McLellan's comment is an extreme example of how we often treat scientific curiosity in children. Perhaps it goes without saying (for everyone outside Irving) that fourteen-year-old students shouldn't need a "broader explanation" for making things. We should aspire to an education system where Ahmed's ingenuity isn't considered -- as Lesley Weaver, Irving Independent School District spokeswoman, called it -- "out of the ordinary."
Our physician training system currently increases suffering for patients like me and the millions of community caregivers who help us. It raises healthcare costs and adds significantly to physician burn-out because we neither select for empathy nor prepare future doctors to understand how patients work, live, and die.