Saturday, May 8, 2010

some things aren't intuitive

Maybe some things aren’t intuitive. In traditional medical school there are always learners above you telling you what to do and what not to do. Dr. Smith likes it when the student does this. Dr. Jones hates it when the student does that. There’s nobody above you when you’re the first class to go through a brand new medical school. Of the nine students in my group, some intuitively know to work hard on the wards. Others, um, don’t. I’m shocked and dismayed at getting reports of a student leaving the hospital before the attending! The most s/he would do is NOTIFY the attending that s/he was done for the day. WTF? Student arriving late, leaving early, telling attendings they don’t want to [whatever] in the hospital because s/he has to study for the shelf exam! It’s not just one kid. All one kid cares about is the test. I was complaining to MSA that MSB actually walked out of a surgery! S/he wasn’t scrubbed in, but s/he left to do something else! MSA asked, “is that wrong?” YES! IT’S WRONG! Holy cow, it’s an honor and a privilege to be in the surgical suite. If you’re scrubbed in, you’d better scrub out only if you’re p physically ill. If you’re in the O.R. but not scrubbed in, you’d better have a f*ck*n good reason to leave, and you need to ASK PERMISSION TO BE EXCUSED for that f*ck*n good reason. A student should never say, “I’m done” on the wards. You’re never done. You’re just ready to ask what you can do next.


  1. Ah, so they're finally hitting that stage of medical school? I've been waiting. I likely had that crew (or ones like them) as freshmen. They were like this at eighteen, and unlikely to get better.

    Makes you fear for the state of medicine, doesn't it?

  2. this is something I routinely complain about--the sense of entitlement that these guys have is incredible.

    They come into my OR after I have started a case, look at the scrub tech and ask, "Where's DrB? When is HE getting here?" They don't have a clue about me (I am a woman), the type of surgery being done, the patient, courtesy or rituals. I have thrown several out of my OR.

    And yes, they just disappear--even the ones you think are interested. I have pointed things out in the OR to teach, asked a question, waited for an answer... and when we all look up, the medical student is gone. We have even had "excuses" such as hair appointments, personal trainer sessions... and this is at, say 2 (two) PM--as in 14:00... well within working hours.

    It is infuriating. Sadly for any that are actually interested, this makes me UNinterested in teaching.