25 September 2013

Med School Update: First Didactic Week

I have slacked a few days in posting about Didactic Week. As I briefly mentioned before, the medical students schedules in years 3 and 4 include a one week break between rotation blocks (blocks include three 4-week rotations). During didactic week, all students in that year return to campus.

Since there are approximately 100 students in Scott's class and only one-third of the third yearders are based in Lebanon, that meant that there were a lot of students looking for housing. Two of Scott's med student friends asked if they could stay with us during this last didactic week, and we were more than happy to house them. That may sound sarcastic, but we really loved seeing everyone from the class again, and I know that Scott was giddy having so many friends with which to share medical jokes. I loved hearing all the rotation stories and the student's insight into their future career choice.

To give you an idea for what the students do during the week, I pulled this description from Western University's website...
Didactic weeks take place on campus and will include, but not limited to, the following activities related to the disciplines they have rotated in for the prior 12 weeks:

1. Facilitated case reviews
2. Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) which include: a. Videotaped graded Standardized Patient encounters b. Post-patient written S.O.A.P. notes c. Post-OSCE video review
3. OMM review session
4. Standardized subject examinations
5. Completion of CoursEval surveys related to the rotations block and the didactic week

Before the week began, Scott mentioned that he was pretty nervous about the standardized tests. The test is a standard test administered nationwide, and the subject of each student's test is based on the completed rotations. Scores from these tests are included in your transcript and can be viewed by residency programs. The school hadn't provided any idea for what material would be covered based on their rotation subjects, and since each clinic is different, Scott wasn't sure if he would have all the information he needed. Student took the tests during the first two days of didactic week, and all of the students I talked with reported that the tests were difficult.

The school suggested that students plan to be occupied from 8:00 Am - 5:00 Pm during didactic week unless told otherwise. There were really only a couple of days during this didactic week where that schedule applied. Most days didn't start until 9:00 Am ended before 4:00 Pm. The joke of the week was that with that kind of free-time, Scott would likely visit the golf course no less than three times. You can ask HIM how many times he actually went.

Block two, here we come!