Thursday, August 02, 2007

A False Alarm

Yesterday was a really long, tiring day. I got in at 7:15 to go to the O.R. because we were supposed to have another heart surgery patient for our study. But it turns out that we didn't have a case to do yesterday after all because no one had gotten the patient's consent. We are not able to get consent on the day of surgery, because otherwise patients do not have time to consider whether they want to participate. So unfortunately we had to let this patient go.

In the afternoon, one of my classmates wanted me to take her to the gym and show her how to lift weights, so I did. I haven't been going to the gym regularly myself though since I got back to school, and I tried not to do too much so I wouldn't be too sore. I don't know how she's feeling today, but I'm only a little sore. I've decided that I want to start working out regularly like I was before. I'll go again on Saturday.

We had epi this morning and some of the articles for today were pretty funny. My favorite was a study from several decades ago that was comparing the performance of surgery residents who had gotten grades in med school to other residents who went to pass/fail schools. The authors concluded that residents who had gotten medical school grades performed better in residency than residents who had gone to P/F med schools. But we spent quite a while ripping apart the authors' methodologies to the point where it was pretty clear that their results were not exactly convincing. For one thing, they had no way to evaluate the residents from P/F schools on the basis of what kind of grades they had gotten as medical students, which was how they determined the caliber of students the residents from graded schools had been. So it's completely impossible for them to even know whether their two groups of residents had equivalent characteristics as medical students. Then at the end, they bemoaned the decreasing standards in medical education due to social experiments. I bet if the authors are still alive today, they must really hate to see how many med schools are starting to move in the direction of P/F grading, at least for the first two years.

I am pretty much done with my journal club presentation for tomorrow. I met with my content advisor on Monday afternoon and the stats TA yesterday after class. There are some tough statistical concepts in this paper that we haven't covered in class yet (or maybe ever!), so I am only going to present a general overview about what they were doing.

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