When I tell fellow medical students that I have taken my intercalated degree in philosophy, I am often met with a faintly bemused expression. More than once I have been asked whether this was something I chose to do, as if I might have been sent off to the philosophy department as some sort of joke, or a bureaucratic error on the part of the medical school.
It seems that there is a tendency among some medical students to think of the humanities as a bit of a waste of time—a sentiment that is ill founded. Perhaps it stems from the UK school structure, which forces those inclined towards medicine into science subjects, and sees many future doctors leaving history and literature behind. It might be argued that a higher education more in line with Europe’s baccalaureate or Scottish highers would cause a change in attitudes.
But what’s the problem