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Canada Crime Education Medicine

Note To Cheaters: Next Time Hire the Brains 349

Posted by timothy
from the in-canada-of-all-places dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A man and his accomplice are accused of cheating on a Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) by using a wireless pinhole camera and cellphone to send realtime images of the exam questions to a team of people supplying the 'correct' answers. One problem: the 'answer team' was tricked into the job by being told they were taking a test to qualify them as MCAT tutors. There were several clues the 'tutor exam' was bogus, including the poor quality of the images of the questions. Suspicious, the 'answer team' discovered the real MCAT test was occurring at the same time. They started feeding wrong answers to the accused cheaters and called campus security. The two accused cheaters now face several charges as a result."
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Note To Cheaters: Next Time Hire the Brains

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  • by pclminion (145572) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @07:52PM (#36303204)

    Since when does cheating on an exam result in criminal charges????

    Next time a "doctor" is about to put you under and saw through your sternum to operate on your heart, ask yourself the same question.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @07:52PM (#36303206)

    The MCAT just gets you into med school. It's basically a college's way of weeding out people out that aren't worth their time. The MCAT isn't what gets you your license to practice medicine.

    Of course, I agree that I wouldn't want such a person being my physician.

  • so much trouble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theCat (36907) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @07:56PM (#36303236) Journal

    That was a really elaborate ruse. With that much free time to cook up something like that, you'd think they could ... oh I don't know ... maybe just study for the test?

    Or maybe the cheaters were just working up a movie script idea. Do a few months in the slammer, sell the rights, then buy a really good test tutor for next time.

  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @08:01PM (#36303268) Journal

    Since when does cheating on an exam result in criminal charges????

    Since it could put lives in danger. Cheating on an exam for a pilot's license for instance would get you into similar trouble. (So could lying about your current qualifications as a pilot or experience). That's a glamorous example but basically any specialized job which requires qualifications, if you lie about them, could land you with a criminal record. And it makes sense. You don't want someone not qualified as an engineer designing a bridge. You don't want someone who doesn't know what they're doing with gas pipes installing a gas water heater. The potential for death and injury is just too high.

    The only difference in this case is that it's a college entrance exam, not one for getting accredited or qualified, as others have pointed out. Still, I don't think someone cheating to get in is going to go straight and stop cheating once they are in.

  • by Velex (120469) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @08:02PM (#36303282) Homepage Journal

    Next time a "doctor" is about to put you under and saw through your sternum to operate on your heart, ask yourself the same question.

    I hope if I get to that point (heart problems run in my family) I've another citizenship besides USA in a country that doesn't try to shoehorn capitalism into medicine.

    After working at an answering service for 5 years, I've learned that doctors in the USA at least are duplicitous, technically inept (as in can't understand their pager doesn't work when turned off), and willing to lie left and right just to get a small discount on their bill. I've stopped going to my doctor altogether because the board of directors at the affiliated hospital let us know that it might not be safe to be a patient of one of their doctors any more over a billing dispute.

    I have less respect for doctors than I do lawyers, because at least the lawyer clients have some basis for an argument when they dispute their bill. All doctors know are cuss words, and I intend to drop my health insurance next open enrollment period because I'm sick of subsidizing these pigs.

  • Re:so much trouble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by demonlapin (527802) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @08:20PM (#36303388) Homepage Journal
    The secret to a good score on the MCAT is to ignore verbal (everyone does very well, so the difference between an 11 and a 14 is not how many you answered wrong, but which specific question you got wrong) and know chemistry and physics cold. The Physical Sciences is nothing but chem and physics, and Biological Sciences includes organic.

    Yeah, if you're dead-set on a top-ten school, the mid-30s score might not cut it, but it will get you into one of your state's allopathic schools - and unless you are sure you want an academic career, where you went to school matters far less than what your Step 1 and 2CK scores are when it's time to find a residency.
  • by casings (257363) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @08:22PM (#36303406)

    The only reason they were caught is because those helping weren't in on it. That's a very scary thought, because I'm sure for the right price, this could very well be done.

  • by bmo (77928) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @09:00PM (#36303624)

    ...or chemistry, or pharmacy, or anything else dealing with human lives directly or indirectly at the end of the chain:

    You don't belong in the profession.

    You are going to kill people. No question. Someday you will kill someone with your incompetence.

    --
    BMO

  • The MCAT is crap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @09:27PM (#36303774) Homepage Journal
    Pre-med students spend their undergraduate days obsessing over that test, learning how to memorize and regurgitate - but not comprehend - information for it. Pre-med students don't care whether they understand the material they take in school, as long as they pass the MCAT and pull the GPA that they need for the med school they want to go to.

    This is not the way we should select who our new doctors will be. We are screening for automatons when we should be screening for thinkers. Cheaters like this are exactly what the MCAT is pretty well looking for - people who will do just the right amount of work to pass the test, without bothering to comprehend the information that it is supposed to be testing people on.
  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @09:38PM (#36303846)

    Having Insurance is like winning a battle in which many people die: it's worse than almost anything, except for losing one/not having insurance when you need it.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @09:48PM (#36303924) Journal

    Next time a "doctor" is about to put you under and saw through your sternum to operate on your heart, ask yourself the same question.

    I hope if I get to that point (heart problems run in my family) I've another citizenship besides USA in a country that doesn't try to shoehorn capitalism into medicine.

    After working at an answering service for 5 years, I've learned that doctors in the USA at least are duplicitous, technically inept (as in can't understand their pager doesn't work when turned off), and willing to lie left and right just to get a small discount on their bill.
    I've stopped going to my doctor altogether because the board of directors at the affiliated hospital let us know that it might not be safe to be a patient of one of their doctors any more over a billing dispute.

    I have less respect for doctors than I do lawyers, because at least the lawyer clients have some basis for an argument when they dispute their bill. All doctors know are cuss words, and I intend to drop my health insurance next open enrollment period because I'm sick of subsidizing these pigs.

    Boy, if you think doctors are inept now, wait until the bureaucracy takes over. Nothing spells incompetence like a bureaucrat. If you think medicine is a bad example, look at cars. Compare cars made by governments (Communist countries) to cars made by private citizens (capitalist countries) and tell me which one is more reliable, more efficient and safer? Now, ask yourself if you want your doctor to run like a Toyota or a Moskvitch.

  • by bmo (77928) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @09:54PM (#36303964)

    As if the military gives cheating a pass.

    They know *exactly* what cheating gets you - dead friendlies.

    You cheat on an exam at a military school (electrician school, etc) and the consequences will be quite severe.

    The last thing the Navy wants (for example) is an electrician's mate on a submarine that cheated on his exams.

    Try dishonorable discharge, after serving time.

    --
    BMO

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @09:57PM (#36303998)

    there is a reason the rich from other countries come here when they want a complex heart surgery.

    So they only have to wait 3 days instead of 10?

    Try comparing the billing you get for any procedure to that of someone who is not insured.

    Sure. My wife went to the emergency room recently with a severe allergic reaction. They thought we were uninsured and sent us the full bill, which was $530. When they found our we had insurance, they billed our insurance company $3400, of which they paid $1100.00, and now the hospital want a $100 deductible.

    If you think private insurance is a sane way to pay for health care you are a fucking moron.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @11:19PM (#36304562) Journal

    It's more abhorrent since it's a medical test.

    No, not really. If this were an exam that you take on the way out of med school, then yes, it would be more abhorrent. On the way in, all it does is mean that some people who shouldn't have been admitted will waste a whole lot of money unsuccessfully trying to pass classes that they weren't really ready for.

    I'd expect that anybody who couldn't take the MCAT and do well on his/her own would wash out of med school anyway. It's not like you can keep up that sort of charade all the way through med school. When the prof asks you questions in class and you show a complete inability to think on your feet, when you can't pull off the most basic tasks during lab sections, or when you prove completely inept during your residency, they're gonna know that you're not cut out for a career as a doctor.

    Basically, cheating works until you get caught. If you keep cheating, you will eventually get caught. The severity of the punishment tends to be directly proportional to how long you went without getting caught. Therefore, cheating is something that only a moron would do for very long. Ignoring the ethical question for a moment, this means that it can only be useful as a way of getting past some seemingly impossible hurdle like getting a near-perfect score on the MCAT so you can get into a top-tier medical school instead of having to settle for a lesser school.

    So basically, it's not very likely that this would have any real negative impact on the quality of medical care (beyond the question of whether you'd want somebody with such poor ethical judgment taking care of you). And ironically, it might actually improve medical care if the lesser students went to the better schools and vice versa. In short, the only people who are really harmed by this are the other people taking the MCAT, who are competing against these alleged cheaters for spots in specific medical schools. This is not to say that the behavior is excusable, just that it is no more abhorrent than cheating on a GRE, an SAT, an ACT, or any other school entrance exam.

  • by Alien Being (18488) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 @11:41PM (#36304698)

    If the cheaters get in then honest students are kept out.

    I can't understand why anyone would try to rationalize this type of bullshit.

  • by davester666 (731373) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:32AM (#36304944) Journal

    That had to be easy work.

    if (parents net work > $2,000,000)
        accept 'donation' to school and accept application
    else if (randomly pick 1 in 10 application)
      accept application and give scholarship
    else
      reject application
    end

  • by Your.Master (1088569) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:40AM (#36304974)

    Wait, so in 2004 amid shart increases in revascularization in both Canada and the US, the US had a narrow (statistically significant, but narrow) lead in 5-year mortality after heart disease, and that's the deciding factor for which healtchare system is best?

    When the US has declined in revascularization since then (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3072819/) and Canada has increased (http://www.qualitymeasures.ahrq.gov/content.aspx?id=15079&search=Aortocoronary+bypass+for+heart+revascularization%2C+not+otherwise+specified)?

    Now, that doesn't necessarily mean the US was wrong to decrease its rate. The optimum might have been in the middle, or there might be some better new method.

    But it's easier to say "go to Japan or, failing that, France":

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_dis_dea-health-heart-disease-deaths [nationmaster.com]

    (note the US has more than 10% higher fatality than Canada in that graph...).

    I can't speak to that Daily Mail article, but it's of an entirely different calibre than your other evidence.

  • by Zenin (266666) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:43AM (#36304986) Homepage

    Flawed analogy.

    Capitalists didn't make cars safer...bureaucracy (safety regulation) did. Capitalists fought safer cars at every turn and still do today. Seat belts, air bags, crumple zones, mandatory safety tests, etc, etc, etc. All of it pure government bureaucracy keeping you and yours safe on American highways.

  • by harrytuttle777 (1720146) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @12:53AM (#36305038)

    I've another citizenship besides USA in a country that doesn't try to shoehorn capitalism into medicine.

    You make the mistake common mistake in believing that business wants capitalism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Capitalism is a system where ruthless competition between suppliers creates a system where the best quality goods and services are delivered for the best possible cost to the consumer. What business (what medicine has become) wants is protectionism. They want a monopoly and a guaranteed source of income without having to compete.

    In the USA, between the lawyers, and HMOs and AMA, we have a defacto socialized system. The consumers no longer pay for their bill, and hence Adam Smith's invisible hand has not worked in many a year. You are not paying your doctor directly. It has to go through a handful of billing professionals first. e.g. Medical data entry clerks, HMO, Malpractice, etc. before it gets to the doctor. You are no longer the customer; the HMO is.

    I have said it before, but was called a fagot for saying it, but I will saying it again. The only hope for the USian medical system would be to abolish the AMA, Malpractice, and the HMOs. Let patients pay for their own medical care out of their pocket. If they can't afford it, the hospitals can work with the families to work off the medical bill, or some other arrangements could be made. This is how it used to be done.

    It is totally incomprehensible that a trip to the hospital in an ambulance will cost you over 1000USD. The current system can not continue to work much longer.

      No Obama care (as much as I respect our president) will not fix the problem, it will only make it worse, and legally guarantee a monopoly for the HMOs.

    I've stopped going to my doctor altogether

    At least you have taken a sensible coarse of action. If you do not like your doctor go to another. That is real capitalism at work.

    I have been living without medical insurance for a couple years now. It is possible. I tend to watch what I eat more closely, and try to live healthier because I do not have the socialized safety net of my HMO. Sure if I get in an accident, or get a heart attack, I will die, but hasn't it always been the case?

    -The writer of this post is a fagot.

    -Sincerely the AMA.

  • by Vintermann (400722) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @04:21AM (#36305952) Homepage

    Communist countries sucked at stuff like building cars, but they had excellent scientists, doctors, and performing artists. To take the space race as an example: how do you think the Soviet union got the first satellite, the first man in space, the first unmanned orbit around the moon and return to earth, and the first unmanned mood landing, despite the unquestionably inferior economic infrastructure?

    I'll tell you why, though it's rather obvious. People in these professions are strongly motivated by things beside economic success. And when economic success isn't really available as a goal, those motivations which you could give yourself (intellectual achievement, helping people and earning their gratitude and admiration, expressing yourself artistically, becoming "People's artist of the Soviet Union", "Hero of the Soviet Union" and the various other medals and awards they offered) become all the more important. It was the boring jobs the poor Soviet citizens sucked at - which unfortunately for them also include some damn important jobs.

    Doctors in the wealthy world are inept now (despite their awesome infrastructure, enabled by us hordes of money-motivated individuals willing to do the drudgework to supply them with their tools) because they're not allowed to do what they want to do - help people. The business venture model of medicine is totally worshipped, so that a doctor becomes a conveyor belt-like producer of medical "services", five minutes per patient, I mean CUSTOMER, to follow the script slavishly, and always check the patient's insurance before deciding how and whether to help him.

    Worship of business model-thinking is also endemic here in countries with so-called "socialist" countries. It's just that instead of checking the patient's insurance, overcharging and using the minimal amount of time, it's filling out the right kind of forms at every opportunity to make your administrator look good and secure funding, and then using the minimal amount of time.

    > Now, ask yourself if you want your doctor to run like a Toyota or a Moskvitch

    Funny you should mention Toyota. The success of Japanese cars owed a lot to Edward Deming, a business theorist who was as much a paternalist as a capitalist, and emphasized motivations beside money (in particular, pride in the quality of your work). In short, he tried to give assembly-line producers the kind of motivation doctors, scientists and performing artists already have. The Japanese embraced him, his American countrymen rejected his theories as sentimental, un-capitalistic nonsense (until they were forced to change, since everyone bought superior quality Japanese cars). Deming's theories are now mis-applied in education and medicine and responsible for a lot of the mess there, because the current generation of administators refuse to see how different those domains are from assembly-line production.

    As witnessed by you, since you compare the working of a doctor to that of a car engine.

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