August 10: On cheating

The report about Prof. Shimon Glick's study on attitudes to cheating in exams raises serious questions about the relevance and method of such studies.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
On cheating Sir, - The report about Prof. Shimon Glick's study on attitudes to cheating in exams raises serious questions about the relevance and method of such studies. Although I assume the sampling was statistically appropriate, I find it poor research to reach any conclusions on the quality of medical ethics based on differences of single percentage points in a survey of 141 students in two universities. Moreover, comparing attitudes of Israelis with foreign full-time students at the same institutions, rather than students overseas, has no significance in comparing ethical values. The study seemed to ignore the important issues. Does "reconstructing exam questions for the benefit of next-year students" have any real relevance to future ethical practice in dealing with patients? Do attitudes to cheating only make a difference for medical students? Shouldn't the rest of our future academics and professionals be exposed to ethical discussions and analysis of moral dilemmas? Isn't this also the job of our universities? A look at our society as a whole would seem to make the answers obvious ("Israeli medical students more 'forgiving' about cheating than their foreign counterparts," July 24). MICHAEL BROWN Petah Tikva Prof. Glick comments: Newspaper headlines, by nature, cannot do justice to the actual research, and it is not fair to judge the work without reading it in the original. We made no attempt to reach far-reaching conclusions, and we are aware of all the points this reader raises, and many others. We present the work as food for thought and possible action by medical educators, as well as other individuals involved in education at all levels. Golf vs villas Sir, - Re "Caesarea aims for the top with redesign. Israel's only 18-hole golf course to be lengthened in $8 million project" (July 25): The real issues are not verbiage about grass and golf's growth, but the meaningless destruction of a fine golf course, losing Israelis' only 18-hole course for over two years, and a wanton waste of money. The Caesarea Development Corporation's course renovation plan is unrelated to a highway interchange - that's foolishness. The real reason is that the CDC wanted more villa sites fronting on the course to generate considerably more profits. The planning authorities denied the CDC's application for the villa lots within their newly designed course. Why is the CDC still spending $8m. to build a new course when it claims golf is not profitable? And why $8m. when the American Society of Golf Course Architects quotes costs for a new course as being between $1.6m. and $4.5m.? The course could be upgraded, made more interesting, lengthened to over 6,800 meters and never closed at substantially less cost than envisioned; it stayed open during the current irrigation system's installation, and it can for a new one. Also the kikuyu grass should stay - PGA tour courses like La Costa, Torrey Pines and Riviera are kikuyu because it's an excellent grass when properly maintained. In short, every CDC goal can be accomplished for a fraction of the cost - except for the new villa sites. RICHARD C. FOGELSON Tel Aviv