Over the weekend Rachel and I drove up to Penn State Hershey for the College of Medicine’s second look day. The whole thing was organized by the med students, and while they did squeeze a lot of information and activities into the day, I was impressed once again. I was also quite surprised by how many parents were in attendance alongside prospective students. They actually had a session for parents while the “kids” were sampling the school’s problem-based learning assignments.
This absolutely confounded me. Why do you need your parents to come with you? This is graduate school, for crying out loud, not a little freshman leaving home for the first time to go to college. Unless you’re some accelerated grade-skipper you’re around 22 years old. Can you seriously not make a decision about medical school without Mommy and Daddy holding your hand?
The “parents session” was ostensibly for spouses as well, and Rachel told me afterward that there were parents asking about the rate of drunk driving in the Hershey/Harrisburg area and worrying about how seldom they will see their child as he or she is under the tension of anatomy. Come on, people! Your “kid” cannot attend medical school unless they carry a bachelor’s degree. You’ve been through all this before, and they are grown up now.
On top of all that, only a sparse minority of parents help pay for their child’s graduate education, so it’s not even like they’re trying to “see where all that money is going.” People attending medical school are too old and have had too much time to mature to be carting their parents around to things like this. Seeing essentially undergraduate behavior from people who will be awarded MDs four years hence is disgusting. Leave the nest already!