MD Getting "quiet" comments on third year evaluations

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taeyeonlover

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MS3 here. I am usually considered reserved by people around me and it seems to be affecting my evaluations in clinical rotations. They are generally positive but there is always this one preceptor who makes comment about my personality.

I recently received my evaluations from surgery rotation and they are generally positive with one person writing in a lot of detail about how good I am, how I ask good questions, and how I improved in suturing skills etc. but there is this one attending who said I am "very quiet".

I understand that being reserved and shy is not really likeable in clinical rotations and that I need to get out of my comfort zone to make sure I don't get negative comments but I am wondering how residency directors view comments like "very quiet" or "reserved"? Is this something that I should be very concerned about?

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How many preceptors are writing this? If it's only once, then you can probably chalk it up to a miscommunication. But if multiple MSPE comments are saying the same thing throughout the 3rd year then that speaks to a pattern. But as far as negative comments go, being "quiet" is quite benign. What specialty are you shooting for?
 
Have gotten quiet once before... I figure it's better than being called 'loud' or 'abrasive.'
 
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this is advice for you but also everyone who gets this issue. A lot of the time, it’s not about being sociable. It’s about you not giving your opinion on anything. It feels weird as a med student, but during rounds or discussion for other patients give your opinions, talk about patients or medical discussions like the residents do. Should solve your problem
 
this is advice for you but also everyone who gets this issue. A lot of the time, it’s not about being sociable. It’s about you not giving your opinion on anything. It feels weird as a med student, but during rounds or discussion for other patients give your opinions, talk about patients or medical discussions like the residents do. Should solve your problem

I would add to this that, if you talk about a patient, to know what you’re talking about and not just making uninformed comments/questions.
 
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If isolated not an issue. Could potentially be an issue if it’s a pattern, though even that would likely be program and field dependent. It may also be just how you are and maybe a good thing as it may screen out some places where you wouldn’t fit in as well anyhow.

If you would like to be thought of as more vocal and engaged, and easy way to do that actually requires no speaking at all. It’s more about stagecraft than dialog. Many students will gravitate to the periphery and blend into the paint; you can avoid this by simply positioning yourself in the circle so you’re actively engaged in the group. Even if you don’t say much, the perception will be that you were engaged and participating more than if you were 5 feet away at the kiddie table. It’s easy to do - nobody else thinks about this so just as you’re moving from place to place or however you round, just think about where the action will be and make sure you’re part of it.
 
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I remember I used to have a fair amount of angst about this same question. I tend to be a quiet person; the word frequently showed up on my evals.

Used to wonder whether it was actually going to make me a worse doctor.

Now, as a second year fellow, doing something I'm good at and enjoy, no longer merely being the spectator that the role of being a med student inherently is, "being too quiet" is something that never even crosses my mind.

Can't speak to how much it impacts residency program's evaluation of you, but in case it's giving you any amount of existential
unrest like it gave me, rest assured it's meaningless in the end.
 
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I was asked once on an interview about a comment on an evaluation about being quiet/reserved, and I simply said that I was the type of person who would think carefully before speaking, and that sometimes people perceive it as quiet, and it was received well in the interview. I don't think being quiet is bad in of itself, I think that when it is perceived that a quiet person lacks confidence or lacks knowledge is more of the issue - even if inaccurate.
 
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maybe try small talk. Read the Wall Street Journal and watch ESPN every morning
 
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MS3 here. I am usually considered reserved by people around me and it seems to be affecting my evaluations in clinical rotations. They are generally positive but there is always this one preceptor who makes comment about my personality.

I recently received my evaluations from surgery rotation and they are generally positive with one person writing in a lot of detail about how good I am, how I ask good questions, and how I improved in suturing skills etc. but there is this one attending who said I am "very quiet".

I understand that being reserved and shy is not really likeable in clinical rotations and that I need to get out of my comfort zone to make sure I don't get negative comments but I am wondering how residency directors view comments like "very quiet" or "reserved"? Is this something that I should be very concerned about?
M3 and M4 is really for you... You make what you want out of it. sometimes quite may mean not interested... so you wanna show interest in schools. Answer questions to best of your abilities, ask questions, not just stand there. That shows interest and they will likely not say this.
 
Subjective feedback is typically not helpful. Preceptors often do not make much effort to interact directly with their students. Unfortunate the way the current system is undertaken, but it is what it is.
 
MS3 here. I am usually considered reserved by people around me and it seems to be affecting my evaluations in clinical rotations. They are generally positive but there is always this one preceptor who makes comment about my personality.

I recently received my evaluations from surgery rotation and they are generally positive with one person writing in a lot of detail about how good I am, how I ask good questions, and how I improved in suturing skills etc. but there is this one attending who said I am "very quiet".

I understand that being reserved and shy is not really likeable in clinical rotations and that I need to get out of my comfort zone to make sure I don't get negative comments but I am wondering how residency directors view comments like "very quiet" or "reserved"? Is this something that I should be very concerned about?

Hey OP, if it makes you feel better, on my MSPE there is an evaluation from an attending that says "very quiet and reticent". I have gotten 20+ interviews this year and no one has mentioned this comment lol. If it is ever asked I would probably say something like this:
I was asked once on an interview about a comment on an evaluation about being quiet/reserved, and I simply said that I was the type of person who would think carefully before speaking, and that sometimes people perceive it as quiet, and it was received well in the interview. I don't think being quiet is bad in of itself, I think that when it is perceived that a quiet person lacks confidence or lacks knowledge is more of the issue - even if inaccurate.
 
I'm an attending. In every rotation, the question is "how much are you making the life of the residents or attending easier". Writing good notes, doing collateral, doing or taking phone calls fall under this. Even catching things or mistakes that might go unnoticed is great. This is how every employer rates their employee in every job in existence. Are you making my job more stressful or less stressful? If you are getting quiet comments, you are likely just sitting in a corner and not doing enough. You are more of a eye sore than anything that is not helping the team get through the day.

Asking too many questions and small talk will not reflect well on you because you are actually preventing the team from getting things done by being a distraction. Yes its good to be inquisitive, but hey...I need to put this medication order or do this note but I have to entertain you. That doesn't reflect well. If there is a patient to see, then go see the patient and write a good note. This will save the attending and resident time to do other things. Remember "are you a burden or you are lessening my workload by being a godsend".
 
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this is advice for you but also everyone who gets this issue. A lot of the time, it’s not about being sociable. It’s about you not giving your opinion on anything. It feels weird as a med student, but during rounds or discussion for other patients give your opinions, talk about patients or medical discussions like the residents do. Should solve your problem
I agree too. Giving an opinion might give insight to the team. Make sure its a opinion balanced by obtained history, labs or etc. Giving an opinion falls under helping the team and making the resident or attending day less stressful.
 
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