What is a flying Medical School anyhow?
Flying University was an underground educational enterprise that operated from 1885 to 1905 in Warsaw, the historic Polish capital, then under the control of the Russian Empire, and that was revived between 1977 and 1981 in the People’s Republic of Poland. The purpose of this and similar institutions was to provide Polish youth with an opportunity for an education within the framework of traditional Polish scholarship, when that collided with the ideology of the governing authorities. In the 19th century, such underground institutions were important in the national effort to resist Germanization under Prussian and Russification under Russian occupation. In the communist People’s Republic of Poland, the Flying University provided educational opportunities outside government censorship and control of education. (See Wikipedia, Ref’s #1, #2)
There is no deliberate suppression of medical education invoked by the governing authorities today. Like many things, medical education is “permitted within conditions,” as it was also in Poland. What is daunting to medical education in 21st century America is the dense weight of mandates, habits and assumptions in the learning of the art and science of medicine that trivializes the traditional Medical School to the degree that its objectives are not being met.
There are no “forbidden topics” in today’s medical school – what there is, is a lack of clarity, purpose and thoroughness which causes the incompleteness and sterility of medical education at the Medical School level. The Flying Medical School exists for a didactic purpose, and for an explanatory goal of the original framework and purpose of medical education in the care of the patient that has become diluted in the instruction of the earnest student of medicine.
The morality of education has largely been forgotten. The harshness of medical education has remained, but the cause of that harshness has been neglected. Rigor is properly the teleology, or goal, of the challenge and discomfort of the educational process. The teacher is obligated to distill and convey one’s many hours of learning in practice to the student. To do so means a dedication to rigor and thoroughness, and the dedication must be shared by the learner and the teacher.
Instead, power has become the thing in so many places, and power over the student, which is the object of lust for countless sociopathic “educators,” has replaced the moral dedication to rigor which requires precision and guidance by the teacher. I have seen numerous slobs and evil persons in medical education who luxuriate in power over the student. The explosion of non-teaching bureaucrats in the educational system demonstrates the satisfaction of the lust for power beyond the scope of obligation for proper teaching.
I have only seen one course in medical school taught by means of the Socratic method. That was enough for me to appreciate the usefulness of the method in pre-clinical teaching. Regrettably, I have only seen it in one day’s lecture – when I interviewed at that school, and when I attended the same school.
That remarkable teacher used this uncomfortable medicine to teach gynaecological anatomy to first year students. The power of that lecture was stunning. I spoke with the instructor later, and found that somehow, he had embraced morality in medical teaching to the degree that the Socratic Method was used in his lecture. This concept of the Flying Medical School is dedicated to him.
Absent such a teaching method, teaching can well be done on-line, and tested and graded on-line. But what is taught and tested are mere prerequisites for learning, and more likely the skill in the art of selective regurgitation. Such learning is of little use in a crisis or a genuine medical care situation.
The “Flying Medical School” here is merely a condensation of pre-learning. A wise student may be able to gather the concepts alone after considering the points. A true Medical School worthy of its exorbitant tuition would be able to go a step further. I hope that someday such an educational institution will exist.