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California Hopefuls

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by stanfordmed, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. stanfordmed

    Mar 7, 2007
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    Resident [Any Field]
    First of all, good luck to all-you will soon have lots of choices to make. Enjoy it. California has lots of great programs, each one is unique. Find the best fit for your self.

    This post is a tiny bit like the Be wary of BU post, but only a tiny bit. Stanford med and BU med have become a part of a 10-13 school consortium, so they commonly trade information.

    However, I don't have any personal knowledge of any issues at BU, so I refer you to that posting.

    The difference with Stanford Med is:

    1) Current problems are common knowledge and very well documented
    2) I still strongly encourage students to attend and help make it a better place for the future. Plus it's a great location (beautiful weather and people). The residency programs have very happy and well protected residents. Attending Stanford will give you a better shot at one of the residency programs. Also if you are in the MSTP program (former alum) you can avoid a lot of the current issues. You also get one of the best MD-PhD training in the country, for free!
    3) This is simply meant to be a public announcement/full disclosure for students who (hopefull) decide to enter.
    4) This information will allow you to avoid problems and enjoy your time at Stanford.
    5) If you want to know the pros and cons of any school, the best people to speak to are recent grads who may be residents currently at your university.
    You can also talk to Stanford university students who choose not to attend the medical school. Finally, lawsuits and probations are public record and can easily be found through public agencies.
    6) 9) Goodluck, regardless of which school you decide to attend (but I hope you choose us:) )

    See attachment for ARTICLES

    I) History continues to repeat itself: Class-action law suit, Condi Rice and Bush administration
    (See ARTICLES #1-#6)
    Several past and present Medical School faculty members have accused the University of discrimination against women and minorities, particularly in hiring and advancement processes. These faculty members allege that since 1998, when more than 30 Stanford-affiliated teachers and researchers filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Medical School has systematically retaliated against many of the complainants.
    Mysteriously halted in 2001, the investigation was reopened in October of last year, prompting speculation by some that the hiatus can be attributed to Stanford connections within the Bush administration (Condoleeza Rice left her was provost)
    II) Show me the money
    A) Monitoring outcome of new leadership by recovery of Stanford Hospital post dissolved merger with UCSF.
    B) Act one:Hospice program thought to be a money sink. Action: elimination of Stanford’s hospice. Current published research shows that original assement of hospice as money losing program was wrong. Stanford currently working on returning hospice without media focus.
    C) Act two: Eliminates Department of Family Medicine as another money saving measure. Students protest, contact California Medical Board. Medical board says that Dean’s action is illegal-students are mandated by the state of California to do a Family Medicine clerkship. Action revoked. On-going anomosity between Family medicine department and Dean’s office.
    D) The problem with having one person as the head of both the medical school and the hospital is that money gets moved from one area to the other without too many question. With much effort, the once troubled hospital system is quickly revived under Pizzo. What about the medical school???
    E) Although all graduate departments are given new founding yearly (law, businness, engineering etc) the medical school remains stagnet-showing no signs of funding
    F) Additionally, the medical school is know for its very generous donors.
    G) The question of siphoning of appropriated medical school funds into the hospital and residency programs has continued to be strongly suspected.
    H) In 1999, Stanford University approved a $185 million, five-year plan to improve the 40 year-old School of Medicine: the new school was never built and the $185 million is still unaccounted for.

    I) With everyone being connected by 1 degree of separation is there such a thing as an independent accounting firm?
    J) The newest cost-cutting measures are to consider making the entire Medical school an NIH funded MD/PhD school. All costs for attendance, books, fees, cost of living paid for by the federal government. Eighty six students a year.

    III) New School order
    A) Pizzo holds town hall meeting with students begging them not to “go to the media with compliants”. Instead will listen and meet students half way.
    B) First act, Dean fires everyone in Student Affairs, then rehires them under new contract, new provisions, i.e. committement not to the University nor the board members but directly to him and him alone.
    C) Act two: Former advising Dean Wolfe stripped of title, position and income. Students protest. Replaced by green and unqualified new Advising Deans (Section VI). Wolfe sues the medical school- law suite settled out of court, results sealed. Wolfe continues to guide and mentor students for free.
    D) Act three: Previous rules and contracts trashed, new rules for student and school. Effective immediately. The small print: all rules are subject to changes any day, time or hour. And they do, at a dizzing pace. Students scream “breach of contract”. “No comment” from administration.
    E) Act four: Previous promise to the medical school and The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) to build a new medical school building ends up in the trash. Explantion? “there are too many ideas and no one could decide on a plan”. Show me the money: the funds set aside for this endeavor ($185 million) is still a mystery.

    -Instead the hall lockers were painted cardinal red, a set of lab rooms renovated for histology and pathology courses, the library gets new couches (still no bathroom, one tiny water fountain). The water fountains next to the new labs have not worked in at least 3 years, Study areas are still too few and in worse condition than any other medical school.

    F) Closing act: School gets strong group of Lawyers and Publicity hounds on stand bye. Uncomfortable police state established, watch your back, trust no one.

    IV) New curriculum created by unqualified group (See Article #7)
    A) Although CNN is obviously easily pleased, EVERY new curriculum sounds exciting and different when presented, a closer look shows that it’s just the same old thing reinvented: some hate it, some love it, most are neutral. Teachers are excited and go out of their way the first couple of years to make it work.
    B) The difference with the new curriculum is the creation of early specialization before students ever are introduced to real medicine (clerkship years). As before the new curriculum, 70-80% of students still continue to graduate choosing a compelely different field of medicine than the originally thought. Why? Live happens, people change, you go from the theory of taking care of your patient 24/7 to “forget the patient, I just want to get some sleep and see my wife”.
    C) Most importantly, the planners of the curriculum were unable to think beyond the flashy powerpoint presentation of the new curriculum into the mundate realities. They “forgot” that the school is limited in resources, only a set amount of students can be placed at certain hospitals in a certain period of time. Changing the curriculum created a nightmare of over-crowded clerkships, graduating senoirs fighting to take their remaining courses prior to graduation. Students changing their school schools and deferring pre-arranged career plans. Over-whelmed facualty and attendings.
    D) Best of all, the new curriculum required that first year students start medical school one month earlier. The only problem is that no one thought ahead regarding the impact of such rapid change: the new students show up and have no place to sleep, no financial aid, no senior students to call for help. Oops someone forgot to tell the University housing, financial aid etc. about the new curriculum. Not a great introduction to medical school
    E) In the end, nothing really changed only 10% of the material was removed from the curriculum. The 10% was replaced with research/project requirements. The more things change….the more the stay the same.

    V) New politics: show your loyalty, get promoted
    A) Do a favor for the administration, get an award, a promotion to associate or full professor
    B) Everything I need to survive in life, I learned from my role-models. The dependable attributes of Stanford students are intelligence, drive and raw ambition. Students quickly learned that those “loyal” to the new order can get favors and favorable recommendations, in exchange for defending the adminstration to their peers and serving as the “voice” of the student body.

    VI) New Advising Deans (by Parsonnet): the blind leading the blind
    A) Only requirement for job: 1) loyalty to the Dean, 2) low teaching evaluations from previous students, 3) deep seated dislike for students 4) power and position
    B) Job description: advise students on courses, career and residency planning
    C) Group of wise strong minded students motivate student body to demand inclusion of the only credible advisor (Singh). More in section VII-Pushed out.
    D) New advisors hopelessly ignorant of basic student resources, and lacking in knowledge regarding career and residency advise and residency applications.
    E) Students present numerous complaints about clerkship sites, poor treatment by hospital residents, environment and attendings. Compliants fall on deaf ears. (ARTICLE #7)
    F) Students are required to spend time with assigned advisor every quarter and try to “bond”.
    G) Outside of required attendance, students seek advising else where. (ARTICLE #8)
    H) Two of the advisors were asked to step down by a majority student body vote: one was the head advisor (Blaschke) due to his mistreatment of his advisees, the other was due to unavailability and lack of interest in advising role (Johnson). Response from associate Dean (Parsonnet)was a power point presentation explaining the theory of her advising system. Students protest that theory and reality are not the same. Head Dean finally removed but replaced by similar type of person, although more secretive about his distate for students (Gesundheit). Associate Dean refused to remove Johnson. Johnson later protected by new status while successfully suing the Surgery department for racism.
    I) Common response from administration is: “why would we be the Dean’s office or student affairs if we didn’t like students?” Common response: what other job would pay you the same income to do nothing all day? The Dean’s office is the most popular spot for semi-retired doctors at Stanford Medical School
    J) To appease the student body, the associate Dean creates a Student life/student advocate position. In classic Stanford fashion, refuses to consider any candidate requested by the real student body. Instead hires a “loyal” candidate who is part of the system.

    Essentially same old story: accuse the school of problem X, school creates an “office of X “, hires a nice insider, the people throw their hands up in fustration and anger.

    VII) LCME probation (Article #9)
    A) Dishonesty: new advising Dean (Salvatierra) bribes retired LCME members to help school pass the test instead of fixing original problems. New people hired and given promotions for their contributions. Temporary LCME friendly rules made and distributed to students, residents, staff ect.. Students lead to believe that their future was at stake if LCME site visit was unsuccessful. New pictures taken by publicity department of happy workers and students. LCME visit scripted and rehearsed. LCME never questioned all promises that the school originally made-including a new medical school structure.

    VIII) Pushed out-unsong hero
    One of the original 4 advising Deans retired from his post out of duress and harrasment. Originally member of class action lawsuite against Stanford University and Medical School. Since then..history of on-going intimidation, threats, false accusations, he had a team of lawyers on standbye at all times. Stanford med hires a private judge to continously settle the law suits. A strong student advocate, excellent teacher, doctor, father and husband. Students encourage him to come forward and share his story in a town meeting. The night before the town meeting Pizzo places a personal phone call and threathens him against speaking at the town hall meeting.

    Town hall meeting cancelled.

    IX) No Accountability to School, board of directors Lack of justification for so many in student affairs/Deans office

    A) Question commonly asked: Do we really need so many people in student affairs? What do they do all day to justify a pay check?
    B) No Independent and honest third party

    X) Future?
    Same thing all over if no continous monitoring. Nothing ever changes at Stanford Med, Just brushed under the bed. Maybe all medical schools run this way??

    Attached Files:

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  2. clusterfunk

    clusterfunk Member
    5+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2005
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    I can think of a few schools that are quite adept at smoke and mirrors conjuring; of course, the powers-that-be in medical education are a self-perpetuating omnipotent oligarchy so there's never a situation that cannot be quickly rationalized and/or scapegoated.

    What other schools are in this unnamed consortium?
  3. mikeinsd

    mikeinsd predictably unpredictable
    2+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2006
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    Medical Student
    <------ Is now extemely glad he didnt send in the secondary to stanford

    this seems downright insane to me... that this crap can go on without anything really being done about it

    op have you thought about forwarding this to a news agency or something, maybe that would help the students cause... maybe not though by the sound of it
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  4. OP

    Mar 7, 2007
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    Resident [Any Field]
    A) who are the unnamed consortium?
    It won't be very responsible of me to give out that information without verifying that the rest of the consortium members engage in the same behavior.

    B) As the attachment to the original post shows, there is always a news report but no follow up or deep investigation. You have to keep in mind that there are several reasons why this continues to happen:

    1) If it bleeds, it leads news reports. There is nothing really interesting or flashy about-what is perceived by the public-to be a bunched of preppy private school students complaining about not having water foundtains to drink from. Medical school or not.

    2) Only things that affect the general public are reported. The reports are usually of 2 types. One being things that could harm the public: bad doctors/HMOs/medical mistakes etc. The second is medical advancements and technology-robotics etc.

    3) Reports may be a bunch of bleeding heart liberals but their bosses who own the networks may have investments and connections within the medical centers. It's not really difficult for them to get phone calls from the powers that be to change their minds about reporting. Medical centers are corporations.

    4) When people do come to report, they PR folks can sell them mud for $10K. They don't really know the right questions to ask. If the LCME can be fooled, reports are nothing.
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