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Friends in Med School....

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Ithilia

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Hello All!
I was looking over some threads in the Allo forum here and came across one about how clique-y people are finding med school to be and how they aren't making any good friends. As I read on and on in this thread, and people continued to agree, I started to wonder to myself if there are any people here that maybe feel that they HAVE made some good friends in med school. I don't begin med school until this August, so I am curious. :)
 

PreMedAdAG

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i kind of felt that way at first, like I wasnt' making friends, but that's because I have a boyfriend so i spend all my free time with him. Then I decided to start studying at school with other people.. we not only got a lot done, we started having those outrageous moments that only happen at 1am while studying biochem together! You know? I think it's just hard at first because you're sooo busy... and any down time you get, you're kinda like, " i love these people, but do i really need to spend my weekends with them too?" You will see your classmates, every day for two years... every day... for about 8-10 hours a day basically... so that's just my .02
 

nilla_wafer

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hey there,

I just wanted to say that if it weren't for the friends I've made in med school, I might not have stuck around.. I think that it does take some work & time to develop close friendships and that it depends on the kind of people you got as classmates, but just the fact that you're all going through the same tough thing together can cement strong bonds. I look to my classmates for good times and inspiration, and I wish you luck in finding the same!!

- v
 

Ypo.

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Ithilia said:
Hello All!
I was looking over some threads in the Allo forum here and came across one about how clique-y people are finding med school to be and how they aren't making any good friends. As I read on and on in this thread, and people continued to agree, I started to wonder to myself if there are any people here that maybe feel that they HAVE made some good friends in med school. I don't begin med school until this August, so I am curious. :)

I'm curious to see what people say as well in response to this.

One thing I do agree with - I think its really true that when you have a break, the last thing you want to do is be reminded of medical school. Our class had a big celebration at the end of the semester-we were all partying at the bar, and every once in a while someone would mention something about school-its almost inevitable! So maybe that is part of why we don't want to hang out with medical school friends as much-because we just don't want to be reminded of the torment that medical school can sometimes be...

I didn't go out to the bar even once this whole semester with any of my medical school friends, until the very end of the semester. Then, I had a good time because I got to know some people better, and people tend to relax more when they are drinking-so I'm glad I went, but its not something I'm planning on making a habit of, because going to the bar is just not my thing.

The bottom line is that medical school is hard and can rob you of your life, so try not to isolate yourself or feel like you are alone-because thats not healthy. On the other hand, going out to the bar with your every free moment and getting caught up in gossip is bound to make you unhappy as well-so just try and find a balance. I think its easier said than done. I can spend days at home by myself-if it weren't for anatomy lab I wouldn't have seen much of my classmates last semester.
 

robotsonic

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I was one of the posters on the other thread saying that it was difficult to make friends in med school. This isn't to say that I didn't make any friends at all. I actually became very good friends with a third year at my school when I started first year, and later I became close friends with a few residents after I started rotations in third year. Unfortunately, I didn't become friends with anyone in my class, and I think that was my fault. I really should have made more of an effort. It is one of the things I really regret about med school (probably the only thing I regret about it).
 

werd

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yep, some good friends in med school. it really helps the low points be a little less low, really makes the whole experience. maybe half of our class is pretty tight, the other half who even knows what they do...
 

Ithilia

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Its definitely good to hear a little bit of this side of things! :thumbup:
 

ocean11

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I find that its up to you to put in the effort and make friends. yeah its true there are cliques everywhere but if you look outside of those circles and are friendly in general you'll find some good people around you. I would say I have alot of acquaitances (misspelled I know) and a few 'good' friends, but ultimately my focus is SCHOOL and getting a good residency. Because friends may come and go but your career will last a life time.

With that said.... good friends are important because they get you through med school, if you're alone its VERY tough and extreemly lonely.... so I recommend putting in the effort.

One more thing.... stay outta the gossip (as much as you can) there will be alot of it too in med school, as classes are small and everyone knows everyone else...
 

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I think it depends on the school and your particular class.

If your class is full of married people that tend to stay at home during their free time, it would be very difficult to make friends with them. If most of the class is young and single, then it would be much easier.

It also depends on the individual. I never went to class, so I didn't spend a lot of time among my classmates. Therefore, it was harder to make friends.

No matter what your situation, I think this advice is universal. Always keep a great set of friends outside of medicine. They will provide you with a great escape from medicine. And we all need escapes.
 

amberm4

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ocean11 said:
Because friends may come and go but your career will last a life time


whoa i know we are all career-oriented or we wouldn't be on SDN, but am i the only person who finds this quote a little harsh?

Most people would say it is relationships that last a lifetime
 

QofQuimica

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amberm4 said:
Most people would say it is relationships that last a lifetime
That's because most posters here are in their late teens or early twenties and haven't gone through a divorce yet. Friends and lovers DO come and go. Even at my age (I'm 30), several of my peers are not only divorced but have gone on to their second marriages. Statistically, half of all marriages will fail. But 95+% of med school students will graduate and become physicians. So if you're just going by the odds here (not that I'm necessarily recommending that), you definitely have better odds of your career lasting a lifetime than your marriage.

(I know the original poster was specifically talking about friends, not necessarily romantic relationships. But hopefully you will consider your s/o a friend as well before marrying him/her, and usually people are thinking of romantic relationships when they say that "relationships last a lifetime." Of course some relationships do....but plenty of others don't.)
 

ocean11

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amberm4 said:
whoa i know we are all career-oriented or we wouldn't be on SDN, but am i the only person who finds this quote a little harsh?

Most people would say it is relationships that last a lifetime

Hi,

No I don't think its harsh, its complete reality.... havn't you ever had a friend 'stab you in the back' or a bf that's been unfaithful?!? or worse a husband?!? ok if not good... you're REALLY lucky.... I hate to say this but I hardly trust anyone --> I've seen too much in my life and know that most people are just out for themselves...... soooooooo careers last a lifetime friendships/relationships might/hopfully will!!
 

thewebthsp

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ocean11 said:
Hi,

No I don't think its harsh, its complete reality.... havn't you ever had a friend 'stab you in the back' or a bf that's been unfaithful?!? or worse a husband?!? ok if not good... you're REALLY lucky.... I hate to say this but I hardly trust anyone --> I've seen too much in my life and know that most people are just out for themselves...... soooooooo careers last a lifetime friendships/relationships might/hopfully will!!

I disagree. My close friends from college are the best -- one reason I didn't go completely insane the last year :laugh:

As for women (me being a straight guy), I really still don't quite know what the hell I'm doing, but I think there are women (and men) out there who know that a lasting long term relationship is true deep enduring love, incredible chemistry, work, loyalty, treating the other partner like gold, and putting in care and affection and not expecting other things in return. If both partners feel this way and share the same "life goals" then I dont see why it cant succeed, even with the disagreements and challenges along the way. That's a lot of requirements though, so it might take a while.

One thing tho, I wonder how it'll be possible to be an intern and be married, if I'm married. That seems beyond belief or will need a wife who has patience beyond belief!
 

Beau Geste

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People change over time. I had really good friends that I now am only acquaintanced with (my college roommate of 3 years and former best friend being one). I am also one of those statistics that has been divorced and remarried (and I'm 29). People are fickle and unpredictable. If you make friends with people who know you, understand you, and don't place too much demand on you, and know what to expect from you, then you will have a lifelong friendship. If you are friends with someone because they have a car or sweet hookups (a la Napolean Dynamite) then the friendship is not really built on a strong foundation. Same for dating and marriage. Since you are in med school, obviously you and your peers have that in common. However, if one of you goes in to FP and the other neurosurgery, chances are you will fall away from closeness not because you want to, but because life will take you in separate directions. But that's not necessarily written in stone, just an example.

Enjoy your classmates, especially those you feel down-to-earth with, and just see how it works out. You really don't know who will turn out to be the lasting friendship. My college roommate and I went through a lot of hard times and good times together, but when it came to actually keeping a relationship after graduation and moving far apart, she couldn't do it. One of my best friends now happens to be another girl we hung out with and worked with who kept in touch and we saw lots of each other when my roommate was "unavailable". It's been 10 years now, and she was my matron of honor in my wedding.

It's nice to think of developing relationships with the people you will be close to for the next few years, but don't worry about it too much :)
 

CTKN2

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ocean11 said:
soooooooo careers last a lifetime

Careers do not last a lifetime...don't most people retire by 65?? I know people retiring at 60, and people who want an early retirement at 55. You'll have a good 20-30 years after retirement to be lonely if you don't start taking risks in life by putting yourself out there and learning to trust people.

BTW, I've met some of my best friends in medical school. And perhaps it won't last forever, but at least I have the memories. I don't remember any of my grades/scores in high school or college. But I remember all the friendships and good times I had. I know the same will be true of medical school.
 
N

njbmd

Hi there,
My medical school class was very cooperative. I made some life-long friends in medical school and we keep in touch as we are going through our residencies.

Everyone has different ways of dealing with the stress and changes that are expected of one in medical school. The key is not becoming someone that you don't like. Like your siblings, you have no control over your classmates and like your siblings, they are really not that bad once you get to know them.

Relax and make yourself open to all the new experiences and new folks that you are going to me. Some of them will be close friends and some will be just colleagues but you all will have more in common than not as you go through the years.

njbmd :)
 

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I agree that you shouldn't be concerned much about friendships in med school. If it happens then it happens. But it's nothing to bother with much. Besides, it's like high school where after 4 years almost all of you will go your separate ways around the country and you won't see most of them again anyways.

Get your work done and have fun when you've got the time. There are tons of people in the world outside of med school you can hang with, and personally I prefer it because med people tend to be boring.
 

SarahGM

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QofQuimica said:
Statistically, half of all marriages will fail. But 95+% of med school students will graduate and become physicians. So if you're just going by the odds here (not that I'm necessarily recommending that), you definitely have better odds of your career lasting a lifetime than your marriage.

Especially if you go into either with that mind-set. :rolleyes:
 

funshine

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Megboo said:
People change over time. I had really good friends that I now am only acquaintanced with (my college roommate of 3 years and former best friend being one). I am also one of those statistics that has been divorced and remarried (and I'm 29). People are fickle and unpredictable. If you make friends with people who know you, understand you, and don't place too much demand on you, and know what to expect from you, then you will have a lifelong friendship. If you are friends with someone because they have a car or sweet hookups (a la Napolean Dynamite) then the friendship is not really built on a strong foundation. Same for dating and marriage. Since you are in med school, obviously you and your peers have that in common. However, if one of you goes in to FP and the other neurosurgery, chances are you will fall away from closeness not because you want to, but because life will take you in separate directions. But that's not necessarily written in stone, just an example.

Enjoy your classmates, especially those you feel down-to-earth with, and just see how it works out. You really don't know who will turn out to be the lasting friendship. My college roommate and I went through a lot of hard times and good times together, but when it came to actually keeping a relationship after graduation and moving far apart, she couldn't do it. One of my best friends now happens to be another girl we hung out with and worked with who kept in touch and we saw lots of each other when my roommate was "unavailable". It's been 10 years now, and she was my matron of honor in my wedding.

It's nice to think of developing relationships with the people you will be close to for the next few years, but don't worry about it too much :)

Great post! I've had similar experiences in almost ALL my friendships, but I've never admitted it to myself because aren't really really good relationships supposed to last a lifetime? Well, they never did, for me. I've resigned myself to keeping friends while we spend lots of time together and can relate to one another, and then letting them go when the time comes.

In a way, keeping friends past that--i.e. visiting each other once a year and realizing how much you've both changed, that you aren't that close anymore, etc.--is even sadder than just going your own separate ways. Plus, I'm not sure how to put this, but I think we get more selfish as we grow older. Or not selfish, rather, but our lives just become busier and we don't have time or room in our hearts for maintaining long distance relationships.

It's sad because I've always wanted those sorts of life-long relationships. I kind of agree with SarahGM in that it has a lot to do with your own perspective and how your relationship develops from the very beginning.

Btw, great thread, Ithilia. I think making friends in med school will definitely be difficult, and spending time with a bunch neurotic med students doesn't sound appealing to anyone, BUT I think it's so important to have a close group of friends you can commiserate with and see on a daily basis. I don't know about you, but it's impossible for me to attend school near any of my current friends, and talking to them about med school admissions is revealing enough of the support and understanding (or lack thereof) that I should expect from them in med school. NO THANKS! I'll take fellow neurotic med students any day.

Oh, and you should know that loneliness is not exclusive to med school. Many of my friends are now complaining about the loneliness and isolation they feel in grad school/ work. Oh, is this the "real world" of grown ups? :eek:
 

BaylorGuy

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funshine said:
Great post! I've had similar experiences in almost ALL my friendships, but I've never admitted it to myself because aren't really really good relationships supposed to last a lifetime? Well, they never did, for me. I've resigned myself to keeping friends while we spend lots of time together and can relate to one another, and then letting them go when the time comes.

In a way, keeping friends past that--i.e. visiting each other once a year and realizing how much you've both changed, that you aren't that close anymore, etc.--is even sadder than just going your own separate ways. Plus, I'm not sure how to put this, but I think we get more selfish as we grow older. Or not selfish, rather, but our lives just become busier and we don't have time or room in our hearts for maintaining long distance relationships.

It's sad because I've always wanted those sorts of life-long relationships. I kind of agree with SarahGM in that it has a lot to do with your own perspective and how your relationship develops from the very beginning.

Btw, great thread, Ithilia. I think making friends in med school will definitely be difficult, and spending time with a bunch neurotic med students doesn't sound appealing to anyone, BUT I think it's so important to have a close group of friends you can commiserate with and see on a daily basis. I don't know about you, but it's impossible for me to attend school near any of my current friends, and talking to them about med school admissions is revealing enough of the support and understanding (or lack thereof) that I should expect from them in med school. NO THANKS! I'll take fellow neurotic med students any day.

Oh, and you should know that loneliness is not exclusive to med school. Many of my friends are now complaining about the loneliness and isolation they feel in grad school/ work. Oh, is this the "real world" of grown ups? :eek:

This post and megboo's post seem real to me. I've kind of shot down the idea of life-long friendships...i personally think its something that's been beaten on us and we have to conform to it (kind of like consumerism at Christmas and Valentine's Day...but that's another episode).

People will be attracted to those that they like. I think that if you go to class and get acquantied with people, attend a social function every now and then, you will most likely get to know some decent friends.

But yeah, i've had those situations where the best friend or roommate just goes separate paths...its not that you don't like them or they dont like you...your interests just separate.
 

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I am an older student and I have seen people come and go in my life. Boyfriends, best friends and acquaintances. I think even when you are super best friends, things happen and we all change. Your friend gets married and you don't, or they have kids and you don't. These are huge friendship breakers. I don't think that people intentionally 'break up' a friendship but it is just a natural part of life's cycles. I echo what someone said above, I try and let people come and go and not fight the process. Over time I have seen the richness that comes when you do reconnect after sometimes many years. I have two very old friends back in my life and it is wonderful. But, who could predict?

With my med school buds, I do the same. Try and not take things seriously, stay away from intense clique-y situations, and just be on good terms with people as much as I can. Some people, I just cherish their friendship but it's a more subtle kind where we connect in a simple and honest way. But we don't talk every day or have to be in each others' face! Lots more space than maybe when I was younger.

School is a four year process and it just whizzes by. I am trying to keep my outside friends and support network strong, so I am less dependent on my classmates - who are all busy with their own lives, etc. Professional relationships, I guess.
 

rainymonday

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njbmd said:
My medical school class was very cooperative. I made some life-long friends in medical school and we keep in touch as we are going through our residencies.

Everyone has different ways of dealing with the stress and changes that are expected of one in medical school. The key is not becoming someone that you don't like. Like your siblings, you have no control over your classmates and like your siblings, they are really not that bad once you get to know them.

Ditto. I hope to keep in touch with my classmates after May and some will always be on my speedial!
 

BooMed

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funshine said:
Oh, and you should know that loneliness is not exclusive to med school. Many of my friends are now complaining about the loneliness and isolation they feel in grad school/ work. Oh, is this the "real world" of grown ups? :eek:

That's true. Most of my friends who graduated from college and went off to various jobs are still terribly lonely. Maybe that's why so many have moved back in with their parents at various times. Seriously, I think that pretty much everyone I know has lived with their parents again. :eek: Including me, I lived with my fiance's parents for a summer to save money.
 

QofQuimica

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SarahGM said:
Especially if you go into either with that mind-set. :rolleyes:
Hey, I'm all for positive thinking. But sometimes life (or love) doesn't conform to our dreams. If you don't know what I mean, I sincerely hope that you never will.
 

SarahGM

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QofQuimica said:
Hey, I'm all for positive thinking. But sometimes life (or love) doesn't conform to our dreams. If you don't know what I mean, I sincerely hope that you never will.

I think I understand what you meant. But there's a "superstitious" part of me that thinks that if you go into something thinking there's the slightest possibility it might not workk out, or heaven forbid consider that there is a 50% possibility that it won't work out, it's more likely that it actually won't.

But that's a whole different discussion for a whole different time!

I understand and agree with what you're saying, and I find it completely applicable to the reality of love and life today, but I don't like it. ;)
 

Jamaican MD

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It's hard being a minority in a predominantly white school. You feel like the odd person out and isolated.
 

lil pook

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Jamaican MD said:
It's hard being a minority in a predominantly white school. You feel like the odd person out and isolated.


i'm really sorry you feel that way. just cuz you're a minority though doesn't mean people don't want to hang with you. i have friends of all races/ethnicities. just put yourself out there :)
 

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Jamaican MD said:
It's hard being a minority in a predominantly white school. You feel like the odd person out and isolated.


where are you at school?
 

Beau Geste

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Jamaican MD said:
It's hard being a minority in a predominantly white school. You feel like the odd person out and isolated.

Yeah, put yourself out there! It's their problem if your race bothers them. They need to get with the program if that's the case!
 

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Jamaican MD said:
It's hard being a minority in a predominantly white school. You feel like the odd person out and isolated.

People tend to feel more comfortable befriending people "more like them," not necessarily to isolate other people but it's just the natural order of things. Being a minority, you just have to put yourself out there and you should be welcomed. Its better to take charge and not wait around.
 

Jamaican MD

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I definitely don't feel that ppl are just outright mean or anything. . .I'm really, REALLY shy at first so it takes me a while to open up. It seems like everyone already has their core group of friends, so I feel on the outside. I know I have to take some responsibility for the situation.

I appreciate the feedback. I was apprehensive about posting my feelings here.
 

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Ithilia said:
Hello All!
I was looking over some threads in the Allo forum here and came across one about how clique-y people are finding med school to be and how they aren't making any good friends. As I read on and on in this thread, and people continued to agree, I started to wonder to myself if there are any people here that maybe feel that they HAVE made some good friends in med school. I don't begin med school until this August, so I am curious. :)


Sure there are cliques, but in medical school i feel like I can sit down at any table and be comfortable with whoever's there, although I tend to hang with the same group of people by choice - which is my anatomy lab group.
 

run4boston

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friends will come, just be positive.
 
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