You Either Have IT or You Don't...?

Today is my 10th day of medical school. So far I have had over 40 hours of lecture and many more hours of studying, and it is just the beginning... Earlier this week we had a lecture given by a guest speaker, Dr. Hauser (Asst Prof, Med and Palliative Care at Northwestern University). The topic was Ethics in Clinical Care and it was perhaps the most interesting and enjoyable hours of my medical school beginning.  

Yet of the over 400 students in my first term class the majority missed what Dr. Hauser had to share. Now having four hours of lecture every day, and often small group or lab lectures beforehand can be tiresome so it is understandable that some of my classmates would leave. (Disclaimer: I myself missed class yesterday for the first time. I opted to nap during biochem and watch the lectures later via Angel.)  However it was not just a few souls, from the looks of the lecture hall about 2/3 of the class did leave, 1/3 left before bioethics even began. In their defense we are just starting to figure our this med school thing and it seems that we must study and prepare for the next day and ending at 5pm does not leave a lot of time to do so... Maybe the thought of taking an extra hour was too tempting to pass up.... but still it was a little disheartening to see that my future colleagues really did not want to hear about Palliative Care or the ethics of medicine. 

For those students that did stay many were engaged in the lecture and I believe most thought it worth their time. But I've been thinking about this and it came to mind again as I was reading over several recent articles in the New York Times dealing with the subjects of bedside manner and the teachability of ethics and compassion. Check them out yourself and let me know what you think...

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