can your med school classmates ever be true colleagues/friends?

Cold Penguin

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As a pre-med, I did not much socialize with other pre-med folks who always asked me enough questions about where I volunteered and how I did on my exams. These kinds of fake get-to-know questions really made me sick, and it was even worse for me to see people who did not know how to be considerate to other people, listing their list of accomplishment and not knowing what it really means to compete for the good purpose. Most of my close friends were non pre-meds, and I was able to do this because I am one of those who did a bare minimum science requirement while studying other field. I did not mind studying with other pre-meds but could no longer allow myself to hang out with them and spend my break time talking about med school-related stuff.

What makes me nervous about starting med school is that I will be about six-seven years older than traditional med students and that I will not spend my time hanging out with other med students. This is not to say I will not get along with them, but I want to shape my own living sphere centered around another group of friends other than med school and med school-related people at least when I don't need to be physically with med school classmates. I see how being with people doing the same thing (like getting through four years of med school) with you can be supportive, but at times I need to breathe through other type of air (if you know what I mean)

How do people maintain their private life while studying in med school? How does not hanging out with other med school colleagues (but maintain all the respect while studying with them) affect my clinical years?
 

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Cold Penguin said:
...How do people maintain their private life while studying in med school? How does not hanging out with other med school colleagues (but maintain all the respect while studying with them) affect my clinical years?
For God's sake. Medical school is not a cult. You will not have to share a low-protein diet with your classmates while waiting for the mother-ship.
 

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Cold Penguin said:
As a pre-med, I did not much socialize with other pre-med folks who always asked me enough questions about where I volunteered and how I did on my exams. These kinds of fake get-to-know questions really made me sick, and it was even worse for me to see people who did not know how to be considerate to other people, listing their list of accomplishment and not knowing what it really means to compete for the good purpose. Most of my close friends were non pre-meds, and I was able to do this because I am one of those who did a bare minimum science requirement while studying other field. I did not mind studying with other pre-meds but could no longer allow myself to hang out with them and spend my break time talking about med school-related stuff.

What makes me nervous about starting med school is that I will be about six-seven years older than traditional med students and that I will not spend my time hanging out with other med students. This is not to say I will not get along with them, but I want to shape my own living sphere centered around another group of friends other than med school and med school-related people at least when I don't need to be physically with med school classmates. I see how being with people doing the same thing (like getting through four years of med school) with you can be supportive, but at times I need to breathe through other type of air (if you know what I mean)

How do people maintain their private life while studying in med school? How does not hanging out with other med school colleagues (but maintain all the respect while studying with them) affect my clinical years?
You won't have as much time as you think to hang with your non-med school friends. Bear in mind that non-med student friends with quickly get frustrated and annoyed with your frequent innability to go out and do stuff due to your more intensive schedule. The weeks you have free time are inevitably not the same as theirs. After you turn down their offers enough the offers stop coming. Best to get at least a core group of friends in your class -- you are going to be stuck with them for the next few years.
 
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Panda Bear said:
For God's sake. Medical school is not a cult. You will not have to share a low-protein diet with your classmates while waiting for the mother-ship.
Funny, but that's basically how I perceived this post.
 

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Panda Bear said:
For God's sake. Medical school is not a cult. You will not have to share a low-protein diet with your classmates while waiting for the mother-ship.
Your right, it is not a cult, but it is very "clique-ish". I was told med school is very much like high school in that respect. I found this to be very very true.

I was in the exact same situation as you, about 6-7 years older then the average (I was 30), and didn't really fit in with the 22-23 year olds, many of whom were "brainwashed since birth" to go to med school. I had a prior career, life, experiences, friends (non-med school and/or undergrad, and non-medical period) prior to med school life. You will find others who are more your age, and even some younger ones who you like too. You might find that your age has its advantages, in dealing with faculty and staff, and your life experiences will help you more in connecting with patients and staff too.

As for time, yours will be greatly limited. I found that nothing in my undergrad or grad experience prepared me for the intensity and amount of material in med school. And no matter how hard you try, your friends will never truly understand. And, no, their upper division art class, or graduate business course, compares, no matter how hard they argue their classes are hard. Get used to it. And yes, they won't like that you can't go out much anymore, and live by the next exam date, and can't stay all the time. And yes, they will not call as much after a while. Having said that, you will find time to hang with friends on weekends, go to a BBQ, a date, etc. Just not as much.

Good luck in med school, :D
 

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I noticed the first week med school w as not like college it all...For me it very much felt like high school. This is probably even more true if you (like me) went to a large ~40000 student undergrad...Here there are maybe 100-200 or you, everyones taking the exact same classes at the same time, working towards the same things at the same time. These are the only people you see, and you basically see them 9-5, and at my school at least and I'm pretty sure most others, you see them in class after class in one room, with 10 minute breaks during which you go outside the lecture hall and talk to the same people. Eventually, it does become very clique-y. But that said, it's not a cult, and you'll be fine, because the nontraditional crowd is its own clique within all these others...


airferret said:
Your right, it is not a cult, but it is very "clique-ish". I was told med school is very much like high school in that respect. I found this to be very very true.

I was in the exact same situation as you, about 6-7 years older then the average (I was 30), and didn't really fit in with the 22-23 year olds, many of whom were "brainwashed since birth" to go to med school. I had a prior career, life, experiences, friends (non-med school and/or undergrad, and non-medical period) prior to med school life. You will find others who are more your age, and even some younger ones who you like too. You might find that your age has its advantages, in dealing with faculty and staff, and your life experiences will help you more in connecting with patients and staff too.

As for time, yours will be greatly limited. I found that nothing in my undergrad or grad experience prepared me for the intensity and amount of material in med school. And no matter how hard you try, your friends will never truly understand. And, no, their upper division art class, or graduate business course, compares, no matter how hard they argue their classes are hard. Get used to it. And yes, they won't like that you can't go out much anymore, and live by the next exam date, and can't stay all the time. And yes, they will not call as much after a while. Having said that, you will find time to hang with friends on weekends, go to a BBQ, a date, etc. Just not as much.

Good luck in med school, :D
 

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Cold Penguin said:
As a pre-med, I did not much socialize with other pre-med folks who always asked me enough questions about where I volunteered and how I did on my exams. These kinds of fake get-to-know questions really made me sick, and it was even worse for me to see people who did not know how to be considerate to other people, listing their list of accomplishment and not knowing what it really means to compete for the good purpose. Most of my close friends were non pre-meds, and I was able to do this because I am one of those who did a bare minimum science requirement while studying other field. I did not mind studying with other pre-meds but could no longer allow myself to hang out with them and spend my break time talking about med school-related stuff.

What makes me nervous about starting med school is that I will be about six-seven years older than traditional med students and that I will not spend my time hanging out with other med students. This is not to say I will not get along with them, but I want to shape my own living sphere centered around another group of friends other than med school and med school-related people at least when I don't need to be physically with med school classmates. I see how being with people doing the same thing (like getting through four years of med school) with you can be supportive, but at times I need to breathe through other type of air (if you know what I mean)

How do people maintain their private life while studying in med school? How does not hanging out with other med school colleagues (but maintain all the respect while studying with them) affect my clinical years?
Hi there,
In medical school, after first and second year, you are not likely to be in contact much with a majority of your class. During third-year, you may be in contact with your rotation groups but that's about it. During fourth-year, most folks are doing electives and away rotations so you won't see them until Match Day.

Medical school is professional school and quite different from undergraduate school. While you may have some classmates who appear to be pretty immature during orientation, as you move thorough the clinical years, they grow into their profession. Most folks including yourself, are likely to be very different from that person who was sitting in orientation on the first day.

My class jelled pretty quickly and by the end of the first semester, we were pretty good colleagues with one or two exceptions. We had one certifiable lunatic (MD/Ph.D candidate) and one bully (actually this person failed out second year) but the rest of us found we had more in common than not. We all got along professionally and we still get along well even though it has been four years since graduation.

Finally, you have so much information to master and assimulate, that you will have little time to dwell on personality conflicts and the personal issues of other folks. One learns very quickly not to waste time with things that are non-productive in terms of getting one's studying done. We had some social things (on weekends and after exams) but there just wasn't loads of time for friends of any kind with the demanding schedule of medical school.

On graduation day, we cheered our 57-year-old graduate and cheered our 23-year-old graduate just as loudly. I had some extremely close friends that I missed and I have enjoyed seeing some of my classmates at national conventions. In the end, the personality junk just did not matter and we all went our separate ways across the country and into different specialties. I keep in contact with some folks thorough e-mail but other than that, my fellow residents are my closest friends.

njbmd :) :)
 

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I approached medical school with the same attitude. Although I am a traditional student--straight out of college--it did feel like I'd stepped back into high school for the first few months. Then, as njbmd pointed out, you get over it--the studying and intensity of it takes priority. You learn to avoid the people you don't like and find ones that you do. And 3rd year can really surprise you--you're forced to get to know people outside your own circle, and they can be more likable than you think. Med school has been fun socially for me; I like that my closest friends are sharing the same experiences, both good and bad. just avoid the gunners!
 

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Being older than your peers is not a disadvantage. One of the best friendships I've forged in med school was with a woman who was old enough to be my mother. An older classmate who had a 9 year old daughter was one of the most organized people I've met. Like previous posters have said, med school is a lot like high school. Chances are there will be other people in your class who are older than the fresh-out-of-college students. You probably won't be alone.

Like other people have said, your time will be limited. Use it wisely. Those who are trully your friends will understand your new schedule and lifestyle and your friendship will change accordingly.
 

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When I first started medical school, I tried to befriend other students who were married. That way my wife would have people to hang with as well. I have met a couple people that I consider great friends and will likely maintain contact with. Although I am friends with and hang out with quite a few of my classmates.

Those who are older know that throughout your life friends will come and go (other than 1 or 2 exceptions) even if at the time they seem like the best friends you have ever had. Your wife and the rest of your family will always be with you so make sure you take care of them first. Just try and adapt to every living situation you face.
 

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Cold Penguin said:
As a pre-med, I did not much socialize with other pre-med folks who always asked me enough questions about where I volunteered and how I did on my exams. These kinds of fake get-to-know questions really made me sick, and it was even worse for me to see people who did not know how to be considerate to other people, listing their list of accomplishment and not knowing what it really means to compete for the good purpose. Most of my close friends were non pre-meds, and I was able to do this because I am one of those who did a bare minimum science requirement while studying other field. I did not mind studying with other pre-meds but could no longer allow myself to hang out with them and spend my break time talking about med school-related stuff.

What makes me nervous about starting med school is that I will be about six-seven years older than traditional med students and that I will not spend my time hanging out with other med students. This is not to say I will not get along with them, but I want to shape my own living sphere centered around another group of friends other than med school and med school-related people at least when I don't need to be physically with med school classmates. I see how being with people doing the same thing (like getting through four years of med school) with you can be supportive, but at times I need to breathe through other type of air (if you know what I mean)

How do people maintain their private life while studying in med school? How does not hanging out with other med school colleagues (but maintain all the respect while studying with them) affect my clinical years?
the best thing for you to do is to get like a couple friends in the class then after a couple months quit going to class. get married or live with your significant other... hang out with her and her friends... hang out with other friends when possible. this is what makes me the most happy..... but...

anyways, you will need connections in your class and it is beneficialy to have friends in your class and other classes. when study guides and old exams go around you want to be friends with the people that make them or receive them so you can get it too! i am not in the clinical years yet, but i can imagine there are similar benefits to knowing people in clinical years as well.
 

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You'll figure things out as you go along. The first few weeks, remember not to take things personally and be flexible. I remember that it was hard when someone was like glue one day, and then ignored me the next day. People are nervous and trying to figure things out.

I have made it a point to try and be on friendly terms with as many people in my class as I can. But I don't "stick" to anyone person or group, like in a clique. This way, I have found I can pretty much talk to anyone, or any group and it's nice. Going into third year, so far I am glad that I have a nice professional relationship with so many classmates. But I also have my outside life, and so do they.

We can't take it personally, all the competition and whatever. We are here to get a professional degree and then move on. But you will find some nice peeps and you will find your way. Other post-ers have said great things here. Well, except for Dr Panda! He is a blunt speaker, sometimes, but we still love him. :p
 

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just practice normal human interaction. i heard the same stuff about med school being "clique-ish" before starting and was a little worried about it. but honestly it hasn't been any different than what you'd expect with normal human interactions. yes people tend to form groups of friends. even i have managed to find some people that tolerate me. but i haven't really noticed much tension between groups or vicious rumor spreading or stuff like that.

it is possible, i suppose, that my class is not the norm. but everyone has been genuinely pretty cool, even those people i don't spend time with will strike up a conversation if you see them at the bar or whatever. i have been very, very pleasently surprised with how easy the social aspect of med school has been. i have a group of friends from school that i really value, respect, and enjoy being around. it's interesting actually because there are some really varied personalities in my group of close friends, but somehow it all just works out. my first year would have been a lot tougher without them.

and i'm not exactly a social butterfly.

so i guess i'm saying try not to stress about it. you'll find people you fit in with and if you want, others will leave you and your pretty much alone. just don't sleep with a bunch of your classmates. that's one thing sure to stir the hornets nest.
 
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Panda Bear said:
For God's sake. Medical school is not a cult. You will not have to share a low-protein diet with your classmates while waiting for the mother-ship.


Ha! When the mothership gets here, you and your high-protein diet will be left behind! hahaha!
 
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I don't study well in a group because I prefer studying alone. How do you guys turn down million offers for forming/joining a study group?
 

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Cold Penguin said:
I don't study well in a group because I prefer studying alone. Hod oyou guys turn down million offers for forming/joining a study group?

Yes, I wonder the same. I'd really like to know what people do in this situation without pissing people off? Someone please enlighten us.

I like to study alone too, but I don't mind getting into groups with people and explain stuff to them...but that's after I study alone... How do I explain that to people without them getting mad at me?
 

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BlinkyCat said:
Yes, I wonder the same. I'd really like to know what people do in this situation without pissing people off? Someone please enlighten us...
Don't shower for a week and I'm sure people will stop asking you to go study with them.
 

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BlinkyCat said:
Yes, I wonder the same. I'd really like to know what people do in this situation without pissing people off? Someone please enlighten us.

I like to study alone too, but I don't mind getting into groups with people and explain stuff to them...but that's after I study alone... How do I explain that to people without them getting mad at me?

Hang out with them a few times a week . But med school is all about clique and if you don't hang out with them and such you will be drop. You will soon discover that everyone is cool and nice to you for the next three/four weeks or so. after that who knows!!
 
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marr said:
Hang out with them a few times a week . But med school is all about clique and if you don't hang out with them and such you will be drop. You will soon discover that everyone is cool and nice to you for the next three/four weeks or so. after that who knows!!

I don't think I will have time to hang out few times a week at med school. So, it's a dilemma. People ask you to do study groups with them at the beginning of med school when everyone is (or wants to be) nice to one another. The truth is that I don't want to hurt their feelings by turning down their offer, and it gets even worse when they invite me to come just to see how it goes. I know this by the long history of having failed to survive in numerous study groups and doing the best by studying alone.

In studying in a study group, I run into two extreme cases. I either end up explaining everything to the rest or start freaking out realizing how behind I am. In an either case, I get frustrated, and nothing really good happens. If one is going to drop out of a study group, it's better not to have joinned at all from the beginning. I also mind sharing my grade with other people because regardless how bad or well I did on an exam, I'd like to keep it private.
 

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Cold Penguin said:
I don't study well in a group because I prefer studying alone. How do you guys turn down million offers for forming/joining a study group?
Study groups are not as common as everyone always makes out. The exception is anatomy and it is nice to have a group to discuss cadaver dissection in the lab with. As for turning down any offers you may get, the diplomatic way is just to say that you would like to get a handle on the material first and depending on how far along you get you will let them know and help out if you can. Most of us are overwhelmed and no one will fault you if you look harried and indicate that you need to catch up.

Of course if you do understand one part of the material really well and are not pressed for time, it will be to your benefit to explain it to a few of your classmates who do not because 1. it will solidify the info in your brain and 2. the classmate will probably help you out with something. It may not be during your M1 year but that person may have an amazing ability in pharm or path in M2 or great communication skills in M3.

Also keep in mind that many of us were the star pupils like you guys in our pre-med classes and anything group related was an exercise in frustration and people did not pull their weight. That is a lot less likely to happen in medical school and different groups study differently.
 

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Cold Penguin said:
I don't think I will have time to hang out few times a week at med school. So, it's a dilemma. People ask you to do study groups with them at the beginning of med school when everyone is (or wants to be) nice to one another.
Until you prove that you are uber smart on the first med school exam, most people will be pretty indifferent about you being in their study group -- they might ask if you seem cool, but not care as much as you are suggesting. If you do really well in the first test, suddenly you'll find lots of people will want to pick your brain, and copy your study techniques. If you do poorly, no one will want you in their study group -- you will be that unwanted anchor. Sounds like all your problems will be solved if you do poorly.:D
 

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Cold Penguin said:
I don't study well in a group because I prefer studying alone. How do you guys turn down million offers for forming/joining a study group?
I HAVE to turn down study groups or my study group will hate me...... I am a talker and I end up gossiping more than studying. The only reason I go to the library is to socialize, all my studying must be done at home or at a cafe or its over.
 

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airferret said:
Your right, it is not a cult, but it is very "clique-ish". I was told med school is very much like high school in that respect. I found this to be very very true.

I was in the exact same situation as you, about 6-7 years older then the average (I was 30), and didn't really fit in with the 22-23 year olds, many of whom were "brainwashed since birth" to go to med school. I had a prior career, life, experiences, friends (non-med school and/or undergrad, and non-medical period) prior to med school life. You will find others who are more your age, and even some younger ones who you like too. You might find that your age has its advantages, in dealing with faculty and staff, and your life experiences will help you more in connecting with patients and staff too.

As for time, yours will be greatly limited. I found that nothing in my undergrad or grad experience prepared me for the intensity and amount of material in med school. And no matter how hard you try, your friends will never truly understand. And, no, their upper division art class, or graduate business course, compares, no matter how hard they argue their classes are hard. Get used to it. And yes, they won't like that you can't go out much anymore, and live by the next exam date, and can't stay all the time. And yes, they will not call as much after a while. Having said that, you will find time to hang with friends on weekends, go to a BBQ, a date, etc. Just not as much.

Good luck in med school, :D
I have had time in med school to socialize with non-med people. I have a doctorate in another field and by all means I was even busier with my PhD studies than I was for the MD program. In the MD program, I could just focus on my coursework and clinicals. In PhD program, there were teaching responsibilities, research to conduct, coursework, orals and comp exams, if you made it this far there is a juried dissertation to write and a dissertation defense. AND NO such thing as an easy last year in a PhD program. It also depends on what grad program you are comparing med to.

Come to think of it I have ugrad friends that don't have time to socialize.

It is not necessary to hang out or even study with your classmates. If you learn better by studying on your own, that is perfectly fine. It really depends on your learning style.
 

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Rugby MD said:
I HAVE to turn down study groups or my study group will hate me...... I am a talker and I end up gossiping more than studying. The only reason I go to the library is to socialize, all my studying must be done at home or at a cafe or its over.
lol interesting... you sound exactly like my college roommate whom I really enjoyed!
 

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RxnMan said:
Don't shower for a week and I'm sure people will stop asking you to go study with them.
:laugh: Oh yeah??


-Gentle-
 
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