Ever question if your as smart as many people think you are?

BuSyDaZe

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Hey felllow SDNers,

just wanted to see a small consensus from other pre-medical/medical students that may too sometimes question how smart family members or close friends perceive you to be. :idea:

Not that I doubt my intellect or capability, but family and friends sometimes make you feel on top of the world (which is a good thing). It's just when I'm amongst other medical peers or reading some of these posts here, I'm snapped back to reality. :laugh: The reality that there are so many other students with far greater credentials and accomplishments.

Don't bust my chops, I'm not sobbing, just thought the topic may be great for conversation.;)
 

DrMidlife

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Other people's credentials & accomplishments & whether they know "your" from "you're" doesn't add up to smart, imho. In some cases I'm seeing, it adds up to "parents were knowledgeable and pushed hard; student had little to do with it and would be unemployable & homeless without the parents."

What I can tell you is that no matter what people say about how smart you are, and no matter what your own opinion is of how smart you are, the overwhelming odds for your med school experience are that you'll be average or below average against other med students. 99% of us fully expect to be at the top of the class.

Which feels like crap.

Best of luck to you.
 

thefritz

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It's not about how smart you are, it's what you've done that matters.

Did you invent something?
Did you fix something?
Did you compose some music or produce some artwork?
Did you start a business and create jobs?
Did you serve your country in the military or in politics?
Did you achieve positions of leadership and make positive change in such roles?
Did you create wealth through successful investment and hard work?
Did you raise good children?

The list goes on and on and on. These are the judgments that matter in life. Getting a perfect score on your SATs or getting accepted to medical school doesn't really matter if you don't use the opportunity to do anything.

So don't worry about being smart. Focus on doing. I've known plenty of really smart people who did absolutely nothing with their lives. Nobody is going to remember you for your GPA or your IQ score.
 

Isoprop

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Father: Hey son, what are you doing?
Me: Trying to store air in my cheeks and talk at the same time.
Father: *completely unfazed* Okay, well mom is calling you for something.
Me: Okay, I'll be there after I finish this.

I'm probably as stupid as my parents think I am.
 
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I feel the same way momsbusyday. My thoughts are don't be afraid to let your family see how stupid you are at other things. I think it makes you human and relatable. I try to make sure i am not being overly smart with family. Making sure I don't start my sentences with "Actually, ....". I asked my wife recently " Do I make you feel stupid sometimes." she laughed at me and replied with "I will never feel stupid, you are the worst speller in the world." I was just accepted to medical school and I am finishing up my masters right now and I still feel like I don't know a thing. It's funny the more I learn the more I learn I don't know anything. But im sure you have come a long way since your freshmen year.
 

mauberley

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Marge: What makes you think this Darryl Strawberry character is better than you?
Homer: Marge, forget it. He's bigger than me, faster than me, stronger than me, and he already has more friends around the plant than I do.
Bart: You make me sick, Homer. You're the one who told me I could do anything if I just put my mind to it!
Homer: Well, now that you're a little bit older, I can tell you that's a crock! No matter how good you are at something, there's always about a million people better than you.
Bart: Gotcha. Can't win, don't try.
 

CookDeRosa

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Hey felllow SDNers,

just wanted to see a small consensus from other pre-medical/medical students that may too sometimes question how smart family members or close friends perceive you to be. :idea:

Not that I doubt my intellect or capability, but family and friends sometimes make you feel on top of the world (which is a good thing). It's just when I'm amongst other medical peers or reading some of these posts here, I'm snapped back to reality. :laugh: The reality that there are so many other students with far greater credentials and accomplishments.

Don't bust my chops, I'm not sobbing, just thought the topic may be great for conversation.;)

I'm never the smartest person in the room, but I'm always the hardest worker. (maybe that says something about my sample size lol) I've seen too many smart people who lack resourcefulness, insight, determination, etc. It matters! Smart, IMO, is only enough in a very narrow application- for the rest of the world, it's not enough.

When I told my friends and family about my plans, they all said very encouraging things like "I know you can" or "If anyone can, you can" blah blah. Not to discount it, but what they see isn't "smart" like SAT or IQ test smart, they have just watched me accomplish what I set out to do.

I'm fiercely determined, and I've never NOT met a goal I've set- I'm not special, I am pretty much OCD/type A, but who here isn't? I worry that I'll be able to memorize and recall, or that I'll understand complexities - which clearly weed people out, but I'm also sure that IF I get in and IF I get through, that when it finally starts to become intuitive, I'll rock. :laugh:
 

FiremedicMike

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My wife thinks I'm a complete idiot, but I don't think that's what you're really after..
 

gman33

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stop worrying about other people.
just set your own goals and live up to your own standards.

In med school, chances are you will just be average.
This is hard for some people to come to grips with.
It doesn't really matter.
Just do what you need to do to accomplish your own goals.
Now if your goal is to get into a very competitive field, program, etc; you need to figure out a way to get to the top of your class.
 
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ChE04

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I'm never the smartest person in the room, but I'm always the hardest worker.
Funny, in undergrad I always thought of myself as the exact opposite of this.

(Now I'm no longer lazy :))
 

Richardh

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stop worrying about other people.
just set your own goals and live up to your own standards.

In med school, chances are you will just be average.
This is hard for some people to come to grips with.
It doesn't really matter.
Just do what you need to do to accomplish your own goals.
Now if your goal is to get into a very competitive field, program, etc; you need to figure out a way to get to the top of your class.
I agree :thumbup: gman33 has my vote.
 
OP
BuSyDaZe

BuSyDaZe

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Loving the Comments!!!:)
 
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In med school, chances are you will just be average.
This is hard for some people to come to grips with.
People who get accepted into medical school are going to average in the top 90 percentile of the college graduates. This means that every medical student is used to hanging around people who aren't anywhere near his scholastic ability. Suddenly, in medical school, he is average. Of course this is hard to come to grips with. Before we get there, we really don't believe that it is possible. I, personally, am the smartest person that I have ever been well acquainted with.

I'll make a single exception. I went to high school and was close teenage friends with the head of Harvard's Dana Farber institute division of Leukemia. I will humbly admit to only being his intellectual peer.:)

I suspect that I'm going to be one of those students who have a hard time being average.
 

CookDeRosa

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People who get accepted into medical school are going to average in the top 90 percentile of the college graduates. This means that every medical student is used to hanging around people who aren't anywhere near his scholastic ability. Suddenly, in medical school, he is average. Of course this is hard to come to grips with. Before we get there, we really don't believe that it is possible. I, personally, am the smartest person that I have ever been well acquainted with.

I'll make a single exception. I went to high school and was close teenage friends with the head of Harvard's Dana Farber institute division of Leukemia. I will humbly admit to only being his intellectual peer.:)

I suspect that I'm going to be one of those students who have a hard time being average.

You'll be fine, I'v met a lot of guys like you :laugh:
j/k
 

MCAT guy

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I think this thread stems from the mistaken notion that the highest IQ or smartest people do the best in medical school. (or possibly I'm misunderstanding the purpose and it's about wishing you're different than you are?)

This is hardly always the case. People with normal or above average intelligence can exceed many "brains" with great planning, discipline, and repetition. People who have been diligent to get into school, likely continue to do so. Those who have breezed into school, likely continue and consequently struggle on boards and clerkships.

Intellectual ability is like athletic ability in sports. The best athletes aren't always the best players.
 

Helen Wheels

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Most people don't think I'm all that bright. :D
I don't think anyone thinks I'm a genius, either. Personally, I found o chem and the MCAT to be rather humbling experiences.
 
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I don't think anyone thinks I'm a genius, either. Personally, I found o chem and the MCAT to be rather humbling experiences.

Humbling experiences can always be explained away as the fault of circumstances or other people. Successes, on the other hand, are entirely due to my superiority.
 

Prncssbuttercup

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If you met my family, you'd be thinking you're smarter than they think you are... I know I am smarter than my brothers and sisters give me credit for. My father and mother have faith in me, but when I was a kid my brother and sister nicknamed me "Stupid" because they decided I wasn't as smart as they were... My sister was always in advanced English courses, my brother was always in the advanced physics stuff... It didn't matter that I took advanced math, bio, and chem, I was dumb in their eyes... it literally took me until Jan 2010 to realize that they were wrong... I took the GRE and scored quite well on it... I finally had something under my belt to "prove" to them I wasn't a moron... oh, and the straight A's in my PB work doesn't hurt either... ;) So, no, I think I'm smarter than my family says I am :)
 
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If you met my family, you'd be thinking you're smarter than they think you are... I know I am smarter than my brothers and sisters give me credit for. My father and mother have faith in me, but when I was a kid my brother and sister nicknamed me "Stupid" because they decided I wasn't as smart as they were... My sister was always in advanced English courses, my brother was always in the advanced physics stuff... It didn't matter that I took advanced math, bio, and chem, I was dumb in their eyes... it literally took me until Jan 2010 to realize that they were wrong... I took the GRE and scored quite well on it... I finally had something under my belt to "prove" to them I wasn't a moron... oh, and the straight A's in my PB work doesn't hurt either... ;) So, no, I think I'm smarter than my family says I am :)
Wasn't that the plot of a lifetime movie?
 

Prncssbuttercup

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Wasn't that the plot of a lifetime movie?
LMAO, damn near! Seriously, my family's motto is "we put the fun in dysfunctional" and my mom told me I should ask my university for a waive on abnormal psych because of my family, she figures they should just give me an A... But, in all honesty, that is the truth... my mother's second husband was a drunk, and he called me sh!t for brains on a regular basis... it took me a loooooong time to actually not think I was stupid compared to others...

Oh, and now I'm trying to get into med school so I can feel stupid again I guess ;)
 

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I have some very amazing friends who often refer to me as their "genius friend". Obviously they do this just because they are awesome people who are very supportive of my goals, but it does make me feel good. With that said, yes, I am often humbled and reminded that I am not a genius by any means when learning new material and studying for classes.
 
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I have some very amazing friends who often refer to me as their "genius friend". Obviously they do this just because they are awesome people who are very supportive of my goals, but it does make me feel good. With that said, yes, I am often humbled and reminded that I am not a genius by any means when learning new material and studying for classes.
Oh come on you all, stop with the Uriah Heap humble stuff. You all remind me of some preachers.

"I just feeeeeel like I'm not wooooorthy to preach to all of you goooood people here tonight. Amin. I just feel like aaaanybody heeeere can fill the pulpit better than me. But, if the Looooord will help me, I have a little thought that I may try and see if I can preach tonight. Amin."
 

fizzgig

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Father: Hey son, what are you doing?
Me: Trying to store air in my cheeks and talk at the same time.
Father: *completely unfazed* Okay, well mom is calling you for something.
Me: Okay, I'll be there after I finish this.

I'm probably as stupid as my parents think I am.

I love. This post. :smuggrin:
 

CaptainObvious

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Oh come on you all, stop with the Uriah Heap humble stuff. You all remind me of some preachers.

"I just feeeeeel like I'm not wooooorthy to preach to all of you goooood people here tonight. Amin. I just feel like aaaanybody heeeere can fill the pulpit better than me. But, if the Looooord will help me, I have a little thought that I may try and see if I can preach tonight. Amin."
That's actually pretty funny, but what's wrong with a little humbleness? Look, we're here in a student DOCTOR forum. Let's face it. Most of us are probably a bit smarter than the average bear. But nobody really likes people who are all up in your face flaunting their superior intellect at every turn. I think a little humility goes a long way when dealing with people. And for those who choose the "I don't care what people think of me" defense, I call BS. Everyone cares. Even if one chooses not to admit it.
 
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That's actually pretty funny, but what's wrong with a little humbleness? Look, we're here in a student DOCTOR forum. Let's face it. Most of us are probably a bit smarter than the average bear. But nobody really likes people who are all up in your face flaunting their superior intellect at every turn. I think a little humility goes a long way when dealing with people. And for those who choose the "I don't care what people think of me" defense, I call BS. Everyone cares. Even if one chooses not to admit it.
That's an excellent point and it deserves a good answer. I hope to hear one, someday.

My view is skewed by my religious associations. There is a certain type of religious expression that consists of rubbing your hands together and confessing your unworthiness while being the most annoyingly arrogant, condescending and prideful person ever known to man. My intentional reaction is to never hide my arrogance.

I don't know how to approach this from a non-religious standpoint, maybe you all can help me there. But from the spiritual standpoint, here are my thoughts. Humility is not the cure to pride. It is a negative virtue, it consists of the absence of pride. Pride is like the old energy consuming monsters of the old Star Trek show, hitting it with humble lasers and neutron bombs of bowed heads only increases its strength. The correct antidote to pride is charity. When you are concerned and caring about someone else, you are not evaluating yourself and polishing your public image.

I don't know how this applies to the secular doctor world.
 
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I have always loved the character Spencer Reid on the show Criminal Minds. Anyone that watches it will know exactly what I mean. He is super book smart but has absolutely no common sense or social skills. My mom always calls me Dr. Reid because I always do the most air-headed things, but as my mom she thinks that I'm the smartest person in the world.
 
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I have always loved the character Spencer Reid on the show Criminal Minds. Anyone that watches it will know exactly what I mean. He is super book smart but has absolutely no common sense or social skills. My mom always calls me Dr. Reid because I always do the most air-headed things, but as my mom she thinks that I'm the smartest person in the world.
This unfortunately is how I would characterize many of the doctors I've worked with over the years. :(
 

QofQuimica

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I never question if I'm as smart as many people think I am, because I know for a fact that I am not. What I actually am is well-organized, with a Plan C in case Plan B fails too. Good research/planning along with strategically directed hard work are what lead to success, not raw intelligence. There is a reason why people say that knowledge is power, and not that intelligence is power.
 

Samoa

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My IQ isn't actually measurable on standard IQ tests, so I can't pretend that I'm not really all that smart. What I do instead is remind myself that genius is as genius does. And since I've done some pretty boneheaded things in my life, that generally keeps me very humble.

Your mileage may vary.
 

IHOPness

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I once had a coworker say who said that I was the smartest person that she had ever met. I know, however, that probably most things that I have accomplished are due to being highly self-motivated and always thinking about how I can improve. I must work harder and around the naturally gifted to obtain my goals. Sometimes, I do think about the point to which no amount of studying or hard work would make up for shortcomings.

I find that it is not usually best to be arrogant because people will hate you. Unless you don't care about what people think of you, then I guess that is fine.
 
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I once had a coworker say who said that I was the smartest person that she had ever met. I know, however, that probably most things that I have accomplished are due to being highly self-motivated and always thinking about how I can improve. I must work harder and around the naturally gifted to obtain my goals. Sometimes, I do think about the point to which no amount of studying or hard work would make up for shortcomings.

I find that it is not usually best to be arrogant because people will hate you. Unless you don't care about what people think of you, then I guess that is fine.
I like how CS Lewis put it one time - most people aren't called on to have an opinion about themselves at all. I get tired of people who either proclaim their brilliance or their humility. I would rather that they prove it by their works.
 

Samoa

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I like how CS Lewis put it one time - most people aren't called on to have an opinion about themselves at all. I get tired of people who either proclaim their brilliance or their humility. I would rather that they prove it by their works.
Except in threads like this, where the op was specifically asking about it.
 

CaptainObvious

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That's an excellent point and it deserves a good answer. I hope to hear one, someday.

My view is skewed by my religious associations. There is a certain type of religious expression that consists of rubbing your hands together and confessing your unworthiness while being the most annoyingly arrogant, condescending and prideful person ever known to man. My intentional reaction is to never hide my arrogance.

I don't know how to approach this from a non-religious standpoint, maybe you all can help me there. But from the spiritual standpoint, here are my thoughts. Humility is not the cure to pride. It is a negative virtue, it consists of the absence of pride. Pride is like the old energy consuming monsters of the old Star Trek show, hitting it with humble lasers and neutron bombs of bowed heads only increases its strength. The correct antidote to pride is charity. When you are concerned and caring about someone else, you are not evaluating yourself and polishing your public image.

I don't know how this applies to the secular doctor world.
Wow. I'm not entirely sure how to respond since I am not entirely sure I understand your answer. This comes as no surprise to me as there are many things I don't understand, this just being the latest.

So your religion tells you never to hide your arrogance? Interesting. I'm not much of a religious guy, but I'd be curious to know the religion of which this is a tenet. I know that most Asian religions place a big emphasis on humility and humbleness and I, personally, certainly don't see it as a negative virtue. Christianity even holds pride as one of the 7 deadly sins.

Anyway, I tend to see a pride as a point within the humbleness/arrogance spectrum and not necessarily as the opposite of humility.

Let's use a medical example. Average Joe needs a rotator cuff repair. Incredibly Smart Doc comes in to talk to Joe...

Smart but arrogant (but not uncaring) Doc: "Listen, you need shoulder surgery. This is a very complicated surgical procedure that I've trained for many years to perform and I wouldn't expect you to understand my explanation. So just sign here and we'll get you fixed up."

Smart but humble (and also caring) Doc: "Ok Joe, MRI shows you have a partial tear of your rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is...(and doc breaks out the shoulder model and explains). Now let me briefly explain what I'm going to do once I get in there so we can get you back out on the golf course as soon as possible."

So you see Ed, I don't believe that charity simply forgives overblown arrogance. Nor do I believe that extreme humbleness is a good thing either.

As Mr. Miyagi would say, "Daniel-san, musta find balance."

Cool conversation!
 
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So your religion tells you never to hide your arrogance? Interesting. I'm not much of a religious guy, but I'd be curious to know the religion of which this is a tenet. I know that most Asian religions place a big emphasis on humility and humbleness and I, personally, certainly don't see it as a negative virtue.
I don't think you understood anything that I said. It's possible that you have never seen the kind of false religious humility that I am talking about. My experience with this may be narrow. You didn't understand my main point, so therefore the rest of your post didn't really reply to it. But it probably wasn't a great enough point to re-explain, and the discussion doesn't mean that much to me anyway. Let's just leave it at, "We're talking past one another."
 

mauberley

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I don't think you understood anything that I said.
So your post was a secret MCAT VR diagnostic? :laugh:

I think I understood what you were getting at--that the humility you have encountered has been a false humility, exemplified by various religious figures, not that your religion or beliefs command you to be arrogant. This hypocrisy causes in you the opposite reaction, one of extreme honesty.

To your other point, I would posit that humility and pride are not mutually exclusive. I can take pride in my work, which drives me to do well and is also a byproduct of that same effort. However, in my interactions with others, I don't advertise it for its own sake. I don't assume superiority over others. Or in slightly more colloquial terms, I know I'm awesome and I don't need to flaunt it in front of others. ;)
 

Quik

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Honestly I most question how smart I am, and it isn't until I've remembered the accolades and distinguishments I've received from others that I realize I might be of above average intellegence... I suppose self-confidence is something I could work on, but at the same time, feeling like I have something to prove, or feeling like the underdog at times can do a lot for motivation. Again the inspiration and determination to use that intellegence is more important than anything else, but realizing you have the mental capacity to undertake such endeavors, like leaving a career to pursue medicine is also necessary.
 

jl lin

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That's an excellent point and it deserves a good answer. I hope to hear one, someday.

My view is skewed by my religious associations. There is a certain type of religious expression that consists of rubbing your hands together and confessing your unworthiness while being the most annoyingly arrogant, condescending and prideful person ever known to man. My intentional reaction is to never hide my arrogance.

I don't know how to approach this from a non-religious standpoint, maybe you all can help me there. But from the spiritual standpoint, here are my thoughts. Humility is not the cure to pride. It is a negative virtue, it consists of the absence of pride. Pride is like the old energy consuming monsters of the old Star Trek show, hitting it with humble lasers and neutron bombs of bowed heads only increases its strength. The correct antidote to pride is
charity. When you are concerned and caring about someone else, you are not evaluating yourself and polishing your public image.

I don't know how this applies to the secular doctor world.


People can show charity or do charitable things and underneath it all, their carrot is how good they feel about the charitable thing or how others will see hoe charitable and kind they are...they already, then, have their reward, as Christ has shared.

Humility is what a the genuine alcoholic or drug addict says when he or she is dead serious about his/her condition and the 12 steps---it is "I am powerless over my addiction.". IMHO, humility is a core understanding that I am so imperfect and am in absolute need of Holy God. Now, I understand others may not see it this way, but I know the beginning of freedom and peace is seeing me and my condition in terms of reality...and then looking up in amazement. I can't look at the fullness of the cross and the awesome love of God and not feel broken.

Genuine love is always humble...exactly as Christ is.


That's my perspective anyway, and doesn't make me weaker; I am strengthen by it.


Now about how smart people think I am versus whatever I really am....well, I do not know, and I sincerely don't care. I can only use what I have been given, and it is for that that I am accountable.
 

Prncssbuttercup

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You are buys are confusing being smart as a general concept vs life accomplishments that resulted from doing smart things.

Getting a 4.0 GPA, getting a perfect SAT, etc, etc, is useless if you don't achieve anything in life. Meaning, if you get all of the perfect scores and just go on and become a pediatrician and just follow the books for 35 years. You never really accomplished anything in life. You lived life by doing what you were trained to do for 35 years.

Like an above poster pointed out about life accomplishments. A truly smart person advances society.
I dated a guy once who did calculus for fun, he could do very complicated problems in his head... His goal in life: work for a cabinet shop so he could get stoned on the job... N I C E! That relationship didn't last long... Guy was very smart, but very stupid at the same time... he just couldn't imagine why he should apply himself
 

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That's an excellent point and it deserves a good answer. I hope to hear one, someday.

My view is skewed by my religious associations. There is a certain type of religious expression that consists of rubbing your hands together and confessing your unworthiness while being the most annoyingly arrogant, condescending and prideful person ever known to man. My intentional reaction is to never hide my arrogance.

I don't know how to approach this from a non-religious standpoint, maybe you all can help me there. But from the spiritual standpoint, here are my thoughts. Humility is not the cure to pride. It is a negative virtue, it consists of the absence of pride. Pride is like the old energy consuming monsters of the old Star Trek show, hitting it with humble lasers and neutron bombs of bowed heads only increases its strength. The correct antidote to pride is charity. When you are concerned and caring about someone else, you are not evaluating yourself and polishing your public image.

I don't know how this applies to the secular doctor world.
Humility is confidence properly placed. That came from a pastor.