Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"At least three students" complained -- how many didn't?

GWU medical school professor resigns; students say she didn’t teach class, gave everyone As

WASHINGTON — A George Washington University medical school professor has resigned after students complained that she never taught a required class and assigned all her students an “A’’ grade.

Venetia Orcutt resigned last month an assistant professor in George Washington’s department of physician assistant studies. She also served as chair of the department.

At least three students wrote letters to GW’s provost this fall complaining that Orcutt did not teach two out of three semesters of a course on evidence-based medicine during the 2009-2010 school year. In the letters, obtained by The Associated Press, the students claim they were never told why the classes weren’t taught and that they were all given “A’’ grades.

The university says in a statement that it’s investigating the allegations that led to Orcutt’s resignation.

[This is the full, very short, AP story; original here]


  1. I entirely understand the desire to give all the students As so as to get on with actually teaching the stuff (instead of bogging down with evaluating student performance).

    However, you DO have to teach the class. It's one of the rules.

  2. And they're complaining because... oh, they're med school students. That makes sense.

  3. I am going to out myself a bit here, but I work in a PA school (which is why I get so upset when my students say they "don't need to know something".- yeah, well you'll kill someone one day.)

    That being said, EBM is a course where you learn how to interpret studies and determine which therapies are beneficial. Most times, EBM is a 1 semester course.

    Another thing about PA school is that it is a one section school. They don't have multiple groups of students, they all go to class in one big mob. So if 3 students are complaining, then the whole group is missing the class. There likely are no other teachers teaching another section.

  4. What does not teaching your class look like? Not showing up? Or showing up and talking about your love life? Or showing up and making them talk about their love lives?

    Inquiring minds want to know the details.

  5. Now, let's be fair to the students. If they are anything like mine,

    15% will be absent for months and may not realize that the class is not meeting

    3% will attend a different class in the wrong building simply because they can't read their schedule

    35% will feel they deserve the A because they did such a good job in high school

    45% sit in class texting all the time and may not notice that nobody else is in the room, including the teacher

    That leaves a few percent who actually want to learn. They are the ones who probably reported the teacher.

    Or, if I'm feeling pessimistic, students ratted her out because she didn't respond to their emails requesting extra credit.

  6. Who needs "evidence based medicine" anyway when we have homeopathy, magic crystals, faith healing, therapeutic touch, psychic surgery, exorcism?


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