Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tales from Med School: The exam pusher

During my first year of med school, there was a guy in my class named Michael who was one of those former finance guys. Michael’s “thing” was trying to get every exam pushed back so we could have extra time to study. Whether we wanted it or not.

One notable example was a biochemistry exam that was supposed to be on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. However, we had an anatomy exam the Friday before and Michael felt that four days wasn’t enough time to study for the biochem exam. Because, of course, it would be impossible to actually study for two exams at once.

After much arguing and the support of a small faction of the class that really, really wanted to honor biochem, the exam got pushed to Wednesday. This effectively thwarted my plans to try to get home for Thanksgiving a day early and not get killed by holiday travelers. It was total bullshit if you ask me.

On another occasion, we got an email the night before an exam that it would be canceled due to a blizzard. The blizzard wasn’t that bad and we received an email later on the snow day that the exam would be rescheduled for the next day, a Wednesday. Michael and a few other students flipped out. They said that they hadn’t been studying on the blizzard day because they didn’t realize the exam would be the very next day. They now wanted the exam scheduled for the weekend. The freaking weekend!!! There was a reason our class got labeled “the gunner class.”

After much arguing, we were finally given the option of either taking the exam on Wednesday or taking it on Saturday. I took it Wednesday.

Then later in the year, we had a neuroanatomy midterm that was taking place the day after the Superbowl. Once again, Michael tried to get this exam pushed back. This was possibly the least obnoxious reason he’d tried to get an exam moved, but I just was fed up with him by this point. I wrote a long email to the professor, saying why I thought the exam shouldn’t be moved. I don’t know if my email made a difference, but in any case, the exam didn’t get moved.

Of course, the karma was that I got the flu right during the midterm and ended up doing terribly on it.

Anyway, so that’s the story of Michael. The real question, of course, is do you think Michael ended up AOA? Junior AOA? What specialty?

17 comments:

  1. Michael learned the errors of his ways and--to recompese for his transgressions--has been working for MSF in Ghana for the better part of a decade?

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  2. Radiology, for sure, so he can just push back the date of people's CTs and MRIs if he gets other plans.

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  3. Michael went to the ER, got fired & was sued for pushing back a patient with MI...
    Michael is currently authoring a book on time management?

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  4. Michael got AOA, but bombed Step 1 because he couldn't push it back. So...psychiatry?

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  5. We recently had a exam pushing situation at my school. We had pathology, pharmacy, and microbiology the week before Thanksgiving. We took the pathology and pharmacy exam, and we had one day in between for the micro exam. We wanted it moved back an extra day. We spoke to teachers, they were fine with it. They found a room, time, and proctors for a day everyone agreed with. Now we needed a class vote, and it had to be %100 agreement to move the test. ONE person in the entire class voted NO. We don't know who it was, the whole class was pretty pissed off. We could not get the exam moved. Now, what do you think about that?

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  6. @Mary -- That is WAAAAAAYYYYY different.

    I'll bet that Michael went into derm. Just 'cause that's how certain people in my class who went into derm behaved.

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  7. Random question. I read a lot of medical blogs and I keep running into the term "gunner".

    I suspect that doesn't mean the same thing to me (10 year US Army) as it does to y'all? Can some one fill in a not-a-med-student on what you mean?

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  8. Mike - it means somebody who is so willing to get ahead in the class rankings that he's willing to "gun down" any classmates in his way. So basically it's an overachiever with a nasty twist.

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  9. A vet student acting like that would likely be in either small animals or wildlife, so I'm going to guess Michael went into peds or psych ;)

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  10. sounds too lazy to get into ortho or derm, probably didn't make AOA and ended up in Family med

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  11. Mike: This is the gunner behavior:

    http://doccartoon.blogspot.com/p/gunner.html

    As for Michael, he was AOA, urology.

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  12. Michael got into urology eh? Somewhere in there lies a dick joke.

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  13. Thank all of you for making that clear. "High speed, low drag, brown nose", more or less.

    I guess "Gunner" is shorter. :-)

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  14. also for non-med school people, what is AOA?

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  15. i'm guessing he dropped out from med school after he was unable to take any more pressure lol.

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  16. AOA is Alpha Omega Alpha. It's a national honor society for medicine. It's a distinction students can put on their residency apps. Different schools have different methods for giving out AOA to top students, but it's mainly based on grades and/or Step 1 scores. There can be AOA or senior AOA and junior AOA.

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