medaholic says:

      Laurie, that is most unfortunate. Goes to show that having high intelligence is no indicator of manners or decency.

  16. simon paine says:

    i totally agree with “I am saying that doctors with empathy and human compassion are much better than just doctors with their book smarts” after all this profession is customer facing most of the time.it stands to reason that you would think that all doctors have a good bedside manner but that is simply not always the case.well at least that is my own experience,no i`m not a doctor.

  17. Joe BLow says:

    That scale is BS. It actually lists MDs with an IQ below 100. You probably need 120+ to be a Doctor and get a PHD.

    • RightOn says:

      Not really. I know many doctors that got their medical degrees from the Caribbean, or 3rd world countries paying serious dough. They didn’t need to secure high USMLE scores either to integrate themselves into the medical system here.

      High IQs belong in the domain of Physicists and Scientists, who get paid peanuts.

  18. georgiamxer45 says:

    I will say this,,,as a a member of the Naval Special Warfare Combat Medic course, and a graduate of BUD/s training,,,,and now working as a CCP, TCCC, EMT-T, I have seen cases where the MD’s were totally lost, not that they aren’t bright guys,,,just not having any day to day real trauma,,,i.e. combat,,,,there is is a huge difference in the field and the trauma bay in a hospital setting,,,,these Doc’s are great at what they do,,,but they don’t see the type of trauma we do,,,,neither do the trauma Doc’s,,,they just don’t,,,,I have moved a couple of them aside to tx a pt,,,not because of their incompetency,,,,but just their lack of experience in these situations,,,,more special operations medicine needs to be integrated into the civilian world,,,,we do things that save lives,,,quickly, and without thought,,,it’s instinct,,,,MD’s are extremely bright, intelligent people,,,,but in severe trauma cases,,there needs to be more “outside the box” thinking!!

  19. Lago says:

    Doctors; Social workers with prescription pads. Not original with me.

    As someone who has worked extensively with grad students, MDs, PhDs, MD-PhDs, DVMs, DMV-PhDs, and so forth, the degree is more a measure of perseverance, not intelligence nor competence. That said, as a group the PhDs tend to be the most rounded, the MDs best dressed, the MD-PhDs narrowly focussed, the DVM-PhDs, the most knowledgeable generally, and the MD or DVM-pathologists the most interesting – fun to work with.

    From the military perspective, the sorting is quickly made informally by performance – rank and scores are superfluous, as noted by the Corpsman assigned to SEALS. From my own experience in the intelligence community that is also the case at lower levels. The back channel gets immediate results, the chain of comand gets boged down in ritual. Fraternal organizations, such as CIA are a private joke among us.

    As a victim of the VA medical system, I can say with authority that the emphasis is on pro-forma treatment, particularly for mental health issues. I feel sorry for those poor bastards coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the “budget problems” they will encounter when they require treatment. There was plenty of money to get them screwed up (3 trillion and counting), AND plenty of enthusiasm for throwing them into harm’s way. Then bill comes due.

    As for the poor doctor’s plight with student loans, too bad. In-state tuition for medical school is not onerous for most states. But elitism prevails. The best return on educational investment is for the plumber. Roughly comparable apprenticeship time-wise. Better hours, same income, doctor calls you, not the other way around. A good plumber’s work lasts a lifetime. Hell, you might actually KNOW a plumber.

    Think of a doctor as an expensive snobbish automobile mechanic, generally familiar with diesel and gas engines and their support systems. Often limited to general diagnostics and palliative treatment – a service writer or a waiter if you like. The actual repair and hard-core diagnostic work goes to specialists, many of whom are two-year technicians, some might be other doctors such as surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, etc.. These specialists, of course, don’t wait on customers. They too are supported by technicians such as nannies, equipment operators, office staff, PAs, surgical nurses, nurse-anesthetists, etc.

    On the suffering of the Resident: Any bonehead resident or hospital administrator that subjects their staff to 80-hour work weeks is inviting medical errors and/or legal action. Eighty-hour weeks are usually reserved for self-employed types. If a resident isn’t smart enough to know this is bad medicine, then he/she really didn’t learn much in med school or isn’t too bright after all – negating the initial premise. Showing a little back bone wouldn’t be out of line either.

    “Good doctor” is becoming an oxymoron.

    Sincerely
    Lago
    IQ 150+

    • Clueless says:

      Such drivel from a boob with an IQ of 150+? Seriously? The fact that you felt the need to post your IQ as some badge of honor while attempting to undermine the very premise of this article says it all.

  20. Swapnil says:

    dude please… Not all doctors are intelligent and smart… Especially in present era Where half the institutions are private… In a private college… You pay the donation, pay the fee… And Even without attending a single lecture you get your degree certificate after 6 yrs.. and If you don’t wanna slog during exams, there’s a bypass…. Pay some hundred bucks to the clerk… And you have university paper in your hand… And When such doctors come to practice you know Whats gonna happen…… Capitalism is ruining India…

    • RightOn says:

      Doctors and high IQs??? You have got to be kidding me!
      I personally know so many “doctors” that got their medical degrees from 3rd rate medical schools in the Caribbean, or colleges in India (like Swapnil says) just by paying some serious dough!

      I work for a National Lab in the United States, and work with a lot of physicists. You want to compare brain power, and book smarts? Try comparing your super-duper smart doctors to these physicists. “Most” of your smarts might soon hang their heads in shame…

      Over the course of my life, I have been to doctors that otherwise seem to have graduated from good med-schools. I am yet to meet one who is REALLY impressive. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. But most physicists that I ran into are downright smart.

      How competent is the Medical system in the United States anyway, that takes these Caribbean graduates or Karnataka(a state in India that caters to dumb med students who can get a medical/dental degree by paying dough) graduates, and floats them as “specialists” in the field? I would do my research about the doc before I go see him/her anyway.

  21. Lauri Lähde says:

    Indeed, one shouldnt think doctors as either bad or good. theres a wide spectrum just like in engineering.

    basic engineer knows alittle about everything, same with general MD.

    After specilizing to say mechanical engineering or ortophedic surgery you know more about that field, but even there, there are better and worse doctors and engineers.

  22. Nick says:

    From what I’ve gathered, medicine is a really shitty field, and a lot of hopeful med students lose their passion for medicine during med school. Med School breaks you down emotionally, and to survive a lot of students become emotionless.
    Not only that, but they are studying all hours of the day, so of course they lose some connection with the outside world.
    To say they need to integrate more humanities courses into their cirruculum is absurd. Humanities won’t help you on the USMLE or licensing test, so why waste precious time with those courses? There also isn’t any time for additional courses. Unless med school is longer than 4 years..which would put the student in more debt, and would probably be yet another deterrent for enrolling in med school. Moreover, there would be less doctors to help the increasing idiot Americans who do harm to their bodies that can easily be prevented.

    I think the “superior” complex is more complicated than people realize. To a doctor, they have gone through so much grueling training and rigorous education that most haven’t, so they feel like they work harder and everyone else is stupid. Which is true. People are dumb. They don’t listen to their doctors who know more about illness than you do from reading about your symptoms online.
    No licensed doctor is “incompetent..” You pass a single med school course and then you can challenge the intelligence of doctors.
    And of course docs can’t learn everything in 4 years, the body isn’t as simple as people think.
    It isn’t like, “oh I’m having chest pains, the doctor can fix this easily.” Well your chest isn’t disconnected from your body. It’s up to the doctor to know what interactions drugs will have on other organs, and how a drug will interact with the multiple other drugs your on. Since everyone’s so unhealthy these days.

  23. Roy G. Biv says:

    I’m an engineer who has found himself working among doctors. To be honest, most doctors I’ve met are not smart, and some are downright dim. A small few seem bright. A doctor’s training largely consists of rote memorization of dogma. Most doctors seem to equate learning with memorizing. This is quite troubling. They typically don’t know how to create anything or solve problems or do deep analysis, but have memorized procedures, drug names and dosages, anatomy, etc. I exclude surgeons from this critique. The reason doctors are so highly paid is as much about the government enforced racket as it is about their useful skills.

    The Med School process doesn’t filter out stupid, it filters out the uncommitted and non-dedicated. Doctors have to work through a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy with the healthcare system, and have to listen to whiny patients, so I give them props for that. But for real intelligence, I’d largely look to other fields.

  24. MuDPhuD says:

    The University of Wisconsin study is often cited but it samples a relatively small demographic (included in the study were Wisconsin men with occupation groups having at least 30 case samples or more over a window from 1992 to 1994.). There are other studies whose results differ in terms of IQ values or ranges. Generally, medical doctors are in the higher rungs of IQ, but have stiff competition from other professions like engineering, law or economics. In fact, many analyses place professors, physicists, mathematicians and engineers at the top of the intelligence scale, rather than doctors (e.g. http://www.statisticbrain.com/iq-estimates-by-intended-college-major/). I happen to be an MD/PhD with undergraduate training in engineering, and subjectively, I found many of my engineering classmates to be brighter and better problem-solvers and abstract thinkers than my medical school classmates, the majority of whom had life-science backgrounds. Having experienced a medical education and an engineering education, I must admit that the engineering curriculum was more challenging in many respects because of the degree of abstract reasoning and logic required, which actually gave me an advantage in medical school because my problem-solvimg abilities were great for unraveling difficult clinical cases (e.g. multiple comorbidities, polypharmacy, unclear diagnosis). IIn any case, having a high EQ is probably as important as a high IQ in medicine because of the interpersonal and interprofessional aspects of the job.

  25. Patrick says:

    If I got results then I would return but when the patient has to both diagnose the problem and treat the problem, I see no reason to return or trust the doctors. Personally I think that doctors are better actors than scientists.

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