The names of such distinguished authors should make the reviewer optimistic about this book, but unfortunately the blight of the method confounds our hopes. Laboriously, truisms are found to be acceptable. We find few surprises, even fewer solutions to our problems. What goes wrong in books of this kind? First, perhaps the survey research method lends itself to distortions, especially if factual memory is necessary, if personal interviewing must be restricted, if alternative basic assumptions and context are difficult to evaluate, or if simple correlations replace explanations.
The selection of the 12 medical schools, supposedly as pairs, is a risky step, made worse by hiding the names of the schools from the reader's own evaluation. Words are distorted too. For example, during medical school, an ill-defined "uniformity" is discovered, as decided mostly by the MCAT, and class rank, but everyone is aware of a great diversity on a deeper level