21 May 2009


A byproduct of the flu outbreak is that we had to cancel the clinical exam.

Strictly speaking, we did not cancel the exam. Instead of asking students to examine real patients, we showed them photos, video clips and investigation results. This prevents patients from contracting infections during the exam. Realistically, patients would not come to the hospital anyway because of the risk.

JW was overjoyed. According to him, students who learned medicine in wards and medical grand rounds could get distinctions, while those who only read textbooks would have a tough time.

On second thought, this was indeed wonderful. Reward shapes behavior. While we grumble that many students are only interested in exam-related skills, can’t we modify the exam to encourage them to equip themselves as good and competent doctors?

We also grumble a lot about some academics who are only interested in publications. Theoretically, the reward system can be modified to encourage teaching and community service. The real question is – Are universities interested in these?

1 comment:

  1. That's simple. We should have another reward system for universities: when their rankings also count on their teachings and community services.