Thursday, November 11, 2010

Odd but true

It is illegal to perform a vasectomy in Poland.

Cue "Every Sperm is Sacred".

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I'm in weird position at my school in that I do not have to take Gross Anatomy due to my previous courses from GdaƄsk. Well, I don't have to take the course, nor the school exams, but I am responsible for taking the NBME exam (National Board of Medical Examiners) with the rest of the class and have therefore chosen to attend classes and labs as a way to review for this exam. And this is what puts me in a weird position.

Long story short is that I'm teaching half of the lab classes. I'm running it much like I had anatomy in Gdansk, asking everyone questions and pointing out notable structures. Several of the students have joked that I should get a salary because I'm doing more than many of the assistants. I try not to step on the assistant's toes. When they want to teach, I step back and let others move up partly out of respect and partly because some of them drive me flipping nuts! However, when something is unclear to the rest of the students, which is often, I will ask questions to clarify answers. I am usually respectful and even-tempered especially when it comes to working with assistants and professors, but I almost lost it today.

In order to be a good teacher you must LISTEN! Big Baldy, we'll call him, can actually give good informative if not slightly off-topic lectures that most of the class benefits from. He cannot, however, answer a single g.d. question and when he asks a student a question, he rarely understands the answer and will say you are wrong--even if you are right. A large group of us were working together to identify a part of a bone today. We'd offered many answers and were told they were all wrong. We were utterly stumped for a good five minutes until Big Baldy finally tells us what it was...which is what we'd been saying all along. I pulled him aside and said in my most polite way, "Sir, we have given this answer at least 5 times and were told that we are wrong. Why is it suddenly correct?" He shrugged me off and gave me a BS answer.

His partner today received the brunt of my wrath, unfortunately for her. She'd asked us again about a part of a bone, stating that it is a specific name...a name which is not in any of our atlases, textbooks, or recommended resources for the class but is found in the Polish atlas. I'd had it. How can you possibly expect to test us on names of structures that are not provided to us in lecture, are not in the recommended textbooks, and are not in the English atlases? I continued that if something like this were on an exam, it would be worth going to the professor and/or the dean with it. The English division professors need to know what our textbooks and atlases name things if they expect to test us. I understand her point that the structure is important, which it is, and our text states the importance without naming the different parts, parts that are 2mm away from each other. I was not mean, but I was short and very serious which flustered her more than I'd anticipated, but oh well. The funny part is that I won't be tested by the department, so if it's on a test, I won't even know.

Taking a deep breath now.