Bruce Baker can’t believe that Arne Duncan admires the Relay “Graduate” School of Education, where charter teachers grant masters’ degrees to their colleagues. This demeans the very concept of professionalism and graduate study. But it reveals Duncan’s essential contempt for education.

What if Duncan were in charge of medical education (heaven forbid).

Here is the Duncan model of medical education:

Baker writes:

“Let’s……consider the model of the future – one which blends Arne Duncan’s otherwise entirely inconsistent models of training. I give you:

“The Relay Medical College and North Star Community Hospital

“Here’s how it all works. Deep in the heart of some depressed urban core where families and their children suffer disproportionate obesity, asthma and other chronic health conditions, where few healthy neighborhood groceries exist, but plenty of fast food joints are available, sits the newly minted North Star Community Hospital.

“It all starts here. NSCH is a new kind of hospital that does not require any of its staff to actually hold medical degrees, any form of board certification or nursing credential, or even special technician degrees to operate medical equipment or handle medications. Rather, NSCH recruits bright young undergrads from top liberal arts colleges, with liberal arts majors, and puts them through an intense 5 week training program where they learn to berate and belittle minority families and children and shame them into eating more greens and fiber. Where they learn to demean them into working out – walking the treadmill, etc. It’s rather like an episode of the Biggest Loser. And the Hospital is modeled on the premise that if it can simply engage enough of the community members in its bootcamp style wellness program, delivered by these fresh young faces, they can substantively alter the quality of life in the urban core.

“There is indeed some truth to the argument. Getting more community members to eat healthier and exercise will improve their health stats, including morbidity and mortality measures commonly used in Hospital rating systems. In fact, over time, this Hospital, which provides no actual medical diagnosis and treatment does produce annual reports that show astoundingly good outcome measures for community members who complete their program.

“These great outcome measures generate headlines from the local news writers who fail to explore more deeply what they mean (Yes Star Ledger editorial board, that’s you!). NCSH becomes such a darling of the media and politicians that they are granted authority to start their own medical school to replicate their “successes.” And they are granted the authority to run a medical school where medical training need not even be provided by individuals with medical training!

“Rather, they will grant medical degrees to their own incoming staff based on their own experiences with healthcare awesomeness. That’s right, individuals who themselves had little or no basic science or actual supervised clinical training in actual medicine, but have 3 to 5 years of experience in medical awesomeness in this start-up (pseudo) Hospital will grant medical degrees – to their own incoming peers!”