Friday, February 3, 2012


A medical scandal is surfacing about doctors cheating on written exams for their medical licenses. It is coming to light that different sections of the medical community have been passing answers around so others can prepare for the tests. Radiologists, dermatologists, and who knows all have been exposed as cheaters. I never liked cheaters.

I've always said and believed, "... you wouldn't let a doctor practice medicine on you if he cheated would you? ... Neither would I, so never cheat. Make an honest grade. That's what counts." Now I find those same guys I've been holding to a higher standard are, themselves, cheats and possibly unqualified physicians. Ye gads!

What does that say for the medical profession, and equally important, what does that say about integrity? It's so much easier to access information nowadays so maybe they should allow wider latitude about testing and make the rules more lax but do you want to go to a surgeon who hasn't studied everything because it was so much easier to look it up on the internet? How do you know who cheated and who really knows their stuff? If radiologists are cheating, and dermatologists are cheating, you know other fields of medicine are doing the same thing.

I don't know how doctors learn everything they need to know, anyway. I can guarantee that I'd never in a million years be able to become a doctor. They have so many articles and studies to keep abreast of new information, on top of the hundreds of patients they have to shuffle through their medical mills. Doctors probably don't have very much time to evaluate their patients. When they get their license and go into business doctors "practice" medicine. Maybe they have always cheated and that's why they call it practice instead of repair. I don't know. I still don't feel comfortable with doctors cheating.

I think we have to insist on quality in certain professions. Medicine is one important profession that should be held to the highest standards. Doctors can help or ruin people's lives. I'd prefer to err on the side of helping.

I never liked cheaters. When I was in elementary school a teacher accused me of cheating off another student. I think we were taking a test. I may have been fidgeting because I didn't know the answer but I did not cheat. I don't remember if she sent a note home to my mother or gave me a failing grade on my paper but I do know what my mother did. She made sure I was telling the truth and then she went to school to talk to the teacher.

Momma worked in the cotton mill and had a 'net' of cotton around her head if she didn't 'blow off' after work. She showed up in the hall at Mrs. T's room, clad in a halo of cotton. When the teacher saw momma she went to the door and asked who she was looking for. Momma told her she was my momma and she came to talk to Mrs. T. Mrs. T started backing into the room and momma followed her inside. Momma said she came down because Mrs. T had accused me of cheating and she wanted to get it straightened out because I didn't cheat.

Mrs. T was backed up against her desk and every eye in the room was focused on her and momma. Mrs. T said she caught me cheating and, besides, I hadn't been doing my homework either. Momma said, "Now I know that's a lie because I sit with her every night helping her get her homework." Then Mrs. T started backtracking and said I didn't turn it in. She made reference to some cousins somewhere in the conversation and Momma told her she had no right to judge me by something she accused my cousins of doing.

Momma told Mrs. T that she worked third shift but if she had to she would come to school every day and sit in class with me and make sure I did my work; then Mrs. T wouldn't have any trouble out of me. Mrs. T started himing and hawing because she realized Momma wasn't kidding. She wasn't going to let me get by with doing nothing, and she sure wasn't going to let Mrs. T accuse me of things when nothing was true. I admit being a goofy kid but I was very honest. I didn't know any other way to be. Momma and Daddy didn't broach any lies so I'd better not be passing them around to others. After that incident, my grades went up. I think Mrs. T didn't want Momma to come back to school.

That's when I first realized how important it was to be trusted and how important it is to be honest and tell the truth. It's also the first time I remember Momma standing up for me.

When I was in high school I saw a few people cheating. It got so bad that some people cheated or copied off each other all the time during tests. The same group of cheaters counted the ballots for homecoming queen one year. Oddly enough, one of the girls won. How about that? That was my first experience with politics. No wonder I'm a cynic.

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