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How to handle a really BAD instructor or adviser as a premed?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Gauss44, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Gauss44

    5+ Year Member

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    This is a common question that has come up time and again from people I tutor, and I have wondered about the "best" solution myself... The easiest thing to do is just to suffer in silence or to move to a different class or adviser (if allowed to and some people are NOT allowed to do so without taking action). The most socially responsible thing to do would be to take action toward solving the problem so that other students might fare better. The biggest fear or risk is probably having a situation like this result in enemies, misunderstandings, or work it's way into an LoR somehow.

    Has anyone had a very bad teacher or adviser, and how would you recommend handling such issues?
     
  2. ChrisMack390

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    Bad professor - just deal with it. Your job is to pass the class, not be a hero. Rip them apart in the course evaluation if you wish.

    As for pre-med advisors, they are all bad. Use your own research to determine your med school application process (but play nice if you'll need a committee letter).
     
  3. yeezuswest

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    I wouldn't say all pre-med advisors are bad. That would be like saying everyone posting on SDN is trolling you and that you should do the opposite of what they say (which isn't true). If you have a bad advisor, weather it's a personality thing or they're just misinformed, the best thing would just be to not seek out their advice anymore but still to maintain a healthy relationship.
     
    HybridEarth and Gauss44 like this.
  4. Gauss44

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    I was tutoring a student who's school was set up in such a way that her adviser was responsible for "approving" classes before she could register. Then the adviser kept telling her to do ridiculously counterproductive things, and to even register for classes, the student had to talk her adviser out of all kinds of stuff* costing lots of time and frustration. For example, the student told me that 7 emails and 3 meetings later, she finally talked the adviser out of "making" her retake all chemistry classes starting from first semester freshman chemistry because those requirements were 5 years old. Her adviser said that it didn't matter that she's been taking graduate level chemistry for the past few years!

    That being said, I would agree that not ALL premed advisers are bad. Some are terrible.
     
    Goro likes this.
  5. Goro

    Faculty 7+ Year Member

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    Bad adviser? No brainer: Use SDN, even with the high angst levels. Pay special attention to gonnif, LizzyM, gyngyn, QofQuimica, Catalystic, WingedScapula and Mimelim, cabinbuilder, DoktorMom, Mad Jack just to name a few of the very wise people here.

    For bad professors, this is a good training for bad med school faculty. Yes, med schools have bad teachers too. I have a few colleagues who are wonderful people, outstanding scientists, great colleagues, but they simply can't teach their way out of a paper bag, and their student evaluations reflect this year after year.

    So, what does one do? You become a good self-learner. Chat up your classmates who are doing well (not everyone will be a gunner), and seek out other faculty who teach the same subject. Depending upon the subject, use online resources like Khan Academy. For my subject alone, I can find numerous YouTube videos. Go talk to to the Professor or TAs. Be in their office constantly if they're not clear on things.


     
  6. ChrisMack390

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    Hey Goro, what do you teach? (if you don't mind sharing)
     

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