A bump along the road to summer

Today’s inane image of the day:

Over Memorial Day weekend, Mike and I made our way to Western Michigan to South Haven for a quick day visit. Here’s the scene at the beach… even though it was rainy earlier and the water was chilly, there were still a number of dedicated beach-goers!

Although May 25th was our last official day of classes, sadly it wasn’t quite my last day. Our Art and Practice of Medicine [APM] course only had two graded items for the entire year — both of which were exams that took place during our last two weeks of classes. The requirement for passing was a 75% on our written exam and 85% on the OSCE — although I passed the written portion, the OSCE didn’t go as well. As with all of our other courses, I had to remediate the exam.

On the upside, of the six or so exams we had to take, this was the most predictable one — there is a set format and a very specific number of tests to memorize. Furthermore, I failed on two accounts: 1.) I didn’t ask enough open ended questions and 2.) I didn’t include enough detail in my write-up [honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking when I was doing it — looking back at how sparsely filled-in each section was, I guess I had temporary amnesia]. Basically, I had a pretty good idea of what I had to fix and could do them relatively easily.

On the downside, I was extremely disappointed in myself and went as far as to question my ability to become a physician [yes, I know that this was taking it too far, but hey try failing something like this and see how it makes you feel!]. All of the other courses require at least some rote memorization [something I really do not enjoy doing] and I could always blame insufficiencies on my laziness to memorize certain things. But this course is essentially the heart of medicine; we interview patients and perform physical examinations to lead us to reasonable differential diagnoses. Not doing well in this course could translate into not “being good at medicine.”

This discussion leads me to the question of whether certain skills and traits can really be taught through the medical curriculum. Can we be taught empathy and compassion? Can we be taught caring behavior? Or are we just shown what these things look like and through enough practice, we are expected to mimic it? Surely the admissions process disqualifies applicants who do not meet these criteria, but it’s not a perfect process so it makes sense that certain humanistic aspects of medicine need to be covered during medical training. These are interesting questions that I often ponder during our APM and Medical Humanities [MH] courses [with no definite conclusion].

Anyway… with all of this being said, I passed my exam [apparently with flying colors] and officially started summer as of Friday. Yay!

Look forward to a review of our Respiratory block, what I’m doing this summer and the exciting news I wanted to share with all of you!

7 thoughts on “A bump along the road to summer

  • June 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm
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    will this remediation show up on your permanent record/transcript?

  • June 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm
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    Congratulations! Good job! enjoy your summer!!!

  • June 10, 2012 at 7:57 pm
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    Remediating examinations does not appear on your permanent record/transcript. However, if you fail your remediation exam, then you will need to re-take the entire course and that will be on your record.

  • June 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm
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    Hi Amanda, Great blog! You are obviously a really bright student. I know you’ve had to do some re-mediation of course work at OU. Do you feel there is a flaw with the curriculum at OU? You seem way too smart to have to re-mediate any work, especially a clinical diagnosis type write up. Does OU “fail” a certain amount of students per block? Thanks for the input! Hope you are enjoying the summer.

  • June 10, 2012 at 9:34 pm
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    Thank you for your comment [and compliments]!

    To answer the second question – no, OUWB doesn’t fail a certain number of students per block [that’s one of the best parts of the curriculum… we’re not all fighting one another to pass a course].

    To answer the first question – I have a lot of thoughts on the curriculum and your comment provided the perfect opportunity to write an entry about it. Sorry to make you wait a bit longer, but look out for a post directly responding to your comment!

  • June 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm
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    Thanks for the follow up entry to my question.

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