They don't test well – Part II


You should probably read Tdtw1, which is here.

This is just a brief summation of the argument made in my last post. Working out the kinks of this argument is one of the reasons I am submitting it for debate and am writing it down.

Important Abilities Of Medics

Important Abilities Of Psychopaths

The important differentiation here is not that medics can not be trained to remain calm and dig through their experiences and knowledge for answers under stress, but that the stress experienced by medics is one of time constraints, not reduced agency.

To overcome the stressors of a medical scenario, medics need to learn to function when every second counts, need to be able to sift through vast amounts of knowledge, filtered through hundreds of facts and data points about the patient, and decide on courses of action.

This activity is precisely (Chambon et al., 2013) located in the parietal cortex, which links vestibular, somatosensory, and action plan information via the angular gyrus. Agency removing actions, such as possession deprivation, facial and body language signaling hostility, surveillance, and more, inhibit this activity.

This simple truth is, funnily enough, pretty well known. Brock Chisholm, (not the former WHO Director General, Psychiatrist, and conspiracy nutter, the UK Psychologist), showed that human rights workers, well trained and successful in other places, failed miserably under surveillance in Ethiopia, for example.

I should stress this: a good test does not a bad doctor make. Many fine medics have tested well. I do argue, however, that by focusing on these tests, making them the gateway into medicine, we not only fail to sieve out the worst enemy of medicine, the sociopath egotist, but also train our future physicians and medics in general to act and react in a way that does not seek agency under stress but relinquishes it, ignores its loss, and performs on a reduced helpful pathway of formulaic approaches alone.