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Rand Paul’s Biology ‘Degree’

Rand Paul 3

WaPo’s Glenn Kessler notes that Senator Rand Paul twice in one day referred to a biology degree that he doesn’t have.

“I have a biology degree, okay?”

– Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in remarks at the Lincoln Labs “Reboot Congress” conference, Feb. 12, 2015

We first spotted a version of this quote in a Bloomberg column by David Weigel, and then checked the quotes with our colleague Jose DelReal, who had attended the conference.

This is a bit of an odd one, given that Paul does not have a college undergraduate degree.

Paul mentioned his alleged degree at the conference not once, but twice. First, in an exchange with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, Paul said:

Arrington: “Let’s talk about economics because maybe you can actually explain this to me. I have an econ degree which means I know just enough not to understand any of what our government is [inaudible]”

Paul: “Mine’s in biology and English so this is going to be a great conversation.”

Then, later in the conversation, expounding on what he considered the virtues of Bitcoin, Paul said:

“This is just me. I have a biology degree, okay? But with Bitcoin my concern always was whether or not something has real value. So I could imagine a kind of coin that was exchangeable. This gets back to the whole idea, does money have to be exchangeable for something to be of value?”

The interesting thing about these references is that previously Paul’s staff has blamed the media for misunderstanding his unusual educational background.

Paul attended Baylor University between 1981 and 1984 but never graduated. Yet he was able to attend Duke University Medical School and received a degree there in 1988. At the time, Duke’s medical school did not require students to have a bachelor’s degree, though the policy has since changed, according to a 2010 report in the Lexington Herald-Leader. (Ron Paul, his father and the former member of Congress, does have a biology degree.)

Paul’s communications director sent in this explanation:

“It is unfair to give Senator Paul 3 Pinocchios because a M.D. Degree is the study of biomedical sciences according to the Duke University School of Medicine. In other words, a M.D. is a biology degree. Merriam-Webster defines biology as ‘a branch of knowledge that deals with living organisms and vital processes.’ Dr. Paul never said he had an undergraduate degree in biology, and it is accurate for him to say that he has a biology degree. You are making inferences from his statement that are unwarranted. It is common knowledge that the study of medicine is the study of human biology, and a MD has a doctorate degree in one area of study of the science of biology.”

That’s a bit of a stretch and doesn’t explain the “and English” addendum; an MD certainly isn’t an English degree. That said, while I find Paul to be a bit of a kook and certainly wouldn’t want him as president, this is at best a 1 Pinocchio situation. He studied Biology and English at Baylor for three years before going to and graduating medical school. If he were filling out a form which asked whether he was a “college graduate,” I’d expect him to answer in the affirmative. Having a post-graduate or professional degree trumps the lack of a baccalaureate; it’s the adult equivalent of “skipping a grade.” (Similarly, while I would look askance at someone with only a GED claiming to be a “high school graduate,” I’d have no issue with someone with a GED and a bachelor’s degree making that representation.)

While Kessler sees this as “resume-inflation,” I see it as conversational—humble, even. If Paul had responded to Arrington’s “I have an econ degree” with “I’m a medical doctor,” it could have come across as  high-handed, whereas “I have a biology” degree is jocular and allows the conversation to flow more naturally.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    does money have to be exchangeable for something to be of value?”

    No, for example, wheat, corn, or rice have inherent value irregardless of whether money–say for example, the currency of Zimbabwe–is exchangeable or not, but I suspect that what he said is not what he meant.

    Degree in English??????????? Really????????????????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    this is at best a 1 Pinocchio situation.

    I have a real problem with rating lies. Something is either true or not, there is no “in between”. That said, I have never yet met the person who on occasion hasn’t been guilty of uttering a falsehood or 2, a “stretching of the truth” if you like, or maybe a false memory. Sometimes it is quite innocent and I suspect such is the case here: He studied english and biology at Baylor, and eventually he graduated with an MD from Duke. His brain has shortened it too, “I studied- I graduated.”

    But I’m still not sure just exactly what it is he learned in all those years, as his vacillating on vaccinating shows a certain lack of biological knowledge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  3. Crusty Dem says:

    Amusingly the same people who will give Paul a total pass on this have argued that pulling 7 vs 9 Gs with the Blue Angels clearly means Brian Williams is pathological (which he may be, but a small numerical difference is not proof of that).

    A better question would be “how in the bloody hell did a non-graduate of Baylor get into Duke Medical School?” Baylor is hardly one of America’s premier institutes of higher education, and while Duke may have technically allowed admission to those without Bachelor’s Degrees, I cannot imagine it was a regular occurrence. It’s very likely dad pulled some serious strings for Rand on that one, I’d love to hear a bit about that and how it fits with the Paul’s libertarian/meritocracious philosophy..

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 4

  4. Tillman says:

    If Paul had responded to Arrington’s “I have an econ degree” with “I’m a medical doctor,” it could have come across as high-handed, whereas “I have a biology degree” is jocular and allows the conversation to flow more naturally.

    He could’ve said he had a medical degree without coming off as aggrandizing. That’s not an uncommon way of putting it.

    Referring to one as a biology degree is uncommon. That’s like getting physics and engineering mixed up.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  5. Gustopher says:

    @Crusty Dem: how dare you try to impinge upon a father’s freedom to pull strings for his child!

    That’s the heart of libertarianism right there — the ability to trade on your privilege without interference from the busybodies like you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Funny, I recall Joe Biden lying his ass off about his academic credentials, and that wasn’t a big deal…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 20

  7. steve says:

    Nope, this is BS. I have an MD. Neither I, nor anyone I know (we have a medical school) has ever referred to it as a biology degree. A medical degree, sometimes. Biology? Never. Also, note that he said his is in” biology and english”. I know for damn sure that none of my fellow MDs were also getting degrees in English. Have you seen the way most physicians write?

    As others pointed out, how did he get into Duke, which is a very good medical school, without completing his degree? That is so uncommon that I have never heard of it, and heaven knows I read tons of CVs. I guess having a Congressman as a father helps a lot. Some of us had to actually study. Oh well, whoever said life is fair, but we should at least stop pretending it is a meritocracy.

    Steve

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  8. James Joyner says:

    @Crusty Dem: @steve: I haven’t the foggiest what the admissions process at Duke was 31 years ago but 1) Ron Paul was a very junior Representative from Texas at the time; I can’t imagine he had much sway at a private medical school in North Carolina and 2) Duke wasn’t Duke then; it’s a much more prestigious school now than it was at the time.

    @Tillman: As noted, I don’t buy the spokesman’s explanation. I think the far simpler one is that, having studied biology and English for three years and then having gone on to get a much more prestigious professional degree, he considers himself to have by proxy finished his earlier degree. Which, frankly, so do I—and I say that as a non-fan of either of the Pauls.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  9. superdestroyer says:

    This should clearly demonstrate to everyone that some form of a savior exists for conservative politics and they will lead the Republicans to being competitive in national election. Conservative seem incapable of finding a single candidate that does not have a closet full of skeletons.

    When 95% of the graduates of the Ivy League are Democrats, it makes sense that the Repubican Party is filled with hucksters, liars, and people with tainted personal histories.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  10. C. Clavin says:

    How do you get a M.D. Degree without finishing undergrad? I have a Masters Degree in my field and an undergraduate degree was a pre-requisite.
    In any case it certainly explains why he had to create his own Ophthalmology board in order to become board certified.
    He’s also terribly mis-guided on economic matters.

    “When we dramatically lowered tax rates in the ’80s, we got an enormous boom in our country, probably for two decades…many of us believe that the ’80s and the ’90s, once the boom began, had a lot to do with lowering the tax rates.”

    Seriously? The Reagan tax cuts powered the Clinton economic boom? That’s pretty funny because Bush 41, and Clinton both raised taxes.
    Paul is a liar, a confederate apologist, and a conspiracy theorist. And oh yeah…he worships the Aqua-Buddha. The perfect clown to be driving the Republican Clown Car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

  11. Crusty Dem says:

    @James Joyner

    No. Duke med school was top tier med school since well before Paul’s application. This only goes to 1994, but Duke was higher rated then than today.

    And the idea that Dr/Rep Ron Paul, in his 3rd term and a Duke med school grad himself, couldn’t/didn’t make a few phone calls to alter his son’s Med School admissions status is amusing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

  12. Just Me says:

    Back when I was in college over 25 years ago it was pretty common for students who wanted to go to medical (or pharmacy school) to apply before hey completed their degrees. Three years of college was enough and most medical schools they applied to didn’t require a bachelors degree.

    Things may have changed since then but I knew several people who left to attend medical school before graduating.

    I also don’t find it a big deal to claim the degree given graduation from medical school and the establishment of a medical practice. I view it as more of a short cut than trying to say “Inwas a biology major and am doctor.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  13. James Joyner says:

    @Crusty Dem: Gotcha. I know some Duke undergrad alumni from the 1970s who tell me their kids could never get in now, so I’m extrapolating. Yes, I’d think Ron Paul’s status as an alum more influential than being a junior Congressman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  14. DrDaveT says:

    I would look askance at someone with only a GED claiming to be a “high school graduate,”

    I wouldn’t. Someone with a GED has passed a nontrivial test, demonstrating that they actually learned something. Someone with a terminal high school diploma could be illiterate, for all you know. Also, the person with the GED had to actively pursue that certification, as opposed to passively receiving an exit voucher. I would consider the GED more positive proof of high school level competence.

    For Paul, I have no trouble saying that his ability to finish medical school indicates that he could certainly have successfully finished his undergraduate studies. I do have a problem with him claiming to have been awarded a degree that he was never awarded. I could have finished my undergrad studies in Economics, too — but I didn’t. It would be a flat-out lie for me to claim a degree in Economics, despite my PhD in a related field.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  15. DA says:

    At this link to the Duke student newspaper, from 2001, it says that 20% of undergraduate students were admitted for non-academic reasons (athletes, or children of donors). It’s not much of a stretch to think that the medical school admissions committee could be encouraged to admit the son of a congressman for non-academic reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  16. superdestroyer says:

    @DA:

    Medical schools have to be very careful of admitting someone who is just not prepared. A medical student who fails their medical boards causes embarassment to any medical school. An undergraduate can be given a pointless degree with pencil-whipped grades and no one will find out (See UNC and the Africa-American studies department). But a medical school that admits students no capable of doing the work will finding its pass rates on the board exams going down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  17. steve says:

    James- I don’t know if I could get into Penn now. The competition is much tougher. Kids are competing against top students from China, India and South Korea. However, in relative rankings Penn and Duke remain very good med schools, even if I couldn’t get in. I think Duke has probably moved up a notch or two since the 80s, but not much. It was and is a good school. I recruit from there so I see the results.

    Even having your father as junior congressman would help a lot. The grant money matters a lot. Lets be honest here.

    You also need to remember that this is a guy who never took his specialty boards. He just made up his own. I have no idea whether or not he is a good doc. I know that even the very worst docs I have ever seen, and they were bad, still had a following, so I really can’t judge.

    All that said, is this super important?Probably not. Yet another politician has exaggerated his qualifications. Dog bites man. It may merit a bit more attention than usual as he is a libertarian and an advocate of markets, yet here he is demonstrating how easily markets are perverted.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  18. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: “…having studied biology and English for three years and then having gone on to get a much more prestigious professional degree, he considers himself to have by proxy finished his earlier degree. Which, frankly, so do I—and I say that as a non-fan of either of the Pauls.”

    I have never heard of anybody taking that line.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  19. Barry says:

    @superdestroyer:

    I’m going to trim this down to the first and last sentences:

    “Medical schools have to be very careful of admitting someone who is just not prepared. ”

    ” But a medical school that admits students not capable of doing the work will finding its pass rates on the board exams going down.”

    All that that says is that the medical school has to be careful, and not admit too many.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. superdestroyer says:

    @Barry:

    Considering the pass rates of first time test takers is 96% and that Duke is above that pass rate, I would assume that Duke would not let itself admit a single student that was not a good prospect of passing the medical test. Since RAnd Paul actually did pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination and was matched to an ophthalmology residency, not only was Rand Paul smart enough for Duke Medical School but he was obviously smarter than some of his fellow students at Duke,

    The real interesting question is whether he sat for his board exam in Ophthalmology and did not pass and thus, created his own board.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  21. He does too have a biology degree! He just accredited his own university to give him one!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  22. @OzarkHillbilly:

    I have a real problem with rating lies. Something is either true or not, there is no “in between”.

    To quote The Big Bang Theory “it’s a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable; it’s very wrong to say it’s a suspension bridge”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  23. ernieyeball says:

    Paul: “Mine’s in biology and English so this is going to be a great conversation.”

    If he claims to have these credentials. He needs to cop to being a track star too!
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/08/05/rand_paul_runs_as_dreamer_confronts_rep_steve_king.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Hal_10000 says:

    My dad did something similar. This was back in the 60’s, but he left high school without a degree to start early college. He then left U Chicago early to start Medical School. Both consider him effectively an alumnus (he goes to reunions and everything) even if he’s technically a dropout. I almost did something similar with an engineering program. Had I done so, my degree would have said engineering but I would have said I studied physics in college. Honestly, this is trivial. If this were someone other than Rand Paul, the current bete noire of the Left, no one would care.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  25. C. Clavin says:

    @Hal_10000:
    In and of itself? Yes, trivial.
    But it’s clearly part of a pattern that defines Rand Paul.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  26. Fred says:

    @Crusty Dem: Actually, Baylor is one of the top schools in the country, and has its own medical school. Paul obviously couldn’t get into Baylor’s med school, or he would have stayed there. The idea that Duke did not require an undergraduate degree at the time, which I find amazing, tells you why Paul chose to go there. I guess the fact that he had two malpractice suits in 15 years is why he chose to get out of medicine and into politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  27. C. Clavin says:

    @Fred:

    I guess the fact that he had two malpractice suits in 15 years is why he chose to get out of medicine and into politics.

    It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye…literally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  28. ernieyeball says:

    @C. Clavin:..But it’s clearly part of a pattern that defines Rand Paul.

    If his campaign is not successful he can always work as an anchor for NBC Nightly News.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t like trashing politicians. I like disagreeing with them, but beating them up over irrelevancies is counter-productive, whether it’s the Benghazi nuts and Hillary, or MSNBC eternal scandal hunt with Chris Christie. I didn’t even care that Anthony Wiener texted his wiener.

    Washington slept around, Jefferson owned slaves, Lincoln’s wife was nuts, Grant drank, FDR concealed his polio and slept around, Clinton banged an intern, who cares? WTF does any of that have to do with anything? What is this, middle school? I don’t care what specific degree Rand Paul got, MD is close enough to biology major. I don’t care if he surfs nurse porn, smokes pot and likes to watch bad TV. None of that is relevant to anything.

    Rand Paul on vaccines is infinitely more telling than all this other crap. He’s a doctor willing to trash his own training and education to pander for a vote. That matters. That’s spineless and dishonest. You know what else is relevant? Scott Walker refusing to comment on evolution. See, that goes to his dishonesty and gutlessness. That tells me he’s a groveler. Likewise, if Jeb Bush stands firm on Common Core (about which I do not care, frankly) that will tell me he has a spine and is willing to take a risk for what he sees as the truth.

    We are hiring a guy to do the biggest job in the world, I’d rather we focused on what they believe, and on their core character, not play Buzz Feed games.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @ernieyeball:
    Speaking of which, my son and I have the perfect fix: Jon Stewart to Nightly News, Brian Williams to Daily Show. Williams is charming and smart and witty. Stewart has integrity, and he could lower the demo’s age from the current “mostly dead” to “just really old.” It would be a lovely WTF is going on moment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  31. Franklin says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I have a real problem with rating lies. Something is either true or not, there is no “in between”.

    Personally I try to look at intent if possible. As pointed out above, he is understating his academic credentials if anything. I would classify this particular case as inaccurate and unusual, but not really a lie.

    I don’t think my opinion of Rand Paul is relevant here, but I’ll provide it anyway: I wouldn’t vote for him, but I would probably enjoy him as President because he might *actually* shake things up for once. Now whether that would turn out good or bad is another discussion …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: When I read Kessler, I find him unsatisfactory. You’re right that he can’t seem to just rate a thing true or false based on the facts. All too often he seems to give a statement a couple Pinocchios not for being false, but for not being what Kessler thought the guy should have said. I’ve written PolitiFact suggesting they sometimes need a different approach, “True, but misleading” or “True, but further explanation required.” Kessler could give up his one to five Pinocchios and say something like Paul’s statement is false, but unimportant. Maybe zero to five Pinocchios for truth and zero to five stars for relevance.

    Of course this is all driven by Kessler’s need to support a “both sides do it” narrative to keep Fred Hiatt happy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. carolyn fuqua says:

    How the hell he get into Duke Medical School? Too many people have been denied the chance of getting into medical school because of grade point average, and he gets in without completing a bachelor? Man, that’s the America way for rich white folks. Protection of the complexion! Then they want to take away health care, food stamps and anything that helps the poor. America is full of b.s. Put a fork into me, I am Done!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  34. @carolyn fuqua:

    How the hell he get into Duke Medical School?

    At the graduate level, almost nobody is actually paying the “sticker price” for their education. As a result, if someone shows up willing to pay full price, they can often get in as a “provisional student” even if they wouldn’t normally qualify, because even if they don’t work out, they’re subsidizing other graduate students.

    Full disclosue, I graduate my undergrad degree with a GPA that, while not terrible, was not amazing either. I still got into a selective graduate school as a provisional student because my employer was paying full price up front.

    Now I did end up graduating with a 4.0 GPA and won my graduating class’s award for best graduate project so I think I earned that exception, but there you are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. Gustopher says:

    @steve:

    It may merit a bit more attention than usual as he is a libertarian and an advocate of markets, yet here he is demonstrating how easily markets are perverted.

    Why do you assume this is not how the market was intended to function? Rewarding the privileged is a time honored tradition.

    Why would you try to help the less privileged, when they aren’t in a position to help you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  36. Crusty Dem says:

    @Fred:

    This is egregiously wrong. Sorry. I happen to have a doctorate from the esteemed “Baylor College of Medicine” and it is located in Houston and NOT affiliated with the 2-bit shitty school in Waco (it did for about a year after it started in Dallas, then it moved to Houston and ended the affiliation). I mention this because while Baylor College of Medicine is a Top 20 or better medical school and outstanding research institution, most graduates develop a chip over being associated with the vastly inferior Baylor University. In fact, this is a major factor in its US News and World Report rankings, the school spent millions having Boston Consulting come in to improve their score. They are top 10 in most features, but rank terribly (bottom 1/3) in “reputation”. Why? Because of the name. I said the solution was to rename as “Rice University School of Medicine” – Rice is across the street. It makes sense. No dice.

    In 1987, I had a book listing every college in the country with numbers of students, incoming GPA, etc and Baylor University had the worst SAT in the entire book (under 600 M/V combined, IIRC). It’s not a good school.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  37. superdestroyer says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Medical school is not like graduate school. The acceptance rates for medical schools are extremely low and medical students generally pay full retail. That is why so many newly licensed physicians have such massive debt loads. Also, getting into an ophthalmology residency indicates that Rand Paul did not finish at the bottom of his medical school class.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. superdestroyer says:

    @Crusty Dem:

    If you want to look up the statistics on any university, look at collegeresults.org. Baylor University is a 1235 math/verbal SAT school with an admission rate of 40%. Using 30 y/o data when comparing universities is not the way to go these days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. CET says:

    @Crusty Dem:
    Without getting access to MCAT scores and his original application, the most you can do is speculate.

    It is not unheard of for professional programs to admit non-degreed undergraduates who have taken the requisite courses and have otherwise exceptional applications in other fields. I don’t find it particularly surprising that someone could have gotten into an MD program without actually finishing their BS in biology., given good enough test scores, etc, etc.

    And I say that as someone who has a PhD in Chemistry but never graduated high school. Not everyone takes the usual path.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. Crusty Dem says:

    @superdestroyer:

    When did Rand Paul go there? Hint: it wasn’t recent. Any Texan will tell you that Baylor was not viewed as a good school at the time.

    That said, Baylor, like many colleges, has become vast more selective in recent years. It’s still a far cry from any “Top __” lists…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. de stijl says:

    Rand Paul, the current bete noire of the Left

    Whizzle-wuzzle?

    Then I must be the current bete noire of the Right.

    Like Paul, I will also end up with zero electoral votes in the 2016 Presidential election. (He may beat me in the convention delegate count, but not by that much.)

    And I’m not even running for President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  42. ernieyeball says:

    …Clinton banged an intern, who cares?

    Bill Clinton gets roaring round of applause at 2015 NBA All-Star game

    Term limits…Who needs ’em?

    http://www.nj.com/knicks/index.ssf/2015/02/bill_clinton_gets_roaring_round_of_applause_at_201.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. superdestroyer says:

    @Crusty Dem:

    If you look at the US New rankings of top national universities, Baylor is around 70. Not exactly an Ivy League but a better than average university. The real number on Baylor is that its undergraduate 6-year graduation rate is lower than should be expected from its admissions criteria. First guest, many of the freshman are religious or attend Baylor due to family pressure and the students do not really like the campus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  44. grumpy realist says:

    Huh. This is a teeny-tiny thing that makes me want to applaud Rand Paul, mainly because I did something similar.

    Never bothered to graduate from high school and went to MIT anyway. (They couldn’t care less.) Then managed to go through two post-docs before getting my doctorate.

    Sometimes we do things ass-backwards.

    There are a lot of us waltzing around with weird backgrounds and it is always infuriating when we have to try to explain ourselves to a dumb HR person when looking for jobs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. Electroman says:

    I have a good friend who was admitted to med school without an undergraduate degree in about ’82 or so. Today he practices in the Phoenix area. Do you remember John McCain having surgery to remove an unsightly lump on/in his neck? My friend was the surgeon who removed it.

    However, when he graduated with his MD, he also got a bachelor’s degree in “Human Biology” from his med school (UMKC), whos graduation – but not admission – required a baccalaureate.

    Nope, not a Paul, just a data point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. C. Clavin says:

    @grumpy realist:
    That’s Dr. Grumpy Realist to you….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Barry says:

    @superdestroyer: “The real interesting question is whether he sat for his board exam in Ophthalmology and did not pass and thus, created his own board.”

    Well, why else go to the trouble?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. Barry says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “At the graduate level, almost nobody is actually paying the “sticker price” for their education. ”

    For medical school, scholarships are few and far between.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0