The reading for today's FCM session was pretty interesting. It was about health care economics, and the role physicians can play in changing how health care costs get paid. The author argued, among other things, that if physicians don't increase value for patients and stop cost-shifting among payers, eventually the government or some other non-medical bureaucrats will step in and make medical care decisions. He also suggested that the way to decrease costs and increase patient value was through competition to provide the most value for patients. He used things like cable and telecommunications companies as examples. Considering how obnoxious and bad ALL of the service is by ALL of the cable and cell phone companies, I don't know convinced I am. We didn't get to discuss the article in our groups unfortunately, because we had a speaker come over from Case. He was pretty good as far as FCM speakers go, but I'd have rather had the group discussion. Most of my classmates seemed to really like him though.
The immunology seminars are all going to be problem sets that are based on data from research articles. These are not as popular with my classmates, because a lot of people would rather get a more general overview. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it's better than just rehashing the reading we did for the seminar. I hate when seminar leaders go over exactly the same material that I just finished reading. But on the other hand, it gets kind of monotonous looking at graphs and gels for two straight hours.
We had a class meeting about the PBL process after seminar. I hadn't realized this, but apparently all of the other PBL groups besides mine didn't have student leaders last block. Some of the faculty were concerned about this. Dean Fishleder sent us an article to read about the PBL process. It was a good article, but it would have been a lot more helpful for us to have read it last fall instead of now though. Dean Franco talked to us about the goals of PBL and asked if we felt we were meeting them. Most of us do.
I don't think having no student leader is such a good idea. Granted, I've never been in a group that has tried it, so I'm not speaking from experience. And one of my previous groups had no board scribe, and that worked out ok. The board scribe and computer scribe roles are kind of redundant anyway. But no other role overlaps with that of the leader/timer. I think it's important to have someone who is "officially" responsible for keeping the group on track and making sure that we finish on time. Some groups are easier to run than others and don't require as much leadership, but I don't think I'd be comfortable having no leader at all.