Saturday, September 11, 2010

Doctors on O-Chem

There are a few of you - already granted the title, and those already admitted to the programs - who will shake your head like a fluffy wet golden retriever, and subsequently, thank God, that you're done with organic.

My professor even said as much.

Apparently, a few years ago he was walking up the sidewalk in the middle of a winter in some place where water freezes to pavement, and walking on such frozen surface can, and often does, cause slipping and falling. To those of you in warm locations, I realize you cannot relate (your loss!).

Anyway, the professor broke his arm. Just so happened he was across the street from the medical center so he loped across the street, swaggered into the e-room for an eval, and waited. Doctor was examining the arm, very kind, patient, calm... asked the professor what he was doing outside on that winter's day.

See, up to this point the doctor had been all that we strive to be (or at least some of us). He had been engaging, bedside manner supreme. But with that one question, it all changed.

Professor T quietly stated, "I was going home after teaching."

Doctor asked, "Oh really. What do you teach?"

Professor T, "Organic."

And with that the doctor's demeanor changed and with an exclamation stated, "That is by far the worst class I have ever had to take" with the temperature rising in the e-room, "can't fathom why on earth I was required to take the (insert blankety blank blank) class..." and left without much discussion in a rather rapid pace; almost as if he were chased by demons not seen.

Apparently, that happens a lot to organic professors when out in public with medical personnel.

It's almost like organic needs its own medication regiment for those that survive, and thrive, to help others.


Anonymous said...

I've only been taking organic chemistry a few weeks, but I seriously don't see what all the hate and fear is about. I'm a little bit worried that some evil and nasty monster is waiting for me further into the class, but from what I'm seeing right now, it doesn't feel all that bad. I'm looking forward to the end of the semester so I can actually have some hindsight perspective on this subject, because thus far, I'm really not seeing where all the pain comes from.

First exam is in three weeks, so maybe that's when the mortars will start landing.

Anonymous said...

My dad's a doctor and now does surgical assists. One of the surgeons asked him what his son does, he said "organic chemist". The responses were all in disgust, like "gawd I hated that course!' "how could anyone like that stuff", "man it was awful" etc. I've been quietly reading organic chem in coffee shops and had people tell me how awful organic chemistry is.

The tough part is getting used to the exceptions to the rules -there are a lot, and learning to think through problems rather than rely on memorizing everything. I tried to memorize everything and ended up not doing very well.

A Doc 2 Be said...

I found the story amusing from my professor.

I'm sick. I LOVE organic chemistry... and so entirely happy to be done with gen chem which made my wee pink calculator go green with disgust.

While starting to memorize certain principles, I'm also watching how bonds break, electrons move to form new bonds.

Our prof told us that after 6 weeks, o-chem gets harder - must be where mechanisms kick in vs. straight forward reactions with various catalysts... who knows. I'm looking forward to doing well :) and being one of those doctors that says, "Ahhh, yes. Ochem!" :D

SeaSideRobin said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one that loves that course - when I took it, the prof made us make drawings using organic compounds, then try to name them. Funnest class I had all semester!

Old MD Girl said...

I loved organic too. I think part of the problem lies with certain organic professors, however. The one who taught my class set his mean at a C, took more points off if you questioned how an exam question was graded, and saw it as his personal mission to determine which students could go to medical school. So.... he was kind of an ass.

Obviously, not all organic professors are like that. Also, med students could do a lot more to endear themselves to college professors in general. Not being grade-grubbing ultra competitive brats would be a great place to start.