Friday, November 2, 2007

Not Enough, Too Much

Since I am a member of AMSA I receive their monthly love-fest newsletter, The New Physician. Often this is just a sounding board for medical students trying to show that they care about patients more than the medical education system that tries to destroy that bond and are fighting “The Good Fight” for patients and students alike.

Mostly, however, I find it to be just a whine fest with people complaining about shit that I don’t care about. Their most recent issue, though, sparked some anger in me (yeah, I know, big whoop).

What got me upset was a short letter about a medical student who sued the NBME because she didn’t get additional time to pump her breast milk while taking Step 2 CK. On the outside it seems quite agreeable – I mean who wouldn’t want to have a few extra minutes to avoid soaking the front of your shirt all the while obtaining that precious fluid for your child?

The issue I had was the fact that she sued at all. Apparently this student has a some issues related to ADHD and dyslexia and had received 8 additional hours to take the exam, encompassing 2 days. Because of her concerns she took the test in an isolated environment and was allowed to have her breast pump with her in her room, all prior to her suing.

Her complaint? She wasn’t allowed enough time for breaks to pump her breast milk!

WTF? Seriously, what’s this girl's problem? How are you going to handle regular resident duties if you can’t handle 2 days, 16 hours, and accommodations that were more than reasonable to take a fucking exam? The fact she sued and the people at The New Physician are supporting her demonstrates a great deal of the medical student attitude that’s concerning medical educators. The whole "hold my hand with everything" demeanor.

The fact that she won her lawsuit simply shows how screwed up the legal system is in this country as well. Where has common sense gone? Why are we allowing crap like this to be taken seriously? For all of us who've taken this exam we know that the time she received was more than adequate.

So, to this princess, this coddled little bitch, I'd like to ask: How much more time do you need to take a damn test!?! Do you think you're going to actually be able to take care of more than one patient at a time while a resident? I'm sure you're residency programs will be dying to land you and your suing ways! GOD!


Old MD Girl said...


I hear what you're saying, but I think that calling her a coddled princess bitch might be a little excessive. I mean sheesh.

You have this tendency to work yourself up during these posts, and while I agree with you for the most part (I mean I kind of thought the same thing, as in, "Isn't the extra time she's getting for her dyslexia *enough* for goodness sakes?!?") by the end the post has become really inflammatory and your previously valid point has gotten lost in the inferno.

Some things just aren't worth getting that upset over. Keep your eye on the ball and worry about yourself. This woman is never going to be a threat to you, unless calling her a bitch (on your anonymous blog) somehow gets you in trouble.

I hope I don't sound too preachy. I really like reading your blog, and I think you're probably a decent guy who just gets carried away with things like this from time to time. The whole world may seem out to get you sometimes (I feel like that on occasion too), but it's not. Deep breaths MSG. Deep breaths. And *then* hit the post button.

Old MD Girl said...

BTW -- I thought you might find it amusing that I went to elementary school with some of the physicians who spoke up in her defense. And I can tell you for a FACT that they WERE coddled princesses -- in elementary school at least. I just don't say that on my blog. Often.


Anonymous said...

well said old md girl, and it isn't as though you are totally anonymous. i think in the past you have alluded to having a blog on sdn, which in turn had your photo - given that you are trying to get a job based alot on the fact that you are 'easy to work with' you should be a bit more careful.

Anonymous said...

all i have to say is: of all things in the world 1 can possible need more time for, pumping breast milk? thats absolutley ridiculous. Im sure there are alot more people like her waiting to take legal action of such a situation considering what the verdict that already came out of it. What a royal mess the system is turning into. i mean 4 christ sake...god forbid a patient is dying and needs immediate assistance, b4 u cud say breast, muchless pumping or milk, that person is dead. what an assbag she is, bringin down other 'real' med students with her.

Anonymous said...

sitting in an exam room at the same computer for 8 hours in a row with only 10-15 min. at a time is a hell of a lot different than working on an inpatient medicine service where, while there are emergent situations, there are also hours and hours of down time. I would say of all things to have extra time for, breast pumping would be one of the best reasons. obviously, you have never had engorged breasts that are leaking milk. who the hell cares if someone gets extra time. do people really think that time is the limiting factor for the scores on step 1 or 2? most people i know end up finishing each section with extra time (msg for example) and wouldn't have had a change in their score with an extra hour or two.

as far as her 'bringing down real med students' - in my opinion the real med students are those of us who are able to balance medicine with a life outside of medicine - it makes you a REAL person and a better doctor. i applaud this woman for having a baby in medical school.

#1 Dinosaur said...

This is old news, Dude. She lost.

Old MD Girl said...

Get your facts straight. She won:

Anonymous said...

That is old news. She did win and then lost on appeal and was still waiting to see what would happen. I think, if I remember correctly, that she had already flunked the exam once even with extra time and now does not want to take it unless she has the pumping extra time. Part of the issue was that her residency would not let her start without passing this exam.

Quite frankly, I agree with MSG. She had already failed once with all the extra time and allowances and now wants more accomodations? I also wonder how she will be able to hack a residency with this kind of attitude. And it may be terrible to say, but hooray that she wants to go into research! I have to wonder if she is cut out for clinical medicine.

A lot of this was covered on KevinMD's blog as well last month.

Anonymous said...

Actually, you guys are all wrong. The med student (actually md/phd) in question took her case all the way to the highest court in Mass. and won (on the eve of her exam, no less)--the Court forced the NBME to give her all the extra time she requested.

Anonymous said...

I am a breastfeeding mother and I agree with MSG. I really hate these nanny policies where we are expected to hold people's hands, wipe their noses, and coddle them through every little thing. Next thing you know someone will be suing because they have restless leg syndrome and therefore need extra time. Where do you draw the line? I'm sure everyone that room could've come up with some excuse such as overactive bladder, not enough sleep, bad case of roids...whatever. Give a mouse a cookie and he will want a glass of milk...its the same thing with this issue. How is she going to get through residency if she is already crying over a little pumped milk?

Anonymous said...

I don't think your reactions are overreaching at all. Our courts *are* screwed up and the whiners seem to smell a payday at ten paces.

Some things just aren't worth getting that upset over. Keep your eye on the ball and worry about yourself.

Yes, some things *are* worth getting upset over. What kind of doctor is breast-feeding princess going to make? Will she be a doc others can count on in a crisis, or will she fold like a damp napkin and put everyone else at risk - including her patient?

MSG, you go ahead and rant. Abuse of the system is frustrating for everyone else who plays the game by the rules.