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Old 10-12-2022, 07:13 AM
 
9,952 posts, read 6,547,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
Agreed. People tend to assume that students want professors who'll let them slack off, but students know that subsequent math or science courses are going to be a lot harder if they don't know the material those courses are built on. Even if the school let them slack off through every course, there's still the matter of passing exams like the MCAT. My experience in college was that students wanted to learn the material and much preferred a tough instructor to a confusing one who gave out points just to avoid failing the whole class.

Without knowing the people involved, though, it's hard to say whether these students' study skills had gone downhill over the past few years, or if it was time for the professor to retire.
You make a good point, and that might be that they never understood the basics they should have learned in the prerequisite science classes. There is only so much a teacher can do at that point. My experience in high school was that I had a poor teacher in 9th and 10th grade. He was a very bright man who had previously worked at NASA, but he could not teach to save his life. Needless to say, by the time I got to the 11th and 12th grade classes, I barely passed.

In this situation, you had kids coming into college who likely had a year of e-learning with teachers not trained on how to properly use that learning platform. I am not sure it is fair to blame the students. It’s also not going to do any students any favors to simply pass them in organic chemistry if they are going to then tank on the MCAT because they don’t know the material. FWIW, I have a friend whose child is applying to med school this year. He finished college a few years ago at a school that is known to be very tough and he did not have to do any e-learning. His first time, he did poorly and this time around he is getting interviews at a lot of really good schools. His MCAT is excellent, but I wonder if part of that is that there is a noticeable learning loss with students who had to deal with the 2 years of e-learning. It’s also clear that his grades are a reflection of what he actually learned and not a reflection of teachers who just pass/give high grades to students.
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:35 AM
 
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First of all, I know nothing about this professor, so I have no opinion on him. But I will comment on other things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
Organic Chemistry is the weed out class for pre-med. It's always been impossible to pass - even back in the 1980's. Many students failed the course on a regular basis. It made sure only the best students went on to finish pre-med.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
I wish there was more information to go by. While it's easy to just fire one of the "current generation ....." grenades, I've seen too many professors who really didn't belong in the job.

I understand the purpose of weed out classes and just how tough they can be. Some professors are tough, but teach you things (thanks Dr G; best professor I ever had) you need for the courses that are coming. Others can be tough on you but teach nothing.
I still don't agree with weed out classes. For the tuition students are paying, professors should be helping them learn organic chemistry, not work against them. If the intent is to help weed students out of particular fields, then perhaps some industry board (the medical board) in this case should be the ones paying tuition.

People here make the argument that doctors doing surgery need to be able quickly memorize things in a pressure cooker environment. But people forget that there are different types of doctors. A surgeon may need to quickly memorize things in a pressure cooker environment on no sleep for 48 hours. But a general practitioner does not need to. When I try to make an appointment for a physical and I'm told the next appointment is sometime next year, I wish that we had more doctors, even if the barrier to become a doctor was reduced. When I'm sick and told I have to wait a month for an appointment, I wish that we had more doctors. When I'm in the hospital and have to stay there for 3 days to wait for a doctor to be available for a test, I wish that we had more doctors.

I'm surprised that certain posters on this forum aren't arguing that doctors should be chosen based on "soft skills" and ability to "read a room".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I knew someone who was determined to get into the medical field. He flunked out the first time he took Organic Chem. He kept re-taking it, in different medical schools. He switched to a naturopathic specialty school, and flunked out again. Later, he switched to Osteopathy in yet another school, and that time, he passed it, and got his degree. That was back in the 80's/90's. He's had a successful practice ever since.

I don't know the details, as to whether he just kept banging his head on the same wall, and it eventually gave in, or if the 3rd time around he got an instructor who approached it differently (like the prof. in the OP). That's quite a show of determination. He knew what field he wanted to be in, and he wouldn't let the weed-out class best him.
Perfect example of how there are different types of doctors, and not all require memorizing things in a pressure cooker environment with no sleep.
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
2,977 posts, read 2,301,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Actually no, students generally don't want "hard" professors in any discipline. I will say, from my perspective as a high school teacher, that going to the "customer service" model has made things worse.
High schools students and pre-med/engineering/physical science majors in college are two completely different groups of people with very different incentives. A high school diploma is a high school diploma, regardless of grades or the difficulty of courses taken. High school is a hodge-podge of mostly dull, unrelated subjects that hardly any of the students have any interest in--unless things have completely changed since I was a teenager. The aforementioned college students, however, are in programs they've chosen; they can be kicked out of school for poor grades; they can fail tests they need to pass if they don't know the material, and they know that failure can have life-changing consequences.
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:54 AM
 
6,922 posts, read 6,968,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
Agreed. People tend to assume that students want professors who'll let them slack off, but students know that subsequent math or science courses are going to be a lot harder if they don't know the material those courses are built on. Even if the school let them slack off through every course, there's still the matter of passing exams like the MCAT. My experience in college was that students wanted to learn the material and much preferred a tough instructor to a confusing one who gave out points just to avoid failing the whole class.
But just because a professor gives good grades doesn't mean that they aren't teaching. My 11th grade AP Physics teacher gave basically everybody an A. But almost all of us got a 5 on the AP exam, so we clearly learned the material. As I keep saying, if anything, I learned less from teachers who gave bad grades, since I would shift my focus to classes where I knew I'd be rewarded for my effort, rather than a class where I knew that my efforts would never be rewarded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Actually no, students generally don't want "hard" professors in any discipline. I will say, from my perspective as a high school teacher, that going to the "customer service" model has made things worse.
Especially if you are tying to get into an elite college, get a scholarship to a less than elite college, keep a scholarship that requires a certain GPA, or even just have parents who demand good grades. All of those are situations where you are penalized for having teachers who give bad grades.

Quote:
Now I will say that I taught with people who had entire classes fail, mostly Algebra I and II and Science classes, even Earth Science. In that case then yes, you do have to look at the instructor. As a sidebar to that, though, you do have Administrators pressuring teachers to pass everyone ("What will you do to ensure that no one fails your class even if they don't do the work or pass the tests?").
As I keep saying, when you have a class where the average is a 44, it means either the teacher did not teach the material properly, and/or the exam did not properly cover what was taught. I never understood why so many people feel that they learn a lot from such teachers. On the other hand, in grad school, I had a class that was completely over my head, and I got a 44 on the final exam. The class average was an 88, so I couldn't blame the professor on that one.
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
2,977 posts, read 2,301,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
You make a good point, and that might be that they never understood the basics they should have learned in the prerequisite science classes. There is only so much a teacher can do at that point.
My calculus II teacher offered to help any of her students who needed help with trigonometry. A classmate and I took her up on her offer, and in 45 minutes, I learned more about trigonometry--in fact, everything I needed to know about trigonometry--than I learned in an entire semester of trig.
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Old 10-12-2022, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
13,605 posts, read 12,207,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
Sounds likely. If you fail organic chemistry, you are ineligible to continue on the pre-med track in undergrad. Your friend probably transfer to another undergraduate college with a pathway to naturopathy.
Pre-med isn't a major or even a track per se. It's just a series of classes generally required by med schools for admission. You can major in Art History and do pre-med if you wish, though most pursue a major where at least some of the pre-med requirements are incorporated. If you fail o-chem, you're only ineligible for courses or majors that o-chem is a prerequisite for.

Where I went to college it was a year of General Chem, a year of Bio, a year of O chem, a year of Physics, a semester of Biochem, a semester Stats or Calculus. It's a lot, but taken end to end its 2.5 semesters.
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Old 10-12-2022, 10:46 PM
 
3,881 posts, read 2,325,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cida View Post
There are so many disturbing aspects to this, but it caught my attention that the students objected to the professor seeming condescending and demanding. This sounds to me like kids who've been incessantly praised and coddled all their lives and are destined to be jolted by the working world.
School needs to be easier for students so they have time to belong to fraternities and sororities, attend college pep rallies and sporting events, and the regular partying and drinking.
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:29 PM
 
19,413 posts, read 17,623,577 times
Reputation: 16969
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOV View Post
Pre-med isn't a major or even a track per se. It's just a series of classes generally required by med schools for admission. You can major in Art History and do pre-med if you wish, though most pursue a major where at least some of the pre-med requirements are incorporated. If you fail o-chem, you're only ineligible for courses or majors that o-chem is a prerequisite for.

Where I went to college it was a year of General Chem, a year of Bio, a year of O chem, a year of Physics, a semester of Biochem, a semester Stats or Calculus. It's a lot, but taken end to end its 2.5 semesters.
He's moved on but my son's medical school publishes its prerequisites

*Every science and math class must be a "for science majors" class...........no nursing, pharmacy or allied health classes count.

Biology 14 hours

Biochemistry 3 hours

Chemistry 12 hours

Calculus or calculus based bio-statistics 3 hours

Physics 8 hours

English 6 hours


And very few admits get in with just the prerequisites........I can tell because they breakdown matriculants by major. Not quite 90% have a STEM degree (~50% biology, 20%physical sciences etc.).
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Old 10-13-2022, 07:24 AM
 
9,952 posts, read 6,547,245 times
Reputation: 19649
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
First of all, I know nothing about this professor, so I have no opinion on him. But I will comment on other things.






I still don't agree with weed out classes. For the tuition students are paying, professors should be helping them learn organic chemistry, not work against them. If the intent is to help weed students out of particular fields, then perhaps some industry board (the medical board) in this case should be the ones paying tuition.

People here make the argument that doctors doing surgery need to be able quickly memorize things in a pressure cooker environment. But people forget that there are different types of doctors. A surgeon may need to quickly memorize things in a pressure cooker environment on no sleep for 48 hours. But a general practitioner does not need to. When I try to make an appointment for a physical and I'm told the next appointment is sometime next year, I wish that we had more doctors, even if the barrier to become a doctor was reduced. When I'm sick and told I have to wait a month for an appointment, I wish that we had more doctors. When I'm in the hospital and have to stay there for 3 days to wait for a doctor to be available for a test, I wish that we had more doctors.

I'm surprised that certain posters on this forum aren't arguing that doctors should be chosen based on "soft skills" and ability to "read a room".



Perfect example of how there are different types of doctors, and not all require memorizing things in a pressure cooker environment with no sleep.
Please, enlighten us on the medical practice areas that don’t require at least a three-year medical residency that typically requires low pay, insane hours, and limited sleep. Part of the purpose of the residency is to expose the new doctor to different situations s/he might encounter in practice. Every doctor might see a patient in an emergency situation or get a call about a patient having an emergency at 2am, waking the doctor from a deep sleep. This does happen with PCPs. A lot of patients may come in to the practice in an emergency situation and needs a doctor who is going to be able to assess quickly whether they can treat the patient or whether they need to go to the ER. They may not even really be able to see the patient and just call the practice nurse who has to talk to a doctor to pass info onto the patient.

FWIW, many states are trying to address the issue of lack of care by allowing mid-level practitioners more autonomy. In many situations, a PA or NP is easily able to handle more routine visits while the physician can handle the more complex situations. I *do* think soft skills are beneficial, as being able to obtain a good patient history and develop a rapport with a patient is often essential in figuring out what the problem is and whether a treatment can be effective.
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Old 10-13-2022, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
13,605 posts, read 12,207,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
And very few admits get in with just the prerequisites........I can tell because they breakdown matriculants by major. Not quite 90% have a STEM degree (~50% biology, 20%physical sciences etc.).
I don't think you can draw that conclusion. It's more likely that very few applicants take the prerequisites without a STEM major. I know a music major that went to med school but he had to take another year in undergrad and a couple summer classes.
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