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Information for people contemplating
a career in emergency medicine and
other medical specialties

By Kevin Pezzi, MD


How did I rapidly transform myself from dunce to doctor?

Q: My name is Bennita and I'm a medical student. I came across your site recently while randomly surfing the 'Net. It's an eye-opening treasure trove and I gleaned many things from it. I'm intrigued though. On your site you mentioned that you were not a top scorer in school in the beginning but suddenly during your last couple of years, I believe, you became one of the top students (or perhaps THE top student). I'm curious as to what prompted this sudden change.

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Answer by , MD: On my last day of class in 10th grade, had someone told my teachers that I'd later graduate in the top 1% of my class in medical school, they would have burst out laughing! Words alone could not have conveyed their justified incredulity. I was a poor student—then. After summer vacation, however, I entered 11th grade easily able to keep up with the Einsteins in my school, or even surpass them.

So what happened in those three short months? I spent most of it mowing lawns to buy powder-blue polyester clothes and white patent-leather shoes that I polished every evening. While I'll never understand what motivated me to wear clothes that were amazingly effective in repelling women, I know exactly how I rapidly transformed myself from a dunce into a doctor. Considering how little time I had left over from mowing, I really had less than one month to stimulate my brain that summer . . . so how on Earth did I do it?

I mentioned some of my methods of boosting brainpower in this site and my other ER site. The good news is that I have countless tips to add. The bad news is that I can't devote much time to this endeavor because people will pay thousands of dollars for their iPods. computers, cars, and clothes, but not for information that could help them excel academically and hence earn far more money in their careers. Go figure.

People who read everything I've already written and applied that information have had amazing success in transforming themselves from struggling students into medical students and successful doctors. One student performed so poorly in his first few years of college that even I—the eternal optimist—had grave reservations about whether he could make it into medical school. Yet after he consulted me, he's now in medical school and doing so well that he is thinking of specializing in neurosurgery. Another student needed even more of a tune-up, so to speak, yet with my help, she graduated medical school and is now the head of her department in a teaching hospital affiliated with a major medical school.

Want to hear something shocking? Although those two people benefited greatly from my tips to augment brainpower, I gave them far less than 5% of my dunce-to-doctor tips. As I said, I have a lot of information on that subject.

For the past several months, one topic has dominated the news and our collective consciousness: the economic collapse triggered by the subprime mortgage crisis. The latter set off a chain reaction of destruction that is traceable to a lack of brainpower on the part of Wall Street people who were reputed to be wizards, yet really didn't know what the heck they were doing. Metaphorically speaking, they were like doctors who were dazzled by the beauty of the pills they prescribed yet oblivious to their potential side effects. Those Wall Street wannabe gurus weren't trying to commit economic suicide, of course; they simply weren't smart enough to mentally grasp the repercussions of their decisions.

Who gets to pay to clean up the mess they created? Me, you, your children, and your grandchildren. Unfortunately, the price tag for this financial tsunami doesn't end with higher taxes. Our economic situation is so perilous that the United States itself is in jeopardy from a political standpoint. Although some other governments around the world have fallen or are in the process of doing so, many perpetual Pollyannas in the US cannot conceive of our Federal government meeting the same fate. If that is so far-fetched, why are our leaders now taking steps to prepare for the kind of civil insurrection that could topple a government? Believe me, they're worried.

While writing From Bailout to Bliss, my research uncovered government documents that could take your breath away. In one such document, a military planner working for the Federal government was openly wondering about just how much military force the government could use against us. Troops that could be used to combat the Taliban or search for Osama bin Laden are instead being trained to fight Main Street folks who, the government fears, may engage in mass riots as our economy continues to crumble. If such rioting does occur, as it did in Iceland (read about that in my book), it will be because Main Street folks have HAD IT with the nincompoops in Washington DC who frankly know even less about the economy than the fools on Wall Street.

If you read From Bailout to Bliss, you will realize how we, individually and collectively, can sidestep much of the fallout from this crisis, which will indelibly change our lives in ways that may now seem unimaginable. We must do it, because we cannot count on our leaders to solve this crisis. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wants us to believe that he wasn't smart enough to correctly do his own taxes, yet he and Obama want us to believe that he is bright enough to solve what is arguably the worst financial calamity in the history of the world. Obama made us wonder about the adequacy of his education during the 2008 Presidential campaign when he spoke of the United States having 58 states, and he heightened that concern last week when he demonstrated that he didn't know a basic Economics 101 fact: what a P/E ratio is (Obama's befuddlement is explained here). Vice-President Joe Biden is notorious for his many gaffes that provide incontrovertible evidence of what he doesn't know. Clearly, even our leaders need a stat infusion of brainpower!

Pop quiz

Q: What would you recommend for the person who spoke the following sentence?

"We're facing, you know, an economic crisis, the paper this morning said there's, you know, five billion dollars of construction projects which just stopped, you know, that's, you know — conversations a year ago, that's — beside that, I don't, as I said, I have conversations with a lot of people, and those are confidential."

Your recommendation is:

(a) That her doctor refer her to a neurologist and psychiatrist.
(b) That her doctor order drug and alcohol screens.
(c) That her doctor order a CT scan to check for brain injury.
(d) That her fifth-grade teacher refer her for intensive remedial education.
(e) That she be appointed to the United States Senate to help solve our economic crisis.

Can you guess who spoke that sentence? It was Caroline Kennedy, the erstwhile candidate to be appointed to the US Senate who makes George Bush and Sarah Palin seem like Albert Einstein on a ginkgo biloba drip! Inexplicably, Bill Gates evidently wanted her to be involved in one of his educational grants. If the Secret Service used similarly poor judgment, they'd hire kindergarten students to defend the President of the United States.

Now do you understand why there is such a dearth of intelligence in the United States? Our leaders are enamored with their old-buddy network of connections, even when those old buddies exhibit stunning evidence of feeble-mindedness. Give the job to someone more qualified? Heavens no! Connections are what matters—not intelligence, competence, or genuine innovation.

Arne Duncan, Chicago public schools chief, was tapped by Obama to be his Secretary of Education. What's ironic about this? The school system that Duncan led was not good enough for the Obama children to attend—but Duncan is qualified to run all of the public schools in this nation?

Does. Not. Compute.

I could do far more than Mr. Duncan to enhance the brainpower of Americans, which is one of the many things we could do to combat this economic crisis, but I'm not part of Obama's buddy network. Nor am I part of the network of Bill Gates, who evidently possesses more of a starry-eyed adulation of celebrity than he does of learning about more effective ways to magnify intelligence and creativity.

The point of this long preface is to explain why powerful people who are ostensibly interested in improving education will likely never hire me so that I have the time to elucidate all facets of my methods that can transform dunces into doctors, or other individuals with greater intellectual skills that would help them perform better regardless of their occupations.

I am in the process of developing a new site on which to post some of the many thousands of tips that I have to offer on everything from enhancing brainpower to beauty, health, happiness and the 1001 other things that everyone should know if they want to have a great life. I structured that site so everyone can have some tips free, and all of my tips by paying for them. I know that many of you have more time than money, so I offer a way for you to earn access to more tips without spending a dime.

You can earn credits to access my tips by mentioning one or more of my books or web sites in your blog or some other web posting.

You can also earn credits by giving me a license to use photos that you send to me. Most of the photos I use in my web sites and books are purchased from various stock photo sites. One drawback to those photos is that they're often a bit too formulaic.

See this page for more information on how to earn tip credits.

While that site is now operational, it will take a long time to add all of my current tips, so please be patient. You can register for that site now and begin reading those tips in less than a minute, and check back later to see more great information. That site focuses on information that you probably (or definitely) won't find elsewhere, so I won't discuss the basic info that you can obtain from a million and one other sources. I leave the Basic Info 101 stuff to the authors who pat themselves on the back for rehashing information that is widely known. I don't have time for that, and neither do you.

If you or someone else would like to learn all of my brainpower tips without waiting for me to add them to that site or to pay for them via a consultation, you can do that by persuading your school or college to hire me as a consultant so all of their students could benefit from what I have to offer.

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