Monday, March 16, 2009

Why Are You Even Bothering With Med School Then?

From Chabadtalk:

I'm engaged in the study of medicine and in modern medical textbooks there is very little (if any) restraint in what pictures they post of people and body parts. Ranging from very explicit diagrams, to real-life pictures of private organs, both living and otherwise, to pictures of cadavers etc...

I know the Rebbe opposed using cadavers for medical study but beyond that I'm not sure

My feeling is these pictures are not appropriate, but firstly it's very hard to avoid when studying the reproductive system etc.

OK, let's get one thing straight... I'm not a doctor (Psychotoddler, are you out there?), but I would be *highly* surprised to find that there exists any medical school in the United States that does not require a basic anatomy course which involves studying all parts of the human anatomy -- male and female. Furthermore, I would think that anyone who is intelligent enough to qualify for medical school would have known this going in.

If this is really a problem for you, then you shouldn't be studying medicine.

(Can you imagine what the state of medicine would be like if doctors could only study anatomy from pictures of *clothed* subjects? Can you imagine a gynecologist whose first look at a woman's vagina comes from his/her first patient?)

The Wolf

17 comments:

fakewood inc. said...

valid questions and he was properly directed to the correct authority for an answer.

Child Ish Behavior said...

That was precisely the state medicine was in prior to the scientific revolution. What you are seeing is what medicine would look like if Rabbonim ran the medical schools and not scientists and doctors.

josh waxman said...

perhaps modern Rabbanim, or perhaps not. (i think many modern rabbanim would have no issue with this.) I would assert that Chazal had no such compunctions. Thus, for example, in order to be able to pasken about the stages of naarah vs. bogeret, he knew he needed to know the actual metzius, and examined his maidservant, compensating her for the humiliation. Thus, Niddah 47a:
שמואל בדק באמתיה ויהיב לה ארבע זוזי דמי בושתה
This was prior to the scientific revolution.

kt,
josh

ProfK said...

Forget the pictures and drawings for just a moment. How is this person in medical school without the seeming knowledge that he is going to be expected to do more than look at these body parts as he goes through school, the various training rotations and his residency, but actually get up close and personal with them? If medical texts--and by extention patients in a teaching/hospital setting--are full of "dirty" pictures then, please, send this boy back to the bais medrash.

Zach Kessin said...

The stupid it burns...

Someone find out this guys name so we can know to stay away from his practice

Pesky Settler said...

Maybe he'd be better off becoming a vet... but then he'd need to deal with treif animals...

Seems to me the post is a troll...

Shmendrik said...

His phrasing "engaged in the study of medicine" is rather odd. He also seems to say he wouldn't use cadavers to study anatomy, which is something you start doing on day one in almost every American medical school. I suspect he's not really a medical student, and certainly not in an American 4-year program.

josh waxman said...

He certainly does seem to want to go to medical school. Perhaps he started studying this as an attempt to get into a med school. This thread was a recent one, as a followup to an earlier one from the same individual on that forum. See here:

http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/showthread.php3?s=37c95924d67bd4d0305750010bbf3e78&t=10204

kt,
josh

Izgad said...

"That was precisely the state medicine was in prior to the scientific revolution. What you are seeing is what medicine would look like if Rabbonim ran the medical schools and not scientists and doctors."

Child Ish Behavior
What sort of background do you have on the history of medieval medicine? I would guess zero to none.

Child Ish Behavior said...

Izgad: I am not going to have a personal debate on my (or your)lack of medical knowledge. Though I would point you to this article in Wikipedia, in which it describes in short what the theory of medicine was in the middle ages. I would also point you to this article that brings out my point very clearly, The Rabbinic Tradition of healing.

onionsoupmix said...

If there were frum people who advertised themselves as Talmud-based healers, I wonder how many chassidishe people would flock to them.

Sam said...

"(Can you imagine what the state of medicine would be like if doctors could only study anatomy from pictures of *clothed* subjects? Can you imagine a gynecologist whose first look at a woman's vagina comes from his/her first patient?)"

What, you mean frum gynecologists don't have their patients stand fully clothed and out of their line of vision? Huh...

Anonymous said...

Personally I'm sure that as any true frum yid would be aware - a truly frum torah-observing gynaecologist would surely be granted the da'at torah to know what is wrong with a patient without having to look at a (naked) female patient.

We should quake before ignoring the power of da'at torah, and place our trust in truly frum doctors with proper learning of chazal

Izgad said...

"Personally I'm sure that as any true frum yid would be aware - a truly frum torah-observing gynaecologist would surely be granted the da'at torah to know what is wrong with a patient without having to look at a (naked) female patient.

We should quake before ignoring the power of da'at torah, and place our trust in truly frum doctors with proper learning of chazal"

This is a good example of the Poe rule that one cannot do satire on religious fundamentalists since you are going to find people who really do fit the satire. So Anonymous I am not sure if you are doing satire here or not.

Child Ish
I was not talking about medicine but about the history of medieval medicine something that I actually do know something about since I teach history. One of the first things I tell my students is that Wikipedia does not count as a source. There is no one standing behind it.

Menashe said...

I wasn't aware there was some medical necessity for female patients to be treated by male doctors, and vice versa.

BrooklynWolf said...

I'm not a doctor, and I'll defer to a doctor if I'm wrong, but I'd be very surprised to find that a doctor is allowed to discriminate based on gender. IOW, if a man gets wheeled into the ER, I don't think a female doctor would be within her rights to say "I don't want to treat him, he's a man."

The Wolf

(Note: Of course, OB/GYNs generally treat only females, but I'm talking about the other 90+% of doctors.)

Orthoprax said...

Wolf,

"I'm not a doctor, and I'll defer to a doctor if I'm wrong, but I'd be very surprised to find that a doctor is allowed to discriminate based on gender."

I'm pretty confident that a private practice can decide for any nonemergent issue who to see - and who not to see - based on whatever they want.

To the issue of the original (probably) pre-med student, modern medicine is filled with not just pictures of them "dirty" parts, but you have to get pretty close and personal with 'em when you're putting in foleys, checking for breast masses or doing a cervical exam. I doubt you could make it through med school if couldn't handle that.

For the general information, in my school (a 4 year program) we didn't start doing anatomy until November or so of first year.