Monday, June 9, 2008

Any Way You Want It

So I’ve been meaning to post on this since the summer started but haven’t had time and wanted to remain as tactful as possible. The subject of this post is simply put – on international students. Our class was overrun with them beginning day one of the D-2 year. I know UIC has a large IDDP program, but a little notice or reminder that about 30 new faces would be sitting in lecture with us would have been nice.

Much like in any elementary school..err dental school, the new kids are usually not welcomed with open arms. It is actually pretty funny. The lecture hall has three main sections with two stair/isles separating the sections. ALL of the IDDPs are in the middle (first 5 or so rows). ALL of the D-2’s are sitting in the hall perimeter..making a U like shape around the room. It is like that junior high dance scene where all the boys are on one side, and girls on the other.

Now it has gotten a little better since day one, but there are some obvious problems.

Number one being that these foreign trained DENTISTS are ridiculously overqualified to be stuck in a D-2 curriculum that has them cutting preps on plastic teeth. Yes this is unfair to them, but it is also quite unfair to us, because they simply KNOW so much more than us and have actual experience. This isn’t that big a deal right? Well when we get put into small groups, for Evidence based dentistry – things couldn’t be any more blatant. These students know what to look for on radiographs, know how to diagnose a lot more than we do, and pretty much are better at dentistry in general. So do you think there will be equal contributions to these discussions? My group has been pretty good actually, but I have heard pretty annoying stories from others about certain individuals taking over the discussion. The question: is this fair when the EBD grade is based entirely on participation and group input? The answer: hell no.

I’m not sure if our tests are graded in the same pool however..but if that is the case – than the curve is going to shoot up quite a bit.

Still, what I find most unbearable is when we are doing some intro to perio (again) lecture where the professor asks a bunch of questions. Call me insensitive, but there is nothing harder to comprehend than 10-12 IDDPs attempting to answer a question at the same time. Don’t get all PC on me either, you know as well as I that 12 people speaking perfectly fluent English would be pretty hard to understand if they were all just blurting out…well add some accents and you get an almost daily experience of ‘what?’

What makes this worse is that the professor is often standing right by the IDDPs (who sit near the front) can make out the answer, and doesn’t REPEAT it…he will just be like.. “correct.” And EVERYONE sitting around me is simply looking at one another and mouthing…what the fuck?

The point is that this is unfair to both the D-2s and the IDDPs. They simply shouldn’t be in ½ of these classes…but I guess the school needs to make money somehow…as if raising my tuition wasn’t enough. I do like the few of them that I have actually interacted with though, so at least most of them are pretty nice.

Oh, and if you understand the clever title of this post, you are invited to Summer Fest II this august after I take the boards. Last year’s is going to look like a Sunday social compared to this…(hopefully).