doubts- need a boost

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sweet2th

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Hi all-
I had a situation this week at work that led to me being yelled at by a client...called me some horrible things and told my boss. The things that angered her were mostly out of my control (arriving late, other peoples behavior in the office, ect) but I have never felt so terrible in my life. She was at fault, but when people are that angry, you can't point the blame. I couldn't get my point across and my boss didn't want to hear all my petty details of the incident. My boss didn't defend me on the phone with her but simply told me that I shouldn't do x and y and I need to be on my toes. I can't seem to let this go and I know I'm sensitive, but the idea of being yelled at by patients and families in the future, especially for things out of my control, is really killing me. I also hate that my boss may think I'm doing a poor job and that I didn't step up and be a leader in the situation. With all the 30 patients we have, nothing like this has ever happened. I tend to be perfectionistic and don't want anything to go wrong. Getting yelled at is the LAST thing I want to happen.

I don't think I am able to develop a think skin. I look tough, but I'm a wimp. The thought, even, of carrying the blame for giving someone the wrong medication or worse, having a patient die, is just making me question my med school decision. Crazy, right?! I'm hoping this will pass, but there are moments in my day when the idea of sitting in a closet and doing paperwork seems like paradise. Then again, there are other times that my visits with patients are wonderful and I feel like I'm doing a good job and making people feel good.

I'm wondering if this concern is a real one, and if so, what can I do to get over this!
 
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Listen to your doubts. They're your subconscious mind's way of telling you that you can't handle medicine, will never grow a thick skin, and should probably go into teaching or some other nicer profession.
 
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Angry, hostile, abusive, or weeping people are a fact of life in any service profession (ask any waitress or K-Mart employee). Sometimes you are the one who is positioned in front of their face when they just can't hold their reaction to some other problem inside anymore, so you get the fallout. Learning to deal with unpleasant people comes with age and experience. You already know the situation wasn't your fault so stop taking it personally. Instead, ask a number of other people how they would have handled it. Script from those responses what you will do the next time this happens. Apologizing always is a good thing, even if you did nothing wrong. Start to develop thicker skin.
 

morriske

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just realize that developing a "thicker skin" is something that you need to work on. No one, or at least very few people, is a perfect fit for any profession. Every pre-med has weaknesses/character flaws that they will have to focus on as they become a doctor. Sensitivity is one of your weaknesses (and mine too ;) ) but I would bet that you have many strengths that will make you a great doctor. I know a few doctors/pre-meds that almost seem insensitive and their lack of sensitivity needs to be addressed. Being sensitive can be a weakness and a strength.
 

Robizzle

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I couldn't get my point across and my boss didn't want to hear all my petty details of the incident. My boss didn't defend me on the phone with her but simply told me that I shouldn't do x and y and I need to be on my toes. I can't seem to let this go and I know I'm sensitive, but the idea of being yelled at by patients and families in the future, especially for things out of my control, is really killing me. I also hate that my boss may think I'm doing a poor job and that I didn't step up and be a leader in the situation.

Hold on.. what did you expect your boss to do? "No way!!! sweet2th is one of the best employees we have!!! I think that she is completely right in this situation and you are wrong. If you disagree, I think you should take your business elsewhere." Ofcourse your boss is going to pretend like the client is right. I have no idea where you work, but I assume it's in some sorta place where a client is going to bring in money. Ofcourse your boss is gonna apologize on your behalf and side with the client. In actuality, your boss is probably thinking "man, what a b*tch, I hope I never have to deal with that crazy b*tch again." Which then leads to --> "Sweet2th! Do X and Y next time and stay on your toes so I don't have to deal with that b*tch again, okay??"

You're still working, aren't you? This means your boss still wants you around. This world and the people in it are not all sweet and pretty. You're not gonna get everything you deserve even if you do everything perfectly. Just take the beating and wow your boss next time - I promise it'll make up for this time.

Try working in a restaurant/takeout business for a week, then you'll understand the meaning of true verbal beatdown. I've gotten threats ranging from getting sued to having a brick thrown in my restaurant window simply because I forgot to pack the soy sauce. Seriously, it came out as "How bout I drive over there and throw a brick at your window, then maybe you'll learn your lesson."

Moral of the story: It's gonna keep happening. But I have a feeling you'll toughen up even if you don't think so.

Welcome to the real world!
 

dutchman

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OP, learn how to fight for yourself. In real life **** will hppen and if people know you are ready to throw down, they will think before messing with you. If you are however at fault, then learn how to apologize.
 

OncoCaP

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Hi all-
I had a situation this week at work that led to me being yelled at by a client...called me some horrible things and told my boss. The things that angered her were mostly out of my control (arriving late, other peoples behavior in the office, ect) but I have never felt so terrible in my life. She was at fault, but when people are that angry, you can't point the blame. I couldn't get my point across and my boss didn't want to hear all my petty details of the incident. My boss didn't defend me on the phone with her but simply told me that I shouldn't do x and y and I need to be on my toes. I can't seem to let this go and I know I'm sensitive, but the idea of being yelled at by patients and families in the future, especially for things out of my control, is really killing me. I also hate that my boss may think I'm doing a poor job and that I didn't step up and be a leader in the situation. With all the 30 patients we have, nothing like this has ever happened. I tend to be perfectionistic and don't want anything to go wrong. Getting yelled at is the LAST thing I want to happen.

I don't think I am able to develop a think skin. I look tough, but I'm a wimp. The thought, even, of carrying the blame for giving someone the wrong medication or worse, having a patient die, is just making me question my med school decision. Crazy, right?! I'm hoping this will pass, but there are moments in my day when the idea of sitting in a closet and doing paperwork seems like paradise. Then again, there are other times that my visits with patients are wonderful and I feel like I'm doing a good job and making people feel good.

I'm wondering if this concern is a real one, and if so, what can I do to get over this!

Your concern is very real. At the same time, you can learn to 'let it go.' There are many healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with such stress. For example, if I get blamed for something I had no control over, I simply accept that a certain number of unfair things are going to happen to me and this is just one of them. I accept it and move on to what I can control (not always easy, but you get used to it).

Maybe you are asking more whether you want to deal with this kind of thing. This is the part of medicine that a lot of people hate (it's often referred to as 'dealing with the public'). Another dimension is that in medicine your boss might be the one who is yelling at you for some screw-up you had little or no control over; not sure if that feels better. It's one reason that some people choose to become say, medical researchers instead of physicians. At the same time if you want to learn to deal with this kind of thing, you can.
 

PugMD

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It's interesting that I just came across this topic seeing as how I just came back from a physical therapist's office in which the scheduling coordinator thought it was appropriate to be completely obnoxious. I won't get into the details but just want to point out that you are going to run across these types at every turn of your life, and I don't think that you should stop pursuing medicine because of this reality. Sooner or later you'll develop ways to cope with idiots like this. Try talking to friends and families to get other opinions on the specifics of the situation and know when to let it go and move on.
 

sweet2th

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thanks for all the posts! I just go back and forth with how I feel about the situation...I can see where she is coming from and why she would be angry but I don't see how her punishment towards me was an appropriate response. (People who heard were stunned). I want to make her happy, fix her view of me, and have her know that I have only the best intentions, but I'm also mad at how she treated me and the things she said. If I was the doctor of the practice I would have told her to leave, but alas... I said I was sorry a thousand times over and told her I wanted to "start over" so I guess there is nothing I can do. No one wants this to happen or to have your boss do a clean up for you (esp since this pre-med should not have let this happen). I feel he is more critical of me knowing I am pre-med and he wrote a LOR for me, so its my own sense of disappointment that is stronger than one womans harsh treatment. You know what I'm saying?
 

notdeadyet

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I'm wondering if this concern is a real one, and if so, what can I do to get over this!
I think it's a real concern. Maybe you'll deal with it better or maybe you won't. In most careers, disappointment and dissatisfied customers are the exception; in a medical career it's going to be more like the norm.

If you can't shake these doubts, I'd strongly consider taking a year or two out and working full time. If you find that with a couple of years to grow you haven't built up better defenses, medicine may not be for you. If you have, you'll approach the application process wiser and probably with a better app.
 

DropkickMurphy

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Listen to your doubts. They're your subconscious mind's way of telling you that you can't handle medicine, will never grow a thick skin, and should probably go into teaching or some other nicer profession.
:thumbup: Well said.
 

stiffany

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thanks for all the posts! I just go back and forth with how I feel about the situation...I can see where she is coming from and why she would be angry but I don't see how her punishment towards me was an appropriate response. (People who heard were stunned). I want to make her happy, fix her view of me, and have her know that I have only the best intentions, but I'm also mad at how she treated me and the things she said. If I was the doctor of the practice I would have told her to leave, but alas... I said I was sorry a thousand times over and told her I wanted to "start over" so I guess there is nothing I can do. No one wants this to happen or to have your boss do a clean up for you (esp since this pre-med should not have let this happen). I feel he is more critical of me knowing I am pre-med and he wrote a LOR for me, so its my own sense of disappointment that is stronger than one womans harsh treatment. You know what I'm saying?

So one person was upset with you. In the grand scheme of things, you can't make anyone happy all the time and you, equally, can't make everyone happy any of the time. It was inappropriate of HER to start yelling in a professional relationship in the first place. While I can understand your boss not sticking up for you while talking to the client (since, in any service the customer is "always right"), if s/he thinks you're at fault and is threatening you with your job and you genuinely aren't, then that's a problem.

Still, temper tantrums happen sometimes and you have to realize that A. They're not necessarily mad at you as an individual, just collectively whatever peon they can abuse (If it wasn't you it would be someone else) and B. You just have to know in your heart that you're doing what you can and that mistakes still happen. Don't beat yourself up over it because otherwise, the verbal abuser subordinating you wins even more. As a final aside, you're leaving this job in a few months to go to med school. You've already got the letter and you're still getting a paycheck. As long as you show up to work and do your job semi-efficiently you've done your part. Don't agonize over the office politics.
 

spicedmanna

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Sticks and stones... :rolleyes:

Yeah, it's a legitimate concern, but luckily you can adapt.

It actually gets easier when you realize that words, as one of my friends describes them, "are nothing more than puffs of air and vibration." You make of them what you want. In actuality, few people really have real power to impact you, unless you allow them to. It's a simple reflection of your own insecurities, etc. Learn what you can from the feedback given to you, and then let the rest pass through. There's no need to pick up the toxic waste along with the gold. Develop authentic self-esteem, and you'll be less likely to allow such petty situations to bother you.
 

MessyJessie

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Listen to your doubts. They're your subconscious mind's way of telling you that you can't handle medicine, will never grow a thick skin, and should probably go into teaching or some other nicer profession.


Are you serious? I've been a teacher for the past two years and there is nothing worse than parents yelling at you because you "gave" their kid an F ... when the truth is the kid skips class and doesnt hand in her homework. If you can't handle being yelled at by clients and yelled at by patients, you will NEVER survive as a teacher. Trust me!
 

sweet2th

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Getting married helps.

I am married...and I'm 4 years out of school, working full time and getting a masters. So...I can't blame lack of experience or not being mature on my wimpy self.
 

Shpamme

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It's definitely a legitimate concern, but it's something you can work on for sure. The fact that you're thinking about it indicates that you ARE a good fit for medicine. Most people wouldn't give it a second thought and would just blow the boss off as a jerk, but you're actually thinking seriously about the situation. Developing a thick skin takes time but I have a feeling you'll be just fine.

It's funny.. I just got back from an interview where the person asked me how I handle criticism. I framed my answer around how I handle constructive criticism (e.g. it's a great opportunity to learn to do things better.)
She responded "Notice I didn't say constructive criticism..I just said criticism." I said, "Well, in that case I'd examine the person's motives and mindset.. were they just having a bad day? Did I really do something wrong?" She said, "well, a lot of times in medicine it won't be your fault. People will just crap on you to crap on you. You just have to let it roll off you and move on..and keep reminding yourself that that patient's well being is your first priority, as opposed to the well-being of the person who railed on you."
 

riceman04

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Hold on.. what did you expect your boss to do? "No way!!! sweet2th is one of the best employees we have!!! I think that she is completely right in this situation and you are wrong. If you disagree, I think you should take your business elsewhere." Ofcourse your boss is going to pretend like the client is right. I have no idea where you work, but I assume it's in some sorta place where a client is going to bring in money. Ofcourse your boss is gonna apologize on your behalf and side with the client. In actuality, your boss is probably thinking "man, what a b*tch, I hope I never have to deal with that crazy b*tch again." Which then leads to --> "Sweet2th! Do X and Y next time and stay on your toes so I don't have to deal with that b*tch again, okay??"

You're still working, aren't you? This means your boss still wants you around. This world and the people in it are not all sweet and pretty. You're not gonna get everything you deserve even if you do everything perfectly. Just take the beating and wow your boss next time - I promise it'll make up for this time.

Try working in a restaurant/takeout business for a week, then you'll understand the meaning of true verbal beatdown. I've gotten threats ranging from getting sued to having a brick thrown in my restaurant window simply because I forgot to pack the soy sauce. Seriously, it came out as "How bout I drive over there and throw a brick at your window, then maybe you'll learn your lesson."

Moral of the story: It's gonna keep happening. But I have a feeling you'll toughen up even if you don't think so.

Welcome to the real world!

:thumbup: :thumbup:
 
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