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At What Point Do Doctors Become Huge Jerks?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Guevara, M.D., Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Guevara M.D.

    Guevara M.D. Junior Member
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    Just started third year and maybe I'm just naive but I am shocked at the amount of *******ness that doctors give out. Jesus. Is it such a chore to be friendly, enthusiastic and polite? Learning at your feet is not something I dreamt of every night of my life. Please don't look at me like I'm garbage.

    And here's the kicker: they're all attendings. Before M3 year I really thought that if anyone was going to yell/humiliate/berate me then surely it would be the overworked, stressed residents. Instead to my surprise I find that the nicest people in this hospital are the residents.

    And thank God for Interns. EVERY Intern I've met so far has been nice, polite, willing to teach and just generally helpful and agreeable. Almost EVERY attending has been rude, curt, and just generally unpleasant.

    So at what point do doctors stop being these decent, pleasant creatures (interns and residents) and become these insufferable jerks with huge egos (attendings)?
     
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  3. dude1344

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    You on surgery? I'm on medicine right now and I've had two attendings so far. Both have been quite nice and love to teach.
     
  4. Mr hawkings

    Mr hawkings Senior Member
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    Most of the attendings i've encountered so far do not even realize i exist. They do not ask me questions and any questions i ask are promptly re-directed to the nearest resident. So far, in two rotations, i;ve only been pimped by an attending once.
    I'm a little jeasous of you. At least they know who you are even if its just to destroy your confidence.
    Maybe they are stressed about something else and taking it out on you cos its easy and they dont have to really work with you like they do with the residents.
     
  5. SLUser11

    SLUser11 CRS
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    Doctors in general do not become huge jerks, but there's no doubt that certain academic environments cultivate and reinforce this bad behavior. Just remember that most of it is learned behavior, i.e. monkey see, monkey do, and they are simply following in the footsteps of the jerks that belittled them when they were students.

    You won't have to deal with many of these miserable people, and you can choose a residency that steers clear of those personalities. However, it's important to pay attention to how bad you feel so you can break the cycle of antagonism and not be that way in the future. Too often we end up just like the people we hate.
     
  6. kg062007

    kg062007 Membership Revoked
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    dealing with stupid people over and over gets frustrating
     
  7. ArcGurren

    ArcGurren only one will survive
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    Kindly shut up.

    OP, it's a reinforced behavior as before... there's some element of being tired and stressed = people act rudely and mean... but most and foremost it's because there's a selection for personality types in many of the more "high-strung" specialties (ortho, surg, etc).
     
  8. Metfan2987

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    Opposite for me. The residents are the ones that can be absolutely ridiculous sometimes, treating me as if I'm some kind of slave. The attendings are all pretty nice to me and like to teach.
     
  9. astrocreep96

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    Go into Ortho, they're generally the goofiest bunch of the hospital and are always laughing. My month long trauma rotation was split between one long fart joke and Will Ferrell quotes. It's awesome.
     
  10. OveractiveBrain

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    So what you're feeling is the short end of the academic stick.

    There are three types of people who go into academia:

    1. The most potent. These are the people who know a lot, can do a lot, and probably could make a crap top of money doing something else. They choose to go into academia because they want to teach. And Im not talking about teaching for the sake of teaching, to prove to someone they finally understand acid-base. I'm talking about the people who want to make the future generations of medical doctors better.

    You have not encountered that, yet

    2. The worst of the worst. Some people go into academic because its easy. They get to be in charge. Its a huge ego boost. They have 5-6 white coats following them around, asking their opinion, doing whatever they say to do. That's pretty cool. If you're an incompetent monkey with no self-confidence. And yet, at times, you meet these people. People who will accept less pay for more power and less work.

    You have encountered these people.

    3. The researchers. Some people go into academia for the, you know, academia. They want to publish. They want to contribute to medical science. These people are variable because sometimes they happen to be nice people, and sometimes they happen to be reclusive douches. But their focus is on hard work paying off, just not necessarily in terms of patient care.

    You haven't encountered this either.

    Now, obviously, no one person is all category one or all category two. Im sure there are very capable people who want to teach who happen to get jolly's from being the center of attention who do some research on the side. But I find most people truly dominate in one category or another. They either GET TO teach or they HAVE TO WORK.

    Attending, Resident, Intern, it doesn't matter. It sounds like you just happen to get great residents and happen to get crap attendings. It takes some pretty significant, purposeful changes in someone's life to go from awesome to douche. I personally feel that by 25, the personality is fixed. The person is as they are going to be. They can do self-improvement programs or be hit by catastrophe in their life, but for the most part, the douches you've met were douches as residents, were douches as med students, were douches in high school, were probably douches in the womb. The good residents are going to be good attendings.
     
    #9 OveractiveBrain, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  11. OveractiveBrain

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    Conscious effort. All too true a statement. Think reaction formation, not sublimation!

    And don't be so harsh ArcGurren. There is an element of truth in that statement. When you're a gen-surg intern on CT surgery for 3 attendings as your starting rotation, taking care of 21 SICU patients, and you keep getting privileged medical students who just take liberties to do dangerous things (like pull chest tubes without supervision or instruction), even the nicest person may end up a raging biatch. This is a not-too-exaggerated anecdote from a friend of mine going through her surgery intern year right now. The stress of the rotation plus the added stress of meager (and worse, entitled) medical students grates on what little emotional energy she has left, and so, at times, she comes across cranky, mean, and rotten.

    Its a concept called the emotional battery. I didn't really feel it as a medical student. Often I was just waiting around for something to happen. So your battery is full. You get yelled at by a resident, and yeah, it sucks, but so what. Lots of charge left in that battery. Now transport yourself to call. You're supposed to have 16 on 8 off, but instead you get 3 hours of sleep for "home call" taking care of patients over your head in DIC, with LVADs with a Cardiac Index of 0.8 post-op CABG, and its your first rotation. Literally every minute of every day drains your emotional battery. So much that you don't eat. You don't have time. You'd rather sleep. Now, barely able to keep up with your own work, you're asked to handle medical students. Medical students who don't know what to do or when to ask for help. They make your work take longer. They make your already too-hard work even harder. Now the emotional battery is in the negatives. Think that resident is going to be friendly, nice, and bubbly? No matter what the environment, when people get drained, they end up negative on the battery, they end up negative in life. Only when there has been a chance to decompress, to recharge (or just get drunk and sleep), will the good nature come back around.
     
    #10 OveractiveBrain, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  12. DrJosephKim

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    Make sure you read the recent report from the AMA about "mistreatment of medical students." This issue is now on the radars of physicians, administrators, and academic programs. Don't be afraid to point out the improper treatment of students.
     
  13. Bartelby

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    I think it is pretty program dependent. I have had a few unfriendly attendings, but the vast majority in my experience range from not caring that I exist to being enthusiastic mentors. I can pretty much count on my fingers the attendings who were kind of d-baggy to me.
     
  14. Xamwell

    Xamwell Englishologist
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    I think these are for the most part sad people. The attendings I've had the displeasure to work with who exhibit these characteristics tend to be the sort of people one imagines entered medical school with a certain ideal. They were the ones who thought the white coat would bring instant respect, power, and cash. Medicine has changed enormously since the 70's and 80's. The period of take, take, take and big payouts is long gone. Many who end up embittered and calloused were likely blindsided by the reality that patient's don't automatically respect the coat and the payout is much less than it used to be. Those who actually, as sappy as it sounds to the jaded, did enter medicine for the intrinsic love of the challenge tend to be your warm, friendly, teach-loving attendings. They're in it for the right reason. The rest are trapped and sad. Given that the medical school admissions process selects for narcissistic personality-trait people you can imagine the havoc wreaked on their fragile little egos. They don't handle it well.

    Long story short. Don't let them get you down. I'm not idealistic but I'm far from cynical. Good people are out there in all fields. Just find a happy place.

    Or eat lots of cake.

    ;)
     
  15. FIREitUP

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    People are dicks no matter where you go. The unfortunate thing is that if you're a dick in medicine you are in a position to make many peoples' lives ****ty.
     
  16. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic
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    This is such bad advice yet again. They should be afraid to single themselves out. There is risk with almost no benefit. Some people hide in academia because their personalities would not be tolerated in private practice. No-one can refuse consults, yell at other physicians or nurses, etc in the real world. These people have been there a long time and know how to put the hurt on a little med student.
     
  17. plauto

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    The most important thing I learned during 3rd year is the ability to ignore what is said to me in these situations. In my mind I am cursing the person off while on the outside I am smiling and nodding politely.
    My experience in general has been that there are some great attendings and residents and some crappy ones. If given a choice, steer clear of the bad ones. And again, just ignore, don't take it personally, don't argue. If you do, you will become miserable just like them. And you will not win. You will only loose unless something grossly unjust is done to you. Take it as an exercise to develop thicker skin.
     
  18. SGuttenberg

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    By far the worst people are neurosurgeons, orthopods, CT surgeons, hell any surgeons for that fact and any specialty people only go into for the "glory" and womens (IR, optho etc). Arrogant people do these specialties and they only allow arrogant people into those specialities. For the love of god hammering two bones together isn't rocket science get off your f'n high horse. Don't blame the supposed stress, because if you weren't man enough to take it its your own damn fault AND for these buttholes making 400k+ a year to complain is mind boggling. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to grab the scalpel off the tray and gut a punk surgeon like a fish.

    On the other side you have family and psych people with massive inferiority complex who take it all out on the poor med student.

    Honestly MS3 was the worst experience of my life.

    From my experience the only specialties full of decent folk are things like general IM, diagnostic rads, path and er. why? because they aren't "glorious" which breeds superiority complexes nor bottom rung which breeds inferiority complexes.
     
  19. dannyboy1

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    you're forgetting anesthesia as well. every anesthesia attending or resident that i met have been awesome
     
  20. OveractiveBrain

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    Thats because 50% of what their patients are supposed to get, they are getting instead!
     
  21. OveractiveBrain

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    Thats because 50% of what their patients are supposed to get, they are getting instead!

    no seriously, Anesthesia is good people. While its cushier than other gigs, and pays pretty well for the hours, i don't think it belongs in ROAD. Its not about money or competition, its just a chill field. Of course, ROD just sounds stupid. And if you add optho/ortho ROOD is even worse.

    So...ROAD it is.
     
  22. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV
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    ALL of the surgeons I worked with in M3 were unpleasant and all of the non-surgeons were pretty nice. Same goes for the residents.

    In my limited experience, the transformation for surgeons occurs between intern and 2nd year. All the surgery interns were pretty nice guys, but from what I've heard about them this year...its changed. I saw them treated horribly as interns and now its their turn. Surgery is the only time I saw interns treated like absolute crap by residents and attendings. That kind of treatment has got to do something to a person. Never once during medicine/psych/family/etc. did I see an intern get yelled at in front of everyone during rounds and told they should "choose a new specialty" because they were too stupid (over a minor and debatable error).
     
  23. ArcGurren

    ArcGurren only one will survive
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    That's very unfortunate. I have had a generally good experience with most of the surgical residents and attendings so far. Granted this was on consult while I was rotating through another specialty but still it wasn't that bad.
     
  24. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV
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    My bad experiences were all general and trauma/general surgery. I don't know if I just had a bad group or what, but it sure made me certain that surgery was not for me.

    Once I was with my family medicine attending checking on an inpatient and he overhead my previous attending (a general surgeon) yelling at a medical student (as he did with me as well). FM doc was shocked because he is very friendly with this surgeon socially, but had never seen him with a student before. FM doc asked, "why on earth would he treat anyone like that? There's no reason for it!".

    Hence, I am going into family .... and staying far away from surgeons.
     
    #23 bioteach, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  25. SuperHiro

    SuperHiro Attending
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    Why is this limited to doctors? Nurses, techs, PCAs, Unit secretaries, housekeeping and basically every job in the hospital has people with a rude streak, not just physicians.

    People are rude for various reasons
    -Overworked
    -In a hurry
    -Lack of confidence in their abilities
    -Displacing personal issues at home
    -Lack friends
    -Lack sex

    etc.

    At the very least, if you notice it more in a particular field and you don't feel like putting up with it for the rest of your life is worth it, that's one specialty to cross off your list. At the end of the day, you are a student clerk so when the rotation is over, they can't really touch you anymore. Meanwhile, just brush whatever crap they give you off your shoulders and pity them for the above reasons.
     
  26. mandinca

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    Wow, so well said. Even though I SAW attitudes while on Gen Surg, I had awesome interns, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th-year residents teaching me. Most of the attendings were cool, too. And, I enjoyed the work SO much, that I've decided to become a surgeon! I'm well aware that the field is wrought with the jaded and fussy, but I plan on adding some positivity into the mix ;-) It'll be hard work, but I know I'll be fulfilled.

    Side note: back in my nursing days, I'd challenge new nursing students rotating through the Pedi-ICU to find a job that they were passionate about. "Don't stop the job search until your content", I'd tell them. "It's not like we're flipping hamburgers, here. Noone wants a burned-out, jaded nurse!" The same is true in medicine, I believe. Physicians would be better off finding the career that excites them, intrigues them, or makes them feel passionate. That lends itself to the physician being more competent AND more compassionate. IMHO ;-)
     
  27. aSagacious

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    Did anyone else see the irony here? :D Carry on.
     
  28. natashana

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    this!:thumbup:
     
  29. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis I wish I were a dentist
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    Who cares.

    The only problem this causes is people who think you should treat them nicely when you're drained and tired :p
     
  30. ArcGurren

    ArcGurren only one will survive
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    I didn't realize anyone had a reason to be rude or short-tempered just because they're tired...
     
  31. Zuerst

    Zuerst Plutonium Member
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    i think the question should be "at what point do @$$h0les rear their ugly end?"
     
  32. tm12

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    I think a lot of them have always been jerks. Now that they're attendings, there's nobody over them that will call them out on it. How many gunner premeds do you know who became med students then doctors? Its all a front.
     
  33. CptCrunch

    CptCrunch Senior Member
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    3rd year surgery clerkship.
     
  34. loveoforganic

    loveoforganic -Account Deactivated-
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    dingdingding
     
  35. engineeredout

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    Halfway through MS3, I've only encountered this level of douchbaggery with surgeons. Not just limited to attendings but residents as well. Even if I am not on their service, it seems like they search for the med student to yell at over something. "Oh I'm sorry that the ID consult disagreed with you. Uh-hm yes I'm sure you're right. I'm on medicine, this is my fault how? Yes I will leave the room now".

    Has anyone noticed that female surgeons tend to be even more angry/pissy than their male counterparts? I just chalk it up to trying to overcompensate for being in a male dominated field, and I'm sure they have to be how they are to get respect from the other angry male surgeons
     
  36. jacobus

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    Don't let a few bad apples influence your view of a specialty...
    KEEP IN MiND
    The short skinny guy + Small penis syndrome = will use any power to show that he is the alpha male
    The middle aged female + cheating husband / divorced etc = will be pissy and younger female students ( they blame you btw )
    :rolleyes:
     

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