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Harvard MS4 Zoo Elective

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  • Harvard MS4 Zoo Elective

    https://www.cbsnews.com/video/why-some-harvard-medical-students-are-starting-veterinary-rotations/

    Seems like a great use use of tuition and future/PSLF tax dollars.  Though if I were in my last month of med school looking to run out the clock I'd probably sign up for it too.

    I couldn't help but chuckle hearing the descriptions of how it enhances their physician-patient interactions.

    What's next, can I get CME credit for volunteering at the kitten nursery?

  • #2
    My school had an M4 elective called space and nautical medicine or some nonsense. It was part of EM. Just had to watch some videos and write a one page treatment plan.

    Some dude in the class ahead of mine whines about the course director not accepting his late work. SOM got wind of the course and ended it. I was looking forward to taking that ?

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    • #3
      Putting that $90k/yr to good use.

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      • #4
        What is the point? Learning to draw blood? Injections? Getting to do some of the surgeries?

        My residency still had an "elective" rotation, which most people used for their research... however, I had already completed my research by then and had it published.... so I went to Guatemala for 7 weeks to learn Spanish. When I asked my program director if he would let me go learn Spanish, he said "Will speaking Spanish help you as a physician?"  Since I live in California, I said "H3!! ya!" (ok, maybe it was more like "yes sir" but I thought the "H3!! ya!") and he let me go. It was awesome! 6 weeks of classes, one week of vacation. I came back and paid a college student twice a week to meet me at a cafe and speak to me in Spanish, correct my Spanish and simulate clinic visits. Now, if you don't speak Spanish, you would think I was fluent (if you do speak Spanish, you would know I can get by but my conjugation is not great).

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        • #5




          What is the point? Learning to draw blood? Injections? Getting to do some of the surgeries?

          My residency still had an “elective” rotation, which most people used for their research… however, I had already completed my research by then and had it published…. so I went to Guatemala for 7 weeks to learn Spanish. When I asked my program director if he would let me go learn Spanish, he said “Will speaking Spanish help you as a physician?”  Since I live in California, I said “H3!! ya!” (ok, maybe it was more like “yes sir” but I thought the “H3!! ya!”) and he let me go. It was awesome! 6 weeks of classes, one week of vacation. I came back and paid a college student twice a week to meet me at a cafe and speak to me in Spanish, correct my Spanish and simulate clinic visits. Now, if you don’t speak Spanish, you would think I was fluent (if you do speak Spanish, you would know I can get by but my conjugation is not great).
          Click to expand...


          I am impressed ??!
          Financial planning, investment management and CPA services for medical and high-income professionals | 270-247-6087

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          • #6




            What is the point? Learning to draw blood? Injections? Getting to do some of the surgeries?

            My residency still had an “elective” rotation, which most people used for their research… however, I had already completed my research by then and had it published…. so I went to Guatemala for 7 weeks to learn Spanish. When I asked my program director if he would let me go learn Spanish, he said “Will speaking Spanish help you as a physician?”  Since I live in California, I said “H3!! ya!” (ok, maybe it was more like “yes sir” but I thought the “H3!! ya!”) and he let me go. It was awesome! 6 weeks of classes, one week of vacation. I came back and paid a college student twice a week to meet me at a cafe and speak to me in Spanish, correct my Spanish and simulate clinic visits. Now, if you don’t speak Spanish, you would think I was fluent (if you do speak Spanish, you would know I can get by but my conjugation is not great).
            Click to expand...


            It really makes about as much sense as taking a month during your residency to work in the urology department.  You could try to say with a straight face that doing those cases will make you a better OB/Gyn but all anyone with half a brain will think is that your residency is wasting your time.  Of course that scenario would never happen anyway, because 75 year olds with prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction aren't nearly as fun as spider monkeys and iguanas.

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            • #7
              Sometimes I feel like I'm working in a zoo. People throwing feces. People yelling. People generally acting a fool.

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              • #8
                I took my kids to the zoo last weekend. Can I claim it as a work expense?

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                • #9
                  My MS4 year I took a wilderness medicine course.  2-weeks of hiking, camping, mountaineering, boating, all while learning basic first aid stuff in each relative situation.  I can’t say it was the most high yield thing I did, but we certainly learned some things and it was awesome.

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                  • #10
                    I had some sweet classes fourth year. Dermatology depicted in film, psych in the cinema, internal medicine case files and an ethics in medicine class. For each of those classes we met once a week and I watched movies or read articles to prepare for the class discussions. This was after I'd taken a year off after having my son and I was doing whatever gave me the most time with him. But the 2 film classes were actually great tools for helping to appreciate the patient perspective, understanding bias and stigma and developing empathy.

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                    • #11
                      such a waste of time. but then again so is basically all of 4th year

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                      • #12
                        I went to Scotland for a month of an Infertility elective.  Great trip.  A good look at the NHS also.

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                        • #13
                          Interesting video.  I am ready to take the course.

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                          • #14


                            you would think I was fluent (if you do speak Spanish, you would know I can get by but my conjugation is not great).
                            Click to expand...


                            Curiosity, have you certified your Spanish capability or do you still need to call in a certified translator? My understanding is this can be a big time burner with a bilingual population. Has it been useful other than conversational purposes is the curiosity. Thanks.

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                            • #15
                              I'm jealous.

                              I did some cool electives fourth year and residency as well.  Who cares if they're not related to anything practical?  You have the rest of your career to do boring crap.

                              Besides, I've done a fair bit of doctoring on my animals over the years....

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