Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday, Sept 18

We took our second test on Monday and found out the scores the next day.  Class average was 72% and I got a 60%.  I wasn't feeling very stellar, but neither are about 40% of my classmates who scored below the 70% passing score.  I did well enough on the practical part (88%) that I still have a passing average in the class, but I never thought I'd even face the possibility of failing.  Retaking the course over the summer would not be a fun thing to deal with.  I'm still trying to figure out what happened and pull myself together.  We have one more test for the course and then we start the next intense course.

I like that there is only one difficult course at a time interspersed with weekly supplemental classes like Physician and Society where we talk about sociology, ethics, etc.  Another class is Interprofessional Education which emphasizes how to get along with nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, various technicians.  There is also a course set up kind of like the TRC in which we have actors playing as patients with various symptoms and situations (talkative, depressed, suspicious, poor, unintelligible in English, etc).  The goal is to take a history and physical and then write a SOAP note that is broken down into the subjective history you gather from the patient and the objective findings from the physical and examination.

Physician and Society could be interesting if the ideas from the current teacher were more developed.  The first part of the course was very eye-opening when we were discussing chronemics (timing), proxemics (personal space), haptics (touch), oculesics (eye contact), adornment, and other unspoken aspects of nonverbal communication between various cultures during conversation.  This teacher has written the unwritten rules of culture...but I'm sure Chuck Norris helped.  Anyway, it helps explain behavior on elevators and other tight places as well as why German trains are always on time, but Italian trains are not.  He recommended that if you want the best treatment from a doctor possible, go dressed in a suit and when they ask about your work, say you are a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice. There is an unconscious bias to treat well-dressed professional equals better than the poor or uneducated.

Recently, we watched a documentary about the progression of eugenics (mercy killing) during Nazi Germany and have been focusing on ethics.  The ethical lessons are so underdeveloped that most of the class leaves.  At the end of last lecture there were ten of us left and half were playing Angry Birds.  The lectures are broadcast from the mother campus real-time so there isn't the same pressure to stay.  I also disagree with his premise that those who can provide medical care to a society are required to do so as though by our choice to study medicine, society somehow owns our occupation.  I prefer to think in terms of simple supply and demand economics which means that there is a price below which I will refuse to provide service.  Call me callous, but any pro bono work I do will be out of the goodness of my heart once I can afford it.

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