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Unethical situations in a meaningful activity

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by BrCo, May 16, 2014.

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  1. BrCo

    BrCo 2+ Year Member

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    During one of my volunteering stents in the ED a physician allowed me to assist in a facial reconstruction of a patient who was a victim of an animal attack. In hindsight it was one of the most meaningful activities that occurred during this time. Is it wise to be describing an unethical situation such as this or should I go with another experience?

    BrCo
     
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  3. breakintheroof

    breakintheroof MS-Zero 2+ Year Member

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    Interesting situation. What exactly were you called on to do? How did you come to the conclusion that it was unethical?
     
  4. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Assuming it was something unethical, I would keep it vague enough that you can tell it without incriminating yourself.
     
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  5. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Do keep in mind that licensed physicians may direct unlicensed assistants to perform certain tasks under their direct supervision.
     
  6. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    Give me a break. You were assisting. This isn't "unethical".
     
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  7. BrCo

    BrCo 2+ Year Member

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    So I apologize if this situation is not unethical. I assumed non medical personnel weren't allowed to assist in procedures. The physician stitched the underlying tissue while I followed behind him, stitching the skin.
     
  8. Planes2Doc

    Planes2Doc 2+ Year Member

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    According to what @LizzyM said, you should be okay with it assuming that this took place on US soil (which I'm assuming you did since you were volunteering in the ED). In fact, people on here will probably high five you for having such an experience. It's extremely rare to ever be able to touch the patient. When I volunteered in the ED, I couldn't even shake the patient's hand! Good for you.

    On the contrary, if this took place during a medical mission trip, then you'd better forget about ever mentioning it.
     
    orthogenes likes this.
  9. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1283 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    That would be appear to unethical, at least inappropriate to me; you werent trained, certified, or licensed. You weren't a ER tech, nurse, or student in a training program. It wasnt just a physician asking to hold an instrument, or the skin. It could may raise the ire of some of the adcom members
     
  10. DokterMom

    DokterMom 2+ Year Member

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    The physician allowed you to stitch the skin on a HUMAN patient's face? Seriously?!:nailbiting:
     
  11. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    My father often recalls an old Irish physician in our community who would stitch a facial laceration and say dryly, "You may experience some cosmetic difficulties."
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
    Zelda840 and DokterMom like this.
  12. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Play it safe, don't specify stitching. It brings up to many questions even though legally there are certain ways it is acceptable. You won't gain any points from it anyways. It is the personal growth, not the technical skills, that you are selling.
     
  13. BrCo

    BrCo 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks everyone
     
  14. Planes2Doc

    Planes2Doc 2+ Year Member

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    And to quote @LizzyM , she says that if you can smell the patient, it's clinical experience. I like to think of that literally. ADCOMs aren't looking for you to master any skills. They just want you to see the clinical environment, and that's it.

    And then comes my own rule of thumb... If you have to ask in a forum, it's probably not a good idea. Say that you were in the room with the physician, but by all means leave out the stitching part.
     
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