Archives for August 25, 2003

12-year-old begins medical school

Oh, this is a good idea. 12-year-old begins medical school

Youngest student ever at University of Chicago professional school

If he weren’t also getting his Ph.D. along with his medical degree, thus, pushing his age at graduation to 19 or 20, he’d also be on course to become the youngest person to graduate from any medical school. According to Guinness World Records, a 17-year-old graduated from medical school in New York in 1995.

Genius is duly cited:

Yes, he has an IQ over 200. And yes, he graduated in three years from Chicago?s Loyola University, summa cum laude.
…By age 4, he was composing. And by age 7, he was doing high school work, taught by his parents because they couldn’t find a school that could accommodate him.
By age 8, he scored a 1,500 out of 1,600 possible points on the SAT and started college at age 9.

I’m willing to say, right now, that this kid is smarter than I am. I didn’t get close to a 1500 SAT, it took me 4 years to get a degree, and I’ve never composed anything beyond the occasional unprintable limerick.

I’ll also wager that nobody wants a teenage doctor, and it doesn’t matter how smart they are. I used to say Doogie Howser wouldn’t have actually touched a real patient, he’d have been thrown out of a lot of exam rooms, and the same goes for this poor kid. No way is my first heart attack going to be managed by a 19 year old.

Now, this is not to say that all physicians relate with their patients. We intentionally build up barriers so we think of them as patients or ‘cases’ rather than people. But I guarantee a doc who spent his teenage years in residency, after spending his adolesence in med school, is not going to relate to anyone, his patients or his peers. And the nurses are going to eat him alive.

I sincerely hope he does well, and chooses an academic/research career, and does cure cancer or something worthy of his talent.