Is there any critical thinking in med school?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by medicalman123, Apr 22, 2012.

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  1. medicalman123

    medicalman123 Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    I'm afraid I'm going to become dumber by only memorizing jargon for 2 years. Is there any critical thinking or problem solving involved in these first couple years? Anything intellectually stimulating?
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  3. CatFactorial

    CatFactorial 5+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Not you again. Go party on the beach bro! Just avoid Colombia.
  4. Abby_Normal

    Abby_Normal 5+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    It depends on the school and it depends upon the subject.
  5. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner 5+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2011
    Dear God...
  6. Star Fox

    Star Fox

    Apr 20, 2012
    The most critical thinking I've done so far is, "should I have Wendy's or Burger King for lunch?" You are right, it is 99.99% memorizing and regurgitating what you memorized on an exam. Also relax dude seriously.
  7. medicalman123

    medicalman123 Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    I can only imagine what type of person you guys think I am and it's hilarious to me because I'd think the same thing if someone were to ask me these questions
  8. Droopy Snoopy

    Droopy Snoopy 7+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2006
    The Alamo
    Air Force
    Seriously chill, gotta learn the ABCs before making words/sentences/paragraphs...

    You'll get your fill of 'critical thinking' later on down the line and wonder why the hell you were complaining about mindless memorization once upon a time. Words - During the clinical years we expect any M3 to do an H&P, report accurate lab data, reel off the layers of the abdomen in the OR or name the steps of the TCA cycle during rounds. Pulling it all together into a reasonable assessment and plan is ideally what separates a pass from honors. Also being able to make good coffee (kidding... sort of).

    Sentences - Being able to do this second nature as a resident will keep people from getting hurt and bouncing back to your service. This increases your workload, makes your bosses unhappy, and doesn't allow you to concentrate on learning next-level skills (Paragraphs - learning the evidence behind clinical medicine, teaching, implementing more effective/efficient practice algorithms, and contributing to the advancement of your field via meaningful research).
  9. OveractiveBrain

    OveractiveBrain Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2009
    Dirty Dirt
    If you find yourself memorizing lists and diagrams, and thats it, there is either a problem with you or your school.

    If your school rewards pure regurgitation (what was slide number 3, second line, 4th word), then you chose the wrong school. Oh well. Nothing you can do about it. If your school starts putting out board-like questions (hinge questions), then you will begin to see just how much reasoning there is.

    Its up to you to put things in the big picture. Integrate them together, see how they fit. Now, if you are in your first year, you are learning vocabulary. You have to crawl before you walk, walk before you run. So, yes, there is a great deal of memorizing. And yes, people who memorize well can be pretty decent physicians.

    If you want derivation of equations and electrical engineering circuits, you are going to be very sad with medicine. If you want to be completely nebulous as to design the flow of a computer programer, you chose the wrong field.

    But can you think of anything more cerebral, anything that requires more reasoning than working up a patient. To go from "I got a cough, doc" to "metastatic colon cancer"? Even if its something simple, like "I have teh gout, fix mees!" to "you have cellulitis, and you need antibiotics" is very challenging. People spend a minimum of SEVEN YEARS learning this clinical reasoning. Can you do it with just memorization? 80% of the time. and you're a decent doctor for it. But that's it. GREAT doctors are able to reason; they know the questions to ask, not the checklist a computer gives them.

    There is more reasoning in what you're doing then you realize. perhaps you are simply too new to the game to realize it. Some schools foster creativity and expansion of the cranium with problem based learning, cases, etc. Some dont. Have faith that its coming.
  10. DrSnips

    DrSnips Hospitalist 5+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2012
    I really want a patient to have this CC at some point. Makes me sad 'cause I know it'll never happen.
  11. Frank Nutter

    Frank Nutter 7+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    Sorry I can't answer your question without a list of answer choices.
  12. FunnyCurrent

    FunnyCurrent Ag 2+ Year Member

    May 27, 2011
    At my school, rote memorization will guarantee failure. Approximately 80% of questions are presented like MCAT/Board questions (ie. you read a paragraph that describes a clinical scenario and answer by extrapolating the clinical consequences of a basic science principle). If that isn't critical thinking then I don't know what is. But what does it matter. Statistically speaking you probably won't get in anyways.

    Move this to pre-allo
  13. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO 7+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Some of the classes. Not micro.

    ^Those are still basically memorization though.

    I.e., woman comes in with stiff neck, photophobia, headache, neutrophils in csf. A gram negative diplococcus organism was recovered from csf. What is it:

    A. Nesseiria meningitis
    B. neoformans cryptococcus
    C. Staphylococcus aureus
    D. Escherichia coli
  14. medicalman123

    medicalman123 Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    I'm in already but I appreciate your confidence in me
  15. dr zaius

    dr zaius 7+ Year Member

    Oct 27, 2008
    Where's the petechiae?! I can't answer without the petechiae!!!111

    Yea, there's a lot of stuff like above that can be ground out with memorization. Other areas like the nuances of endocrine can require a heavy dose of critical thinking depending on the question writer.
  16. Dranger

    Dranger ACNP Student 2+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    Best Coast
    See with my undergraduate tests hematochezia or melena always seemed like choices and I have no idea way. Petechiae was thrown around quite a bit as well now that I think of it. A conspiracy maybe?
  17. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO 7+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Haha my bad dude totally blanked on the petechiae.
  18. DrSnips

    DrSnips Hospitalist 5+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2012
    Ok, the headache and photophobia are due to a hangover. The stiff neck is from falling asleep drunk in an uncomfortable position. The number of neutrophils in the CSF is not mentioned, so I will assume it is 0-5, which is normal. Therefore the gram negative diplococcus is a contaminant of some sort, possibly from another patient's CSF who has meningococcal meningitis.
  19. Dranger

    Dranger ACNP Student 2+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    Best Coast
    Seems legit.
  20. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO 7+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    A man is walking through the desert, becomes worn out and gets muscle cramps, and eats an armadillo. He is also an alcoholic, has chron's disease with an ileal resection, and is a recent immigrant from India, with a positive PPD test. He eats some moldy bread, has sex with a man at a truck stop, and a week later has retroorbital pain, night sweats, cough, nausea, abdominal pain, and loss of proprioception and vibration sense. Which of the following does he have? Multiple answers are correct.

    A. Lepromatous leprosy
    B. mycobacterium tuberculosis
    C. Zygomycete infection
    D. HIV
    E. HGPRT deficiency
    F. Classic galactosemia
    G. Meckell's diverticulum
    H. Wernicke's encephalopathy
    I. McArdle's disease
    J. Hirschprung's disease
    K. Meniere's syndrome
    L. ACTH-dependent cushing's
    M. Grave's disease
    N. genu valgum

    Think critically.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  21. link2swim06

    link2swim06 7+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    My critical thought --> does bread really get moldy in the desert?
  22. Ventric

    Ventric 7+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    I lol'ed.

    I am proud for knowing what the majority or those diseases are.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using SDN Mobile
  23. SlickNickMD

    SlickNickMD 7+ Year Member

    Sep 30, 2008

    I laughed at the armadillo:laugh:
  24. D elegans

    D elegans 5+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Flyover Country
  25. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist 7+ Year Member

    Jan 22, 2010
    The "Garden" State
    Wernicke's and a strong case of hallucination. Don't believe everything he told you.

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