Big Pimpin’

Yesterday I told you about the move to a pass-fail system. Regrettably, the change does nothing to ameliorate the other major stressor of being on the wards – pimping.

Pimping is an old method of Socratic-teaching-gone-wrong where a senior doctor instills his or her worldly knowledge in you by asking question after question until you can no longer answer, then humiliates you by either explaining the answer like you are a toddler or by requiring you to look it up and present the topic the next day. Or hour, if life really sucks. Continue reading

A Strong Assessment

One of the coolest things about going to school here is that we are constantly supported, advised, and mentored by faculty interested in our medical education. The experience is so extensive here that it sometimes verges on too much. For instance, here are the titles of the people involved under the general category of “advisors” to first-year students:  Continue reading

The College Cup! (About That Noncompetitive Thing…)

Part of my school’s central mission in educating medical students is to keep its students well. We have built-in retreats, access to mental health resources, and a variety of clubs designed specifically to promote wellness. The capstone of the program is this: once a year, the entire school comes together to compete in an almost-two day competition called College Cup. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re divided into four “colleges,” Hogwarts-style, primarily for the purpose of small group learning and logistics. But during College Cup, people don their colors, swag out with Thunderstix and tanks and masks (?) and Braveheart-style body paint, and yell themselves hoarse. Continue reading

The Cup Of Shame

My dad taught me to play chess when I was seven or eight. We played intermittently from that day until I left for college ten years later.

(There’s a medical school-related part to this, chill out.)

I learned the game easily enough and began developing a strategy. But for four years, I never won. Not once. Not when I first learned the game at eight and didn’t know how to pack my own lunch. Not when I was failing long division at age nine. And not when I was ten and learning how to find the value of x in 2x+2=4. Continue reading