Thursday, November 29, 2007


Dude. Make it stop.

Just when I thought I was out of the woods, homework-wise, they drop the frickin' A-bomb of busywork on me.

I can sum up my misery in four words: Stupid, online, required cases.

Ugh. Apparently, many med schools around the country use them. You log on to a web site and are led through a web of lameness like a small blind child, and are occasionally forced to answer a multiple choice answer or (shudder) type a response in a box. The web site says that the cases should take about 40 min to complete; I've been taking 20-30min each, which is still 20-30min each of my life I will never get back. We are required to complete at least 5.


But that's not the worst of it. They set it up so that you are required to complete at least 5, but that just gets you a pass. To get a high pass or honors you have to complete more LOTS, LOTS more. And although it only accounts for 5% of your total grade (WHY do they insist on acting like your 3rd year grades are objective by assigning things percentages and numbers? It is a total lie. I may talk about this in a future post...) you just know that if you decide to slack and only do the minimum that you would miss a good grade by 2.5% and the you'd just die.

Anyway, the cases go something like this. You open the page and it has a picture of a scary person who as far as you know just broke out of prison. They say,

"Hello. My name is Dr. Doverschlogenmarchowitz. Today we'll be seeing little Timmy, a 4 year old who insists on traveling everywhere by hopping on one leg and has a history of explosive diarrhea. Why don't you go in and introduce yourself?"

Then you click on the next page button and it has a picture of Timmy, and it asks you some kind of question mildly related to the situation, like:

"Explosive diarrhea can stem from many causes, such as watching reality television. Which ONE of the following is the least medically accurate television program?
A. Grey's Anatomy
C. House
D. Diagnosis: Sexy!: The Search for the Hottest Doc in America"

Then you are forced to click on questions for the patient and read their answers and it goes on and on and oh my God it is horrible.

Anyway, I could mock them all night, but really I'd like to finish another one of these stinkbombs so I can go to sleep. By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, I would like to state that I know that at least one of my classmates, an otherwise totally sane human, has stated that he believes these cases are helpful. For this person I would like to suggest haldol. For Timmy, I suggest laying off America's Most Smartest Model.


nosugrefneb said...

This is one of the most hilarious things I have read in a while. Hopefully my school doesn't have these things...I've done enough of them to get parking tickets off my record for one lifetime.

Dr.VonB said...

Thanks! Just for that, I'm linking to your blog. I've been meaning to for a while anyway... I've been enjoying it.
And for your sake, I hope they don't have those at your school too!! I did another one today where--I am not kidding--a key finding in the physical exam was a bleeding belly ring.

nosugrefneb said...

Ha, thanks.

Bleeding belly ring? Random. I wouldn't say that's the most challenging exam finding ever.

docmama said...

oh, yes, i just did the bleeding belly ring one.
i think the precepting physician on that one was EXTRA scary and not pediatrician-like at all.
all the stupid busy work on this rotation is killing me, and i don't think i'm getting ANY better at this pediatric diagnosis stuff - because apparently in outpatient peds, it only matters what the crazy mom wants you to give her child and not really AT ALL what's truly wrong with the child. i mean, heaven forbid that you make your medical decisions based on EVIDENCE and FACT because then mom might get mad and take her kid to another pediatrician and then WE WOULD LOSE MONEY. can you tell what they're teaching me at the outpatient clinic??

Old MD Girl said...

Oooh.. Maybe since you all have the same cases, you can divvy up the work and get twice as much done. I suppose that wouldn't be allowed (after all, it would make things less competitive). But it was a thought at least.

Dear god I hope they don't have these waiting for me in January.

nosugrefneb said...

Dear god I hope they don't have these waiting for me in 14 years.

docmama said...

ah - if ONLY we could divide and conquer. alas, they establish a special log-in for each person and keep a record of exactly how many "cards" each person has completed for each case. (and each case has between 25 and 35 cards...) it's just a little "big brother"-ish...