Tag Archive | "Steep Learning Curve"

Resident Talking to You about “Steep Learning Curve” Again

Resident Talking to You about “Steep Learning Curve” Again

FEINBERG 10 EAST – After responding to a question from his neurology attending with “tPa is indicated here” despite the patient having had three hemorrhagic strokes in the last two months, comes in complaining of the worst headache of his life, and a BP of 214/128, Phase II student Larry Walker was pulled aside by his resident during the middle of rounds.

Although the first half of the conversation was missed, the subintern was able to recite the second half of the resident’s discussion to Flipside reporters.

“You know, I know you’re trying, and you’ve been a great help to the team. Medicine, and neurology especially, is really challenging. It’s a really steep learning curve; it’ll all get easier as you go along.”

Walker describes that this isn’t the first time he’s heard the term ‘steep learning curve.’

“I heard that all over the place during the SAM week before Phase II, at the beginning of Phase II, and just this week in fact. Honestly, I don’t get it. I can’t figure out what it means. What does the steepness of the slope have anything to do with it? Is that supposed to mean it gets easier later on because then the slope becomes negative? But the line has a curvature to it? When does it curve? I wonder if it’s similar to a ‘slippery slope.’ Now, I’ve spent my entire life avoiding slippery slopes. Which do you think is worse to be on, a ‘steep learning curve’ or a slippery slope? They both sound pretty bad to me.”

The Flipside reporter left the interviewee mid-rant and was regrettably unable to finish this story.

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