Archives for November 12, 2004

Traumatic Carotid Aneurysm

A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure has an excellent post with a CT and several angios of a patient who sustained a GSW to the head, with the formation of a traumatic aneurysm, then an arteriovenous fistula, who then underwent an intervention to thrombose (clot) the av fistula. Really excellent care, with pictures! What more could we want?

Smart but Slow, or Med School Gets Dumbed Down

Author Virginia Postrel recently pointed out (in Forbes (not free), and on her website) ongoing efforts to get special accomodations for students with the ‘disability’ that they aren’t good test takers, and whether what applies to students in grade schools should carry over into this nations’ professional schools:

Over the past decade students with learning disabilities have gotten used to having extra time on tests and, in some cases, separate rooms to reduce distraction. In many cases that makes sense. Giving a dyslexic third grader extra time on a standardized test makes it more likely that his answers will show what he knows rather than how fast he reads.

But a sensible accommodation for little kids can create a misleading double standard for adults. How much you know isn’t the only thing that matters in school–especially when you’re training for a demanding professional job. What patient wants a genius doctor who can’t focus in a distracting environment, reads so slowly that she can’t keep up with medical journals or tends to misspell drug names on prescriptions?

There are, of course, excellent physicians with learning disabilities. But they succeeded the hard way, without special accommodations. They demonstrated that they could work around their problems.

I would agree with that. Not all docs are geniuses; in fact, probably most are of above average intelligence, but not genius-range. They got through school and residency by working really hard and applying themselves, not necessarily through stupefying brilliance.
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