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Clerkship Hijackers

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by RockShox, May 16, 2007.

  1. RockShox

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    Clerkship Hijackers or whatever! I still am thinking of a good name.

    I keep getting on these services where there is one doctor who is not my clerkship director, the preceptor, the chair, the attending, or anyone else remotely associated with my service other than they work on the same floor who decide that they are God's gift to students. You meet them once and suddenly they want the students to meet with them at noon for a "must be there lecture on such and such" Next thing you know they want to meet everyday, are handing out presentation assignments, and making you go to meetings that even the clerkship director says are so low yield you don't need to go.

    The problem is that they have one of those personalities that if you cross them it could quite possibly cause a fissure in the continental crust and you would get the brunt of it (i.e. even though they never had any say in your grade they somehow worked their way into your life like Fatal Attraction.)

    Where do they come from? And why do I keep running in to them? I have one right now on the service. Don't get me wrong he has some nice knowledge but this is already a service that is so lecture heavy I have forgotten that I am on a "clinical" service. I have yet to find a good way to deal with these people. Maybe no one else has these things happen to them but me. If you have I would love to here how you deal with it. (Other than buckup beaver! I don't need the Brady Bunch on this.)
     
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  3. ChildNeuro

    ChildNeuro Junior Member
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    I think the best lecturers are on the ones who have a prepared lecture they do maybe 1 or 2 times a week. I have definetly had a werid attending who felt the need to lecture everday in a.m. on randomly assigned topic, but half the time would talk about his personal life, and attack students for no apparent reason. The clerkship was more about surviving the abuse, than learning anything, several students were upset and complained to the department head about these bizarre lectures. He would often put down other doctors in his field, and the entire field, and talk about the types of students that he hated. Some attendings feel that they walk on water, and that the students are so hopelessly stupid that someone needs to knock sense into them, and that their lectures are the most important thing. The only thing to do is to avoid them at all cost, if you say that you are feeling uncomfortable during one of their rampages, then they will just target you for more of the same.
     
  4. Blue Frog

    Blue Frog Junior Member
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    Do you hear voices that other people don't hear? ...Do you ever feel that people on the TV are talking to you?


    Seriously though, don't know what to tell you...never experienced that.
     
  5. DOCTORSAIB

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust!
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    Haha. I know EXACTLY what you're talking about! I've seen a few these personality types during 3rd year. I couldn't help thinking "who the hell is this guy again and why is he offering this charity lecture that no one asked for?"

    I think these types of attendings do it more to stroke their own egos and to get attention. The sharpest and best attendings in medicine rarely lecture randomly just for the sake of lecturing.

    Anyways, avoid these annoying types as much as you can. Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom/library for an hour or two and study for your shelf exam.
     
  6. ericdamiansean

    ericdamiansean High Profiler
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    They need attention..:laugh:
     
  7. ChildNeuro

    ChildNeuro Junior Member
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    Not to be disrespectul to attendings. I had an excellent attending give us a lecture while we worked with him on a patient, he was more inquisitive though, he would ask "What is the most common type of ?" Then he talked about some rare causes of disease X. His material was great, I don't know if it was high-yield with regards to any exam though. We (the students) practically begged him to do a lecture for us! (Our current lecturer for this topic in required clerkship did not articulate well, i.e. we could not understand his words, and would just try to tear students presentations apart. I volunteered to present to him, just to, shall we say, put the shoe on the other foot! i.e. I got my facts straight and exposed him as the imposter who was just wasting everyone's time, yeah good times)


    Some attedings just like to tell a story, and yes, need to be listened to while they complain about what is going on their life or why others aren't the super doctors that they are, which yes, does waste time. One attending in medicine started talking to us about how disease y presents, and management, but he got it wrong, and I correct him during his 20 minute lecture, he seemed a little unerved.

    I would suggest that you ask this professor to judge your student presentations, (i.e. have each student do a quick 20 min presentation) and have him do one of his lectures just once a week. Just curious, what is so bad about his presentations?
     
  8. ChildNeuro

    ChildNeuro Junior Member
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    Not to invalidate your observation, I definetely believe that there are what you called, "Clerkship hijackers", a while ago I made a mental note referring to them as "Clerkship Terrorists", because they use their power to corner students and make abusive comments to them privately (or in groups) about what they thought was wrong with them as a person, choice of clothing, anything and everything, which of course is blatant abuse. I have heard clerkship directors run a blatantly abusive commentary, ask a student to present who is now intimidated and can't choose the right words, and then laugh to the residents, "boy did you screw up!"

    Of course, I have had somewhat milder attendings that decide to do a unrehearsed presentation on a topic that they don't know all that well, even had residents make us listen to them talk about their social life for hours while they drank beer in the resident house away from the hospital, understandably it is hard to say, "Uh, I need to study, I am not paying tuition to provide you with counciling or to gratify you need to be have power by making me listen to you comments when you know I need to scrub at 7 am for surgeries and it is now 1:30 pm . . ."
     
  9. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon
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    I cringe deeply whenever some says that they "love to teach." The attendings/residents that are good at it are the ones that just point stuff out at opportune times.

    We had a resident on IM (bless his heart, he was a nice guy) who would just tap on your shoulder while you were working and say, "let's go talk about something." Then he would sit akwardly and say, "what do you want to talk about." Eventually he would come up with something and start rambling, if a student trickled in a few minutes late he would just start te lecture all over. He loved to teach.
     
  10. RockShox

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    The point is that he is not a professor. Not every doc in the hospital is med school faculty. It is just some guy that thinks we are not taught the way we should be, have gobs of time on our hands, and that we might very well kill everyone we touch lest we gain his tidbits. Then after we listen to him share topics (that if he had been in the loop he would have realized we already had during our official lectures.) because we can say no without him causing some sort of drama, he assigns us stuff to look up to prepare for his next non-clerkship sanctioned lecture.

    My topic you ask? Well its superior mesenteric artery syndrome. Only 400 cases reports in history and some even question its existance. Who needs to learn about something so common as managing the post-op care of a kidney transplant patient when topics like that are around? :rolleyes:

    Its also doesnt help that I have some gunner students around who if asked to like honey off the pathology floor would do it in a heart beat if you were in a long-white coat. It just feeds him. grrrrrrrrr.
     
  11. Tired

    Tired Fading away
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    I've had a couple of these guys. They're the worst because not only do they create extra work for you and pull you away from the wards, but also continually make comments about how they are "teaching for free" and "volunteering their time" to enlighten you. As if they're some kind of martyr. Bleah. We had one who used to keep us late into the night to see his private patients.

    I think these guys just don't get it:

    1) We have a structured curriculum in terms of didactics; since you know nothing about it, you are either repeating lectures we have already had, or you are giving us meaningless material we don't care about.

    2) We spent the pre-clinical years in lectures, and it sucked. During the clinical years, more lectures is the last thing we want.

    3) I'm not going into your field, so I don't care what you're talking about unless I'm getting tested on it. Why don't you go teach the residents? Oh, because they got sick of your holier-than-thou crap and now avoid you like the plague.

    4) You're really screwing me over. If I go to your "optional-but-mandatory" didactics, I'm not on the wards, and my residents are irritated. If I skip you didactics and go to the wards, you come down on me. Thanks, you've now guarateed me either a crappy resident eval, or your enmity for not "valuing your time and experience".

    5) If you want to teach, become faculty. If you don't like the curriculum we get, get involved and change it. Giving "extra teaching" is just a wimpy way of getting around real work.
     
  12. Mayhem

    Mayhem Scut Bear
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    I'm sorry I don't get it. What could they do that is so major if, as you say, they have no effect on your grade. If you don't want to go then don't go. Just let them know you have work to do. You're a med student, they'll understand. And if they don't understand then tough, you don't answer to him.

    Anyway, I have the opposite problem. You have to sell your soul to get someone to spit on you. Even when they willingly offered to teach you, you still have to ambush them to get taught.
     
  13. RockShox

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    One of the things that you will learn particularly when applying to residency is that in academic medicine everyone knows everyone. That is magnified at the local level. All it takes is for this guy to have lunch in the doctors lounge with the chair of such and such, or the preceptor and say "well the med students are nice except one of them told me he required no instruction from me because I am not faculty. That one just does not avail himself of opportunities when given points to a lack of interest in my opinion." You will be suprised how much of this talk with sandbag you.
     
  14. bivwack

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    i know the type.... I dont know if its somthing that i was born with or somthing i developed in my previos work experiance, but i am quite adept at dealing with them. it is a skill i poses that i notice other students sometimes dont, and those students seem to get sucked into situations that you describe.
    I can identify them early on and am very good at:
    -having conversations that never go past..Hello or good morning
    -Being busy when they arent
    -working with the person they usualy dont, or someone they dont like
    -walking the opposite way they do
    -getting off the elevator when they get on
    -and if needs be, outright avoiding /running/ hiding from them..ect

    As long as they wont be filling out an eval for me i manage to do these things.... almost like 2nd nature. And thy are done in a way that is not rude or apparent, its just the way the game needs to be played, these people can suck the life out of you if you let them.
     
  15. Mayhem

    Mayhem Scut Bear
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    Ok well don't tell him that, that would be asking for trouble. But my point is you're a med student and the current stereotype is that we're glorified overworked scut monkeys. Embrace the stereotype. He can't argue with you if you say, "Dr. Hijacker, I need to set up a line on Patient X. Can I be excused?" or "I need to discuss some random lab values with my intern, can I be excused?" You can also politely explain that his very important lecture on such and such clashes with your mandatory tutorial session or clinic time or OR time. And while you'd love to do a presentation on his topic, you have a presentation to prepare on another topic for tomorrow's ward round.

    Maybe you're doing a lighter rotation than I am (ENT) but it's not very hard for me to find 10 things that I should be doing at any given moment and another 5 places I should be and 3 patients I should see. I guess that's why I'm just not seeing how it's so hard to remove yourself from this Hijacker's radar (of course, I did say I've never had this problem before). The key, as Bivwack said, is to always be busy when they aren't. And since we're expected to be busy at all times all you have to do is maintain the illusion. Whenever you meet this hijacker, always make it known that you're on the way to somewhere or about to do something BEFORE they get to speak. Which is pretty much the truth for most inpatient rotations. If you're on something lighter then it might be harder to find an out but it can be done.
     
  16. ChildNeuro

    ChildNeuro Junior Member
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    Wow. I am able to tolerate a fair number of lectures per week, especially if they are about clinical medicine. I had a professor who was a private doctor, as were many on one rotation, but they did an excellent job because they liked to teach. It was for free, but they never mentioned this, only the clerkship director did at the end, they were excellent.

    I think that the worst ones are the ones who a pathological desire to "interact" with medical students, but have no planned lecture, and more like to waste time talking about their family and various wars abroad etc . . . and then start getting upset when students look upset about their lectures that have nothing to do with clinical medicine. Such attendings really should get a psychotherapist to talk with on a weekly basis. You have to pay people listen to you complain about the world, medicine etc . . . I understand respecting an attending and listening to important information, but I don't understand attendings who use "lecture time" to talk about irrlevent topics, and personal topics, and even worse to attack a couple of students each day. Does it make them feel good in a sick sort of way? Yes. But this is the worst type of pathologic relationship a teacher has with students. Alot of students I was with complained about this and other worse stuff this attending was doing. Did not end well. Bottom-line, figure out how to avoid, switch rotations even, when an attending is making you feel personally uncomfortable. I knew one student who knew about the attending described above, he told me he went to site X for the rotation, I asked if it was because of Dr. So-and-so, and he said yes, for him it was worth it to be away from him.
     

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