Awkward/Funny Family Moments During the Application Season

nyc1990

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With Thanksgiving less than a week away, I thought I'd kick off a fun thread in which we post our favorite moments/conversations with immediate and extended family about the med school process.
You know, the situations in which your aunt who has NO IDEA about medical school applications says something like, "well, you'll be fine. Did you apply to Harvard already?"

Looking forward to some interesting/funny responses. After all, we could use a comedy break during this (tortuous) cycle
 
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Jennyfishy

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While preparing for my first interview back in September:

Me: My interview is this Friday, so I'll arrive at the airport around midnight to get picked up.
Dad: Good, I can pick you up then. So this is your first interview right? How many schools have you been accepted to then?


A month later:

Mom: Why you call me?
Me: I wanted to tell you I got accepted to med school! It's the one in Wisconsin, I don't know about Colorado yet.
Mom: See, what did I tell you? Why they take so long to let you know?
Me: I don't know, they just wanted to review everything before letting me know.
Mom: Ok, do you have any other interviews? Did any of the schools in California talk to you?
Me: Irvine and San Francisco rejected me, I dunno about the others, whatevaaa
Mom: Oh, that's because those schools no good anyway.

:p
 

ZeaL6

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It's not really that funny but when I tell my mom something about medical school all she has to say is oh, ok :sick:. That and every week the same person asks me where I'm going and I have to remind them every time that I'll probably end up going to X school but I still haven't heard from X,Y,Z school so I'm not 100% positive. That gets annoying really quick.
 
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CyberMaxx

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When I got accepted I immediately called my parents...

cybermaxx: Guess what mom... I got accepted to medical school!!!!
cybermom:AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! :soexcited::soexcited::clap::bow: Here, tell your father.

cybermaxx: Guess what dad... I'm going to be a doctor!!!!!

cyberdad: Well, that's great but don't get ahead of yourself cybermaxx.... you still have to pass medical school soooo.....

cybermaxx: :eyebrow::annoyed::bang:
 

LostinLift

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Me: Yeah I have a few interviews coming up hopefully get more soon too
Him: Oh that's cool, my sister took a lot of time off also before med school, she got a PhD and taught for a while before applying again.
Me: Wow so she was like 30 or something when she applied?
Him: No like 27
Me: How long did her PhD take? Usually it's like 4, 5, or 6 years sometimes even more.
Him: No she did hers in 2 years
Me: PhD?
Him: Yeah in Biology
Me: ....

Some form of Master's I'm sure, but not sure why he was throwing around the term PhD
 
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The_Bird

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Back in high school, around 11th grade I guess, I had been doing a lot of research into what becoming a doctor entails and I told my parents that this is what I wanted to do. My dad says: "why don't you just be a nurse so you don't have to go to college for 12 years?" Still explaining how it works to this day. Applying in 2015 btw.
 

organdonor

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I can't even countthenumber of times I've explained the medical education process to my in-laws. Great people and they mean well but it gets tiring. It doesn't help that now I'm applying to family medicine residencies. Of course when I brought up that. their "family" doctor is Internal medicine trained and that just blew their minds the only other doctor in the family is a distant cousin who is internal medicine/pediatrics combined. To try and explain the nuances between the fields isa headache I have to look forward to every holiday! They are also still blown away by me not wanting to do residency in their hometown which only has one awful residency program full of foreign graduates.
 
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Jun 23, 2013
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Not really application-related, but this was a conversation between myself and a senior in high school who wants to pursue medicine

Family member: How'd you score on the MCAT?
Me: I'm just happy to beat my goal. I was aiming for a 30, I got a 32
Family member: missdr10, you should aim higher. Isn't that a low percentage?
Me: Well many pre-meds aim for a 30+, and scoring above a 35 is extremely hard!
Family member: I guess getting into med school isn't as hard as I thought :)
Me: ..... :uhno:
 

Great White Buffalo

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My Dad was an MD PhD back in the day when it was a new concept (1980s). An Aunt at the family gathering remarked it was taking him a long time to finish medical school (like 7 years). My Mom just said he was a bit slow, so it would take a little more time than usual. The Aunt didn't get the joke. The Aunt then said her allergist just retired, so he should become an allergist so he could take care of her. My Dad was studying neuroscience/psychiatry, but that was in the head too, and it was her sinuses that really bothered her.
 

touchpause13

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The only thing harder than explaining "why MD/PhD" to my interviewers has been explaining "why MD/PhD" to my family. I've basically given up at this point.
Explaining why DO is quite tiresome as well. Luckily my parents both have PhDs and understand academia well enough to "get" what this whole process is like.

Unfortunately my in laws are about as dumb as they come. I had to explain to my mother in law what a chromosome is :bang:
Jebus I hate the holidays
 
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Reckoner

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Explaining why DO is quite tiresome as well. Luckily my parents both have PhDs and understand academia well enough to "get" what this whole process is like.

Unfortunately my in laws are about as dumb as they come. I had to explain to my mother in law what a chromosome is :bang:
Jebus I hate the holidays
Is that like a bone doctor? ;)
 

QuantumJ

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The father in law conversations are just mind numbing at this point.

Him: So what is this schools specialty
Me: Well schools don't really have one specialty
Him: Can you do any specialty you want then? Not different schools for different doctors?
Me:....

Him: So are you going to do your internship before graduating?
Me: Um, no you can't. It's your first year after graduating.
Him: So you do your internship before you a doctor
Me: No. I just said after graduating.
Him: And then a few years of residency with everyone else right? So when do you specialize?
Me: No residency is where you specialize. Some go even further with a fellowship (aw #$%@ I shouldn't have brought that up)

Him: What about doing something like Dr X. He's a GI surgeon.
Me: I think he's you GI doctor. Dr. Y. is your ENT.
Him: They are both the same aren't they.
Me: Well one is a surgeon the other came from internal medi..
Him: Dr. X is world famous. Our family practice doctor knows hims so he must be the best in the world to be known
Me: Oh yeah? (im sure the best GI in the world lives in our small town)

Him: So you might do family med?
Me: I was thinking about it
Him: Well I know my family doc likes me. I'll tell him to give you a job and I'm sure he'll give you it
Me: Sure ok
 

sterlingh87

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When I was telling my grandma about my application season she asked why I was applying to so many schools I explained:
"My stats are good enough to get me into school somewhere but it wont be easy so I want to make sure I apply broadly enough to increase my chances of matriculating somewhere"
to which she replied:
"well you should save yourself some money and apply to those schools in mexico then, I know lots of doctors who couldn't get into schools in the US go there"

........
 

QuantumJ

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You kinda sound like a dick.

It's small talk, is it really that hard to entertain his chatter without being condescending?
:laugh: sure bud

When I was telling my grandma about my application season she asked why I was applying to so many schools I explained:
"My stats are good enough to get me into school somewhere but it wont be easy so I want to make sure I apply broadly enough to increase my chances of matriculating somewhere"
to which she replied:
"well you should save yourself some money and apply to those schools in mexico then, I know lots of doctors who couldn't get into schools in the US go there"

........
My mom actually tells me this about every other week even after being accepted. She also likes to remind me that I should be a PA. One of her close friends is a doc though and hates his life and thinks obamacare is going to make doctors obsolete so I think that's why she is concerned.
 

darklabel

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Me: Man these interviews are getting expensive
Mom: I've heard from "insert anyone who isn't you" that some schools (Carrib) do Skype interviews, can't you do that?
Me: No, they don't do that
Mom: Well then, maybe those schools aren't worth applying to
Me: .....

Or being asked every time you meet family "What do you want to do?" and even after you've given them an explination of how you aren't sure, but X seems interesting, they'll interject and tell you what the best speciality is :yeahright:

Gotta love the holidays...
 
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Spica

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Guys, guys, c'mon, do not be so annoyed. You're all gonna be doctors, ok? That thought should get through the conversations with less informed relatives. It's a good practice before the conversations with less informed patients, too.
 

PreMedOrDead

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Guys, guys, c'mon, do not be so annoyed. You're all gonna be doctors, ok? That thought should get through the conversations with less informed relatives. It's a good practice before the conversations with less informed patients, too.
Finally someone that has a dose of empathy and perspective. This thread clarifies why I had to fill out all those diversity essays...
 

DrEnderW

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Ehh I don't think it's like that. It's actually quite remarkable how little the average citizen knows about the path doctors take for their training. This is especially true when you consider how integral medical care is to society and how important medical treatment becomes to you if you become critically ill or injured.

I could have an informed conversation with someone getting a MSW, MBA, PhD, JD, DPT, etc regarding their schooling and training process.

Unfortunately, a lot of the people that are ignorant about the process think doctors are massively overpaid, all live like they're on nip/tuck, think med school tuition and GME funding are a non-issue, and funding should be cut.

Personally, I think it's interesting that everyone has such a passionate opinion about the state of healthcare in the country but most people don't even know how someone even becomes a physician. No one thinks someone that wants to be a CEO just hops on a plane to Mexico to get a quick MBA at a school designed to make specifically technology CEOs and then gets a C-level job at Google. It's amusing that so many people think medicine works that way.
 
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darklabel

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Guys, guys, c'mon, do not be so annoyed. You're all gonna be doctors, ok? That thought should get through the conversations with less informed relatives. It's a good practice before the conversations with less informed patients, too.
True and I don't mind explaining the process, but it is pretty difficult. As a premed it took me a long time to figure out the steps and truthfully I still feel like I don't know enough. Though it is the stubborn ones that won't change their minds that irk me.

As for doctors being paid too much, its always been a struggle for me because most non-premeds think physicians should work out of the kindness of their heart (at least thats what I encounter). Instead of having one of the very few opportunities available for people to work hard and study up for, they rather just bring the pay of physicians down. A lot of ignorant people out there think that physicians get paid like CEOs and hardly work :rolleyes:
 
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QuantumJ

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This is a thread to share stories of how little most people know about medicine and the process of becoming a doctor. Of course most people don't know; why should they? This has nothing to do with empathy or perspective. We aren't conversing with patients. We are sharing funny stories of the friend whos going to "medical school" to be a nurse and the mom who has heard the explanation of residenct 10 times and still doesn't get it. Just get over it, share a story or move on to another thread.
 

Jennyfishy

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There's a few cute and funny ones that folks have shared though! I think my parents are hilarious and super cute in how they try to root for me in their own ways despite the fact that they have no idea what pre-reqs are or what a BS vs BA means (let alone the med app process).

I don't get annoyed when ppl ask/don't know because I know close to nothing about economics, business, engineering etc. and I also wouldn't want my family members or peers to scoff at me when I ask them about hedge funds, mortgages, circuits, and so on, which seem pretty common knowledge if you're in the field (e.g. chromosomes and genetics if you're science).
 
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PreMedOrDead

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This is a thread to share stories of how little most people know about medicine and the process of becoming a doctor. Of course most people don't know; why should they? This has nothing to do with empathy or perspective. We aren't conversing with patients. We are sharing funny stories of the friend whos going to "medical school" to be a nurse and the mom who has heard the explanation of residenct 10 times and still doesn't get it. Just get over it, share a story or move on to another thread.
We get that. It's how you represent yourself as dismissive and condescending to those not in the know. You know your future patients probably aren't going to know a lick of medicine, right? They will probably say things that might irk you, but that doesn't mean you should not be respectful of them. You seemed pretty disrespectful toward your step father, but maybe that's a personal issue.

But the funny/cute stories are great. Just keep in mind most of your eventual patients are probably going to be even less-informed than your family. Don't get offended, entertain yourself :)
 
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We get that. It's how you represent yourself as dismissive and condescending to those not in the know. You know your future patients probably aren't going to know a lick of medicine, right? They will probably say things that might irk you, but that doesn't mean you should not be respectful of them. You seemed pretty disrespectful toward your step father, but maybe that's a personal issue.

But the funny/cute stories are great. Just keep in mind most of your eventual patients are probably going to be even less-informed than your family. Don't get offended, entertain yourself :)
just because you attribute a certain attitude when you read something online doesn't mean that is actually how it is being said in person. when I read his post about his father-in-law, I really didn't read it the same way you did. so how about not jumping to "you sound like a dick" and "maybe that's a personal issue"
 

PreMedOrDead

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just because you attribute a certain attitude when you read something online doesn't mean that is actually how it is being said in person. when I read his post about his father-in-law, I really didn't read it the same way you did. so how about not jumping to "you sound like a dick" and "maybe that's a personal issue"
Certainly, it's just text, which means it's taken at face value. But I'm pretty sure:

The father in law conversations are just mind numbing at this point.
Him: Can you do any specialty you want then? Not different schools for different doctors?
Me:....
Him: So are you going to do your internship before graduating?
Me: Um, no you can't. It's your first year after graduating.
Him: So you do your internship before you a doctor
Me: No. I just said after graduating.
are pretty straightforwardly offensive/dismissive toward someone. Pretty quick to get flustered with someone who clearly shows interest and doesn't demonstrate bad intent, just ignorance.

Anyways, back to your normally scheduled programming.
 

The_Bird

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My uncle is a pharmacist and my grandmother wants me to follow in his foot steps: "pharmacists do a lot of the same things as doctors." ._.
 

QuantumJ

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Last comment and I'm done. My responses to my father in law are merely to demonstrate the questions I get asked daily and aren't my actual answer. Who knows exactly how I answer them each time they are asked thrice weekly. I am merely demonstrating the lack of knowledge family members have of this whole process. I take care of my father in law every day while taking night classes while he goes through chemo/rad and it's been the experience taking care of him and his gratitude that spurred me towards medicine. No one should know this of course but that's why, as terp720 said, jumping to name calling and assuming is uncalled for.

Apologies to nyc1990 for the short derail.

My uncle: "So now I can just come to you when I get sick right? It'll be free hahaha"
Me: Well I'm kind of hoping to get into oncology, so I really hope you don't need to see me...

Also, now anytime someone asks me about being sick/anatomy/meds and I say I don't know I get the "I thought you were smart. You're going to be a doctor aren't you? Ha I know more than the future doc". I just smile and nod.

My uncle is a pharmacist and my grandmother wants me to follow in his foot steps: "pharmacists do a lot of the same things as doctors." ._.
I'm not sure if it's better or worse to have family in the medical community :laugh:. I don't have anyone in my family that is so the advice my family hears is from their (usually) older docs who went through this process when it was very different.
 

PreMedOrDead

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My uncle is a pharmacist and my grandmother wants me to follow in his foot steps: "pharmacists do a lot of the same things as doctors." ._.
The best for me is the incessant "So are you a doctor yet?" ... "Give me half a decade :("

I'm not sure if it's better or worse to have family in the medical community :laugh:. I don't have anyone in my family that is so the advice my family hears is from their (usually) older docs who went through this process when it was very different.
As someone with aunts/uncles who are physicians from the 80s and quite detached from admissions... it periodically got quite difficult explaining things like the MCAT, volunteering, shadowing, etc.
 

Harpsx

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Mom: You're done with interviews now right?
Me: Yup
Mom: I really hope you get a few more but you probably won't

Thanks for the encouragement mom :p
 

PreMedOrDead

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Mom: You're done with interviews now right?
Me: Yup
Mom: I really hope you get a few more but you probably won't

Thanks for the encouragement mom :p
Haha, with the UCP acceptance, pretty sure you don't need any more. Congrats! :)

Edit: Holy, you applied very top heavy and still got littered with interviews. You must have had quite the app!
 

Harpsx

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Haha, with the UCP acceptance, pretty sure you don't need any more. Congrats! :)

Edit: Holy, you applied very top heavy and still got littered with interviews. You must have had quite the app!
Haha thank you! There are some true superstar MD apps on SDN (ones that make you go :wow:) so I'm honored that you even think that :p
 

nemo123

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On Oct 15 hearing back from my state school....

Me: Mom, I got into medical school!!!
Mom: Okay, now you need to get into Harvard. That's all that matters now.
Me: ...:uhno::smack::help::bang::whoa:
After this a couple weeks later while talking with my mom who told my aunt I got into my state's med school.

Mom: So back in the motherland, I have a cousin who sent her kid to med school there and her kid married a girl who's a doctor. Your aunt met them the other day and told them you got into Harvard Med School to crush their egos .

Me: ... Why did she do that?! I haven't even gotten an interview invite from them!

Mom: I don't know either. But we have an intense rivalry with our cousins and we're better.

Me: ...:nono::shifty::bang:
 
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Feb 18, 2013
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So not strictly family-related but I'm an RA at my university and ever since I got into med school in October, I have had to screen so many, what I call, "vagina questions" from my residents. They know I'm interested in Ob/Gyn and I have gotten (in the past month):

I found out I have HPV, what do I do?
Could I be pregnant if we...?
Should I take Plan B? (This one I've gotten 3-4 times)
Why is my vagina burning?

Every time I just listen to them and then say, "You should really go see a gynecologist. You want some phone numbers?"
 

darklabel

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So not strictly family-related but I'm an RA at my university and ever since I got into med school in October, I have had to screen so many, what I call, "vagina questions" from my residents. They know I'm interested in Ob/Gyn and I have gotten (in the past month):

I found out I have HPV, what do I do?
Could I be pregnant if we...?
Should I take Plan B? (This one I've gotten 3-4 times)
Why is my vagina burning?

Every time I just listen to them and then say, "You should really go see a gynecologist. You want some phone numbers?"
I can just imagine as you hear this :whoa:
 
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The most annoying thing about explaining the cycle to "outsiders", is trying to get them to understand that getting into a top tier medical school is NOTHING like getting into a top tier undergrad. Whenever I tell them I interviewed at Indiana and West Virginia, they are like "oh, but would you really want to go there?" I don't think they understand quite how difficult it is to get into an MD program.

Whenever I hear, "why no Harvard? Why no UCLA?" I just want to roll my eyes.
 

Reckoner

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So not strictly family-related but I'm an RA at my university and ever since I got into med school in October, I have had to screen so many, what I call, "vagina questions" from my residents. They know I'm interested in Ob/Gyn and I have gotten (in the past month):

I found out I have HPV, what do I do?
Could I be pregnant if we...?
Should I take Plan B? (This one I've gotten 3-4 times)
Why is my vagina burning?

Every time I just listen to them and then say, "You should really go see a gynecologist. You want some phone numbers?"
So anyway, why is my vagina burning? Wait...I'm not even a girl. HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS?
 

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My favorite was when my aunt insisted that I had to go into orthopedics, even before I started medical school. She works in the medical field and still doesn't seem to understand the level of competition that goes into that particular specialty.
 

snowys435

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I feel so much better after reading this....I got extremely upset at my mom the other day because she told my uncle I had also gotten into nyu in addition to my state school. it was extremely depressing since it felt like she totally didn't get how hard it was to get into med school period + didn't feel comfortable saying my state school. sigh. TT I've been kind of ignoring her. Guess I'm not the only person who gets told this. I should stop being so sensitive.
 

PreMedOrDead

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If my vagina is burning does that mean someone is talking about it behind my back?
If it tickles it means someone is thinking about you...

in your pants...

with their hands.
 
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username456789

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My favorite was when my aunt insisted that I had to go into orthopedics, even before I started medical school. She works in the medical field and still doesn't seem to understand the level of competition that goes into that particular specialty.
That's silly. She's clearly misinformed. Dermatology is where it's at.
 

PreMedOrDead

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That's silly. She's clearly misinformed. Dermatology is where it's at.
Since most family assume highest paid = best:

1. Orthopedic Surgeon
Average: $464,500

2. Cardiology (invasive)
Average: $461,364

3. Cardiology (non-invasive)
Average: $447,143

4. Gastroenterology
Average: $441,421

5. Urology
Average: $424,091

6. Hematology/Oncology
Average: $396,000

7. Dermatology
Average: $370,952

8. Radiology
Average: $368,250

9. Pulmonology
Average: $351,125

10. General Surgery
Average: $336,375
Source: Forbes
 
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My cousin attended my undergrad graduation and sat through the entire ceremony. Three months later:

Cousin: so how's work been going?
Me: great! I'm learning tons in the lab
Cousin: What are you doing in the lab?
Me: research!
Cousin: Wait, so have you been working with your patients?
Me: No, I don't have patients. I'm not a doctor yet.
Cousin: Wait, didn't I attend your graduation? didn't you just graduate from medical school?
Me: No, no I graduated with my bachelor's. I'm not a doctor yet!
Cousin: WHAT? (proceeds to ask me to explain how come I'm not a doctor yet. She's from a country where students don't have to get their bachelor's before their MD, by the way).

Also, whenever my mom complains about some pain or ailment, my little brother asks her if she has consulted me about it yet. I love the kid, but this happens way too often.