Saturday, April 10, 2010

Think Twice Is What I Say

My medical school holds examination review sessions. I don't agree with them but there you go. In the exam review session (which happens on the afternoon of the examination day), the students sign out their papers and a faculty member stands at the front of the room and goes through the answers one by one. I've never been said faculty member so I don't know the details of what goes on, but essentially the students know what grade they received on the examination by the end of it all (and which questions they got right and wrong).

Another thing that my medical school has is a committee of folks (faculty members) who meet with students who are in any academic difficulty. I am one of said folks. Usually the students who come to meet with us are having difficulties with grades and we offer them remedial assistance and everyone is happy at the end of the day.

These two things (the examination review session and the committee of folks) came together recently. A first year medical student was sent to visit with us after the faculty member running the examination review session caught him drinking a beer in the session. Drinking a beer! It was the final examination of the term and hence also the final examination review session so the student thought that it was entirely appropriate to bring beer to the party. Not only was the student openly drinking a beer but when the faculty member told the student that he had to discard the beer, the student defiantly stared at the faculty member as he proceeded to gulp down the remainder of the beer (which I gather was pretty much the full bottle of beer).

So what happens to a medical student who drinks a beer in a formal examination review session and then acts defiantly to a faculty member? A permanent professionalism (lack thereof) note on the student's record, that's what happens. I hope that the student really enjoyed that beer because it's going to be following him around for the duration of his four years of medical education.


jhawke said...

it's sad that students like this can't be kicked out of med school.

unless it's included in the first paragraph of their residency application dean's letter, a note in their permanent record always sounds like "big whoop" to me.

Kendra said...

I agree with Jennifer.

And if you ABSOLUTELY HAVE to have a beer in a session, why not at least disguise it as something else?! Come on people, be smart! :)

Dr. K said...

The seriousness of a note in a permanent record depends entirely on the student's future performance. I've seen a case where it came back to bite the student ... the student had a repeat incident and the previous incident was taken into account and the student was asked to leave the program.

Gregory House, PA-C said...

We also have review sessions after tests. Why do you protest?

ABC said...

I'm a PhD student at an academic medical center, and the shenanigans the med students pull off and get away with baffle me!! They argue about their test scores, they practically demand that faculty come in for special review sessions, and they generally whine about everything one could think of (the cafeteria should stay open later, we should pay less for parking, we don't want to take notes so give us handouts with all the information), and how the administration bends over backwards for them. I don't understand why they don't try to instill some sort of social/moral rigor and discipline into them instead of fostering their entitled attitudes.

We had a PhD student kicked out for a DUI that the school happened to find out about. A med student got a DUI, which the school knew about, and he's an MD now. Go figure.

Midwife with a Knife said...

I actually think the review sessions are a good idea. If you ask questions that are covering important topics, and you would think that the material covered in the course is important to the future doctor as a whole (and not just because you have to pass the test to go on), then it makes sense to help these future doctors plug the holes in their knowledge by telling them the answers to the questions they got wrong. It also decreases the likelihood of faculty members giving the same test 10 years in a row (which is inappropriate because the information they're testing on generally changes faster than that).

As far as the beer drinking student, why is that such a big deal? It's not like the student was responsible for patient care at the time. Having finally completed my medical training just over a year ago, and having a lot more perspective on how much of it is bs, I think a little perspective is in order. The guy drank a beer on the last day of school. He didn't put anybody in danger. That shouldn't follow him around for the rest of his medical school career. And in fact, if medical training weren't so downright hostile and toxic to the trainees, he may not have had the urge to do something so rebellious in the first place.

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