To make a good doctor we need medical schools to be honest with students and teach them about how things really are. We need to provide medical students with that most powerful and dangerous of life forces—reality.
Some patients can be difficult and dangerous. Most clinical decisions have no evidence base. Pursuing ethical aspects of each case is an activity that needs prohibitively intense resources. Uncertainty looms over all of medicine, and you must be able to cope with the pain and guilt that it brings.
You should read “ABC” of being a Good Doctor
We teach students about a cozy, idealized medical environment that really exists in the minds of the academics. When students experience the real world they do not see the majority of doctors spending a vast amount of time discussing ethics with patients. They find the evidence base to be sorely deficient. They soon realise that many serious illnesses can present with minimal signs and symptoms, and they must somehow devise a personal way of coping with the pain and guilt that this uncertainty produces.
I believe that we harm our medical students by not being honest about the real medical environment in which they will eventually practice We need to give them the skills to help them make their patients healthy but we also need to give them the skills to help them remain healthy themselves. Placing students in a real medical environment with deficient skills simply confuses and alienates them and ends up damaging everyone. If we want to make good doctors then we must teach them in the real world.