Thursday, August 31, 2006

Protection of Human Subjects Training

I don't think I've mentioned yet that we were required to do an online training session concerning the protection of the rights of human subjects in research. About a month ago this announcement just appeared on the portal telling us that we had to complete it by September 1, which is, um, tomorrow! Naturally, even though we were all told not to wait until the last minute to do the training, we have almost all waited until the last minute to do it, including me. There are about twenty little modules you are supposed to read through, and they cover things like special protections for vulnerable subjects (prisoners, children, students/employees, etc.), HIPAA rules, and other issues about ethics in research. Each module has a multiple choice quiz at the end. They aren't very hard to do, but they're not the most exciting thing in the world, either. I just finished mine and emailed the certificate they give you at the end to the office. The best news about the whole thing (that's sarcasm here, if you weren't sure) is that we will have to redo it in a few years because the training expires. Sigh.

I didn't realize before I got here how much time I would be spending on these kinds of things. I guess it is still hard for me to remember sometimes that from now on, I'm not supposed to be a layman any more, because I still feel like I'm a layman. It's kind of funny to see my classmates wearing their beepers or when all of us get dressed up and wear our white coats for a patient presentation, because of course none of us knows anything about treating people yet. But in a few more weeks starting in October, we are going to start going to our clinical preceptors and actually learning how to be a doctor. That is both exciting and scary to think about!

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