A Medical School Problem Based Learning (PBL) Parody of ‘The Office’

Last week a video came my way via ZDoggMD, a popular blog by doctors who are not me.

The Office Med School Edition

The clip is a parody of The Office about Problem Based Learning (PBL).

In a typical PBL, the students meet regularly in small groups. On Monday they begin with clinical aspects of a case. The process involves finding information and researching relevant topics to “solve” the diagnosis and /or a treatment dilemma. Over the course of each week the students move forward, working through a hypothetical patient’s history, physical exam and lab studies to the nitty-gritty of molecules, genes and cells implicated in a disease process.

It’s a lot of fun, usually.

The video was uploaded in February, 2007. It’s attributed to a group of med students at the University of Pittsburgh, class of 2009.


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Where Are the Nucleosomes?

This clip has had me wondering:

The DNA Dance

The video shows kids dancing on a college campus. They’re wearing tee shirts in any of four colors (representing nucleotides?) and lining up and zip-splitting in a semi-coordinated fashion, and having fun.

That’s fine, but let’s face facts: the exercise has little to do with DNA or understanding genetics at a meaningful level. From the Times Learning Network:

The idea was to connect science with the arts and to facilitate student understanding of the role genetic information plays in our lives. It also works on a metaphorical level, as an allegory for the student-faculty relationship and the college experience.

My initial reaction was puzzlement, then concern about higher education in the U.S. mixed with fear for the next generation of scientists: Where are the nucleosomes? Is the bicyclist like a helicase? What happens if there’s a double-strand break? All these things we should know.

Am I being too harsh?

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An NCI Radiation Oncologist Considers the Situation in Japan, on YouTube (with a link to Nancy Grace)

Unfortunately things are not obviously getting better in Japan. The water, air and food are affected. A few radiation workers are sick.

This morning I came upon a 5-min YouTube clip of Dr. Norman Coleman, a senior radiation oncologist at the NIH’s Center for Cancer Research, via a @NCIBulletin on Twitter. He’s speaking at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo:

Dr. Norman Coleman, speaking March 25 in Tokyo

I think CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR and even Fox should track down Dr. Coleman and use him as an expert when he’s not busy helping resolve this emergency, because it seems he is knowledgeable, reasonable and cautious, besides appropriately tired having traveled and pondered such a complex situation that affects the public’s health.

Then again, it’s always a good idea to hear from a variety of sources –

A recent, perfectly-titled Dot Earth post by Andrew Revkin threads Nancy Grace, a meteorologist, CJR, Jon Stewart and a magician. Read it and watch:

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A 2nd-Year Med Student Turns YouTube Star

A surprise today, indirectly, from a medical student in Philly:

You can read about the performance, by a celebratory second-year student at Drexel University College of Medicine, in the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News Digital.

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Doctors Enjoy Smoking Camels, in an Old Cigarette Ad

A new Twitter follow led me to LongartsZwolle, a blog by a pulmonologist in the Netherlands. A February 1 post needs no translation:

More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette

The clip is said, on YouTube, to be a 1949 commercial for Camel cigarettes. I tried to find more on this, first by clicking on the Camel website, sponsored by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, but the virtual age filter checkpoints asked me for too much information, so I gave up.


Note: Using Google translator, I initially found that longarts means “lung” in Dutch. Zwolle is a city north and east of Amsterdam. But @longartszwolle clarified via Twitter: longarts means pulmonologist. – updated by ES, 2/4/11, 9AM.

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Doctors Singing On YouTube

A few weeks ago I found some doctors singing on YouTube. They made me laugh and perhaps, even, feel better.

Doctors in Cyberspace

I contacted the singing doctors to check, among other things, that they’re still in business. It turns out that Drs. Barry Levy and Greg LaGana both graduated from Cornell University Medical College just a few years back, in 1971. They’ve been performing together for years and still do.

“Why rant and rave when a laugh will do?” said the New York Times about the pair, in 2004.

Now, they have a YouTube channel. Of the five videos available, my preference is Doctors in Cyberspace (above) but that’s probably because I’m partial to the “I Feel Pretty” melody from West Side Story. Health Care Business, to the tune of “There’s No Business Like Show Business” comes in at a close second and, based on the number of YouTube viewings so far, seems to be the public’s favorite.

Their website is called Damaged Care. You can buy a CD for a holiday gift. Or hire the doctors to entertain at a real-life party or other event: they’ve performed for state medical societies, hospital associations, the AMA, pharmaceutical industry associations, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church among other agencies, and at Off-Off-Broadway venues in New York City.

The Damaged Care Doctors

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