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The Real-Life Doogie Howser 303

An anonymous reader writes "Sho Yano this week will become the youngest student to get an M.D. from University of Chicago. He was reading at age 2, writing by 3, and composing music by his 5th birthday. He graduated from Loyola University in three years — summa cum laude, no less. When he entered U. of C.'s prestigious Pritzker School of Medicine at 12, it was into one of the school's most rigorous programs, where students get both their doctorate and medical degrees. Intelligence is not Yano's only gift — though according to a test he took at age 4, his IQ is too high to accurately measure and is easily above genius level. He is an accomplished pianist who has performed at Ravinia, and he has a black belt in tae kwon do. Classmates and faculty described him as 'sweet' and 'humble,' a hardworking, Bach-adoring, Greek literature-quoting student. And in his own words, 'I may not be the most outgoing person, but I do like to be around people.'"
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The Real-Life Doogie Howser

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  • Re:IQ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2012 @11:53AM (#40209495)

    [citation needed]

  • by rossjudson ( 97786 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @11:54AM (#40209511) Homepage

    Sounds like he's headed to spend the next five years as a pediatrician resident. What strikes me is this: After all the acceleration, does he end up simple having a professional career that's ten years longer than normal? Without some exceptional accomplishments along the way, it might not have been the best trade-off.

  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Monday June 04, 2012 @11:55AM (#40209515)

    Yeah, most of the best parts of college are not the classroom stuff at all. I feel sorry for people who miss out on that, as the social stuff is the one part of college you can't come back to 20 years later or even a few years earlier.

  • Re:Stuoid people (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:04PM (#40209621)

    now imagine if he was rolled into real science, like physics or maths.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:04PM (#40209631)
    True genius is being way ahead of the crowd but still learning to blend in.
  • by Shadow99_1 ( 86250 ) <.theshadow99. .at.> on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:07PM (#40209667)

    I would agree with this, in sixth grade my reading skills were measured as 'beyond college' and my math skills were 'college level'. However my school had been reteaching me the same set of things for like four years and I was bored to tears. By the time I did go to college my love of learning had worn off and I didn't really care about pleasing teachers or scoring particularly high. I had already started working in my field though during high school, so I had some idea of what I planned to do. That alone is better than most people I see come to college as undeclared and then they ramble about taking random classes for the next 4 or 5 years.

  • by green1 ( 322787 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:12PM (#40209737)

    This always struck me as odd. When I was in school it always felt to me like I could finish all the learning for each year in a couple of months if only I was allowed to do so. But instead I had to sit there while the teacher went over each thing a dozen times, and then reviewed it a dozen more. And you couldn't read ahead because you'd be told that the class hadn't got there yet. One of my friends in grade 7 gave up and taught himself calculus during math class, the teacher didn't dare stop him, but neither did he allow him to complete a single assignment or test before the requisite time, nor could he advance to the next grade early (despite the fact that he was already working himself 5-6 grades ahead of the class)
    And yet despite this you see stories like this from time to time where someone manages, despite the system, to come out ahead. Personally I want to know how they managed to get through the school system before the age of 18. The system which seems designed more to keep young people off the streets than it is to educate them.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:19PM (#40209839)

    We did too, and we all turned out okay!

  • Re:IQ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:23PM (#40209885)

    Yes, people are smart in different ways. Some people excel in multiple categories. Others barely budge the needle across the board. The latter are what we call 'stupid people'.

  • Re:IQ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:27PM (#40209929)

    I do wish people would stop using that as some sort of gauge of intelligence - it has very little to do with intelligence, and just modernity.

    [citation needed] []

    Now that's just plain funny...

  • by aintnostranger ( 1811098 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:31PM (#40209985)

    real geniuses produce breakthroughs in art, science and technology

    this. You nailed it. How is it that we rate someone as genius because of this degrees and IQ?? Does anyone care about Bach's IQ / degrees? Would we remember Newton if all he had were IQ and degrees?

  • by hvm2hvm ( 1208954 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:32PM (#40210011) Homepage
    Maybe because they get employed by huge corporations and you only hear <INSERT CORPORATION NAME HERE> found the cure for cancer/designed a mind reading device/etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:37PM (#40210077)

    what, binge drinking? Universities in different part of the worlds have different value on the "social stuff." Just because he doesn't conform to the US norms doesn't make him a freak, nor does it necessarily stunt his ability to grow or mature. As he stated in the article, his fellow undergrad spent afternoons watching cartoons.

    My undergrad experience, my peers were playing 90s nintendo games trying to recapture some kind of nostalgia, while others were doing keg stands. Personally, I wish I could've skipped all that and done something better with my time. I don't even keep up with those friends and last I heard, they had menial jobs. I'd rather associate myself with people who are ambitious and work towards a future.

  • Re:IQ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:42PM (#40210157)

    I don't think there are stupid people. Just people who are smart in different ways,[...]

    Someone clearly didn't work in tech support when he/she was younger.

    Six months of that and it should be pretty clear to anyone with a couple of neurons still firing that yes, there are stupid people. In fact, stupid people are very likely to call tech support, not just because their internet connection is down but because the power is out, they don't like their neighbor or they just plain feel like yelling profanities at someone who works for a company they have no relationship to.

  • Re:IQ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PyroMosh ( 287149 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @12:56PM (#40210327) Homepage

    Okay, let's extend the analogy further.

    So you've proven that a thermometer provides inadequate data to make the decision on how to plan one's dress for the day.

    You've then implied that perhaps IQ tests as measuring tools are similarly faulty.

    But surely your solution to this is not to abandon thermometers in favor of other measurements exclusively? Surely the correct thing to do is to use thermometers in concert with the other data they cannot provide. Much as is done in practice in meteorology today.

    And if that *is* the correct approach, how does it discredit the use of IQ tests? Would they not continue to be appropriate for use (assuming the analogy is a valid one) in concert with other data that they cannot measure, just as thermometers are?

    Does this not support Lev13than's ultimate point that the test may not provide all desirable useful data, but it none the less still provides useful data?

  • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @01:08PM (#40210493)

    You would need special schools and to set up qualifications to get into them and remain in them. This appears to be unacceptable in an egalitarian society and it is doubly unacceptable in one filled with jealousy and people who want their kids to be seen as "smart". Since rich people have the ability to buy their way in, where other parents do not, you end up with high end schools with a certain number of kids whose parents are simply rich, and this only makes the egalitarian sorts even more against separate schooling.

    The public school system is not there to teach geniuses, it's there to provide a basic standard of education to everyone. Perhaps we should let the smart kids out sooner, but again it becomes a matter of jealousy and things like that. Do not underestimate the deadening effect of "democratic values" on certain things.

  • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @01:41PM (#40210921)

    Yeah, most of the best parts of college are not the classroom stuff at all. I feel sorry for people who miss out on that, as the social stuff is the one part of college you can't come back to 20 years later or even a few years earlier.

    That is so true -- and, in fact, I would say it applies much more to intellectual socialization than to things like frat parties and beer binges.

    The social aspect of college seems to have shifted over recent decades to encompass more and more non-academic things. (Many studies have shown that students 50 years ago spent a lot more time studying, etc.) But many of the most important aspects of my intellectual development happened in college due to conversations I could have with peers, whether it was stuff related directly to class or random philosophical debates with the guy next door at 3am.

    I imagine that it would be a lot harder for a pre-teen or young adolescent in a college to build up the kind of relationships with significantly older students that could result in such intellectual socialization.

    This is just a random theory, but I've wondered whether a lot of the awkwardness and "weirdness" we see in prodigies -- and their frequent inability to continue success at the same level as adults -- isn't just because of the lack of normal emotional social skills, but rather because they don't tend to work closely enough with peers at the appropriate level who are working through similar problems as they learn material (even if they are a decade older). Most very young prodigies tend to be taught by adults who often have things sort of "figured out" (or they think they do), but I feel like I learned the most from conversations with other peers in college who were actively trying to figure stuff on the same level... that exploration seems to be an essential skill in moving from the great "absorbing" and problem-solving skills most prodigies possess to the ability to do more creative and productive work as an adult.

    Or, to put it another way: eventually, there are no more math books with "challenge problems" in the back, and you need to have some sort of intellectual skills to figure out what to do after that, unless your greatest goal in life is to join MENSA and do puzzles all day. Having productive intellectual socialization with peers in college and graduate school seems, to me, to be one way you learn how to think about the sorts of problems the rest of the world might actually be interested in, once there are no more introverted "academic" challenges to complete.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @02:12PM (#40211329) Homepage Journal

    If he's that bright, he'll be earning mad money before he's 25. If he's earning 100k+ by that age, he'll be driving a Porsche and banging chicks like a rock star.

    Sorry, but that easily replaces a childhood with toys.

    What's sad is that you identify this kid as sad because he was rushed to adulthood, when there are millions of kids also robbed of their childhood because of poverty, and a lack of opportunity to advance like this kid did, simply because they were born into some shithole.

    And that shithole could even be in the USA -- many areas of this country are devastated by crime and poverty -- some kids don't even get to make it to his age, they are killed by stray gunfire, or in some even worse places (in the third world), sold off to slavers, or turned into child soldiers. Other kids here in the USA join gangs because there is no other choice.

    If he makes good money while he's young enough to enjoy it, it will trump any and all childhood 'play'. Don't be sad for this kid, turn your empathy towards those that actually need it.

  • Re:IQ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @02:23PM (#40211465) Journal

    I don't think there are stupid people. Just people who are smart in different ways

    Is there any particular evidence to support your belief, or do you just hold to it because it's a nice, politically correct thing to believe into that doesn't offend anyone?

  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Monday June 04, 2012 @02:43PM (#40211739) Homepage

    You may know him as Barney Stinson, or possibly Neil Patrick Harris.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb