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Calling in sick for exams

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Red Beard, May 7, 2007.

  1. Red Beard

    Red Beard 7+ Year Member

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    For every exam at my school there are a handful of people who call in sick the morning of the test and ask to reschedule. I just found out that for our last exam (neuro) something like 15 people asked to take the test a day later, 7 of whom cited 'anxiety attack' as the reason they couldn't take the test with the rest of us.

    I don't really care too much about a few people having to take an extra day, but 10% of the class? For "anxiety attack"?!

    If you heard that, what would you think about it?
     
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  3. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    I wouldn't think too much except that they might be taking a harder exam, and if they have anxiety attacks about these exams now, I feel pity for them when they have the boards, and even worse when they're in a pressure situation through rotations and practice.
     
  4. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

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    What would I think?

    I'd think I didn't have to worry too much about being in the bottom 10% of the class.
     
  5. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    It's kind of lame to call in for an anxiety attack. Are they going to do that when they get paged to scrub in?

    We only have a student or two missing per exam. In the well-organized classes, they make them take a different test (according to the rumors). In the bad classes, we all have to wait a week to see the key. I've never understood why they couldn't at least let us see what grade we got in the meantime, but the admins aren't the sharpest tools in the shed. Of course then they have to decide on how many bad questions they gave us, change our point totals, and in general behave like a monkey copulating with a football, but that's a whole different story.
     
  6. akpete

    akpete Drinks, anyone? 7+ Year Member

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    I've only known of a couple people missing exams in the first 2 years and it's usually just a day late. It's gotta be a pretty good reason, and sick isn't gonna work unless you're in the hospital. Some for a death in the family. One guy got to take a test late because he witnessed a murder the day before the exam. :eek:

    I can't imagine 15 people missing an exam day, and we've got 200 in the class.
     
  7. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

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    My first year we had a kid skip a final b/c, wait for it... wait for it......... he just "didn't feel up to it." Ended up taking the test in the (curved) class like 2-3 days later.

    Is it dishonest? Yes. But in the long run your diligence will pay off and he will be the intern who calls in sick on an on-call day. You will be a valued member of the team and he will be the one senior residents hate.
     
  8. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Well, if you miss an exam at Duke, you get to take it the next friday. AND it's the same exam! So we have kids that have taken like 5-6 exams late. It's such a dishonest system. I just hope they keep track of who abuses the system...
     
  9. DoctorFunk

    DoctorFunk Get down with the boogie 7+ Year Member

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    The only folks I've known to take exams late did so because their wives were in the hospital giving birth. If I found out fellow students were skipping out because they weren't prepared or "just didn't feel like it" I would be the first to form a lynch mob. Survival of the fittest would rule the day.
     
  10. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

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    Q) What do schools do with someone who can't get funded / is no good at research and is a lousy teacher?

    A) Make them an administrator!
     
  11. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    What does this have to do with you? What does this do for YOUR career? What others "do" in the class actually has no bearing on what YOU "do" in the class. If you are considering having an "anxiety attack" so that you get an extra day to study, then I understand your issue with this. Otherwise, run your own race, keep your own house clean and let this go as it really does not concern you.

    There will always be people who attempt to stretch the rules for some "perceived" benefit. You can't afford waste your time worrying about what they are doing or not doing. In the end, when they are standing at a patient's bedside, there will be no time for "anxiety attack" because they have to get the job done. Most residencies are pretty unforgiving of "anxiety attacks" anyway.

    The same people in my class were always "sick" before one or more exams. I never took an exam outside of our exam period and still managed to wind up AOA. I also noticed that none of them were present at the induction ceremony that year either. My opinion of those people was, "Who cares?" I have my own stuff to take care of and I won't waste any time worrying about what others are doing. In the end, I don't see where the extra time was of any particular benefit to them.
     
  12. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Waiting for the key is what really makes me hate the people who call in sick for exams. I don't care about any grade advantage they might get -- I just don't like waiting 2 weeks to learn how I did on an exam. Really, though, why can't they just rearrange the questions for whoever takes the makeup -- that shouldn't be that hard.

    15 people sounds really excessive.
     
  13. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    At my school it has to be pretty serious but they take really good care of you if it is. I had to miss my first semester final but I'd had two ER visits and a 3 day stay in the hospital in the weeks prior, there was another girl who'd had a cold and they had her take the test. They also make new tests if you miss yours so it has to be a pretty big deal to ask the proffessors to do that for you and there is no way you can cheat. With mine my proffessors had to give me another anatomy practical just for me, I can't imagine asking for that if it wasn't a big deal.
     
  14. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    We are given two tests each final, the first test and the retake. (I :love: my school). So its no big deal to miss a test, they just take the retake and take the score they get. (Without the second chance that those of us that take both tests get)
     
  15. bjackrian

    bjackrian Senior Member Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

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    We had a student this year (I'm an M2) who took his finals at the same time as the rest of us even though he had spent a week in the hospital two weeks before finals. He figures he probably ended up not getting honors in a class he would have honored without getting sick, but he didn't think it was fair to delay his tests even though he obviously had a good reason to and our administration was very willing to give him the time. That's the kind of student who will make an excellent doctor.
     
  16. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    :confused: not sure how you figure...
     
  17. bjackrian

    bjackrian Senior Member Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

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    Instead of complaining about how it wasn't fair, he took the initiative to learn what he needed to know. I respect the commitment and discipline it took to learn the material with a lot less time than the rest of us had.
     
  18. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    :thumbup: Trudat.
     
  19. dutchman

    dutchman 7+ Year Member

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    This sounds like a pretty good idea.
     
  20. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

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    No, that's called "Dealing with your own ****." Nothing magical or special about it, that's just what you're supposed to do when you're an adult.
     
  21. Red Beard

    Red Beard 7+ Year Member

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    :laugh:

    I'm going to have to use that when I get a chance.
     
  22. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

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    I see your point, but notice what you said, you still got AOA. You were obviously on the ball.

    I can see, however, how a below-the-mean student struggling to stay afloat might be justifiably annoyed with other classmates who were gifting themselves with 1-5 extra days of study time.

    Also, at some point we have to recognize that we are profession. That being the case, I don't think it's "wasting time" to discuss what sort of behavior is appropriate for our fellow physicians-to-be.
     
  23. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster 2+ Year Member

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    I don't see anything wrong with this. They are working the system to the best of their advantage, something we all do during tax season.
     
  24. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Anecdotal but at my school, the "sick" folks really didn't help themselves. The end result was generally, lack of empathy on clinical rotations when they actually needed someone to cover for them (some folks had very long memories) or they ended up doing poorly on the exams anyway.

    Again, all things being equal, that struggling-to-pass student actually got more help from their fellow students than the folks who repeatedly pushed the "sick" button. We were a very cohesive class and anyone who was struggling generally got loads of support.

    "What goes around, comes around" happens more in medicine (and medical school) than in many other situations. Sooner or later, the person that you "crap-on" will be in a position to make you life miserable. Medical schools are small communities. In residency, the community gets even smaller.
     
  25. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    If you take an exam late, you are now behind for the next exam. If you can't get on top of your crap in the alloted time, it is highly likely you'll fail to succeed the next time with fewer days.
     
  26. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    I'd say it's a mature action, but I just think you're jumping to conclusions on someone's skill as a doctor based on just a few things.
     
  27. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    How do this think this aspect applies to those who aren't very involved in the class (extracurricularly) due to other responsibilities?
     
  28. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

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    I think our school was pretty lenient about being sick for exams and I don't think anyone abused it. I did take several exams early to attend meetings or weddings etc.
     
  29. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

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    OMG, are you kidding? A second chance every time?
     
  30. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    I know. I wish my school had that. Do you just get whatever your highest grade was, or do they somehow average the grades if you do the retake?
     
  31. LifetimeDoc

    LifetimeDoc EM Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Taking tests after everyone else for no serious reason is so under-grad! :rolleyes: :D
     
  32. bjackrian

    bjackrian Senior Member Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

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    Fair enough. Perhaps some hyperbole was involved. My bad.
     
  33. the negative 1

    the negative 1 Bovie to "war crimes" please 10+ Year Member

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    Calling in "sick" for exams almost never happens at my school. On the rare occasions that people missed an exam this past year, it was due to serious medical emergencies.

    However, the make-up tests tend to be much harder and in a different format (written vs. multiple choice) if you didn't have a legitimate reason for not being there on exam day.
     
  34. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

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    Yep, and my dumbass passed on her school. :(
     
  35. manta

    manta queen of yogurt 10+ Year Member

    I missed an exam during my first year because I was sick the week prior. Not hospitalized sick, but couldn't get out of bed for more than 10 minutes at a time sick. Granted, if I would've been studying more throughout the course of the block, I probably would've been ready enough to at least pass. but, then again, I never missed another exam, and haven't missed a day of third year. I don't think that people were or are resentful about it, but i guess i could never know for sure.

    Medicine is a profession, not a cult. While i'm sure there are people taking advantage of sick days, I don't think it's unreasonable to postpone an exam for other reasons than death of self/first-degree family members or hospitalization. I think the suck-it-up-and-deal mentality is a weakness in the medical profession. Not only does it cause people to come into work who really shouldn't (i.e., contagious, too out of it to do their job properly), but it discourages empathy towards patients, other staff, and each other. Of course, the line between well-enough and sick is blurry at best. i'd rather assume that a sick (or "sick", whichever the case) classmate is able to make that decision on their own and act accordingly. It's already been said, but people who abuse the system aren't doing themselves any favors in the end.
     
  36. naegleria brain

    naegleria brain 2+ Year Member

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    dude, exam weeks i always get sick because of stress, no sleep, poor eating, etc. i can't be the only one. i suck it up because this isn't kindergarten anymore.

    don't worry, these people don't have the stuff to survive EM rotations, surg, or anything high pressure. they can abuse the system now, but when people evaluate such lame-ass idiots, they don't get away, whereas a system may well let them go

    i don't believe in karma, but i have faith that the clinical years will separate them and bring these dicks out into the open
     
  37. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

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    Totally agree. Once again we see an undercurrent of the perception that many students will be total slackers for the first 2 years and then magically turn into all-stars on their first clinical.

    We had a guy complain to the dean one time b/c we were only given 2 days off to study for a final first year. This was in the lecture hall in front of the whole class. People were practically shouting, "get over it, it's med school" from the back rows.
     
  38. KNightInBlue

    KNightInBlue 5+ Year Member

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    karma doesn't have have to wait till 'people'...............it will take the form of Step 1 and beat their asses like a rented mule
     
  39. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    highest grade.

    We have finals at the end of each block, generally every four weeks. Occasionally there will be a 8 week block and then we have a midterm and a final. The final is the only one with a retake (even though the midterm is equally important to our grade).

    Its fantastic because if you do well on the first exam, you can take the next 2-3 days off. If you have a bad day, then you get a second chance.

    I had one block where I had a bad day on my final, failed miserably. I retook it three days later and got a high pass. Beautiful.

    We did get a second chance for our first gross anatomy practical but that was the only practical where they allowed that. However, our gross anatomy instructors give us a practice test a couple of days before the test - so its pretty much the same thing.
     
  40. MedStudentWanna

    MedStudentWanna Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

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    Your school sounds great! Would you mind telling me where you go?
     
  41. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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  42. MedStudentWanna

    MedStudentWanna Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

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    Do they take out of state students?
     
  43. Pembleton

    Pembleton Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    During the last part of the year, a bunch of kids were calling out sick. I don't have a count but must have been at least 10. It is annoying when I think of how I would have loved an extra 48 hours to study.
     
  44. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    They aren't really out of state friendly, but there are a few of us. I'm an out of stater. The out of state students usually have Kansas ties - i.e. I've lived in Kansas City (across the state border) for 8 years. But not all of my classmates that are out of state have Kansas ties.
     
  45. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    :hijacked:

    sorry guys, continue.

    MedStudentWanna, pm me if you have more questions.
     

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