Monday, February 25, 2008

Jumping through hoops

Being a medical student is not all sweetness and light. It's hard work most of the time, although I think most of us adjust to the level of work required and consider it normal. When I lived with non-medics, my work-life balance was just set at a completely different level. I went to lectures everyday, all day, because that's how it was. One ex-housemate attended just 4 hours a week, because that's how it was for her. Neither was wrong or right, it was what it was.

I accept, nay, embrace, all this. Medicine is hard, and I didn't walk into with my eyes shut, expecting an easy ride, or even a 'normal' student experience. But I am beginning to have some serious issues with the level of rubbish we are expected to do on top of our medical education. The stupid hoop-jumping for the sake of it stuff.

Take this term for instance. It's our final block before graduation, leading up to our last set of exams. We're trying to consolidate and revise everything useful from the last 4 and a half years - and its hard work. So the Medschool decides to set a couple of pointless and ridiculous projects just to add to the fun in our lives.

Firstly it was the patient information leaflet project. As in, critique and rewrite one. Yes, because that will be an important part of our role as doctors, something we should definitely know how to do. Because it's not like the NHS spends a considerable amount of money of paying people to do this stuff. The Medschool's argument is that we need to understand how to communicate to patients. Eh? Have we not just spent 4 years having sodding communication skills lectures and practicals? Surely the obligatory patient counselling stations we have in every single OSCE will have shown up the idiots who have no people skills? No?

(There is a conspiracy theory doing the rounds: any good leaflets are passed on the NHS to be used in the real world. I wouldn't put it past the Medschool, I really wouldn't.)
And now we have an ethics project to complete. In order to prove that we take notice of the world around us and understand ethical issues in the media, we have to summarise 25 articles (at least 15 from broadsheets) to show that we read the papers. It is a pointless exercise. All of mine have come from my once-weekly perusal of the Sunday Times, supplemented by BMJ News articles. Its taken me all afternoon to do the summaries for 5 of them. A whole afternoon when I could be learning something useful, say, how to read an ECG.

I have endured the hoop-jumping up until now, but now I'm reaching the end of my patience. I want - need - to learn medicine, not write summaries of newspaper articles. I feel like throwing the bloody hoop back.

Gratuitous pretty countryside picture taken on my lovely walk last weekend with Zombie. You'd never believe we were only 30 minutes from the centre of Birmingham... Alright, we were just into Worcestershire - oh yeah, I'm moving to the country in the summer!


Marysienka said...

oh man! this is ridiculous! Honestly you have enough to learn already, this leaflet thing is so stupid... This is not highschool!

ditzydoctor said...

that is a lovely photo!!! i can't believe you've taken that ;) was it an SLR you used? :D

that hoop jumping medical school has is UNBELIEVABLE. i'm thankful my school doesn't have so much of it, but still.

all the best! :)

Anna said...

Seems the Medschool has yet to realise we are adults who are about to become working professionals and not actually in school anymore. Sigh.

Anna said...

My camera is a no frills canon digital. I was just lucky with the perfect light!