This is tricky. On one level, you can’t imagine why anyone would spend that much time in pursuit of the profession — but when you call the doctor, you’re pretty much assuming (s)he has, and might not appreciate hearing otherwise.
Still, 14 years is a bit too much, don’t you think? In m. o., this circumstance might be one of the reasons hand surgeons, f.i., charge an arm and a leg (sorry) for their services: many start that marathon, but few finish it! Also, the debt they incur by the time they can practice needs to be paid, and quickly.
There was a suggestion in the comments that the only stretch that doctors find useless for professional training is four undergraduate years- so maybe those willing to spend 10 yrs in pursuit of medical degree should be exempt from that grinding waste of their time?
Well, I spent roughly 12 years (college plus grad school) and I’m not even a “real” doctor (in some people’s minds.)
How long does a plumber or electrician or mechanic have to apprentice in order to be really good?
And frankly, I’d be unwilling to encourage would-be doctors to skip undergrad level, if what I see as incoming freshmen here is typical of high school graduates in the US. If grades 9-12 were more rigorous I’d be okay with it but I’ve had college students who couldn’t compute averages, compute dilutions, or who didn’t know the difference between a beaker and a graduated cylinder. Or for that matter, who didn’t know that you shouldn’t use the same pipette for all the solutions you’re working with. (If I manage to beat one thing into my students’ heads, it will be THOU SHALT NOT CROSS CONTAMINATE!!!)
If the pharmacies were still selling nose and ear drops in bottles without the dropper built into the cap, everybody would know that rule! In that sense, the product design’ progress is emphatically not our friend…I am not even sure average person under the age of 30 knows what pipette is!