In my experience, Board Certification of a physician here in the U.S. is the least effective means of evaluating an ophthalmologist's competency. For one, certification is achieved through oral and multiple choice examinations, not through evaluation or observation of one's surgical skills. Given that ophthalmology is a surgical speciality, aside from ascertaining one's knowledge set, seeing who is certified is a poor means of selecting an eye doctor to care for your eyes. And yet, it's the first thing on an ophthalmologist resume and the first thing a patient usually looks at.Karl wrote:But how do you measure that when you interview him, yaya?
Do you let him have a stab at a surgery to see if he can do it, do you go by references (which is biased against new career starters) or do you rely on a formal level of education?
Certification is imperfect but that does not mean it is without value I think.
I would argue that this can be achieved without a structured university setting, that it wasn't the university that was responsible for your intellectual development, but your own natural curiosity and bend, your own natural inclination to question.Going by my experience, university was important for these reasons:
1) Pushed you to research/investigate theory/argument/material that you would normally find off-putting because it's (a) dense, and (b) challenging to your way of thinking.
Okay. But wouldn't a public library offer the same knowledge for free?2) Gave you access to material that is still not available except by an expensive subscription to something like JStore. The amount of bona fide academic literature that has made its way onto the internet for free is still miniscule, because the way people make money from their research is to have people pay for access to it. Universities pay for subscriptions that give their students access.
Here's what I learned growing up in a small hillbilly town in the middle of nowhere with the lowest PSAT scores in the country. And that is, as long as you have the drive to achieve an educational goal, you will be able to realize it through personal effort and struggle. It may be easier for the person coming from a better equipped academic enviroment, but it is still not a necessity to achievement.3) Gave you the structure, space and environment that actually fostered serious study and thinking. Completely different from the world beyond its doors, which seems to be an endless succession of mundane obligations demanding quick-fix solutions and following of arbitrary rules and procedures. This isn't just that 'broadening your horizons' stuff - I'm talking about making some kind of progress towards knowing how to effect change on a large scale, or in the long-term, rather than: how do I use this computer program that will be redundant in five years? How do I increase my salary? Where do I buy a nice sandwich?
If you want to broaden your horizons, if you one truly is serious about this, they will find a way.
If monkey see, monkey do puts food on the table, I would think most would not have a problem with it. It may not satisfy one's intellectual curiosity or broaden one's philosophical horizons, but it meets the bare necessity needs by which we live, which are the very foundation that allow us the time to ponder over the other less crucial ventures in our lives.Yaya says he can teach any of us to perform diabetic and glaucoma laser procedures as good as any ophthalmologist, but isn't that just monkey see, monkey do? That's pretty much all I've been taught by anyone since I left uni.
But what I'm saying is, even if you do woodwork, you an still do those other things if you have that desire. The desire for knowledge is one of those unquenchable things for some people. But such knowledge often does not put food on the table or support a family in many instances. For that, you need a skill, and if I'm going to pay a university for anything, it is to provide me the tools to acquire such a skill, not to satisfy intellectual curiosities.And actually, the way I'm phrasing it here isn't even right - it's not about being 'taught' things. It's about what parts of your brain you're actually exercising. It's about beefing up the part of your mind that thinks on a bigger scale, about how to begin to tackle unthinkably massive problems like war, tyranny, poverty, or (on a more modest scale) marshalling cogent arguments against ill-considered policy or wrong-headed sloganeering. You don't learn how narrative and rhetoric works on our rational minds, or how popular mythology is created and sustained, or what happened the last time the superpowers started carving up Africa, from doing woodwork.
Again, I have no problem with the universities if those two extra years become optional. Obviously, for you, university was quite the period of development, to which I say good for you. But what about those who are ready to move on? Why hold us back, taking our money and our time?
See Blebis, here's by gripe. There really isn't a US equivalent, and there really should be. If they incorporated vocational and practical courses into US universities, you would find me more of a proponent of such a system.Not sure what the US equivalent would be, but over here, universities do offer sandwich courses, by which, usually immediately prior to the final academic year of their degree, the student may undertake a year (or sometimes several) working in an industrial placement, so that when they graduate, they already have relevant experience under their belt as well as the knowledge, etc. they were taught.