Syndney Smith, author of Medpundit, is so out of touch with medical students (and probably the future generation of doctors) it’s not even funny:
Maybe medical schools should treat medical students the way an employer does an employee – make attendance count, and have quarterly evaluations of behavior in addition to grades. But do it for everyone, not just for the problem students.
The scary thing is, I can’t tell she’s the exception or the norm. Doctors? Doctors? Bueller? Bueller?
Make attendance count? Have behavior evaluations? I’m pretty sure I signed up for medical school, not choir class. I’m an adult. If there’s a problem with my behavior or attitude or professionalism, I expect my preceptors to discuss it with me–or at least bring it up on my formative comments of my clerkship evaluation. I don’t need another hoop to jump through, showing that I go to class and that I’m a caring, respectful, professional guy (I do, and I am, according to my evaluations so far).
That being said, I agree that medical students should be on-time, professional, and working hard. If a student isn’t, it’s a problem, and it needs to be dealt with. That also being said, I’ve seen examples (uncommonly) of attendings and residents act with prejudice, act using stereotypes, or make gross assumptions about patients–so the assumption that a preceptor is necessarily a model of good behavior and professional conduct isn’t all that valid for certain people.
“Attendance” is a problem when one’s classes are broadcast online for classmates who study better at home or want to pause the lecturer to write things down. “Grades” are a problem when they don’t exist at a medical school to begin with.