Consider apprenticeships instead of long degree programs

I would like to comment on the shortcomings of our university educational system. It is a system that has developed over time with the teachers, their union and the institutions themselves as the primary beneficiaries.

I would like to comment on the shortcomings of our university educational system. It is a system that has developed over time with the teachers, their union and the institutions themselves as the primary beneficiaries.

The efficient, timely and effective instruction of students is not the primary focus. Students take courses that are irrelevant to their career path and programs that are too long in duration.

Who does this benefit? The teachers and the institution. Longer programs, more tuition, more teachers, more demand for institutions.

Two years for tourism, four years for teaching, six to eight years for chiropractic, five to eight years for pharmacy, seven to nine years for medicine. This is too long to receive training. I believe most programs could be at the very least halved in time.

Let’s look at the time to become a surgeon. Two years of pre-medicine or four years if by a degree route. This is followed by four years of medicine and one year of internship. This would then be followed by three to five years of specialized training in surgery. It could take up to 14 years to become a surgeon.

I would like to propose a different way. Becoming a surgeon should be treated as an apprenticeship. Take a person out of high school and have them take one year of intensive anatomy. After successfully taking that course, put them alongside a master surgeon as a first-year apprentice. That surgeon will evaluate the apprentice and will either advance him towards a second year or not.

After four years and many surgeries, this person would qualify as a journeyman surgeon and eventually a master surgeon. By the age of 25, this person could be a top-notch master surgeon.

Our present system produces surgeons well into their 30s, and does not stress the important qualities needed to become a surgeon.

One can compare this to most programs in length. We have shortages in many fields because of this failure in the educational system.

We need an overall of the educational system and put the emphasis on efficient and timely instruction of students.

Don Munro

Red Deer County

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