Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dr. B

Baffling. Simply baffling. That is the only word I can come up with to describe Dr. B. Here, let me try to recreate the first five to ten minutes of our lecture hour with him last week.

Dr. B (arriving 10 minutes late, looking like he just rolled out of bed): "Good morning."

Class: "Good morning."

Dr. B (now standing in front of the class): "Today I will be talking about -- Yes?"

Student 1 (lowers his hand): "Excuse me, Dr. B. I'm sorry to interrupt, but, Do you have a PowerPoint presentation to go along with your lecture? We don't seem to have any materials for your lecture this morning."

Dr. B (rocking back a bit and then taking two steps back): "Well, no. . . Everything you need to know is in your textbook."

(Grumbling throughout the lecture hall.)

Student 2 (raising her hand): "Dr. B?"

Dr. B (pointing to Student 2): "Yes?"

Student 2 (lowers her hand): "Dr. B, do you have a list of objectives for us -- something we can use to help guide our study?"

Dr. B (giggles): "Don't worry, everything you need to know is in your textbook."

(More grumbling throughout the lecture hall. Several students pack up and leave.)

Dr. B (addressing the whole class): "Look, everything you need to know is in the textbook -- the way I see it, Why should I make a PowerPoint or list of objectives when the material is already in your book?"

(Unbelievable! No one can believe what they just heard.)

Student 3 (raising his hand): "Dr. B?"

Dr. B (pointing to Student 3): "Yes?"

Student 3 (lowers his hand): "Dr. B, could you at least tell us what chapters in the book we should read for your material."

Dr. B (giggles, stumbles to and leans on the lectern): "You guys can look it up. It's right there in your textbook. Everything I'm going to say to you this morning is in your textbook."

(More grumbling from the class. Several more students leave.)

I don't think I have to continue any further. As you can imagine, the rest of the hour was brutal to sit through. How is it possible that this man was allowed to teach -- to medical students? What role did he see himself playing in our educations if "the information was already in the book" and all we needed to do was read?

I am becoming more and more concerned about the quality of my medical education. The school year started off great with Dr. A, and I believe we will have her again throughout the rest of the school year. However, Dr. A is turning out to be the exception and not the rule. Granted, Dr. B anchors the opposite end of the teaching scale, but there are not enough instructors on Dr. A's side of the scale. I don't think I'm learning what I need to know from the majority of my instructors.

If all I have to do is read my textbooks, then what is the point of medical school?


stinky said...

Alas there are more Dr. B's than Dr. A's at our school.

It's frustrating. You should let them know how you think when it comes time for evaluation.

Keep a sense of humor about you if you can. The second year is not a pleasant experience at our school.

DC Med Student said...

You're right, stinky. A sense of humor is definitely needed. I'm actually going to write about that in the next upcoming posts. That's right, Dr. C is waiting in the wings and will be making an appearance probably over the weekend.

Stinky, please tell me the clinical years are better!

stinky said...

I wish I could tell you the clinical years are better but I don't know yet, as I'm taking a 'break' from school and will be back next year.

Judging by your last post though, it seems as if you will be just fine. Keep up the good work. I'm pulling from you from the depths of cyberspace.

DC Med Student said...

Thanks, stinky. I hope you're having some fun during your 'break'.

Not My Second Opinion said...

The problem as I see it is that smart people don't make good teachers. A lot of doctors/professors are "smart" people who can read a textbook or a journal article and they can analyze and recall that information. They have forgotten how difficult it was at the beginning of the game and how vital it is to create a foundation for good learning.

Good luck to you! :) I have a few lectures a week; hopefully I will have more Dr. A's than Bs.

DC Med Student said...

This is true. I would say that all of our professors are smart. Some just have a more difficult time of articulating their thought process. The best professors I've had tell us how to think about the pathogenesis during lectures. They explain it in a step by step fashion (A then B then C. . .) without any leaps or detours (A then X then C then Q. . .). But if you can get a professor one-on-one, you realize that they really know their stuff AND have the ability to explain it. Some just don't do well in front of a crowd.

Good luck to you, too!