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Clearly, one must be decently intelligent and hard working in order to become a medical doctor. That said, I'm wondering what posters here believe is the MORE applicable statement -

A. In order to become a medical doctor, one must be quite intelligent.
Or
B. In order to become a medical doctor, one must be quite hard working.
 
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sb247

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Clearly, one must be decently intelligent and hard working in order to become a medical doctor. That said, I'm wondering what posters here believe is the MORE applicable statement -

A. In order to become a medical doctor, one must be quite intelligent.
Or
B. In order to become a medical doctor, one must be quite hard working.
Yes
 
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Stagg737

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Efficiency > hard work >> intelligence. Both are important to a certain extent, but work ethic and efficiency trump everything else for med school imo. For some context, I only know one (maybe 2) med students who didn't complete school because they weren't "smart enough". On the other hand I know far more who were dismissed because of crappy work ethic and some who left voluntarily because they realized it was too much work. On the other side, I don't know any really successful people who don't work at least moderately hard, but have met more successful students than I'd like to admit whose intelligence during conversation made me wonder how they got in at all...
 
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bashwell

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Clearly, one must be decently intelligent and hard working in order to become a medical doctor. That said, I'm wondering what posters here believe is the MORE applicable statement -

A. In order to become a medical doctor, one must be quite intelligent.
Or
B. In order to become a medical doctor, one must be quite hard working.
Obviously both are important, and obviously almost everyone in med school is intelligent and hard working relative to the general population.

However, if I could only pick one, then I'd pick hard working, because it's much easier to teach the average med student something they don't know (that's what med school does!), than it is to teach the average med student how to have a good work ethic.
 
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Thanks for the input..I also think that nothing really trumps a good, consistent work ethic. It sucks cause I’m intelligent but semi (?) severe psychological issues have eaten into my ability/desire to work hard. I’m constantly wondering if my true calling is burger flipping or something.
 
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sliceofbread136

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Thanks for the input..I also think that nothing really trumps a good, consistent work ethic. It sucks cause I’m intelligent but semi (?) severe psychological issues have eaten into my ability/desire to work hard. I’m constantly wondering if my true calling is burger flipping or something.
Are you still in preclinical years? If you are in your clinical years and can't find something that inspires you work hard/enjoy it to the point where it doesn't feel like work you should probably try and address. Preclinical it feels like a chore for most people, less concerning
 
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Clearly, one must be decently intelligent and hard working in order to become a medical doctor. That said, I'm wondering what posters here believe is the MORE applicable statement -

A. In order to become a medical doctor, one must be quite intelligent.
Or
B. In order to become a medical doctor, one must be quite hard working.
Yes. Next question.
 
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Are you still in preclinical years? If you are in your clinical years and can't find something that inspires you work hard/enjoy it to the point where it doesn't feel like work you should probably try and address. Preclinical it feels like a chore for most people, less concerning
Preclinical, and yeah, everything is a chore. Feels like a self-destructive force is slowly and steadily making me throw in the towel, though that's the last thing I want to do.
 

muhali3

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Work ethic all the way. Intelligence doesn't help as much as a good memory. I thought coming to med school I would be in the company of very intelligent people but for the most part it's been slightly above average intelligence people with very admirable work ethic. The more intelligent students I've found actually tend to not study as much and thus don't do as well as the most conscientious. Most of my peers I think would not do very well in fields like engineering or physics, nor do I think many engineers/physicists would feel at home being a doctor.
 
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CaliforniaAppli

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Intelligence alone is overrated.

Physicians are the most well rounded people I have ever met . They mix intelligence with hard work ethic and excellent people skills . I don't know many other fields like this .

Ill take somebody less intelligent but hardworking any day.
 
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IslandStyle808

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Hate to say but the ones who are both intelligent and hardworking in spades are pretty much in the stratosphere in terms of grades at my school.

If you were to ask me between the two, I would say neither. Being an effective at studying is far superior than intelligence or work ethic. I've seen hardworking people fail. And they failed not because of the amount of hours, but how ineffective their study strategies were.
 

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sorry, misread the question at first. in terms of what's most important for getting through med school, the relative importance of hard work increases. same idea though. hard work keeps you afloat. special intelligence can help you separate yourself. you can't really do anything about the latter, so work hard (and, more importantly, as one poster pointed out) and work efficiently
 

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Hard work can make up for average intelligence, but a measure of both are required. Intelligence alone won't do it (unless you are an auditory learner, it would be amazing to only have to listen to the lectures a few times and ace tests)
 

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I'm pretty sure IBM's Watson could ace M1/M2 year with it's Jeopardy algorithm if that says anything. Nothing in med school is really that demanding cognitively. I don't think Richard Feynman would be that much better of a medical student than your average high school valedictorian (which is to say there's a ceiling above which additional intelligence doesn't do anything for you in terms of results, at that point it becomes more about other non-cognitive aspects).
 

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I'm pretty sure IBM's Watson could ace M1/M2 year with it's Jeopardy algorithm if that says anything. Nothing in med school is really that demanding cognitively. I don't think Richard Feynman would be that much better of a medical student than your average high school valedictorian (which is to say there's a ceiling above which additional intelligence doesn't do anything for you in terms of results, at that point it becomes more about other non-cognitive aspects).
Completely agree. Lots of decently, but not really, smart people get into and pass medical school. Holding all else constant, work relatively hard and you can do most things in life.

What matters more than both? For having even the option of applying to medical school to become a doctor, it's unfortunately being born in the right socioeconomic group, live in the right neighborhood, etc. But sure, assuming we're bypassing the systemic variables and attributing success in this realm to individual-level variables, then my vote goes with the majority (hard work).
 
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futuremdforme

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Work ethic 100%. Obviously you can't be stupid, but you don't have to be a genius to be a doc. You do need to work... and work... and work though.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Lots of decently, but not really, smart people get into and pass medical school.
Lol my school literally said something to this affect at orientation.
 

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You can get by as a doctor and there is a niche for either, the best generally have both. I find more towards the hard working side of the spectrum to be a little more common than intelligent.
 

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Both.

Though both reward both smarts and hard work, I'd say med school, in general, rewarded being smart more than working hard.

Intern year so far has emphasized working hard way more than being smart. You have to be able to work hours that deprive you of your life and make it difficult to see the people you care about in your life without breaking down (or at least getting back up and working quickly when you do break down).
 
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hard work separates the competent doctors from the incompetent ones
intelligence separates the top physicians from the adequate
Well-said. I've found this to be very true in medical school. I work hard, and I've done decently well, but I'm not the smartest so no matter how hard I work I'm probably never going to beat out my classmates who are equally hard working but more intelligent (not trying to sound defeatist, just being honest!).
 

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Hate to say but the ones who are both intelligent and hardworking in spades are pretty much in the stratosphere in terms of grades at my school.

If you were to ask me between the two, I would say neither. Being an effective at studying is far superior than intelligence or work ethic. I've seen hardworking people fail. And they failed not because of the amount of hours, but how ineffective their study strategies were.
This. This is what scares me lol
 

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In school there was always those individuals that things just came "easier" for. They still had to study, but not as hard as everyone else.

I think you have to have above average intelligence for certain career fields, medicine included.

The road to medicine is long, so hard work and perseverance play a role as well.
 
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IslandStyle808

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This. This is what scares me lol
I actually study with one of these people, who has both. We do study sessions in a rather large group. Usually people teach each other and we all benefit, thats how a study group works. However, in his case, its more like he's teaching us and we are all listening most of the time. I don't think anyone in our group told him anything he doesn't know (don't get me wrong he is an extremely humble guy).
 
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Stagg737

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Hate to say but the ones who are both intelligent and hardworking in spades are pretty much in the stratosphere in terms of grades at my school.

If you were to ask me between the two, I would say neither. Being an effective at studying is far superior than intelligence or work ethic. I've seen hardworking people fail. And they failed not because of the amount of hours, but how ineffective their study strategies were.
This couldn't be more true and almost everyone in the top of my class that I know isn't just a hard worker or smart, they're incredibly efficient to the point that it puzzles many of my other friends. One of the top people in my class is so efficient she literally makes a deck of around 700 flash cards in a 8-10 hour day. One of my friends (who only ever got below a solid A 2-3 times) was so efficient at annotating Big Robbins that he'd read the required chapters and have complete study guides/outlines done in 1-2 days while others in my class take a week to do so. By the time the average person in my class had finished their first/second pass and made their own outlines, he had already made 3-4 passes on the material and regularly made 8-10 passes on everything before the test would roll around (while everyone else would struggle to make 3-4 solid passes). Even a "dumb" med student could excel if they were able to see the material 2-3x more times than their classmates for every test, throw in some hard work and actual intelligence and it's not hard to see why these individuals are at the top of the class. That's the major reason I'm convinced that efficiency above all else is the key to really being successful in med school.
 

Mad Jack

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Clearly, one must be decently intelligent and hard working in order to become a medical doctor. That said, I'm wondering what posters here believe is the MORE applicable statement -

A. In order to become a medical doctor, one must be quite intelligent.
Or
B. In order to become a medical doctor, one must be quite hard working.
Hard working. Average intelligence is all you need, hard work can take it from there. Plenty of incredibly smart people with no work ethic wash out along the way though.
 
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Mad Jack

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Hate to say but the ones who are both intelligent and hardworking in spades are pretty much in the stratosphere in terms of grades at my school.

If you were to ask me between the two, I would say neither. Being an effective at studying is far superior than intelligence or work ethic. I've seen hardworking people fail. And they failed not because of the amount of hours, but how ineffective their study strategies were.
Well, yeah, hard-working but also efficient is what is required. You can study poorly for days but it's just a waste of time.
 
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Foot Fetish

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People don't want the doctor with the highest IQ. They want the one who KNOWS the most.

This isn't like mathematics, where IQ is what separates the average college professor from the Fields medalist.
With the exception of MD/PhDs, physicians aren't inventing anything. We are simply applying known solutions to a finite, albeit huge, set of problems.
Indeed, beyond a certain threshold of intelligence, which 99.9% of doctors possess simply by virtue of having made it into and through med school, the real bottleneck to success in medicine is simply how many facts you have crammed into your head. This, as others have pointed out, is largely a function of how much time you have put in. An IQ of 200 is worthless if you never opened up a medical text...unlike in math, where autodidacts like Ramanujan are able to dominate with only a God-given intuition for the subject in the setting of minimal formal education.

The theoretical ideal then, in terms of raw aptitude for medicine, would be the person with savant-like memory a la Rainman (which is DISTINCT from IQ) who also possesses an insane work ethic, enabling him to eat, sleep, and breathe medicine all day everyday until he developed an encyclopedic knowledge of it.
 
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el_duderino

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People don't want the doctor with the highest IQ. They want the one who KNOWS the most.

This isn't like mathematics, where IQ is what separates the average college professor from the Fields medalist.
With the exception of MD/PhDs, physicians aren't inventing anything. We are simply applying known solutions to a finite, albeit huge, set of problems.
Indeed, beyond a certain threshold of intelligence, which 99.9% of doctors possess simply by virtue of having made it into and through med school, the real bottleneck to success in medicine is simply how many facts you have crammed into your head. This, as others have pointed out, is largely a function of how much time you have put in. An IQ of 200 is worthless if you never opened up a medical text...unlike in math, where people like Ramanujan are able to dominate with only a God-given intuition in the setting of minimal formal education.

The theoretical ideal then, in terms of raw aptitude for medicine, would be the person with savant-like memory a la Rainman (which is DISTINCT from IQ) who also possessed an insane work ethic, enabling him to eat, sleep, and breathe medicine all day everyday until he developed an encyclopedic knowledge of it.
I don't think the amount of facts in your head is what makes you a great doctor, by any stretch. I don't know if many doctors want to be the ones who know the most.

Clinical judgment is what's important, IMO. As with many fields, whether politics, law, engineering, etc. Knowing a lot is important, but what separates average from great clinicians isn't how many "facts" are crammed into her or his head. It's judgment. Finding and reviewing facts is easy.
 

Foot Fetish

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I don't think the amount of facts in your head is what makes you a great doctor, by any stretch. I don't know if many doctors want to be the ones who know the most.

Clinical judgment is what's important, IMO. As with many fields, whether politics, law, engineering, etc. Knowing a lot is important, but what separates average from great clinicians isn't how many "facts" are crammed into her or his head. It's judgment. Finding and reviewing facts is easy.
Judgement is merely a product of experience. To take the extreme, if you've read every textbook and case report ever published, the "judgment" you speak of would come automatically. You could realistically go your entire career without seeing a truly novel case. The vast majority of cases that people think are novel have actually been described in the literature. It's just that no one possesses near-encyclopedic knowledge to be able to discern that. Moreover, even if a case comes through your door that truly has never been seen before, surely you would be better able to solve it if you had read about hundreds or thousands of slightly different permutations.

That's how AI does it by the way. Indeed, deeply convolutional neural networks can have "clinical judgement" too. Except they don't pretend it's some sort of nebulous essence like we do. They simply train the machine with thousands and thousands of cases until it "learns" what's right by pure trial and error. More examples = Higher accuracy. We can pretend we are doing something different as human physicians, but we're only kidding ourselves.
 

el_duderino

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Judgement is merely a product of experience. To take the extreme, if you've read every textbook and case report ever published, the "judgment" you speak of would come automatically. You could realistically go your entire career without seeing a truly novel case. The vast majority of cases that people think are novel have actually been described in the literature. It's just that no one possesses near-encyclopedic knowledge to be able to discern that. Moreover, even if a case comes through your door that truly has never been seen before, surely you would be better able to solve it if you had read about hundreds or thousands of slightly different permutations.

That's how AI does it by the way. Indeed, deeply convolutional neural networks can have "clinical judgement" too. Except they don't pretend it's some sort of nebulous essence like we do. They simply train the machine with thousands and thousands of cases until it "learns" what's right by pure trial and error. More examples = Higher accuracy. We can pretend we are doing something different as human physicians, but we're only kidding ourselves.
That's not how judgment works.
 
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WingedOx

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People don't want the doctor with the highest IQ. They want the one who KNOWS the most.

This isn't like mathematics, where IQ is what separates the average college professor from the Fields medalist.
With the exception of MD/PhDs, physicians aren't inventing anything. We are simply applying known solutions to a finite, albeit huge, set of problems.
Indeed, beyond a certain threshold of intelligence, which 99.9% of doctors possess simply by virtue of having made it into and through med school, the real bottleneck to success in medicine is simply how many facts you have crammed into your head. This, as others have pointed out, is largely a function of how much time you have put in. An IQ of 200 is worthless if you never opened up a medical text...unlike in math, where autodidacts like Ramanujan are able to dominate with only a God-given intuition for the subject in the setting of minimal formal education.

The theoretical ideal then, in terms of raw aptitude for medicine, would be the person with savant-like memory a la Rainman (which is DISTINCT from IQ) who also possesses an insane work ethic, enabling him to eat, sleep, and breathe medicine all day everyday until he developed an encyclopedic knowledge of it.
This is sorta right, but only sorta. There's a reason why there's a rant in the psych forum every few months about clinicians with crap diagnostic skills.

Just because you know it doesn't mean you know it when you see it.
 

Foot Fetish

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That's not how judgment works.
I'm afraid it is.

You either have seen the case before and need to judge whether the current case is the same thing, OR you have not seen it before and you need to judge whether it's similar enough that a permutation of a prior solution would work in the current case. As you continue to do this, your arsenal of cases from which you base this "judgment" grows, and you become more accurate. It's what AI does. We can pretend we're doing something different, but we're really not.
 
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UGA Non Trad

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People don't want the doctor with the highest IQ. They want the one who KNOWS the most.

This isn't like mathematics, where IQ is what separates the average college professor from the Fields medalist.
With the exception of MD/PhDs, physicians aren't inventing anything. We are simply applying known solutions to a finite, albeit huge, set of problems.
Indeed, beyond a certain threshold of intelligence, which 99.9% of doctors possess simply by virtue of having made it into and through med school, the real bottleneck to success in medicine is simply how many facts you have crammed into your head. This, as others have pointed out, is largely a function of how much time you have put in. An IQ of 200 is worthless if you never opened up a medical text...unlike in math, where autodidacts like Ramanujan are able to dominate with only a God-given intuition for the subject in the setting of minimal formal education.

The theoretical ideal then, in terms of raw aptitude for medicine, would be the person with savant-like memory a la Rainman (which is DISTINCT from IQ) who also possesses an insane work ethic, enabling him to eat, sleep, and breathe medicine all day everyday until he developed an encyclopedic knowledge of it.
You sure do have strong opinions about clinical medicine and "success in medicine" for someone who doesn't have true clinical experience.
 

mehc012

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Hard working. Average intelligence is all you need, hard work can take it from there. Plenty of incredibly smart people with no work ethic wash out along the way though.
Hard working is better, but I'd say either one is enough on its own. Obviously both is best, though! If you can engage in lecture and then not need to repeat that information, the amount of work you are required to put in is substantially less, no? You don't need a great work ethic to do minimum work, and if you're smart enough to get by with minimum work, you'll be OK. If you happen to have test-taking skills on top of that, you're golden.

This assumes, of course, that all that matters is passing and getting a reasonable (but not astronomical) Step score.
 

Mad Jack

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Hard working is better, but I'd say either one is enough on its own. Obviously both is best, though! If you can engage in lecture and then not need to repeat that information, the amount of work you are required to put in is substantially less, no? You don't need a great work ethic to do minimum work, and if you're smart enough to get by with minimum work, you'll be OK. If you happen to have test-taking skills on top of that, you're golden.

This assumes, of course, that all that matters is passing and getting a reasonable (but not astronomical) Step score.
Eh, the people that I knew that had the hardest time were the ones that were naturally quite intelligent but that didn't study at all. Well, them and the ones that weren't all that bright and had to work ultra hard just to stay afloat. But all the brains in the world don't matter if you don't put in the effort- you can't learn if you literally don't study.
 

mehc012

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Eh, the people that I knew that had the hardest time were the ones that were naturally quite intelligent but that didn't study at all. Well, them and the ones that weren't all that bright and had to work ultra hard just to stay afloat. But all the brains in the world don't matter if you don't put in the effort- you can't learn if you literally don't study.
That's what lecture is for. Go, pay attention, done, minimal review. For some people, that's all it takes.
 

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This thread would be helped by defining intelligence. Intelligence does not equal memory. M1/M2 year is primarily about what you remember from studying. Yes, sometimes you have to "apply" it to a situation, but often times they tell you how to do this as well (use some algorithm or formula). M3/M4 year is primarily about how hard-working you come across and how much you try to help the team, I wouldn't say IQ plays too much of a factor here and from my own experience there was no correlation between intelligence and performance in clinical years. Some of the students who did poorly M1/M2 did great in the clinical years. As another poster already said, for us as future doctors, we're not expected to innovate or come up with new solutions (unless you go into research), we're just expected to apply what is already known to individual patients.
 
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Mad Jack

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That's what lecture is for. Go, pay attention, done, minimal review. For some people, that's all it takes.
Lecture is not even close to enough to make it through the boards. It's laughably insufficient.

I say this as a person who crushed preclinical by neither studying a ton nor going to lecture at all. Gotta have that balance of intelligence and work to succeed. One without the other is never sufficient.
 

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this is basically like asking what is more important e.q or i.q........ got have both if you want to be successful. I know i will get a reply that will point to the contrary but i am referring to the average physicians situation.
 

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Eh, the people that I knew that had the hardest time were the ones that were naturally quite intelligent but that didn't study at all. Well, them and the ones that weren't all that bright and had to work ultra hard just to stay afloat. But all the brains in the world don't matter if you don't put in the effort- you can't learn if you literally don't study.
I think it's kind of a false dichotomy to be honest.

My specialty is obviously a black sheep, but I had a student a few years back when I was a resident who IIRC was an engineering major from MIT before med school. Obviously she had the brains. She worked really hard on the rotation and tried really really hard for sure on notes and being helpful on the rotation, but when it came to identifying what was going on with diagnosing the patients on the unit, she just...wasn't... getting... it. Could name the diagnosis and the basic pharmacology fine, but after doing a patient interview, she wasn't good at all at picking up what she saw and identifying how that fits into the DSM compared to other MS3s on rotation.

I liked working with her, but I just know today she's a resident somewhere placing a psych consult that's making the psych team facepalm.
 

Mad Jack

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I think it's kind of a false dichotomy to be honest.

My specialty is obviously a black sheep, but I had a student a few years back when I was a resident who IIRC was an engineering major from MIT before med school. Obviously she had the brains. She worked really hard on the rotation and tried really really hard for sure on notes and being helpful on the rotation, but when it came to identifying what was going on with diagnosing the patients on the unit, she just...wasn't... getting... it. Could name the diagnosis and the basic pharmacology fine, but after doing a patient interview, she wasn't good at all at picking up what she saw and identifying how that fits into the DSM compared to other MS3s on rotation.

I liked working with her, but I just know today she's a resident somewhere placing a psych consult that's making the psych team facepalm.
Psych requires emotional intelligence, something you either have or you don't. You can't just fake understanding people.
 

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For residency you have to be a worker.

You can be a dumb SOB but if you are a worker, people will forgive quite a lot.

You can be the smartest person in the hospital but if you are a lazy resident, your coworkers will very quickly grow to hate you. If you remain lazy even after you find out everyone hates you, then you will quickly be fired. There is an absolute 0 tolerance policy for lazy residents.
 
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