The world of medicine is like a bubble. A lot of people THINK they know what goes on there, but unless you're down in the trenches it's unlikely you do. So here is my semi-anonymous blog, here to tell you what really goes on in the life of a medical resident.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Naughty Professor

I think a lot of what is wrong with medical education today is simple-- they allow me to teach it. I mean, really... I'm still learning this stuff myself. My sister said it best at a family event back in September. I announced to my mom, sisters and other assorted family members that I would be teaching a component of the first year medicine curriculum starting the following week. There was a brief silence (I supposed people were trying to decide whether to congratulate me or offer me condolences). Then, from my sister: "Well, that's just WRONG".

Then again, my sister is somewhat sensitive about the topic. She's 29 years old and working on a PhD in an interesting but somewhat useless area of study. She's worked for years to teach at the university level. The idea of me waltzing in off the streets just a few months after completing a measly MD must kill her. Heh. I can't really argue with her, though. It IS wrong. These students are paying over $15K a year in tuition fees alone to get taught by someone with barely more experience than they get from watching ER.

Actually, when I volunteered to teach I kind of assumed that there would be some form of mentoring involved. At my med school, clinical skills were taught by a trio of three doctors from different specialties... a great idea cause it gave us a pretty balanced view of medicine. An emerg doc is going to have a very different idea of what should constitute the physical exam than an internist. I figured they'd pair me (the newbie) with a seasoned veteran of medical education who would show me the ropes. Instead, I became the sole educator to a group of seven fresh-faced youngsters (seriously... I think the oldest MIGHT be 22 years old) each with varying degrees of keener-dom. Sigh. Was that ever me? So naive, so trusting...

Ha. These kids have NO idea what they're in for.

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Blogger Dr. Mohd said...

Your sister is right!
I've just finished my residency training in Emergency Medicine a couple of months ago, and you know what, I started giving academic rounds, teaching small group discussions, and leading the daily morning meating ever since I was 3rd year!
Initially, some consultants used to attend to back me up, but then after a while, every consultant would say "Oh Mohamad is there, I don't need to go!".
This felt somewhat satisfying to my ego, but might not have been the best teaching experience for the junior residents.
So, if you think teaching under-grads (students) is a mistake, try teaching post-grads (junior residents).
Just out of curiosity, what level are you?

Mohamad - Emerg Physician.

3:43 AM


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