Everyone asks the same question of me these days. It’s always, “Why are you still in classes if you’re already seeing patients?” In their mind, it seems that we’re treating patients sans some critical information from an essential class. I ease their mind by describing the classes this trimester as “ribbon classes” — classes that are meant to be the finishing aesthetic touches on our formal education. They’re part of our curriculum to hone our diagnostic skills, our business acumen, our empathy, and our ability to pass the scores of semantical board questions [Editorial: it’s so sad that so very much of our educational system is geared towards passing standardized tests]. Oh! And we learn how to avoid getting sued. The class is called Jurisprudence and it’s actually a pretty solid class as it seduces the part of me that always wanted to go into law.
Speaking of useful classes, Dr. William Hogan really comes into his own this trimester. For those of you who don’t know Dr. Hogan, he’s a monolithic character. The fear and anxiety he foments in the hearts of his students is unparalleled here at National. In fact, the only individuals I’ve met that were as well versed in psychological ownership were a few of the drill instructors I got very familiar with at boot camp. I know, right now you’re probably thinking, “Oh no, what a scary man…why is he teaching??” Well, why are the drill instructors teaching? Because life and death isn’t a subject to be flippant about and making negligent, stupid mistakes in both the military and in medicine, results in needless death.
Drill instructors were hard on us because they cared. Dr. Hogan demands investment in learning and by the transitive property — in our patients. He is a verifiable wealth of knowledge. Pay attention before crying the consummate millennial war cry of prejudice and discrimination. There are no safe zones in war or medicine. Let him temper you with his fire. Participate and you’ll walk away a better physician.