Frustrated with School

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by themadchemist, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #1
    So I am in a combined MD and PhD program, and I am in the MD portion of my training right now. I start my PhD next year, but my program decided it would be just peachy to have us do a mock grant proposal with our future thesis advisers and present them for "practice." It's not like we have a dozen dense lectures to cover every week or the national boards for which to prepare. No, no, we have so much time on our hands for this proposal that would likely be more useful *after* the boards, when we begin our PhD training.

    So like the rest of my cohort, I've spent the last two weeks getting completely behind our MD counterparts in school (I've also been sick), while putting together a real piece of crap proposal. I mean, this thing is bad; I'm embarrassed--I spent so much time preparing it, but there are so many holes in the experiments I proposed, so many problems with the proposal. And now I have to get up today in front of faculty, post docs, and fellow students, and present this royal failure for thirty minutes! Just to add to my shame. And once that is over, is there any rest for the weary? Of course not, I have 23 lectures to catch up on.

    I love the topic of my thesis research, and with work, I think I could design some really effective experiments. There are flashes of interesting ideas in my proposal, but they need to be developed, which is something I can do when I'm in the lab full-time thinking about science and working on science. Until this moment, I had been looking forward to starting my PhD research. But now, thinking about it just makes me sick.

    Thanks so much, [my university], for sabotaging my academic endeavors with stupid, time-wasting, frustrating, and tiring pursuits that amount to nothing but a half-hearted "learning experience."

    OK, end rant.
     
  2. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    Maybe this is why so many doctors seem incapable of doing more than just dispensing drugs. It's sad that the school's academic nonsense gets in the way of your real learning.
     
  3. themadchemist thread starter macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #3
    As an addendum, the presentation went really well. Apparently, I "really know how to spin an idea, to tell a cohesive story," at least according to one of my classmates. People tend to get excited about neurodegeneration, and the protein aggregation hypothesis is always alluring. At least, I think so. So that makes me feel slightly better.

    But everything above about the process being a waste of time: Still true.
     
  4. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    USA! USA!
    #4
    You just gotta jump through the hoops for now with a smile on your face. When you're done you can give them all the finger and toss their stupid requests for donations in the trash.

    Also realize that while you learn a bunch of stuff you'll never use that they are doing little or nothing to prepare you for the real world, such as dealing with insurance companies, taxes, going to court, peer review, etc. etc.

    But in the end you make a butt load of money.
     
  5. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #5
    Well, those topics always make my nipples hard. :p

    Good to hear you came out in one piece, sometimes a good line of BS is more effective than a quality product, unfortunately. In the end, all that really matters is that you are able to do something that you are passionate about and can make a difference. That's more than most of us!
     
  6. themadchemist thread starter macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #6
    They should! I personally think they are some of the sexiest topics in science. I passed up the chance to do human embryonic stem cell research to work on protein aggregation and cellular homeostasis instead--I think somewhere in there you will find the answers to treat a long list of diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, Type II diabetes, ALS, liver and renal amyloidosis...The list goes on. So yeah, it's pretty hott, with two T's.

    But thanks everyone for being supportive of my rant. I was half expecting more vitriolic "suck it up" answers, but I appreciate that everyone gets where I'm coming from on this one.
     
  7. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #7
    I am going to add a defence to the mock grant application.

    I had to do a number of these before I did the real one, yes they were a pain in the a** and timewasters or so I thought, but when it came time to apply for funding, my grant proposal got through because I knew how to write them , where as the smarta** PhD candidates got rejected in the first round of selection because they have never had to put them together.
    yes some of them had better research ideas than me but they did not how to present them to the comittee.
     
  8. themadchemist thread starter macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #8
    Oh, sure, I agree, but why not have this exercise *after* I join my lab in earnest, instead of during the middle of the exceptionally busy and stressful second year of medical school?
     

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