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Bad med school experience

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by SportsMed09, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. SportsMed09

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    I was wondering if anyone else has gone through anything like this. I go to a med school where we have "Docents", a doctor who you are assigned to and who go to clinic with one half day a week. We also do one 2 month internal medicine rotation each of our last 3 years of med school. My docent is someone who is well liked because she is bubbly and outgoing.
    The problem comes with her playing favorites. I am the type of guy who is quiet and keeps to himself. Our doctor loves to pry into your life and know every detail, and I'm just not that type of guy. Also, she doesn't look at our clinical work; she barely knows how to use a computer, and has signed off on notes electronically which have no A/P on them. Luckily we are at an inner city hospital, so it's expected that we will lose money.

    It just seems that no matter how hard I try, she will always find SOMETHING to criticize. Im a senior now, and our last IM rotation proved my point to younger students who had heard me bitch about this. Everyday she would pick at my presentations, though if another student presented EXACTLY as I did she said nothing. One day, I nailed a transfer perfectly. She stands there quiet for a second, then proceeds to say my clothing looks out of whack and ADJUSTS MY COAT AND TIE ON ROUNDS. Are you serious?!?!?

    I've tried changing doctors, only to be told that since I'm so close to graduation, to suck it up. The fact that I'm complaining this close to graduation obviously doesnt show them how bad this situation is. We've already had one younger student transfer off because of similar issues, but I guess our med school cares more about our tuition than our educational experience.

    Has anyone else been through a crappy experience with a doctor in their med school? How did you deal with it?
     
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  3. Tired

    Tired Fading away
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    Um . . . are you dumb?

    She's hitting on you.

    Nail her.
     
  4. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    I didn't have an experience like this in medical school but I did have an experience like this as a junior attending. My first inclination was to "bitch" somewhat (only to my fiancé who didn't know the party involved) but I remembered something that my uncle, my first mentor in medicine, told me. He said that the first rule of medicine is, "Don't fight battles that you can't win".

    You are not in a position to do "battle" with your attending physician. She, unfortunately for you, is in a position of power over you. She can grade you and if she acts this professional about you rotating on her service, she won't hesitate to use your grade to cut you down. You definitely don't want to compromise your graduation with someone who is both unprofessional and likely wrong about your work.

    The second thing to consider when dealing with unprofessionalism is that you don't want to stoop to her level by "bitching" to other folks, especially people who have less experience than yourself, and for whom, you might be a role model. You have to find a way to rise above this petty stuff because she isn't capable of acting in a professional manner. In a few short weeks, this person will be a distant memory and you will be moving on to bigger and better challenges. Don't stoop to her level but be patient and rise above this.

    The next thing that my uncle always emphasized is that if there is a problem that involves you professionally, find at least two solutions for it when you bring it to the attention of the other person involved. It sounds like you and this person need to have a very professional talk about you getting the educational experience that you need and make sure that you are not personal. Take a tape recorder with you if you can't have another person present and stay professional. After all, this is your education for which, you are paying money.

    I have always found in every professional situation that there will be people who will, for whatever reason, attempt to bring you down to their level by immature and unprofessional behavior. You have to make sure that you are the consummate professional in these situations. After all, this person has more experience in medicine than you and thus you can learn something from them that will be of use to you in the long run. It may not be much but it will be something even if it's how you NEVER want to conduct yourself in a professional situation.

    I am very sorry that any student has to be subjected to situations like this but try to get the best out of this and move on. As I said above, you can't win this battle and you have the most to lose. It's very difficult to handle a situation like this other than to have outstanding evaluations on every other service that you have rotated on. It just doesn't look like your school is very supportive in this case.

    How did I solve my problem when I was a junior attending? I made sure that I was the consummate professional even to the point of being very formal. I made sure that I didn't "bitch" about anything and I moved on. In the scheme of things, I learned many things from my experience especially how NOT to treat others.
     
  5. GZA

    GZA Marcel who?
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    Perhaps she goes for the strong silent type. Mysterious as well; bring pink flowers, make sure they are not broken, Donny.
     
  6. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    ^^^ Hilarious
     
  7. SportsMed09

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    Hahaha! No, I see by the way I stated that with my clothes that she wants me, but it was more about finding something to pick at. Besides, I would vomit if I thought of "nailing" her; if you saw her...HA! But being a pro about this is probably the best way to go. You all think I should schedule a meeting with her to clear the air?
     
  8. tchoupdoc

    tchoupdoc attending
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    I'm an attending, been one for about 6 years now.

    Don't schedule a meeting. I am not trying to be funny, but that only works on television. If this has truly been a pattern with this person, this has likely been tried to no avail in the past, or if you are the first, she may come down on you even harder. Worst case scenario, you have a closed door meeting between a man and a woman, and this becomes a "he said, she said" gender bias, abuse of power, etc situation. Yawn and headache.

    The most constructive course of action would be to write a letter with your concerns to the dean of students. Make it clear that her behavior makes it difficult for you to learn medicine. Administration is not interested in personality clashes. While this will likely not help you, it will help future students. When I was a third year, one attending received enough such reviews/letters that he was told that academic medicine was not right for him.

    In defense of your medical school, finding people willing to precept students instead of residents is quite difficult. Sometimes "those that can't do, teach" applies in medical education as well. But look at this way--maybe they are so confident in your maturity and intelligence, they are certain that you will learn despite this person's malevolence.:rolleyes:

    I had two attendings like this. One i later came to respect and pity, because I think he truly had untreated OCD. He was a very unhappy man. I treated him for a little while.

    The other was a lot more like yours. She was a bully-- inconsistent and mean. How sweet it was when she called me for a consult as an attending and I explained in front of her team why her assumptions were wrong....:smuggrin:
     
  9. tchoupdoc

    tchoupdoc attending
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    I'm an attending, been one for about 6 years now.

    Don't schedule a meeting. I am not trying to be funny, but that only works on television. If this has truly been a pattern with this person, this has likely been tried to no avail in the past, or if you are the first, she may come down on you even harder. Worst case scenario, you have a closed door meeting between a man and a woman, and this becomes a "he said, she said" gender bias, abuse of power, etc situation. Yawn and headache.

    The most constructive course of action would be to write a letter with your concerns to the dean of students. Make it clear that her behavior makes it difficult for you to learn medicine. Administration is not interested in personality clashes. While this will likely not help you, it will help future students. When I was a third year, one attending received enough such reviews/letters that he was told that academic medicine was not right for him.

    In defense of your medical school, finding people willing to precept students instead of residents is quite difficult. Sometimes "those that can't do, teach" applies in medical education as well. But look at this way--maybe they are so confident in your maturity and intelligence, they are certain that you will learn despite this person's malevolence.:rolleyes:

    I had two attendings like this. One i later came to respect and pity, because I think he truly had untreated OCD. He was a very unhappy man. I treated him for a little while.

    The other was a lot more like yours. She was a bully-- inconsistent and mean. How sweet it was when she called me for a consult as an attending and I explained in front of her team why her assumptions were wrong....:smuggrin:
     
  10. Dr. McDreamy

    Dr. McDreamy resident hottie
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    What god-forsaken country do you go to medical school in???? 6 full months of internal medicine rotations? I think I would have dropped out of medical school.....2 months was enough for me. I was counting down the days after 2 weeks of that BS. wow.....
     
  11. cpants

    cpants Member
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    Talking to her could help, as long as you do it the right way. You should approach her this way: I feel like I haven't been living up to your expectations, and can you give me some advice to improve? This opens a discussion where she doesn't have to be on the defensive, and she may actually give you some constructive criticism. We all have room for improvement. If you actually work on some of her tips, she will notice, and you will come out looking great.
     
  12. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic
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    Definitely a good way to go. I had a surgery attending who kept post-call students in the hospital only to berate their specialty choices in front of everyone else in the class. I sent a letter to every dean in our school---and made sure that each dean knew that the others were receiving the same letter. I also mentioned dates, times, names of everyone present, and exact quotations of the attending. The next day, I mentioned in class what I had done and six other students did the same. That professor no longer keeps anyone post call and apparently is pretty nice to work with now.
     
  13. yeah definitely hitting on you
     
  14. silas2642

    silas2642 silas2642
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    Brown. Paper. Bag.
     
  15. scurred09

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    turn off the lights and it always feels the same.
     
  16. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    Did you stay in contact with any of the students who graduated ahead of you who also had this docent?

    Any chance you could ask them for specific advice on how to handle this doc?


    I'm not on the wards yet, so take this for what it's worth... but poking the bear doesn't seem like a good idea to me if you're almost out.
     
  17. troopa

    troopa Senior Member
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    I agree, just suck it up...this too shall pass!
     
  18. themudphud

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    Dude--you still need to nail her.
     
  19. EM_Rebuilder

    EM_Rebuilder Member
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    lol!
     
  20. SportsMed09

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    Appreciate the advice you all are giving. I go to an allopathic school here in the good ol' US of A. What I did was this: at the end of my rotation where she berated me and fixed my clothes, I gave her a horrible eval and stated everything about what she did, and how absurd it was. Saw her in clinic recently, and she was pretty nice.
    Her pattern is usually passive aggressive, which is what worries me. It seems like I've turned a corner, since she is nice, and then she snaps. At least between trying to switch off this team, as well as complaining to people (albeit too late), and this, I feel like nothing more should happen. She has been here for over a decade, and honestly, we are at an inner city hospital. They would not find anyone to take on this type of population of patients.
    As for contacting students from the past, I have known a few, who stated that this is how it has always been. They didn't do anything since nothing would happen (as I learned first hand). The thing is, she is so nice that no one ever suspects anything like this could remotely happen. It's funny how the people on our team feel pretty unanimously (unless she favors them and lets them get away with everything), how biased and how poor of a job she does with teaching.
    It just stuns me that she cares more about discussing celebrity gossip and reality TV than teaching us. And she was AOA! I definitely lost respect for what AOA stands for when I found that out.
     
  21. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    LOL - This is not the best phrasing in light of all the suggestions to nail her.
     
  22. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem
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    Do you know what is the average amount of IM rotation in med schools? Perhaps if someone dislikes primary care, it is a real disadvantage to attend a school that concentrates on primary care. This would probably be even more so for DO schools. I am assuming there is a way to find out the duration of IM rotation before selecting a med school.
     
  23. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    meh. I guess the advice works on multiple levels.
     
  24. Re3iRtH

    Re3iRtH Member
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    I am only a 2nd year, but to me IM inpatient does not sound a lot
    like primary care. Patients in the ICU, on ventilators, patients
    with end stage cancers that can crash at any time, is that still considered
    primary care?

    I imagine primary care as a guy comes into a clinic with chest
    pain or a woman comes in for her pelvic exam. So imo the more appropriate
    thing to be finding out is duration of FM and ob-gyn rotations, not
    necessarily the IM rotation at all.
     
  25. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem
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    That's probably what the OP did too, it's just that if you are going into another field, like surgery, excessive rotation in IM/FM takes away time that you could spend working on your desired rotation and perhaps even doing some research. Another danger is what OP described - having to deal with attendings who may not like you simply because you are not going into that field. It's great if you like IM, but otherwise it doesn't sound so good.
     
  26. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem
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    Hahahahaha. She may be simply exerting dominance over someone who she thinks is weak. I had the exact experience where I work, except the person targetted was someone I work with and a senior engineer. That manager (from another department) is actually married - so the correction of the clothes was simply a dominance issue. She did that during a meeting with him. I also know that it has to do with your behavior because even though I have a lower rank than that other guy (and he is several years older too), she has never exhibited such a behavior towards me. She is hostile to our department and the way she deals with me is by avoiding me. At most she may exhibit her discontent with me in a subtle and indirect manner, such as through someone else. Maybe I am wrong, but I'd think that the power structure should be pretty much the same in medical school. An attending would not treat a non-trad/mature student the same way as some he/she thinks is callower or perhaps not as assertive.
     
  27. Wants2give

    Wants2give Gangsturrrrrrr
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    hahaha I hear you brother!! Shes your teacher!!
    Go for the gold!!!!
     
  28. mcc5

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    Even though I haven't started med school, I already know from previous experiences/failures that "Don't fight battles that you can't win" is such a truism. If I were you, I would just suck it up and let it pass
     

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