|a reasonable facsimile of my least favorite professor|
At the expense of beating a horse on whom rigor mortis has set in, I shall try one last time, briefly though probably in vain, to explain precisely why the test item about which I complained bothered me so much, though I concede that it's really not as much as a blip on the radar screen of life.
Everyone says it's no big deal, and they're all right. Judge Alex says I'm going to make myself crazy if I cannot deal with something this minor, and he's presumably right, too. So I agree after this to let the matter drop . . .
I've already discussed the arbitrary nature of the test item -- about how it was essentially as though the prof had plucked a card from a deck, looked at it, then had asked us all to guess what card he had picked from the deck, and had applied zero or two points to each test-taker's exam score based on the ability or inability to correctly guess the card.
Further adding to the arbitrary nature is that if one were to look the material up at somewhere such as the Mayo website or the Merck Manual (neither of which, incidentally, are text or even sub-text materials for the course) one would find at least seven reasons for not using the barium enema x-ray as a diagnostic tool in establishing the presence or absence of appendicitis. Incidental also is that the two sources I just cited indicated no priority in criteria for rationale, listed different denominations of reasons than each other, and listed the reasons in different sequences. Professor Donkey Bungholio gave spaces for five reasons, while the Merck Manual gave eight reasons and the Mayo site noted seven reasons. So which two or three criteria for which Professor Donkey Bungholio did not space should one eliminate?
Where I'm having the most difficulty expressing myself clearly is in response to the idea that this is one thing I'll never forget, in terms of content, anway. I'll never remember it because I'll never know it. If this were Q1 or Q2, we'd at least get to hear the professor's rationale for his ridiculous test item and equally ridiculous answer in the test review that follows two class meetings after the exam, usually even for finals unless it's the last final period of a year. But since we're all going our separate ways, we'll never be together to discuss the item with the esteemed [sarcasm font] professor. He teaches 1st year courses and advises for some 3rd -year clerkships, in addition to coordinating seminars. There won't be a time when we as a cohort will be with him to go over this matter.
Nor can we look the material up so that we will know the correct answer as Professor Donkey Bungholio defines it because that material as he apparently wishes for it to be listed does not exist in print.
On the other hand, if a question had been asked (and this question actually was asked) concerning the treatments in preferred order for large kidney stones, and the reasons why each might not be a preferred treatment in a particular scenario, and someone happened to miss that test question but wanted to know what was the correct answer so that he or she wouldn't let the mistake repeat itself in a real-life situation, scads of sources would give an investigator consistent data on the topic, as consensus exists regarding preferred treatment of large kidney stones that refuse to pass on their own and reasons for using or not using each treatment. A person could learn from his or her mistake. Anyone who missed that test item probably looked it up and will likely never ever forget the priority and contraindications for each kidney stone treatment.
With Professor Donkey Bungholio and his theory regarding the use of the barium enema x-ray as a diagnostic tool in detecting the presence or absence of appendicitis, no opportunity exists to learn from not having listed the answers as the professor perceives them to be. I know that approximately six students have them listed on note cards. i saw the evidence of the note cards from a distance, but not close enough to make note of the actual correct answer as defined by Professor Donkey Bungholio.
My point here is that, while missing a test item often is the greatest learning experience a student can have, it was not and is not in this particular case. All we learned is that a professor is a bit of an imbecile and a few of our cohort mates may not meet minimal standards for honesty. There is no silver lining to the cloud of having missed this question.
Furthermore, as noted by Becca, who is very bright but does not yet at this point of her educational career study medicine -- though she has had extensive experience as a patient and has learned from her experience to the degree that she now knows nearly as much as some of the doctors treating her in regard to certain elements of her treatment -- why devote even two exam points to an essentially obsolete procedure that everyone with the most basic of training in the subspecialty knows is obsolete for the purpose of diagnosing appendicitis? Why didn't Professor Donkey Bungholio ask us about blood letting as a treatment for various ailments? It would have been just about as relevant.
Life is inherently unfair. We all know this, and we know that there's no way to make it perfectly fair. But why go out of one's way as a professor to ask an unfair question? Even though I'm acting as though this test item is the rough equivalent of the fictional character Tom Robinson's treatment in To Kill a Mockingbird , for me there's little difference between a 98% and a 100% on any one given exam. For someone else in the class, though, it probably took the person's score from 80% to 78%. That was not a fair thing for Professor Donkey Bungholio to have done.
That's it. I'm finished with the topic. Judge Alex, I intend to do whatever is necessary to avoid being locked up in an asylum for the insane by the age of 30 or any other age.
On the brighter side of things, my own practical exam went as well as it possibly could have gone, both in terms of how I felt about it and in relation to the score. Scores were reported on the "Human Health and Disease" final as well, and I maxed that one out, too, as did three of the other achievers in my study group. Even Matthew pulled a 92%, which was in the top quartile of the cohort scores. I take much pride in Matthew's high scores when he achieves them because I understand just how hard it is that he has to work to get them.
Matthew and I are leaving to go home tomorrow, but my mom doesn't want us to make the entire trip in one day since we're driving in separate cars and can't do anything to keep each other awake. We're driving as far as Monterey, where we will meet up with friends for the evening. We'll stay at a hotel and have a bit of frivolity, then will drive the remainder of the way home on Saturday.
I need a vacation in the worst way. I'm not sure I could have stood another week of medical school. I had originally planned to teach high school math for summer school, but gave up the opportunity in favor of helping my aunt with her babies.
i'm incredibly happy I made that decision. There will be sufficient childcare coverage that I could take a trip to Catalina or some similar diversion if I really wanted to, which would not have been a possibility had I been teaching. I'm not sure I'll want to go anywhere, though. Babies are the most fantastic creatures on the planet, and I'm so very grateful that my aunt and uncle don't mind sharing their children with me.