2 Questions From Passing Course - Help!

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by mrlucky0, 05.20.14.

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  1. mrlucky0

    mrlucky0 5+ Year Member

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    So I'm currently two questions from passing Neuroscience. I am currently in a dispute with the department chair, arguing that my response should be accepted. One of the questions:

    1. Which location is "typically" associated with equilibrium.
    a. midbrain
    b. pons
    c. medulla

    I answered pons. The response they were looking for was medulla. Why? "Because that was the information presented in the lecture slide (See attachment). Ask any neuroanatomist and that's what they will tell you."

    Wouldn't cerebellum have been the best choice if available? Anyways, I reasoned that since the vestibular nuclei w/ cerebellar connections are located in the pons, the pons should have major associations with equilibrium. This question appeared on the 1st exam of the course - an exam I was making up due to absence at the end of the course. According to my prof. I wasn't supposed to be aware of information presented later in the course. That's ridiculous.

    I find the professors unwillingness to accept my response is unfair. I am planning to take this matter to the dean of the university. Unfortunately I am not a great speaker. What compelling arguments can I make for my case, if any?
     
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  3. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    No. If you think BP, breathing, GI motility and ingestion are less like "equilibrium" than eye movement, posture, REM sleep and facial expression, then idk what to tell you.
     
  4. StIGMA

    StIGMA Doctor Professor 7+ Year Member

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    Depends how you define equilibrium- do you mean homeostasis (body functions) or balance (cerebellar)? That is basically what you are arguing over. Hope you can figure it out with the professor before engaging any higher authority.
     
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  5. jjbodean

    jjbodean 5+ Year Member

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    so, thats one question. let's say you get that one. you're still one question away from passing. then what?
     
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  6. dadaddadaBATMAN

    dadaddadaBATMAN 2+ Year Member

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    I agree that my first thought when I hear balance/equilibrium is the cerebellum.
    However, we were taught the vestibular nuclei were in the rostral medulla. That's why you experience vertigo in lateral medullary syndrome.

    Wikipedia seems to support this.

    Page on vestibular nuclei:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestibular_nuclei

    Page on lateral medullary syndrome
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateral_medullary_syndrome

    There is one slim ray of hope from those pages though, as apparently 1 out of 4 of the nuclei are located in the pons (superior vestibular). Maybe you can argue based on that, but if you asked me this question (with no cerebellum option) I would have agreed with your department chair.

    Studying for a neuro exam now, otherwise I wouldn't know this.
    I'm really sorry to hear you might have to remediate. I hope whatever happens goes well for you
     
    Last edited: 05.20.14
  7. dadaddadaBATMAN

    dadaddadaBATMAN 2+ Year Member

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    I'm assuming they mean equilibrium in the sense of physical balance. I'm guessing this was the context of the unit....in ours, brain stem/cerebellum/basal ganglia were all one unit. So it would make sense to interpret equilibrium as being more like "balance" than BP, hr, etc, unless clearly stated by the question.
     
  8. mrlucky0

    mrlucky0 5+ Year Member

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    Here's the other question:

    Which stage of sleep is characterized by delta waves?
    a. REM
    b. Stage 1
    c. Stage 2
    d. Stage 4

    I explained to my prof. that I had studied from FA2014 pg 451. They use the new classification Stage N1, N2, N3 system, with stage 3 having delta waves. When Stage 3 was not available as a response, I missed the question. I argued to him since lecture material, especially if it was board testable, should be current. His response again was that information presented in lecture dictates the correct response to the exam question.
     

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  9. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

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    I disagree with this in that I don't think that's what the question was getting at.

    Lateral medullary syndrome is caused by occlusion of the PICA, but it's not like the vessels see the pontomedullary junction and are like "hey whoa, we better not cross, we don't supply there". So structures at the pontomedullary junction, like the vestibular nuclei, are going to be affected by occlusions of the PICA and AICA. (only saying this because you're studying for an exam haha)

    Regardless of where you place the vestibular nuclei, the slide he posted associated postural movements (aka balance) with the pons, not the medulla. So I have to agree with one of the other posters that the question was likely using equilibrium to refer to homeostasis, and not balance.
     
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  10. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

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    Sorry to say it, but you won't be getting points for this question. FA is a review source. It also likely includes many errors, some of which get corrected from year to year. No professor is ever going to allow you to challenge their lecture material with a source like FA.
     
  11. StIGMA

    StIGMA Doctor Professor 7+ Year Member

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    Absolutely: equilibrium is a (not very good) term to refer to homeostasis eg: BP, breathing, GI functions, etc.

    It is very misleading/confusing to use the term in a neuro question.
     
  12. mrlucky0

    mrlucky0 5+ Year Member

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    Agreed. So I corroborated this information with published literature & AASM info - No errors. So do I have merit now?
     
  13. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    No. Their class doesn't have to be based on current up to date information, and it could even be argued that they don't have time to research every single point they make and see if there is a change in the literature.
     
  14. StIGMA

    StIGMA Doctor Professor 7+ Year Member

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    How would you justify the answer you chose? Your best bet is to get this question thrown out (which is unlikely because it is taught in your class notes). You won't get credit for it.
     
  15. dadaddadaBATMAN

    dadaddadaBATMAN 2+ Year Member

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    Our notes put vertebral aa and PICA as causes of lat. med. syndrome....but our note aren't always perfect. Honestly, looking at netters AICA makes more sense. studying for cumulative neuro final = :( That stuff is all last block...sigh.

    For the equilibrium question though, if you look at his attachment "equilibrium" is listed under the medulla. I have no idea how they are separating that out from posture: it doesn't make much sense to me.

    I think it's pretty ridiculous that they're going to fail him over two questions when he seems to have a reasonable grasp (or better) over the material though. Sorry to hear anyone is in this situation, it would suck royally.

    bedtime for me though.
     
  16. mrlucky0

    mrlucky0 5+ Year Member

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    I'm pretty certain "equilibrium" means balance in this context. I still fail to understand why medulla is the best response, and pons is incorrect. Is it because of the vestibular nuclei? As I've reasoned, I remembered that pons contain the CN VIII nucleus and cerebellar communications. So why medulla over pons?
     
  17. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

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    It's the answer because it's what was given in your slides. I'm not trying to be harsh, but that's just the fact. They will argue that if it was unclear why equilibrium was listed as a medullary function, why didn't you ask about it when it was originally presented.

    I'm not saying that it's fair, but I just don't think you have strong arguments here. Professors explicitly say that the exam material will come from their lecture materials, and their materials alone, in order to avoid people coming up to them with other sources trying to prove them wrong. Good luck though, I really do hope you are able to pass the course!
     
  18. mrlucky0

    mrlucky0 5+ Year Member

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    This how I expect my prof. to respond. Fair enough. But I would argue information, updated at least 7 years ago that's board-testable should be considered relevant to the class.
     
  19. mrlucky0

    mrlucky0 5+ Year Member

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    See. This is the response I am currently getting from them, and what I don't want to hear. They're essentially sending me the message that relevant knowledge not presented in lecture should not be considered. How does that make sense?
     
  20. Wordead

    Wordead 7+ Year Member

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    How is this not like literally every single class you have had from elementary school through undergrad? They tell you the source they are pulling questions from, if you want to study other sources that's fine but you'll miss a few questions here and there because of it. Guess what, FA is chock full of inaccurate information. Definitely no go on the sleep question.

    You might have some basis for challenging the first question due to poor wording, but I think that given the context, unless your school loves trick questions and would be looking for something like one random nuclei (I dont remember any of those), I doubt you'll win that either.
     
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  21. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

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    Well with regards to the sleep question, I'm assuming the answer that they gave wasn't incorrect. Just because it's an older classification system doesn't mean that it's wrong, and because they presented it to you, you were supposed to learn it.

    This one sucks in that it shows you in order to do well on school exams, you must study what the professors teach you. Depending on the school, certain things may be presented in a different way than on board exams, which means you may have to study in a different way to do well on them. All schools want you to do well on board exams, but many believe that doing well on those exams doesn't make you a competent physician. This leads them to present the material in the way that they believe will be best for you (regardless of whether it is or not).
     
  22. mrlucky0

    mrlucky0 5+ Year Member

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    Your point is valid. And that's what the instructor seemed to suggest. He also informed me, appreciatively, that this updated classification scheme which I had just brought him up to date on would be taught all future courses. I can't help but feel upset at this, since he's acknowledging that my information is correct. I'll admit that this does not supersede the fact that the exam question was valid according to lecture, but this is frustrating in my situation.
     
  23. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

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    It definitely seems like a frustrating situation, and it sucks that you have to go through it. No one ever wants to fail a course, but it happens. So I wish you luck in your meetings with your professor, but just know it's not the end of the world if you have to remediate.
     
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  24. Priapism4tooLong

    Priapism4tooLong 2+ Year Member

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    to be honest i wouldn't have considered equilibrium as balance. I would have considered it homeostasis. I would actually have thought about the respiratory center. And probably put medulla as well.


    edit: just re-read that part of the resp center is in the pons as well.. this is a stupid question
     
  25. Psai

    Psai ヽ(´ー`)ノ Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    Honestly the equilibrium question is not a fair question and I would accept both pons and medulla. The lecture slide makes it pretty clear and the policy is usually the "best answer" which would probably be medulla.

    For the other, the answer is clearly stage 4. Stage 1 is theta, stage 2 is k complexes and rem is beta just like being awake. They got rid of stage 3 and put it with stage 4, even if fa calls it stage n3. You got that question wrong fair and square and there's no ambiguity in it.

    Failing a class in medical school is tough to do and you're splitting hairs because you didn't pass.
     
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  26. jockdoc97

    jockdoc97 2+ Year Member

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    What is your schools retake policy? If they offer a remediation might be easier to suck it up and just start figuring out how to remediate. Have you failed anything else? Might not even be a big deal
     
  27. TOcho118

    TOcho118 2+ Year Member

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    Agreed. A lot of schools just make you retake the exam on a later date.

    Either way, like it or not, remediation may be for the best as you will definitely need to know a good amount of neuro for Step 1. You don't want to be learning things for the first time a year from now. Also, you may be one question away from passing but remember you must have missed quite a few questions on previous exams to even be in this situation.
     
  28. mrlucky0

    mrlucky0 5+ Year Member

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    So I sat down with the professor & reviewed my exam once more. During this time I discovered another question which was not discussed in lecture. He agreed to throw it out. Then he awarded me another question thus raising my score to 70, and allowing me to pass. Biggest sigh of relief!
     
  29. Elisabeth Kate

    Elisabeth Kate 2+ Year Member

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    Is this a med school class or undergraduate class (your status says pre-med)? If it's med school, you should be thankful the questions are so straight-forward, although I agree the first one could have been worded better. In med school, our tests didn't just test factoids like this exam apparently did. Our tests were all clinical vignettes that required you to interpret and apply the knowledge, not just regurgitate information you memorized.

    Not necessarily. Depends on how exams and courses are run at his/her med school. At some schools, you remediate any failed exam, even if you passed the block itself based on the exams before it.

    Be thankful. Your professor is a good person.
     
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  30. Psai

    Psai ヽ(´ー`)ノ Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    Sounds like he gave you a break. You better make him a handmade christmas card this year.
     
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  31. BobbyB

    BobbyB ayy lmao

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    or he is giving OP enough rope to hang himself

    if the guy is missing simple recall questions, somebody gonna get a hurt real bad
     
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  32. mrlucky0

    mrlucky0 5+ Year Member

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    Well say you hadn't reviewed or couldn't recall that particular slide, shouldn't be you be permitted arrive at a solution from relevant knowledge? Just because it appears on the slide doesn't always mean it's the "black & white" answer right? I spoke with the associate professor who wrote that question. After 90 minutes, I still couldn't be convinced why the correct response was so.
     
    Last edited: 05.25.14
  33. mrlucky0

    mrlucky0 5+ Year Member

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    Most of our question are clinical vignettes and some as you describe, ask you regurgitate info. And yes, the question could have been worded way better. Students who fall below 70 at the end of the course are given another opportunity to pass the course, by passing a 5 unit comprehensive exam. I guess I'm thankful towards him, but he's also very fair and follows protocol; emotion/empathy had no part in his decision.
     
    Last edited: 05.25.14
  34. Psai

    Psai ヽ(´ー`)ノ Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    Your whole attitude towards your situation is bizarre. Try reflecting on why you failed the test and look to improve it instead of thinking that your professor simply rectified a minor misunderstanding.
     
  35. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    You don't know how lucky you are. Hopefully you have the introspection to get the right lesson from this, but based on what you've said so far, I doubt it.
     
  36. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    Wow. Lacking insight to a huge degree as well as showing how entitled you are.
     
  37. Dmr6186

    Dmr6186 2+ Year Member

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    You guess you're thankful? :confused: If he spent 90 minutes with one student out of his busy schedule, he was definitely reaching out for you in hopes you would understand. "Making it out by the skin of your teeth" should be something to reflect on this summer to not be put in that type of situation again.
     
  38. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    Dude your prof bailed you out big time. 99/100 of these cases the student will get 0 points. This is something you remember for your whole life and any future interactions with that person, as they just saved you a TON of hardship and headache. Seriously.
     
  39. Elisabeth Kate

    Elisabeth Kate 2+ Year Member

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    I'm really surprised by your attitude. The professor had no requirement to give you those points. Protocol would have protected him as the answers were in the teaching material. It's not like the slide was wrong. The slide simply presented it a certain way. The fact that he realized that you were in danger of failing, gave you the point for the question to get you to a 70% warrants more than a "I guess I'm thankful" response. Emotion/empathy most definitely played a role in this. It's a shame you don't realize it.
     
  40. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    He's another chickenandwaffles (another user here before she was banned) med student.
     
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  41. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    Interesting username to life occurance correlation
     
  42. tco

    tco 7+ Year Member

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    He means the OP's username.
     
    Last edited: 05.26.14
  43. Anastomoses

    Anastomoses secretly an end artery Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks, Sherlock.
     
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  44. tco

    tco 7+ Year Member

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    It's not random if it applies to the OP, Watson.
     
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  45. evilbooyaa

    evilbooyaa 5+ Year Member

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    ? Mrlucky0 getting extremely lucky that he passed neuro by the skin of his teeth because his professor either 1) is a nice guy or 2) didn't want to deal with this annoying student anymore.

    That being said OP, consider about WHY you struggled so hard in the REST of neuroanatomy instead of obsessing over another 2 or 3 questions that barely pushed you into passing. It's fine to struggle, but accept the fact that you did struggle and figure out how you're going to not struggle in the future.
     
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  46. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I'll choose door #2.
     
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  47. ECkayak

    ECkayak 2+ Year Member

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    I feel sorry for whatever students have to rotate with OP during wards. He is going to be insufferable.
     
  48. Apoplexy__

    Apoplexy__ Blood-and-thunder appearance Bronze Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Geez, if someone in my school tried to pull this, they would not only be instantly shot down, but also probably flagged for "unprofessionalism".

    I'm not sure if I would have the empathic fortitude to not fail OP if I were the professor.
     
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  49. Dmr6186

    Dmr6186 2+ Year Member

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    Professor should have realized if OP couldn't understand the question after 90 minutes, then he clearly lacked the knowledge/mindset of neuroscience to pass and shouldn't have given him those points. He needed to fail so he could come back and re-study to strengthen his weaknesses in this class.

    Sometimes failure is one of the best tools we have to help us grow. He was definitely done a disservice by being allowed to pass the way he did. Begging on your knees for points... that doesn't help anyone mature. No doubt he will do it again in the future. It's going to bite him in the rear-end down the road.
     
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  50. Anastomoses

    Anastomoses secretly an end artery Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    I think the OP is getting away with murder and probably doesn't crisply understand the situation but if the professor saw fit to give him the points after 90 minutes, maybe the OP isn't as obnoxious or crappy as we're all painting him out to be. Some people are easier to take in person and might smoothly get away with more than others can.

    He hasn't done anything as reprehensible as some of you are making it seem. Just a little overentitled.
     
  51. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    Nice to see that like begets like. You 2 should start a support group.
     
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