Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Ray of Hope for Change

Last week we concluded that basically nothing supports destructive innovation in medical education. Factors that inhibit destruction include:
  1. the incessant growth, easy access to money, and confidence that the good times will continue, 
  2. lack of competition, 
  3. comfortable and stable labor market, and 
  4. tight regulation. These factors ensure that “normal science” lives on.
But barriers to entry also inhibit creative destruction. Perhaps Uber/Lyft, Google, and Apple succeeded not because of easy access to money and fear of a downturn, or an unstable labor market and lose regulation. Maybe the key was that the old paradigm was so much less competitive. Anyone who has used Uber/Lyft clearly sees advantage over taxis. Similarly Google bested prior search [and found a way to make money via adWords] and Apple has continued to take good ideas (the GUI created by Xerox Parc) and make them great and vastly better than the competition. All of these companies were free to enter a novel market.

Here at last we have some hope. We are indeed creating new medical schools. And if you look closely they are also trying out new ideas.

So where do we look for creative destruction? New medical schools.

And what should we do? Back off on demands to “standardize” them and ensure they “conform.” Let them innovate. Let them fail. Let them compete for students. Let the employees worry that they may lose their jobs.

If left alone perhaps they will accomplish the creative destruction that medical school education needs to accomplish a paradigm shift.

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