My patho professor is a very interesting person. Apart from the fact that in every lecture/seminar/lab we have with her she goes over her time by about two hours , she also has a tendency to talk about deadly diseases which both herself and former acquaintances have had. In case you were wondering, most of those acquaintances died of the afore mentioned diseases, occasionally someone lives, but not often. This usually causes a total teary eyed breakdown on the behalf of the professor near the end of class. At first we wanted to comfort her, but now everyone in the group has become immune to tiny old women crying- granted she brings it on herself. Right now we're averaging about three deaths per class most are repeats, but we get to hear the story anyway.
During lectures if you're not taking notes, or if you happen to take a short break from taking notes she will look at you and say incredulously, "Did you got?" To which most people would reply, "yes." She continues on giving you this beady eyed stare, "why you not write!?!" At this point you're thinking because I already know it lady, but obviously you can't say that because she's the all powerful. She takes this pause as you think it through as you having no idea what's going on so she says, "You write!" In defeat you pick up your pen and start to copy some bit of common knowledge which is on the board only to have her change the slide as soon as you start to do so.
And heaven forbid you like to follow her in the book or check something she's saying. I think I mentioned before about what happened to one guy who did that- he was thrown out of lecture for, "bringing a cello to an orchestra concert." Don't ask...
So the reason that I brought this topic up is that as a medical student doing other activities apart from going to class and passing tests is important. In the United States and in other countries participating in research and doing community service is the basis for medical education. In fact, most residency programs want to see that you were active outside of class. One of my classmates and myself are members of a pediatric club which is one such organization that does research and community service. This coming Monday we are invited to go to an event called Teddy Bear Hospital, where kids from a local school bring in stuffed animals and we basically play doctor with them to help them be less afraid of going to the pediatrician. The deans office has issued both of us official excuses so we can miss class.
Thinking that this benefits not only the kids but us as well, my friend and decided to speak to the professors to tell them we wouldn't be there on Monday. The first professor who we have four hours of lecture with had no problem with it and offered to give us the power points so we didn't miss what we needed to know.
The second professor (yours truly) who we have only a forty-five minute lab with which covers only two lab slides (unlike the usual seven or eight) was mortally offended that we would even ask. The conversation went something like this, "what you think of a doctor who went off to do their own activities when you have an appointment." My response, "the doctor wouldn't have made the appointment if he/she was busy." She continued on briskly after I explained we have an excuse saying, "I do not agree with this! You have class."Also added in the conversation somewhere, was that no one would want to see us as doctors because we put our personal gains ahead of our patients- which made both of us chuckle.
I can understand her response, but it's not like I was asking to go on vacation! I was asking to go do community service. On top of that we have three absences we can use anytime (neither of us have missed a class yet), and this doesn't even count as one because the deans office has written excuses for us! I think in most places trying to get out of class (when you're allowed to not come anyway) to do something to help people or further your education would be easily accepted and the professor would be happy to help you make up any information you might have missed- but not here.
To sum this story up, my friend and I are both still going to the Teddy Bear Hospital. We're not going to let an old professor stop us from doing community service just because there is a forty-five minute class with her smack in the middle of the time we'll be there. I'd like to thank her though, for reminding me of the type of doctor that I DO NOT want to become.