September 20, 2007

Something I noticed

I summarized the slides of a long-winded & technical professor and I made this observation:
Research faculty are interested in rare and novel things, while clinical faculty are more interested in impact and applicability.  It makes sense after all... the sorts of people who are attracted to research are the ones who seek out unknown things and attempt to answer questions, while doctors are interested in how they can diagnose and treat a specific disease.
This certainly has an effect on how they approach their lecture teaching styles.  I've noticed myself sliding into the clinical role more and more.  When I'm faced with a fact, I have to make the brutal decision -- is this something important enough that I need to try and memorize it?  How will I use this fact in the future?  No longer is there the simple joy of learning something new... there's too many new and exciting things to learn!  I have to prioritize.
I'd like it if our professors could understand this and help us out with this process to spare us some of the pain-staking process of going to lecture, getting next to nothing from it, doing independent reading, synthesizing our knowledge, summarize it, share it with others and HOPE TO GODS that it is the right stuff we're focusing on.

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