Day 117: Block 6 – Reproductive

Today’s inane image of the day:

The Reproductive chapter title from First Aid Organ Systems.

Our third block of the semester was Male and Female Reproductive. Here’s how I thought it went:

Course Overview
This was another 5 week course [just like Renal and GI]. We had a handful of TBLs, weekly quizzes, labs and lectures. Our final grade was determined from our performance on quizzes, TBLs, the Anatomy practical and final NBME exam.

What I loved
White space. Although it seemed like we didn’t have much time off, after looking back at our schedule for this block, it is pretty clear that the couple of mornings/afternoons and an entire Friday off made a difference. Either way, having time off to study the material is always welcome.

Bringing back the TBLs. Some of my colleagues may not agree with me on this, but I definitely thought that they did a pretty good job reviving TBLs and overall, they were positive. I still have my qualms about how they are run and there are definitely some issues that still need to be worked out, however, I still [for the most part] support the concept. [We tried a different approach to the TBL during this current block that I cannot wait to share with you once finals are over!]

We also brought back the peer evaluation component of TBL back. Sadly, I did not receive high marks and a few of the comments brought me back to my discussion of TBL feedback. I obviously have some shortcomings to work on.

What could be improved
Final exam. The exam was another NBME-written one, however, I was pretty frustrated by how the questions didn’t seem to reflect the material that was taught in the course. In fact, there was a basic biochemistry question that somehow snuck into our Reproductive exam. Although the class did well as a whole, I thought that more attention could have been focused on selecting appropriate questions. Either way, this is a relatively easy fix for the future.

Anatomy lab timing. I appreciated the additional Anatomy lab time set aside for us to dissect and learn the structures, however, it wasn’t clear when we were free to leave. I usually dig right into dissections, which helps me pass the time and learn the structures. But there comes a point where my brain feels saturated or there aren’t enough faculty members present to point out structures. And since my gloved-hands are usually covered in formaldehyde and other bits of the cadaver, I don’t usually like to bring any of my study materials into the lab. So, at least to me, there felt like a lot of down time that could have been used for studying.

Final Thoughts
Overall, Dr. Venuti, Dr. Starr and Dr. Yeamans put together a great Reproductive course and I applaud them for their hard work and dedication.