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Of gangstas, capos and accreditation inspectas

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2008 - Spring


This year’s second-year show portrays the faculty as mobsters and the medical school as a racket.

Following a tradition dating back to 1949, the Class of 2010 presented The Unaccreditables, its second-year show, in February. As their predecessors have done for almost six decades, the students mocked deans, faculty and one another in a multimedia show that included live singing and dancing on stage as well as videos—including one in which Dean Robert J. Alpern, M.D., Ensign Professor of Medicine, played himself as an embezzling gangsta.

That was one subplot in a grander scheme that portrayed a faculty board meeting as a sit-down of mob capos, with the school as a criminal enterprise. The capos’ current problem is getting the school reaccredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Unfortunately, there’s no way the school will pass muster. The committee has doubts about the school’s “hands-off approach to medical education,” aka the Yale system.

Among the source material for the song-and-dance routines were Cream’s “White Room”; “It’s Easy, M’Kay,” from the animated TV show South Park; “Rappers’ Delight,” by the Sugarhill Gang; the early 1960s hit “The Shoop Shoop Song”; “I’m Too Sexy,” by the British pop band Right Said Fred; and, of course, the theme from The Godfather.

The LCME inspector, played by Alexi Nazem, finds fault throughout his tour. “Your anatomy labs,” he finds, “are very musical, but not at all educational.” Then there’s the question of the second-year show itself: “What kind of creditable medical school would allow the entire second-year class to waste two weeks on this #@%&*?”

At a faculty board meeting, Frank J. Bia, M.D., until recently a professor of medicine; Margaret J. Bia, M.D., professor of medicine; Nancy R. Angoff, M.P.H. ’81, M.D. ’90, HS ’93, associate dean for student affairs; Richard Belitsky, M.D., deputy dean for education; John N. Forrest Jr., HS ’67, director of research; and Richard Silverman, director of admissions, all played by students, look for a way out. Bribe the inspector? Scratch that. There’s no money. Alpern has been siphoning off school funds to support a lavish lifestyle, including a second kidney-shaped pool at his home. Only two options remain. “I think it’s time we sent the inspector to sleep with the fishes,” intones Frank Bia, played by Kaveh Mansuripur. The other possibility? Well, the faculty have noticed an attraction growing between the inspector and Angoff, played by Katherine Rose. In the end all is resolved when Angoff and the inspector tryst over Twister, “the game that ties you up in knots.”

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