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(   Hey doctor where's my heart? I don't know I failed basic anatomy   ( divider line
    More: Scary  
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12212 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 May 2006 at 4:31 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

56 Comments     (+0 »)

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2006-05-06 03:41:43 PM  
Sounds like Dr. House needs to go to Oz and bust some heads with that cane of his.
2006-05-06 04:35:48 PM  
The implication for what level of knowledgability US doctors are likely to have based on the comparitive longivity statistics makes that article extra frighting for the Americans among us...
2006-05-06 04:36:23 PM
The red thing is connected to the... blue thing, the blue thing is connected to my... wrist watch... uh oh
2006-05-06 04:38:46 PM  
Note to self: Don't get sick.
2006-05-06 04:41:17 PM  
Hey... did you go to Hollywood Upstairs Medical College, too?
2006-05-06 04:42:25 PM  
Life expectancy and this issue has less relation than you might think. The US is on the low side mostly because of our crappy preventive care and atrocious diet, not because of our emergency care (which is more or less the best on the planet.)
2006-05-06 04:42:53 PM  
FINAL year students thought the heart was the liver? That's scary. I'm pretty sure my 12 year old brother could tell the difference between a heart and a liver.
2006-05-06 04:43:07 PM  
Senior doctors claim teaching hours for anatomy have been slashed by 80 per cent in some medical schools to make way for "touchy-feely" subjects such as "cultural sensitivity", communication and ethics.

So they know how to deal with people from different cultures, but confuse the heart with the liver? Great!

I find it a bit disconcerting that they have to teach a doctor ethics though. Don't they have the Hippocratic Oath for that?
2006-05-06 04:43:09 PM  
Apparently failing anatomy would be a step above the guys who never take it in the first place, so they can get an extra helping of Cultural Sensitivity and Bedside Manner in the 21st century.
2006-05-06 04:44:04 PM  
Outsourcing is the answer!

2006-05-06 04:46:36 PM  
Remind me to not get sick if I visit Australia. And since Australia is full of more things that can kill you, spiders, sharks, crocs, jellyfish, you name it, staying healthy is going to be difficult.
2006-05-06 04:48:11 PM  
Our gross anatomy course was half of one semester, but Jeez Louise, I can tell the difference between the liver and heart!

And as for teaching anatomy through virtual cadavers and MRI's, that's a load of bullshiat. That is NO substitute for putting your hands on/in a person and dissecting the structures. It may be ok if you're going into psychiatry, but for the rest of us (especially surgeons and pathologists), it's woefully inadequate.

2006-05-06 04:50:40 PM  

Life expectancy and this issue has less relation than you might think. The US is on the low side mostly because of our crappy preventive care and atrocious diet, not because of our emergency care (which is more or less the best on the planet.)

I wasn't arguing that the correlation was directly and solely attributable to poorly trained doctors, although it seems obvious that it must play a significant role. The Australian diet is not terribly different from the American one, after all. Australia is significantly more white, and a large portion of its immigrants are Asian, rather than of African or hispanic heritage, and racial/genetic life expectancy differences may play a role as well, of course. I was merely putting forward the information as food for thought.

With regard to your assertion that US emergency care is the best on the planet, I've seen statistics in the past that indicate that it's quite good, but comparable to most other western nations. (Measured by survival rate by condition). Google has failed me in re-locating these statistics, but perhaps someone else might know where to find them.
2006-05-06 04:53:43 PM  
Kenny. Kenny.

There you are. The operation was a success. But...we accidentally replaced your heart with a baked potato. You have about 5 seconds to live...


Ewwwww! They killed Kenny. You bastards!
2006-05-06 04:56:49 PM
2006-05-06 05:02:19 PM  
Get rid of dumbass biochemistry. Does anybody ever need to know the Krebs cycle? NO!! Does any doctor need to know the structure of vitamin B12? NO!!!! But year in and year out they pound that crap into the heads of medical students and make them regurgitate on to a test booklet for no reason. No touchy feely crap either. You need real world cases and problem solving ability like the MBAs get.

Vitamin B12 structure:

Oh look, you need cyanide and cobalt in your diet. Try reproducing that from memory on a blank piece of paper for no good reason and then you'll know what medical school is like. Assholes.
2006-05-06 05:02:35 PM  
Question: What do they call the guy who graduated last in medical school?

Answer: Doctor.

What about the Hungry Hungry Hippocratic oath?
2006-05-06 05:04:39 PM

Unavailable for comment
2006-05-06 05:04:48 PM

Dum da da da da da da da da Shiny Scalpel, Dum da da da da da da da da Gonna slice him up
2006-05-06 05:11:39 PM  
zucchinisorcerer - besides what was mentioned, our average life span in America is hurt because we don't have socialized health care. Its really simple free health care = more people treated.
2006-05-06 05:13:07 PM  
Gross anatomy is being de-emphasized in medical schools. The thought is that many (if not most) physicians will not need comprehensive, detailed knowledge of anatomy, and the time saved by not teaching anatomy as extensively can be used to teach other subjects.

From the article:

"Senior doctors claim teaching hours for anatomy have been slashed by 80 per cent in some medical schools to make way for "touchy-feely" subjects such as "cultural sensitivity", communication and ethics. The time devoted to other basic sciences - including biochemistry, physiology and pathology - has also been reduced."

Snotty, but probably true. In the 1980s and 1990s there was somewhat of a fad to admit "nontraditional" students to medical school. Apparently, somebody thought that there were too many pointy-headed science nerds, and that medical schools needed more diversity.

This resulted in English majors and 40 year old high school science teachers with a midlife crisis being admitted to medical schools. Many of them couldn't handle the first semester course material - biochemistry, physiology, etc. - that was usually a simple rehash for the nerds. The aspects of medical practice in which the "nontraditional students" were supposed to excel - empathy, life experience, cultural sensitivity - were important for clinical practice, but could not substitute for practical scientific knowledge. Everybody wants a competent, compassionate doctor. I wouldn't mind being treated by a competent surgeon who is a total jerkwad as much as being treated by a wonderfully empathetic and caring surgeon who is a total hack.

This isn't a rant or trollbait. Not every nontrad struggled, and there were *gasp* Caucasian or Asian science majors who can't handle medical school. I just feel sorry for the med students on the 7 or 8 year track who usually get a social promotion when the dean is tired of seeing their names on his desk at the end of every academic year.

Having said that, the breadth and depth of medical science has expanded so much that one could make the case for expanding the length of medical school beyond the traditional four year postgraduate period anyway.

/know what they call the person who graduates from medical school at the bottom of the rank list?
2006-05-06 05:17:22 PM  
Those dirty liberals!
2006-05-06 05:37:29 PM  
Ahh, the great nation of Hong Kong!
2006-05-06 05:37:39 PM  
This has to be the Americans' fault somehow. Their constant dumbing-down of everything is bleeding out to other nations! THat has to be it!
2006-05-06 06:18:37 PM  
"We will be turning out Dr Deaths out of our own medical schools," he said. "They (doctors) won't be competent to manage patients ... it's just appalling.

"It's part of the new educational dictums - 'don't put any stress on them (students) ... it doesn't matter if they don't know anything'."

This is kind of unrelated, but....I am a high school teacher and I have noticed that we have started a trend toward making sure not many students are "burdened" with homework and stress from large projects and such. This is very farking frustrating to teach in a district where we offer math classes that get to how students "feel" and write about the answer, rather than know the 2+2=4. Ridiculous.

Kids nowadays also expect C level work to be an A. If they don't get it, parents complain to the principal/school board and they usually err on the side of "Let's not get sued." and push the teacher toward the higher grade.

/Not comparing teaching to medicine, but thought it was a good place for my rant.
2006-05-06 06:26:40 PM  
Paging Dr. Morgenstern
2006-05-06 06:30:31 PM  
As far as anatomy is concerned--there is no substitute for the real thing. Glad my school still does it the old fashioned way and isn't trying to save a few bucks by going with the "virtual" anatomy computer programs. A decent part of learning where structures are lies in digging around for them.

/second year med student
2006-05-06 06:32:20 PM  
Paging Dr. Rosenrose.....Dr. Rosenpenis

/Where the hell's the record's room?
2006-05-06 06:38:42 PM  
"Alright Meg, let's take a look at that bergina."

2006-05-06 06:55:43 PM  
Looks okay to me!
2006-05-06 07:06:48 PM  
Zuchinisorceror, the discrepancy is due to many other factors, such as diet, genetics, access to medical care, lack of health insurance, etc. as discussed above. The knowledge (or lack thereof) of physicians in the US plays a superbly minor role.

Despite the fact that the healthcare system itself is broken and that access is limited and far too expensive, the actual care itself is top-notch. Doctors trained in the US have the most rigorous training schedule in the world (yes, the entire world, not just western countries), with licensing and board certification exams that ensure that current physicians are highly skilled.

We train far more hours, with higher patient loads, and with the latest, cutting edge techniques for a minimum of 7 years (inc. medical school) and as many as 11 years for certain specialties, before we are considered competent, fully-trained doctors. Foreign medical graduates apply in the thousands and fight tooth-and-nail to be able to train in the US, despite the fact that they have to do all their residency training all over again in the US to ensure that they are fully competent. Still, there is no shortage. Why? Because the entire world looks at us as the best and brightest, and they want to be able to learn the advanced techniques that we pioneer and practice daily so they can often take the knowledge back to their own countries and improve their programs.

It is no coincidence that when dignitaries, high government officials, royal families, etc. get really sick or need surgeries they come to the US for treatment. It's no coincidence that with all their money and political power they will place their lives only in the hands of our doctors.

It's easy to complain and bash the US because we do many things wrong, but medicine is one thing that we not only do right, but we do the best.
2006-05-06 07:10:00 PM  
Pic of Kenny from South Park with a baked potato instead of a heart in 5...4...3...2...
2006-05-06 07:10:30 PM  
schaf48: Not comparing teaching to medicine, but thought it was a good place for my rant.

A large part of medicine *is* teaching.

And the article demonstrates the logical extension of what you are ranting about, even at the highest levels of education.

"Don't you want to scrub in for this case?"

"Nope. It's scheduled to start at 12:30. I'm post-call so I *have* to leave at noon. Tell me how it turned out, OK? Seeyabye."
2006-05-06 08:00:47 PM  
...but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

/Smacks submitter with a fish
2006-05-06 08:15:15 PM  
0Seeker0: snip

Rock On, good sir.
2006-05-06 08:54:01 PM  
One of the leading research scientists at our university also teaches immunology to the first year med school students. During his class one student actually asked "What's an enzyme?" He freaked out and kicked the kid out of the class.

I don't know how you pass the MCAT without knowing what an enzyme is, but hey, whatever. After doing undergrad with a lot of the people currenly in medschool, I've suddenly developed an immense fear of doctors.
2006-05-06 09:02:44 PM  

I just finished my student teaching placements. In every single school I had to deal with kids who do zero work and still complain about their marks. Even better, no more late assignments because the Ontario govt decided that taking marks off is unfair to the child. Now they can hand it in whenever they want. It's a stupid system that focuses waaaaaaaaaay too much on "feelings" and needs to be rehauled.
2006-05-06 09:54:07 PM

I've seen a lot of persistent vegetative states, and I have to say, that doesn't look like a persistent vegetative state to me.
2006-05-06 09:59:45 PM  
I blame Bush
2006-05-06 10:12:40 PM  
I don't know I failed basic anatomy

Looks like they failed basic English as well.
2006-05-06 10:16:54 PM  

WTF? I feel sorry for you man.....That sucks...what you said in your whole post is true. I am actually getting out of teaching after next year. What sucks is that I used to be able to answer the question "Why did you become a teacher?" Now I'm not so sure....
2006-05-06 10:34:21 PM  
i've had more touchy-feely crap than i care to talk about in med school. i'm done, and i can look back and honestly say that ethics crap is a waste of time. we always posed problems, and never came up with answers b/c there is always a gray area.
i mean do we really need to have someone explain ethics to you? are people that stupid? christ give us some credit. we actually had a priest and a rabbi come in and lecture us.
all you need to nice all the time and extra sensitive when appropriate, and consult the hospital ethics committee on the crazy stuff.
maybe if i had had less of the bs, i could remember the diff between an obturator sign and a psoas sign w/o having to look it up.
2006-05-06 11:06:39 PM  

Yeah, right now my resume goes on about how "as a female science teacher, I want to be a role model..." but the thing is, how can I function in a system I don't believe in? I'm hoping to do a few years and then get into a specialized school...

So you're leaving teaching completely? How many years did you last?
2006-05-06 11:21:17 PM  
Ever read One Hundred Years of Solitude?

There was a scene where a character asks a doctor where his heart is, and he traces in iodine around where the heart is.

Shortly afterward the character goes to shoot himself there and the bullet passes through the mark and through his body without touching a single organ.

The doctor, knowing what he would do purposely drew the mark in a place where no organs could be hurt.

Thats a damn good doctor, or a twisted one, not sure...
2006-05-06 11:28:39 PM  
I love that book!
2006-05-06 11:44:20 PM  
I lasted (or will last) 6 years. It sucks thinking about leaving, but with lots of the "touchy-feely" crap---thanks GASYOUUP---I am going to leave.
Another story: A district in the state I teach told a teacher in their district after having caught 5 or 6 kids' obvious plagerized papers to give the kids 50% credit for "at least trying to complete the paper." WTFark? That teacher said no, the district gave the kids the grade (probably after many biatching parents) and others like her (I think there were about 4 or 5, maybe more) that resigned that year. I don't doubt that more of that shiat is in the years to come. I wish you the best in what you do, keep your head up and do the best you can with the students that you have.
2006-05-07 12:03:04 AM  
Oh look, you need cyanide and cobalt in your diet. Try reproducing that from memory on a blank piece of paper for no good reason and then you'll know what medical school is like.

Cyanocobalamin (a cyanide molecule attached to a cobalamin) is the form most often found in supplements and fortified foods because it is the most stable form of B12. The cyanide in cyanocobalamin is in amounts small enough not to be harmful for everyone except possibly those with cyanide metabolism defects (see the Safety section of Sources of B12 for Vegans and the Cyanide Metabolism Defects section of People Who Should Not Take the Cyanocobalamin Form of B12 for more information). Most people readily convert cyanocobalamin into one of the B12 coenzymes.


Umm.. yes they are, but that's a different discussion ;)
2006-05-07 12:06:19 AM  
Mr. Simpson? Do you feel your brain getting damaged?

/hi everybody...
2006-05-07 12:28:59 AM  
I call shenanigans. There is no way senior students would say "liver" when a guy is pointing to the heart. No possible way. This story is designed to stir emotion. Badly.

I agree wholeheartedly with OscarTamerz. While the unspoken guide in doctoral training is to overwhelm the students with useless scientific fact to weed out the students who will eventually fail or become bad doctors, the result is that there is far too much time and effort spent on trivial subjects that never ever come into play in a doctor's day to day procedures and a dearth of real knowledge being passed on to the next generation of doctors.

/too much OJT
//don't get in a car wreck in early July
2006-05-07 01:22:07 AM  
I went to medical school in the United States (University of Kansas). Human anatomy was a very important subject. We spent an entire year on it in our first year. During our surgery rotations, we were expected to be able to identify every artery, nerve, ligament, organ, etc. at the attending surgeon's insistent questioning. We referred to this level of questioning "pimping" which was quite accurate, given the conversations I have had with former prostitutes. But seriously, this problem with inadequate anatomy knowledge is entirely overblown. Medical schools take this subject very seriously. I only graduated 11 years ago. I doubt things have changed that much in that little time.
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