Why Medical Schools are Four Years Long?
Ever since I can remember, medicine and access to healthcare has played a central theme in many of the things I have been involved with. Yet, how was it that medical education in America grew to provide such an elite education and train many of the world’s top health professionals?
If we look at the history of medicine it has certainly come a long way, and how physicians are trained has changed even more. Historical figures such as Hippocrates, Pedanius Dioscorides, ibn Zakariya al-Razi, Ibn al-Nafis, and Ibn Sīnā are not only known for their influence on medicine, but also for being botanists, philosophers, geologists, poets – the list goes on.
Indeed medicine has changed. Over 200 years ago physicians employed bloodletting to treat our first president, George Washington, a giant man at 6’3, to treat of signs of a cold which later proved to be fatal. It wasn’t the cold that had killed him though. Washington had been drained of half his blood in less than a day. Today, however, as physicians continue their interdisciplinary practices, their education has become standardized.