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Looks like admins are finally realizing how pointless attending lecture is

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by DancinSarah, May 3, 2012.

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Do you attend lecture?

  1. I always/usually attend lecture

    27.6%
  2. I seldom/never attend lecture

    65.8%
  3. Other/Not Applicable to me

    6.5%
  1. DancinSarah

    DancinSarah 2+ Year Member

    254
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    Mar 5, 2010
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1202451

    Its behind a paywall but I'd imagine most of you should be able to access it.

    I never attend lectures (stopped going like 1/3 the way through the year). Much more efficient and productive for me to listen to them at 2pm at 1.5x-2.2x speed, rather than 9AM where I end up falling asleep or spacing out during the lecture itself.

    Some of my friends are at schools where LECTURE ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. They have my deepest sympathy.
     
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  3. Frank Nutter

    Frank Nutter 7+ Year Member

    107
    12
    Aug 4, 2010
    Didactic format still has its place, just not in the 6+ hrs/day content-delivery way it was 100 years ago. It's 2012... we do have computers and stuff...:idea:

    Most school's aren't interested in taking a chance on something different though. Med students will figure out a way to learn the material either way, and they'll also complain either way, so why should the admin give a sh*t?
     
  4. JackShephard MD

    JackShephard MD

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    Oct 17, 2011
    New York
    Great article, just read it.

    Stanford's implementations sound great. I think medical education could be greatly improved and better doctor's could be trained because of it.

    I think they should care because they want to do a good job at educating their students. That should be high on the priority list of a good administration.

    The article wasn't pointing out class attendance was pointless, but instead that other technological tools could be used for traditional lecture material and that class time could be more focused on application.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  5. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist 7+ Year Member

    4,928
    39
    Jan 22, 2010
    The "Garden" State
    Lecture is not pointless, but lecturers should speak faster. Because they cannot speak faster, we should be able to watch them at 1.5-2x speed.
     
  6. dr zaius

    dr zaius 7+ Year Member

    1,337
    328
    Oct 27, 2008
    Physician
    Army
    I stopped going to class a month ago. Not because I hated it, but because I was just burning out. Being able to sleep in and watch at 1.5x at my leisure is keeping me from going crazy before step I in June.
     
  7. The Imprisoned

    The Imprisoned Don't Break the Seal 5+ Year Member

    79
    1
    Jan 6, 2012
    United States
    I agree. The article definitely touched upon whether we need as a whole to look at the way medical students learn the material, or leave things as they are. It seems to me that most of the students on here agree that there is no point in attending lecture when it is video or audio recorded. I agree that going at one's own pace is much better than attending a live lecture.
     
  8. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO 7+ Year Member

    984
    54
    Jan 29, 2010
    I don't go to lecture or watch recorded lectures.

    Waste of time to me.

    People retain more through reading anyway, even if they think they don't.
     
  9. Freakfarm0

    Freakfarm0 2+ Year Member

    162
    0
    Nov 2, 2009
    Is it easy to ask questions to a video recording? Is 90 extra minutes a day really worth it?

    Attending lecture isn't completely pointless. For some, yes. For others, no. Some people like to read, others like to interact.


    For the record, I go to about 2/3rds of my lectures.
     
  10. Bigz

    Bigz Its football not soccer 5+ Year Member

    114
    1
    Feb 8, 2009

    I think on most days its a waste of time. I go when the discussion is clinical but other than that i regret every time that I go.

    There are a few old school profs at my school that still rely on the good ol' overhead projections plus they give blank notes so one must go to class to fill in just like in grade school. SMH
     
  11. CatFactorial

    CatFactorial 5+ Year Member

    652
    108
    Apr 21, 2011
    I neither attend nor watch lectures.

    Qbanks. Looking up a question I got wrong makes me actually retain what I read. Otherwise reading has no point (for me at least).

    Which is sort of what the article was talking about, as far as making the material more interactive.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  12. secants

    secants about:blank 10+ Year Member

    852
    15
    Aug 23, 2006
    NYC
    I usually enjoy lectures IF the professor/lecturer has even a small bit of public speaking skills/eloquence. However early classes and the fact that we have a scribe service kind of decreases the motivation especially when you're halfway through second year and starting board preparations.
     
  13. KnuxNole

    KnuxNole Sweets Addict 10+ Year Member

    4,524
    1,257
    May 3, 2006
    If they give you the notes, I don't see a point in lecture at all. When I did go, I would sigh and wish I would leave. besides, if you read the review books and the notes, that's ALL you really need.

    That or they would hand out free food for making me stay :mad:

    And I would never ask questions during a lecture...I always thought the ones who ask 100 questions during class tend to be really, really annoying. Professors have e-mail, I'd much rather do that after I read their notes and am still confused about something.
     
  14. link2swim06

    link2swim06 7+ Year Member

    3,257
    710
    Dec 14, 2007
    Physician
    People still go to lecture this late in the year? What?

    The problem is the people in charge grew up in a completely different era. When they had a question it involved making a physical trip to a library, using a cryptic numbering system to find a book and then flipping through pages. Oh and this was restricted to daytime hours. Also I don't think review books really existed back in 70s or 80s. Therefore, it made more sense to just ask the lecturers any questions you had.

    However Now:

    The internet + review books + ppts >> listening to recorded lectures >> attending lectures
     
  15. DancinSarah

    DancinSarah 2+ Year Member

    254
    0
    Mar 5, 2010
    The only reason I listen to the lectures at all is because sometimes the professor just puts up a table/diagram with no explanation, so we are essentially forced to watch to those. And ever so rarely they claim "this slide won't be tested on the exam" which is always great. But yeah, just going by the PPTs/review books seems to be the most efficient method. I wonder how much tuition would be reduced if school entered the 21st century?
     
  16. Marge

    Marge Banned

    89
    0
    Apr 23, 2012

    Are there schools that do this? I think it would be awesome to have a full catered breakfast every morning during lecture. Breakfast buffet opens up at 8:45, you pig out on coffee, OJ, croissants, eggs, ham, turkey bacon, biscuits and gravy ... Then class at 9:00! With the cost of tuition it only makes sense.
     
  17. KnuxNole

    KnuxNole Sweets Addict 10+ Year Member

    4,524
    1,257
    May 3, 2006
    I wish schools would do that....clubs/organizations give out free lunches. Talks in the hospital gives out free lunches. Grand rounds give out free breakfast.

    But no, lectures don't comply :(
     
  18. Marge

    Marge Banned

    89
    0
    Apr 23, 2012
    It would be awesome, amiright? Honestly, free food is the answer to everything. Early afternoon lecture? Chipotle catered. Yummm...
     
  19. JackShephard MD

    JackShephard MD

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    Oct 17, 2011
    New York
    It doesn't seem you even read the article you posted. The point wasn't to learn @ home to the exclusion of all else, it was to have more active learning sessions instead of traditional lectures. The examples they gave didn't involve anything that would cut tuition.

    I guess the article wasn't really a good lead in to this discussion, but the thread title is appropriate.:) I think you'll be hard-pressed to find any administration supporting the general idea that students stay home 5 days a week and learn from PPT/review books, definitely not what they were suggesting. Although, I agree with everyone that it's superior to the status quo.
     
  20. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom Banned 10+ Year Member

    I think lectures are still important. The biggest problem now is that most of the time the lecturer completely misses the target audience and teaches in a really ineffective manner. How many lectures from PhDs on their current research is really going to be useful to medical education? How many times has a lecturer had 120-150 slides for a 50 minute powerpoint in which they slowly read slide by slide?

    It's just so hard to find (mostly volunteers) enough people to teach so you can't really be picky about who is allowed to teach so you get these crap lectures.
     
  21. Freakfarm0

    Freakfarm0 2+ Year Member

    162
    0
    Nov 2, 2009
    A miniscule amount. In medical school, most of the money you spend on tuition is going to the university hospital, insurance, and research.
     
  22. link2swim06

    link2swim06 7+ Year Member

    3,257
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    Dec 14, 2007
    Physician
    Beyond me why med students tuition is funding research...
     
  23. DancinSarah

    DancinSarah 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2010
    Interesting. Do you have any data regarding where tuition goes? I searched my school's website and couldn't find out where my tuition is going. Its going up 3% next year.
     
  24. Freakfarm0

    Freakfarm0 2+ Year Member

    162
    0
    Nov 2, 2009
    I don't. I'm using math.

    Even if it was solely the medical students' responsibility to pay the professors' salary (its not), there would still be a ton of money left over from student tuition expenses. I think professors make most of their money from pulling in research grants and whatnot. I doubt MD guest lecturers get paid any significant value.

    You could probably ask your bursar's office for more information.
     
  25. link2swim06

    link2swim06 7+ Year Member

    3,257
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    Dec 14, 2007
    Physician
    Also remember schools are rarely "frugal" with anything. I remember when I last work in lab they paid 2K from some computer rep for a laptop. Needless to say I bought the same laptop a week early with a coupon code for $700 from dell.com

    In short deans aren't spend as frugally as a business would, which produces gross amounts of waste and drives up cost. At most schools they have a separate financial aid, student affairs person, etc, etc. Again, a huge cost for a dude to email me to tell me to fill out my fasfa on-time...
     
  26. CaptainSSO

    CaptainSSO 7+ Year Member

    984
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    Jan 29, 2010
    Why? Where do you think the money comes from? It's either tuition or take it out of taxes of John Doe. It makes more sense to at least take it of tuition, which is at least tangentially related to research.
     
  27. CatFactorial

    CatFactorial 5+ Year Member

    652
    108
    Apr 21, 2011
    The fierce competition of an NIH grant makes it more likely that the recipient of research money will use it well. Basing research funding on tuition would have more to do with the attractiveness of a medical school rather than an open competition throughout the country.
     
  28. link2swim06

    link2swim06 7+ Year Member

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    Physician
    Right but John Doe (aka the general public) and the school are the ones benefiting not me.

    Its analogous to an automotive tech program student's tuition going GM to pay for R & D.

    Plus when the numbers come down to it, an extra million dollars a year in research funding spread across a bunch of labs isn't really going to do alot more than exacerbate the debt of med students.
     
  29. FunnyCurrent

    FunnyCurrent Ag 2+ Year Member

    547
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    May 27, 2011
    Davis
    No the old generation will never realize this. What's really happening here is the death/retirement in the old generation and gradual replacement with the new.
     
  30. Roguelyn

    Roguelyn 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 22, 2012
    I don't know guys, I don't really like lectures, but I was in a problem-based learning curriculum in med school and it was far, far worse. Without a syllabus, direction or advice we didn't realize until we started preparing for Step 1 that we had wasted our time on far too few and far too many irrelevant topics. Not only that, but we had more scheduled time in classes and clinic than our didactic counterparts. Optional lecture seems the best method to me. You can always set up groups or read independently or whatever it is that works for you. Of course, most of the battle during the first year is figuring out how to study effectively.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  31. link2swim06

    link2swim06 7+ Year Member

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    Dec 14, 2007
    Physician
    Very true.
     
  32. DancinSarah

    DancinSarah 2+ Year Member

    254
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    Mar 5, 2010
    Unfortunately, you are probably right. I wonder if we will be the same?
     
  33. FunnyCurrent

    FunnyCurrent Ag 2+ Year Member

    547
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    May 27, 2011
    Davis
    Not Applicable.

    The previous generation's methods worked up until computers came to common use. Our methodology will not be out of date until they invent something like the Matrix.
     
  34. FunnyCurrent

    FunnyCurrent Ag 2+ Year Member

    547
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    May 27, 2011
    Davis
    I don't think anyone here has suggested that PBL works :laugh:
     
  35. Lbgem

    Lbgem Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    384
    3
    May 19, 2006
    Actually I have seen someone post on how awesome PBL was at their school, but it was organized well. I'm guessing that's the 1% of the time that PBL actually works....

    Roguelyn, agree 100% with your last sentence.
     
  36. Narmerguy

    Narmerguy Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    6,887
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    Jul 14, 2007
    Myuu frequently praises the PBL at Case, perhaps that's where you heard it?

    I like the idea of using class time for something other than sitting in a chair and looking at a projector screen and listening to a dude talk. I can sit in my chair at home, look at my computer screen, and listen to the same dude talk and even take breaks to take a walk outside while I'm at it.
     
  37. Lbgem

    Lbgem Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    384
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    May 19, 2006
    Maybe. It was one of the posters on SDN; I was too lazy to look up which one. And I agree with you. I'd actually go to class if it were structured like the paper suggests. The clinical/relevant cases would make it a lot more interesting + I couldn't get that from a book.
     
  38. mtc1019

    mtc1019

    11
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    Mar 2, 2011
    Your first question hits on a good point: I'm sure that lecture is useful for those people who like to hear themselves talk.... :rolleyes:
     
  39. mtc1019

    mtc1019

    11
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    Mar 2, 2011
    Yes, they really need to stop letting MS Administrators from PBLs post on these boards... :rolleyes:
     
  40. boggvir

    boggvir Sunny California 2+ Year Member

    675
    1
    Dec 24, 2008
    How many people actually ask questions? I don't think the majority of people in class have asked a single question all year. Plus, hitting pause and searching google is pretty efficient too.
     
  41. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist 7+ Year Member

    4,928
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    Jan 22, 2010
    The "Garden" State
    It doesn't mean they don't have questions.

    I accost the professor after lecture about 25% of the time. It's fun.
     
  42. Freakfarm0

    Freakfarm0 2+ Year Member

    162
    0
    Nov 2, 2009
    The students that ask questions are usually the ones that understand the material the best.

    I don't do it, and I dislike when other students do it, but its the truth.
     
  43. boggvir

    boggvir Sunny California 2+ Year Member

    675
    1
    Dec 24, 2008
    Well good, but that's not the vast majority of students. Clearly if 150 people each asked the professor a question after lecture 25% of time...it wouldn't really work.

    They may have questions but most either A) look it up themselves, B) Ask someone they study with , C) email the professor. You don't represent the vast majority of students I think. If this works for you, that's great and you should keep doing it but a lot of us would be just fine without ever going to lecture.
     

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