Leaders in Medical Education, Dr. John Minarcik, Creator of Medical School Pathology
Jan 26, 2016
Pathology is the foundation of medicine. If you have not met, "Super pathologist", John R. Minarcik, MD, you are in for a treat. Dr. Minarcik is board certified in both clinical and anatomical pathology, and has over thirty years of experience, including 16 years teaching. He provides FREE medical school pathology classes online, and his YOU TUBE videos have 16 million hits!!
If you would like to see his presentations in high resolution, visit his website (all free of charge): http://www.medicalschoolpathology.com/
Please tell us a little about your background. What led to your transition from a clinical pathologist to a university professor?Your first question asks me how did I get from the private practice of pathology into being a university professor. In my opinion it was a necessary and logical process. About 12 years ago I had two major things going on in my life-- one was a wrongful felony conviction for Medicare fraud orchestrated by a $40 billion medical corporation who wanted me and my partner out of their way, ultimately leading to the temporary loss of my medical license in the state of Florida. The second tragedy was my wife becoming very ill at that same time, due to cancer, and her passing away in 2005. It was a very sad and challenging time of my life so I started to teach, at first only computer sciences at various Chicago area universities and was eventually encouraged by Professor Alan Reba in Chicago to teach medicine again starting out with basic anatomy and physiology, but progressing to histology and pathology at several Chicago area schools, particularly most prominently Chicago Medical school in North Chicago Illinois. Much of my teaching of gross anatomy, histology, and pathology was quite repetitive year after year so I decided to make short educational videos in these topics and post them to YouTube. I also had the privilege of traveling to several Caribbean medical schools to teach pathology and eventually this resulted in what I have been doing now for the past eight years, which is teaching a full USMLE track medical school pathology course online by virtue of remote software, and specifically I have been using the GoToWebinar method for about six years, sponsored by GoPath Labs in Chicago, a prominent molecular pathology lab. And in the past five years I have had the marvelous experience of teaching online in sync with teaching live students in medical school auditoriums as well, and the current medical school that I have been doing that with for four years, teaching an entire pathology course to an American medical school in Puerto Rico, San Juan Bautista School of Medicine, which embraces, not merely permits, that technology and my philosophy as well.
What led to your deciding to offer a full medical school pathology course online?
Your second question asks how did my free global online medical school pathology course evolve, and once again it was a gradual progressive process from computers to medicine to histology and anatomy and now primarily pathology. And because I do this joyfully without the need for money, I can afford to teach many thousands of medical students from 120 countries without charge, at the same time that I am teaching American medical students who pay tuition to sit in the auditorium that I broadcast from.
How do you feel about the current state of medical education in the United States, or elsewhere? What needs to be fixed?
Your third question asks me my opinion of medical education in the United States. I cannot comment too much about other countries. Yesterday when we had our discussion you may remember I wrote down about seven or eight adjectives to describe American medical school education and they were all appropriately horrible. I can't remember all of the words but today the two phrases that pop into my mind are a "catastrophic train wreck" further complicated by "greedy bankers" who have transformed America's entire middle class into credit slaves. The greatest tragedy is that the very brightest and highest motivated students have great dreams, totally altruistic, to become physicians and instead they are turned into US MLE zombies, and credit slaves. Their dreams are smashed and this is the greatest tragedy, that they are not allowed to experience the joy of finally learning to be what they have always dreamt to be, and even going bankrupt to fulfill that dream. Instead, they become indentured servants to the bankers for the rest of their lives. The greatest reason for their bankruptcies are completely out of control skyrocketing tuitions, only a small portion of which, perhaps 5%, go to the physicians who are teaching them to be physicians the rest of the money goes to the walled jail boxes which are called medical schools, the parasitic accreditation agencies demanding standards which are unreasonable, but mainly a huge army of bureaucratic administrators and other paperclips who don't know a damn thing about medicine. The obvious solution to these tragedies is to eliminate the parasites. I have a sledgehammer which I plan to use to knock down the walls of every medical school in the United States, and to recruit a small elite army of commandos, perhaps only five or six, who like me will volunteer their time to educate medical students--- tuition free, harassing examination free, grade free, anxiety free, mandatory attendance free, and FUN. We cannot destroy the states’ rights to issue licensing exams, so those are the only things that the students have to worry about, and our completely online medical school is what a real medical school should be, and optional free voluntary resource to prepare medical students for the step one examination. Because my proposal would upset a lot of apple carts from the most powerful and rich people in the world, I suspect we will need a lot of brave persistent commandos on our team.
All of my medical student colleagues love your classes. What is the best way to teach medicine/pathology?
The best way to teach pathology, which was your fourth question, is also the best way to teach medicine. Completely online where the students can hear better, see better, have massively more convenience in the loving environment of their own homes at their own times rather than being tortured in the walled torture chambers known as medical school auditoriums. Learning will be fun. In my particular field, pathology, because I have been a pathologist my entire life, I have made sure that all of my presentations follow very closely the Bible of pathology, Robbins, marvelously produced by Vinay Kumar, MD. My job has been to carefully analyze all of the topics in this textbook, and to present and decaffeinate them in a fun way which is totally in sync with the USMLE step one questions which I also analyze, by the thousands, every year. The responsibility to learn is completely in the hands of the students. I love and care about them, but I do not feel personally guilty if I hear of failures. The vast majority of step one questions can be answered by online class participation.
Do you have any final thoughts regarding the medical profession as a whole? What visons or hopes do you have for the future of medical education?Your last question asked me to peek into the crystal ball and talk about the future. Ultimately, we will have complete abolition of credit slavery in the United States, in the field of medical education. Brilliant talented people will be allowed to teach directly rather than to be puppets to the bankers, bureaucrats, and accreditation Nazis. My personal dream for the future, which I have already started to do in the last four years is to hold classes in very primitive areas like jungles and mountains with my class, and broadcast pathology webinars to the world from those primitive locations, in order to prove that we do not need those stinking walls to confine our spirits and bankrupt us.