Friday, April 05, 2019

Data: What is the average IQ of your healthcare providers?

I get annoyed when a low IQ kid gets my fast food order wrong, but no biggie. It's a different story when my child is sick and needs medical treatment. 

What is the mean IQ of health care workers?  To get a sufficiently large sample (GSS, no immigrants), I included the following jobs: physicians, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists other health diagnosing practitioners, registered nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, physical therapists, speech therapists, and other therapists. 

For the whole group, I get a mean of 104.8. Not good. For occupations with at least 10 survey respondents:

Mean IQ

Physicians  114.5
Dentists  108.4
Registered nurses  104.6
Pharmacists  108.2
Dieticians  90.9
Physical therapists 110.6
Speech therapists  104.6
Other therapists   109.4

All of these numbers are discouraging. Don't take advice from a dietician.  

What about race? We can only look at the overall mean for all healthcare providers. For whites, it's 105.9; for blacks, 96.1; and for other races, it's 99.2.  A little bit scary.   

And gender? 109.9 for men, and 103.5 for women. 

Interpreting Your Genetics Summit


  1. Anonymous11:10 PM

    I'm an RN. IQ (using GRE proxy)is >120. I'm fairly bright, but not exceptionally so among my peers. I wonder where the dull nurses and doctors are working. It isn't in my mid-sized hospital. Perhaps I simply overestimate my peers.

    1. Anonymous12:16 PM

      I used to be a nurse. I was literally "lured" into nursing because I had scored so high on various tests -- including winning (and, so I was told, scoring higher than anyone ever had on) a scholarship test. (Long story made short: I didn't accept that scholarship and went back to finish my BSN at a high-ranked private university. Where I was heavily recruited (to choose that school) due to my high scores and grades -- including on their personal entrance exam. Looking back on all of that, I think they pursued me so strenuously because they were wanting to lure more intelligent women who were, increasingly, choosing medicine and other professions over nursing.

      It seemed that many of my fellow students in a class of approximately 100 were "bright enough" -- but what many of them lacked was self-confidence and assertiveness. However, there were more than a few who were probably smack dab average -- which is not good enough for nursing. The president of our nursing class flunked Pharmacology (which meant scoring below 73). She also flunked the small tutorial class -- which was held the following semester for all of the students who had also failed to get 73 or better -- students couldn't administer meds until they had passed Pharmacology.

      Seriously? Fluinked Pharmacology and then flunked the tutorial? Yet, she remained in our class and graduated on time. I don't know what extra tutoring they offered her in Pharmacology -- or if they just threw up their hands and let her administer meds in spite of being unable to pass the exams.

      Then there was the fellow student whom I got to know due to being in the same rotations. I first learned how unqualified she was when she asked me to type (pre-computer days) her term paper -- which was so incoherent and full of misspellings and grammar errors -- which I corrected at first but finally just gave shut up instead of correcting them. I felt that would have been academically dishonest and, besides, I had not been hired by her to be her proofreader. Another time, I was assigned to shadow her for some medical procedures that I was qualified to do but she was not yet qualified. I was genuinely horrified at how unprepared and unqualified she was and was even more horrified at the corrective measures our professor took -- but I won't even go there.

      I could go on and on.

      Bottom line: Shortly after I got out of nursing school, I knew that I didn't want to do it as a living. So, I quit. As much as I loved the material I learned, I knew I couldn't work with many of those people as my colleagues. That was decades ago and I have zero regrets.

      I worry about the current state of the nursing shortage. As I alluded to, intelligent young women who are good in science and who might previously have chosen nursing are choosing higher-paying and more prestigious career paths. LPNs (or whatever they're called these days), and nursing "assistants" are increasingly filling the void -- due to the shortage of RNs but also because these other personnel can be paid far less than an RN demands.. How understaffed the healthcare facilities really are -- I don't know. Is it lack of applicants or lack of the facilities being willing to pay enough to employ full RNs?

      My experience (in nursing school and in the hospital) is that some nurses are just plain lazy or disinterested. They're probably in a job they hate but they don't want to change careers after investing so much in a nursing degree.

      Just my two cents.

  2. How White/Black/Brown is your crew?

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. PT and other Therapists above Dentists? ReallY? That is very hard to believe. In addition the scores here in general are way below what other studies have shown, with Doctors in the 120-130 range. RN's not even hitting 105 is also hard to swallow, unless LPNs and CNAs are also included here.


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