Tag Archives: medical school

Should a Bad Grade in Organic Chemistry be a Doctor Killer?

NYU Professor Fired for Giving Students Bad Grades

Should a Bad Grade in Organic Chemistry be a Doctor Killer?

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

A recent article described the termination of an NYU organic chemistry professor in response to a student petition. When the professor pushed students’ grades down, noting the egregious misconduct, he said they protested that “they were not given grades that would allow them to get into medical school.” The reporter noted that, in short, this one unhappy chemistry class could be a case study of the pressures on higher education as it tries to handle its Gen-Z student body. Should universities ease pressure on students, many of whom are still coping with the pandemic’s effects on their mental health and schooling? How should universities respond to the increasing number of complaints by students against professors? Do students have too much power over contract faculty members, who do not have the protections of tenure?

And how hard should organic chemistry be anyway? One faculty member said, “Unless you appreciate these transformations at the molecular level, I don’t think you can be a good physician, and I don’t want you treating patients.”

I know the feeling. While organic chemistry is termed a “doctor killer” by premedical students, getting any grade less than an “A”, typically in science, technology, engineering, or math subjects, can doom your application. When I saw that B I got in physics in my junior year of college, I started thinking about Plan B. Then I really learned the gravity of the situation.

Despite the noise and groaning, medical school applications continue to rise, driven by many factors. However, the medical school education model dates back to the Flexner report issued in 1910. Many are trying to address the challenges of how to train the biomedical research and practice workforce to win the 4th industrial revolution, but progress has been slow. Here were the challenges facing medical schools in 2015. Things have not radically changed. Medical educators, particularly those in public medical schools, will continue to face several basic problems in the coming years. The “invisible enemy” has exacerbated many.

We should rethink how we recruit and accept medical students.

Here are some questions that should inform that transition:

1. Do doctors really need to be that “smart”? GPAs can vary significantly across different medical schools, so it pays to do your research before applying. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reported an average GPA for medical school of 3.60 across all applicants for the 2021-2022 application cycle. For the same year, applicants had an average science GPA of 3.49 and an average non-science GPA of 3.74.

2. What kind of intelligence do doctors need to meet the needs of their stakeholders and communities?

Types of Intelligence by Mark Vital

3. Do patients really care what grade their doctor got in organic chemistry, or, for that matter, whether they graduated last in their class from medical school?

4. How has the pandemic and the persona of Gen Z changed medical education?

5. What do doctors and patients need to know to win the 4th industrial revolution? Organic chemistry?

6. How does the present system and its reliance on undergraduate STEM academic performance impact inequitable socioeconomic and demographic acceptance rates?

7. How should we transform premedical, medical, and post-graduate pedagogy? Examples are project-based learning and peer reviewed feedback.

8. Why do we insist that undergraduates declare a major?

9. Is the purpose of a medical school education solely to graduate students who have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies to take care of patients, or should we provide them with exit ramps too?

10. How do we balance a medical culture of conformity with a culture of creativity?

11. What will be the future of medical work?

I’m lucky that I dodged the bullet. But I still have Plan B.

Image Credits: Adioma (Mark Vital), Pixabay

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The Impact of Virtual and Augmented Reality in Assisting Medical Procedures

The Impact of Virtual and Augmented Reality in Assisting Medical Procedures

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

In recent years, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies have made significant advancements, revolutionizing various industries, including healthcare. By simulating real-world scenarios and enhancing the physical environment, VR and AR have proven to be invaluable tools in assisting medical procedures. This article explores the transformative power of these immersive technologies by presenting two compelling case studies that demonstrate their impact on patient outcomes and healthcare professionals’ abilities.

Case Study 1: Surgeon-Assistance in Precision Procedures

One notable application of VR and AR technologies lies in their ability to provide real-time visualizations, allowing surgeons to enhance their precision during complex procedures. To illustrate this, let’s consider a recent case at a renowned cardiac center.

A cardiac surgeon, Dr. Johnson, was tasked with performing a high-risk coronary bypass surgery on a patient with multiple complications. Utilizing AR glasses, Dr. Johnson was able to visualize the patient’s anatomy in real-time, overlaying vital data onto the patient’s chest. This immersive visualization provided an enhanced understanding of the complex vascular network, allowing the surgeon to navigate around potential trouble spots and optimize the bypass graft placement accurately.

The use of AR during this procedure significantly reduced the operation time by 25% and decreased the risk of complications. Dr. Johnson’s exceptional outcomes highlight how VR and AR technologies complement surgical expertise, fostering improved patient care.

Case Study 2: Enhancing Patient Rehabilitation with VR

Beyond the operating theater, VR has also proven to be a powerful tool for aiding patients in their rehabilitation journey. Consider a case involving a young adult, Emily, who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury resulting from a car accident.

Emily experienced reduced cognitive function, mobility challenges, and struggled to regain independence in her daily activities. To assist her recovery, her rehabilitation team introduced VR-based therapy sessions. Through immersive experiences, Emily was transported to virtual environments that stimulated her cognitive and motor abilities, such as virtual grocery shopping or navigating a virtual obstacle course.

By incorporating VR into her therapy, Emily’s motivation and engagement levels increased significantly, leading to improved outcomes in her cognitive and motor skills. Over time, she regained her independence with daily activities, and her overall quality of life improved. This case illustrates how VR can revolutionize rehabilitation practices by providing engaging and customized interventions tailored to each patient’s needs.


The impact of virtual and augmented reality technologies on medical procedures is undeniable. From improving surgical precision to enriching rehabilitation practices, VR and AR have accelerated advancements in patient care. The case studies presented exemplify the transformative potential of these immersive technologies, fostering enhanced patient outcomes and augmenting healthcare professionals’ capabilities.

As VR and AR continue to evolve, we must seize the opportunity to integrate these technologies further into healthcare systems. Investing in research, development, and training will facilitate their widespread adoption, ultimately leading to a future where medical procedures are safer, more efficient, and patient-centered. By embracing these emerging technologies, we can truly revolutionize the world of healthcare, pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve for the benefit of all.

SPECIAL BONUS: The very best change planners use a visual, collaborative approach to create their deliverables. A methodology and tools like those in Change Planning Toolkit™ can empower anyone to become great change planners themselves.

Image credit: Pexels

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