Medical students should not be forced to study all subjects
I was a medical student between 1986 and 1991. It took me six long years to qualify as a doctor. During those years, I was forced to study many subjects—anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, microbiology, forensic medicine, ENT, ophthalmology, public health medicine, internal medicine, neurology, paediatrics, dentistry, anaesthetics, psychiatry, general surgery, orthopaedics, urology, dermatology and venereology, obstetrics and gynaecology … the list goes on.
We were expected to know about each specialty in some detail. We read elaborate textbooks about the common (and uncommon) diseases in each, their clinical presentations, and their treatments and prognoses. It didnt seem so strange at the time, probably because everyone was doing it. There was an air of inevitability about it. Yet we forgot most of the intricate details a few days after the exams.
Now, more than a decade down the line and having chosen psychiatry as my career, it seems like a