William J. L. Parker


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Column: Preclinical medical education is wastefully obsolete

The preclinical years of medical education are a scam.  Undergraduate medical education in America (i.e., the period before graduating with an M.D. degree) is generally split into two years in the classroom, and two years seeing patients in the clinic. This system was recommended by the Flexner Report more than a century ago, and it is a thorough blueprint for ensuring students learn the science and skill of medicine, respectively. Developments in self-study resources and medical curriculum norms, though, have made the price of the preclinical semesters absurd. The National Board of Medical Examiners should test — and medical schools should welcome — those who want to jump right into clinical studies.

Quarterback Chazz Surratt (12) gets wrapped up by Duke defenders on Saturday.

Hang in there, Chazz Surratt

I don’t follow sports well, but even I have encountered a lot of talk about Saturday’s loss to Duke. And, Chazz, the first thing I heard about the game was that two-handed, overhead pass you threw in the fourth quarter, the one that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, nixing UNC’s hopes of winning. 

Walls don't always have to be divisive

We need more walls. That's what I’ve concluded after reading that the university removed political banners from Peabody Hall last week. That case — wherein politically charged banners were taken down only a few hours after they were put up by a group of education graduate students — was not the first time this academic year where some types of speech on campus came into conflict with university priorities. In August, the university removed banners from the front of the Campus Y building, and UNC DPS took signs from around Silent Sam.

You don't have to be lukewarm to be moderate

Growing up, I considered myself a conservative, but the starch finally washed out of my views in high school after repeated cycles of internet libertarian propaganda.  I still love libertarianism — the non-aggression principle is a beautiful basis for an ideology — but I want more flexibility. If libertarianism is khakis and a polo to conservatism’s business suit, I want a t-shirt and running shorts.