Dr. Stephen Klasko: Medical schools 'suck the creativity out of physicians'

Stephen Klasko, MD, president of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health — both in Philadelphia — told CNBC medical schools' recruiting process relies on antiquated measures to recruit future physicians and routinely "suck the creativity out of physicians."

Rather than evaluating potential candidates on their critical thinking, entrepreneurship and empathy skills, medical schools continue to screen students who can memorize large swaths of information and compete with each other.

"We need to make medical students more human. The way things are today is that you can be the most antisocial person in the room, but if we train you to pass a multiple choice test you can go and treat sick patients," he told CNBC.

Thomas Jefferson is joining the ranks of other top-rated medical schools like New York City-based Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and turning to unconventional methods used by tech companies to recruit more creative, empathetic students to potential careers in medicine. He said Jefferson taps students from humanities majors and design and drama schools to convince them to study medicine. The institution also has a partnership with Princeton (N.J.) University to allow roughly a dozen students to take the minimum number of required science courses and study whichever subjects they want before enrolling in medical school.

"At some point, the real bar should be whether or not [physicians] can actually listen to patients and talk to them," Dr. Klasko added.

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