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Appropriateness of a thank you card?

futrdrbaker

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    Hello! I am 2 weeks into my first 3rd year rotation, and am really loving it. My interns are great and the attendings are outstanding. I know it is early and my opinions might change, but I'm wondering if it is appropriate to send thank-you cards to the residents/attendings at the end of a rotation. I have mixed feelings about it--I want to send them b/c they have done a wonderful job teaching and really making me excited about their specialty (Psych), but on the other hand, they will be evaluating me and giving me a grade, so I don't want the cards to come off as a bribe or something.

    Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks!
     

    Pox in a box

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      futrdrbaker said:
      Hello! I am 2 weeks into my first 3rd year rotation, and am really loving it. My interns are great and the attendings are outstanding. I know it is early and my opinions might change, but I'm wondering if it is appropriate to send thank-you cards to the residents/attendings at the end of a rotation. I have mixed feelings about it--I want to send them b/c they have done a wonderful job teaching and really making me excited about their specialty (Psych), but on the other hand, they will be evaluating me and giving me a grade, so I don't want the cards to come off as a bribe or something.

      Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks!

      Offer to mow their lawns and buy them dinner too. On the last day of the rotation, buy them Starbucks and for Christmas purchase a nice bottle of wine with a red bow around it and personally deliver it to their house.

      In all honesty, if other students see this, you're going to be labeled for the rest of your medical school career.
       

      NoOneKnows

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        Go ahead and send them a thank-you - as long as it's not over the top. I send a thank-you to most of the attendings or residents that I trained under (would try and do all, but I don't have the time sometimes). A lot of people in my class do the same. Seriously, it's not a bribe - it's just a card. I'm sure the docs would like to know that they are appreciated. :)
         
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        Pox in a box

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          NoOneKnows said:
          Go ahead and send them a thank-you - as long as it's not over the top. I send a thank-you to most of the attendings or residents that I trained under (would try and do all, but I don't have the time sometimes). A lot of people in my class do the same. Seriously, it's not a bribe - it's just a card. I'm sure the docs would like to know that they are appreciated. :)

          Seriously? I consider this a little too much.
           
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            I have never known anyone to send a thank you card to any attending or resident following a rotation.

            If they were particularly helpful, and you had an absurdly good experience, then it might be appropriate, but just for your run-of-the-mill rotation participants, it could easily be construed as "a little weird."
             

            Blue Dog

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              futrdrbaker said:
              I'm wondering if it is appropriate to send thank-you cards to the residents/attendings at the end of a rotation.

              Your mother must've raised you right. ;)

              Seriously, though...there's absolutely nothing wrong with sending a thank-you card. There is one pitfall, however...if you worked with several people, and you don't send all of them a card, somebody could end up feeling slighted.

              Sending one to the chief resident (or whoever was in charge of your rotation) is probably enough. If you want to thank some of the others, it would probably be safer to do so personally.
               

              KidDr

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                futrdrbaker said:
                Hello! I am 2 weeks into my first 3rd year rotation, and am really loving it. My interns are great and the attendings are outstanding. I know it is early and my opinions might change, but I'm wondering if it is appropriate to send thank-you cards to the residents/attendings at the end of a rotation. I have mixed feelings about it--I want to send them b/c they have done a wonderful job teaching and really making me excited about their specialty (Psych), but on the other hand, they will be evaluating me and giving me a grade, so I don't want the cards to come off as a bribe or something.

                Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks!

                hey--I'm a senior peds resident. I've gotten thank-you e-mails from many of the students who've been on my teams, and I think that's a nice way to show your appreciation. I got a card once and it felt a little weird and over the top, but maybe that's just me. If you're worried about them thinking you're trying to brown-nose or something, just wait a few days until after the rotation's over, and send it then. Often times (though not always) your residents will have evaluated you by that point. I can't speak from an attending perspective on this though.
                :luck:
                 

                gunit07

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                  i think it depends on what school you go to. at my school everyone would roll their eyes at that. and then vomit. (there isnt a vomit smiley?? :( )
                  also, dont you get to write evals of these people at the end of the rotation? if i really liked an attending/resident i would just write them really really good evals.
                  one time i thought one of my interns was so good that i emailed his program director and told him what a fantastic job he did - but only because i didnt get to do a formal evaluation, and i thought he deserved some recognition.

                  but yeah, totally depends on the atmosphere of the school you go to.



                  futrdrbaker said:
                  Hello! I am 2 weeks into my first 3rd year rotation, and am really loving it. My interns are great and the attendings are outstanding. I know it is early and my opinions might change, but I'm wondering if it is appropriate to send thank-you cards to the residents/attendings at the end of a rotation. I have mixed feelings about it--I want to send them b/c they have done a wonderful job teaching and really making me excited about their specialty (Psych), but on the other hand, they will be evaluating me and giving me a grade, so I don't want the cards to come off as a bribe or something.

                  Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks!
                   

                  DrMom

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                    I sent thank you cards to all of the non-academic attendings I worked with on elective rotations. I figured it made sense because it wasn't part of their job to teach me for that time--they all volunteered to do so without compensation. It takes time out of their regular workday to have a student tagging along asking questions.

                    I made a point to send them after evaluations were done.
                     
                    M

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                      gunit07 said:
                      (there isnt a vomit smiley?? :( )

                      puke.gif
                       
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                      that dr. jack

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                        since when is sending a freaking thank you card a bad thing? you guys put too much thought into this.

                        send the card, OP, make it sincere and succinct, and don't let anyone else's bitter aversion to being considerate get to you. most people can tell the difference between having class and brown-nosing.
                         

                        futrdrbaker

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                          footcramp said:
                          so you're one of those

                          If by "one of those", you mean someone who is thankful and considerate towards those that take the time to teach and teach well, then yes, I am "one of those." And if you think that is a bad thing, well, not everyone agrees:

                          KentW said:
                          Your mother must've raised you right. ;)


                          Thank you everyone for your opinions/comments. I see that some people agree with me, and for those that don't: think/say what you will about me as a person, but maybe it is people like you that will make my thank-you emails all the more welcome.
                           

                          futrdrbaker

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                            that dr. jack said:
                            since when is sending a freaking thank you card a bad thing? you guys put too much thought into this.

                            send the card, OP, make it sincere and succinct, and don't let anyone else's bitter aversion to being considerate get to you. most people can tell the difference between having class and brown-nosing.

                            Very well said! Thank you very much!
                             

                            SurgeryChef

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                              futrdrbaker said:
                              Thank you everyone for your opinions/comments. I see that some people agree with me, and for those that don't: think/say what you will about me as a person, but maybe it is people like you that will make my thank-you emails all the more welcome.

                              so why did you both to ask for others' opinions if you a) already knew what you were going to do and b) reject what advice they gave?????????
                               

                              futrdrbaker

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                                SurgeryChef said:
                                so why did you both to ask for others' opinions if you a) already knew what you were going to do and b) reject what advice they gave?????????

                                It wasn't that I already had my mind made up, but I was leaning that direction to begin with. As for b), I am not rejecting the advice--rather, I welcome it. It's just that I don't think it's fair for some people (ahem, 'Pox in a box', 'footcramp') to start attacking my character b/c I asked a simple question. Opinions, welcome. Personal attacks, not.
                                 

                                that dr. jack

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                                  SurgeryChef said:
                                  so why did you both to ask for others' opinions if you a) already knew what you were going to do and b) reject what advice they gave?????????

                                  because the alternative was taking advice from someone who thinks a thank note is over the top and yet whose nom de plume is "surgerychef". either he can't spell or digs the bovie smoke a bit too much.
                                   
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                                  pinkfrosting

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                                    You might also want to consider doing a team note from all of the med students on the team that month. We did this in one rotation so that way the thank you is from everyone and it's "less weird." Still, I don't see anything wrong with a thank you note from only one student. I know several residents who have gotten them and appreciate them.
                                     

                                    BlackNDecker

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                                      futrdrbaker said:
                                      ... I'm wondering if it is appropriate to send thank-you cards to the residents/attendings at the end of a rotation...

                                      I am assuming you're a girl...otherwise, if you're a guy then you're gay. Really really really gay. Either way, I would make fun of you...alot. Anytime we were in a room with more than 3 people I would bring it up.

                                      futrdrbaker said:
                                      I have mixed feelings about it--

                                      Those mixed feelings are the last vestige of your heterosexuality trying to exert some influence. Heed it.
                                       

                                      leadfoot

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                                        BlackNDecker said:
                                        I am assuming you're a girl...otherwise, if you're a guy then you're gay. Really really really gay. Either way, I would make fun of you...alot. Anytime we were in a room with more than 3 people I would bring it up.



                                        Those mixed feelings are the last vestige of your heterosexuality trying to exert some influence. Heed it.

                                        Please do not make comments like this. This would be seriously be grounds for expulsion. Not to a student, attending, janitor, truck driver, astronaut, no one. Everyone is always listening, and viewing these things. Do not jeapordize your medical career via comments. We are held to a higher standard than most.
                                         

                                        carrigallen

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                                          Honestly unless you had an unusually good relationship with an attending, I don't see the necessity. On the other hand, I think it could only help you...it is easy to underestimate the value of a thank-you card after a busy day.
                                           

                                          BlackNDecker

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                                            leadfoot said:
                                            Please do not make comments like this. This would be seriously be grounds for expulsion. Not to a student, attending, janitor, truck driver, astronaut, no one. Everyone is always listening, and viewing these things. Do not jeapordize your medical career via comments. We are held to a higher standard than most.

                                            You're a loser :thumbdown: What the heck are you talking about anyways?!? I suggest a sphincterotomy...you're a little too uptight :rolleyes:
                                             

                                            wakemewhenit'so

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                                              Should the attendings and residents send us thank you notes for not being brats or difficult students, e.g. if you happen to make their load easier and not harder? I don't think so. Doubt it's ever been done ...ever, unless the attending was in sexual pursuit of the student. Doesn't mean it's not appreciated ifyou're a helpful, non-problematic student, just that it's not appropriate. Just like, in my opinion, it's not appropriate in the case of a student to pander... I mean, write a thank you.. to an evaluator. Only reason why I would think people would do it in spite of the fact that it's not appropriate is because they're motivated by personal gain. (Do these same people write thank you notes to the mailman, the security guard who says cherry hello's in the hallway???)
                                              A great teacher or a nice person will be rewarded in other ways. IMHO. :)
                                               

                                              RustNeverSleeps

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                                                carrigallen said:
                                                Honestly unless you had an unusually good relationship with an attending, I don't see the necessity. On the other hand, I think it could only help you...it is easy to underestimate the value of a thank-you card after a busy day.

                                                I don't think it could "only help." I would think that there are a fair number of people who think that a thank-you in such a circumstance card is brown-nosing or subtle manipulation in hopes of getting a better grade. I think an email is a safer bet -- it's a little less formal, and seems more appropriate. Also, I would think if any of the OP's classmates found out, s/he would get a relatively unfavorable reputation, as this would seem like extreme gunner-ism without knowledge of the situation.
                                                 

                                                seansoutherland

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                                                  I sent a thank you e-mail to all of the residents and attendings for one segment of my rotation, even though I knew that they had nothing to do with my final evaluation (so they said, at least). I was aware that I wouldn't be judged until the final two weeks by a different set of people. Nonetheless, I felt grateful for the insight I was given with regard to "learning the ropes" on my first rotation. I admit, rather hesitantly, that I have been aloof after spending entirely too much time studying and being devoid of human contact. I asked for their input so that I would be ready for gametime, and they were quite candid. I needed it and have grown as a result.
                                                   

                                                  randomedstudent

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                                                    Pox in a box said:
                                                    Offer to mow their lawns and buy them dinner too. On the last day of the rotation, buy them Starbucks and for Christmas purchase a nice bottle of wine with a red bow around it and personally deliver it to their house.

                                                    In all honesty, if other students see this, you're going to be labeled for the rest of your medical school career.

                                                    At my school some students actually do these things. There are students who have been known to bring in starbucks for their entire team several times on a rotation. I think it is completely ridiculous, and you will get labeled by fellow classmates if you do these sorts of things.
                                                     

                                                    Bertelman

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                                                      Whatever you feel you need to say in a "Thank You" card, you can say it in person.

                                                      I'm gonna second this notion. There's really no need to send a Thank You card to someone you have seen every day for 4-6 weeks. Just tell them how you feel on the last day of the rotation, or any other day for that matter. I guess an email is acceptable though.

                                                      I can understand if your school provides you with said cards (previous post), because you can assume that everyone else is doing something similar. Otherwise, keeep it simple and FREE!

                                                      They're kind of supposed to be teaching you and inspiring you. As Chris Rock says, "Don't take credit for sH** you supposed to do"
                                                       
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