Monday, April 19, 2010

Taking Oaths

I thought that the only oath I'd be taking in med school is the Hippocratic oath. But, in more than one rotation, I've had to sign papers that certified that I really did read the reading I was assigned or watched the video I was assigned. It's frustrating on two levels. One is that I find oaths in general kind of useless. If someone is going to do something wrong or illegal, they're not going to have much of a problem lying about it. What's more upsetting though is the paternalistic approach that medical schools have towards their students. If there is a reading or video that is recommended, it should be up to me to decide whether I think it's useful to my education. If I don't find it useful, actually doing the assignment will only waste my time. I believe that we're mature enough to decide what the best way for us to study is. I've had hundreds of exams and know pretty well what works for me. The school shouldn't care (and shouldn't make me sign oaths) that I didn't do a particular assignment.

Of course, the administrators don't really remember being students, so they've implemented things like quizzes that ask questions about topics that were in the readings, but not exactly important to clinical practice or (rumor has it) actually make sure that you've clicked on and watched the entire 26 minutes and 13 seconds of the video that is posted on line. This is what happens when you lose sight of priorities... so, if you'll excuse me, I've got to play another video at 2X speed with the sound muted in the background.


  1. Dude, make sure you at least watch the schizophrenia video. The re-enactment from a first-person perspective of what it's like to be a paranoid schizophrenic is one of the most messed up videos I've seen in a while! "A Beautiful Mind" has got nothing on it.

    Other than that, I totally agree with you. We are in good company on this one, from my personal observations during the clerkship.

  2. Huh, cool. Thanks for letting me know. Otherwise the psych rotation has been pretty damn awesome.

  3. Agreed. Psychiatry is such a cool patient population (and not a bad lifestyle or research segue). It's still among my top two.