Gunner?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Kev (UK), May 2, 2004.

  1. Kev (UK)

    Kev (UK) British Member
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    Many posts on here keep referring to the term "gunner" to describe other students. It's not a term I have heard before- so what is a gunner? :confused:
     
  2. gschl1234

    gschl1234 Senior Member
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    I'm not sure how to post links so I've copied and pasted from another message (by Yogi Bear). The URL where I found the message is http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=923&highlight=Definition+Gunner (I hope this link works):

    Wanna be a gunner? You're a gunner if.....
    <a href="http://www.homepage.montana.edu/~awmsg/student/gunners.html" target="_blank">http://www.homepage.montana.edu/~awmsg/student/gunners.html</a>

    Gunner: (noun) One who "guns" or, in other words, is trying to blow every test out of the water. This derogatory term is reserved for those who try to excel at the expense of others.
    @ <a href="http://www.gradstudies.musc.edu/MED/Med_stud_prog/Dictionary.html" target="_blank">http://www.gradstudies.musc.edu/MED/Med_stud_prog/Dictionary.html</a>
     
  3. Kev (UK)

    Kev (UK) British Member
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    Thanks! I think I have a good idea what it means now :D
     
  4. Back34

    Back34 Senior Member
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    My understanding of the term "gunner" isn't necessarily somebody who simply tries to blow every exam out of the water (in a sense, then, I think we're all gunners to an extent), but does so with the hopes that everybody else fails. This is someone who lies, steals, psyches out, checks all of the best references out of the library, etc., all for the sake of undermining those who might pose a threat to the gunner's "superiority," somebody who goes to great lengths to convince those around him that he/she is the second coming of Albert Einstein.

    Couple of examples: last year was extremely difficult due to some personal issues that came up. I was on the verge of leaving school because of them and made the mistake of talking to the class uber gunner regarding my situation. There was no "hang in there" or "I can help you" or whatever. Instead, I got "well, if you're going to leave do it now; it only gets worse from here." The fact that he said it was bad enough, but I could tell from the tone of his voice that he said it "to eliminate the competition."

    Call me a glutton for punishment, but I wound up studying with this person later in the year for a certain class. I couldn't understand any of the material and he sounded like he wrote the textbook. He managed to tell everybody that he hadn't seen the stuff before, but "just picks things up rather quickly." He came across something in the notes and said "[the prof] doesn't know what she's talking about; the professors at [very renowned university] taught us..." and quickly looked away, beet red in the face.

    Anyway, that's my idea of a gunner.
     
  5. DireWolf

    DireWolf The Pride of Cucamonga
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  6. 4 Ever

    4 Ever Senior Member
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    Back34 has a pretty good handle on what a gunner is...

    I was thinking about just focusing more in medical school. I have never been one to study ahead of time or to spend all night studying (my sleep is much more important) etc etc. But i was thinking that i should make a change and try my best for once. I wont be out to get others though, just to work as hard as I can for my own personal gain. If someone does better than me, then good for them. They earned it. If that makes me a gunner, then i guess ill join that group but i wouldnt intentionally burn someone just to put myself ahead
     
  7. Jaded Soul

    Jaded Soul Proloxil > Zoloft
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    Careful when you get to third year because many gunners will emerge at that time. They aren't the ones that you would necessarily identify as gunners in the first two years, which makes them very dangerous at the very beginning of third year before their true nature becomes known.

    There's a handful of people in my class who were cordial, nice, cooperative, and friendly during years 1 and 2. As soon as third year hit, their true gunnerosity came out. One lied about the whereabouts of their teammates while on surgery so that she would get to scrub in on all the cases. Another one purposefully didn't remind her teammates about mid-day meetings with the attending, then lied to the attending, telling him that she reminded them. Another complained to a clerkship director about only having to be at clinical site she chose for a couple of hours each day, even though it was common knowledge that the site only required you to be there for a few hours. The clerkship director talked to the MD at that site and the hours were extended for everyone.

    No one would have picked these people out as gunners, but now they've been branded and people know to stay clear of them.
     
  8. Back34

    Back34 Senior Member
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    So, I guess the moral of the clerkship story is to trust nobody -- keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer?
     
  9. gschl1234

    gschl1234 Senior Member
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    I don't think trying hard makes you a gunner. I try my best at every class and I don't consider myself a gunner since I also hope the best for everyone else. Gunner implies that while doing well, you hope everyone else does horribly, even though them doing badly doens't help you personally. Trying your best makes you a good student and hopefully a great doctor some day.
     
  10. gschl1234

    gschl1234 Senior Member
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    Why would people do all those horrible things? Do they realize what they're doing? How would this help them if all it ends up doing is alienating the rest of their fellow students? I hope there aren't people like that at my med school :(
     
  11. Fritz

    Fritz Senior Member
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    Maybe I am not understanding how the medical school rotations work, but I thought that, aside of your usual clerkship, you could shadow doctors if you wanted, you could scrub in for cases if you talked to the surgeon ahead of time etc., without actually stealing cases from people.
    What's up with stealing cases anyway? Aren't there enough patients for everyone? don't people get sick anymore?
    Just curious, because I have not been through rotations yet.
    Thanks,
    Fritz.
     
  12. Jaded Soul

    Jaded Soul Proloxil > Zoloft
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    That's part of what's inherent to being a gunner--not caring how other people perceive your actions. They do these types of things to make themselves appear more dedicated/enthusiastic compared to the other students. Some attendings see right through it. Some don't.
     
  13. Fritz

    Fritz Senior Member
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    All this gunner talk makes me go crazy. I have not started my rotations yet, but I am already stressing out about it. I am what is know generally as an workholic, and before I got married I used to spend most of my time at work, and I did not even like my job as much as I love medicine.
    My perception here is that everyone assumes that if someone is so in love with medicine, that that person is willing to spend unlimited amount of time in the hospital to learn as much as possible about medicine, that person automatically gets labeled a "gunner" by his fellow students. This is ridiculous. I think people should be allowed to do whatever they please. If someone thinks that the best way for them to learn ( as thus to make use of the 20,000 tuition a year) is to spend time in the hospital and to try to practice as much as possible, why shouldn't they do that? I will probably not spend as much time in the hospital, just because I have a family, and I will have to be at home for them. But if someone is single, does not date anyone, and really does not have a life outside of medicine, why can't they just spend as much time in the hospital as they want? I really don't think these guys are hurting anyone. There really should not be any penalty from the fellow students for trying to be the best type of doctor that you can be, and if that's including spending extra time in the hospital for some of us, than why should that be a problem for the rest of us? Are we really hurting each other by wanting to be the best doctors that we can be? Maybe you can explain this to me, since I don't really see how it would hurt me if one of my colleagues chooses to spend every waking hour he has in the hospital?

    Thanks,

    Fritz.
     
  14. DireWolf

    DireWolf The Pride of Cucamonga
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  15. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    If you want a classic example of a gunner, check out some posts by BerkeleyPremed.

    Unfortunately, he isnt intelligent or educated enough to do real damage, like a real gunner might, but it gives you some insight into the twisted psychology of a gunner: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/search.php?searchid=57539

    Its pretty funny too, remember he hasnt even taken the MCAT yet.
     
  16. WatchingWaiting

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    Has it occurred to you that the third-year rotations are graded based on relative performance, and that a very large component of your grade ultimately boils down to how enthusiastic/hard-working you are? There have been studies that show "fund of knowledge" evaluations are more highly correlated with whether or not the attending likes the person than what the person's actual fund of knowledge is (as measured by a shelf exam, at least).

    In short, since grades are relative, it screws over your classmates when you spend one hundred twenty hours a week being excited and completely ignore being a balanced person. Just spending lots of time in the hospital, however, doesn't inherently make you a gunner, since it is possible you just really love every single specialty in medicine. What makes you a gunner is the sabotage of other classmates to improve your own evaluation.
     
  17. Fritz

    Fritz Senior Member
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    It seems to me that it is not necessarily your colleagues that sabotage you, but the attendings. In the light of what you say, I can argue that if the attending does not like you, you can be the best of the best, you are going to get only a passing grade. My question is then who checks the attendings to make sure they are not too subjective. I am a big fan of standardization, and thinking that someone can grade me based on his own subjective opinion freaks me out.

    But thanks for telling me how the grading is done, I had no idea.

    Fritz.
     
  18. SammyK

    SammyK Senior Member
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    In regards to the very subjective process of grading, it is unfortunate. Perhaps others can state their schools policy on the specifics, but at our school if you get nailed on an evaluation due to an attending you are pretty hard pressed to get it changed. It is slighly more possible to get a grade changed if you speak to the attending, have him write a letter to petition why the school should allow them to re-submit a new eval, and only then will the dean consider possibly changing the original grade. However, if it is the case that the attending does not like you because he thinks you don't work as hard as your fellow students, etc; you have little chance of getting him to change it, and at our school unfortunately you are stuck with it. In this case, the malicious intent of an evil gunner can be a very valid issue in affecting your rotation. This can cause additional problems if like at our school you are graded on your evaluations with the resultant grade counted into your class rank and GPA which brings out extreme gunnerish tendancies. Just be aware of it and recognize the the medical profession still tends to be a small world inhabited by people with excellent memories in certain regards. Be a team player and just do the best you can with the situations you are given.
     
  19. notstudying

    notstudying Senior Member
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    It depends on the program-in some (like mine) there weren't that many attendings, so if you wanted to scrub in on another case it was likely to be with another students' attending. A gunner would get to the attending early, and ask to scrub in, after having thoroughly researched the topic, then show up the "official" student by jumping in and answering every question. A non-gunner would ask the other student first if they would mind if you watched-and then even if you had read on the case (this is advisable) they'd let the "official" student answer the questions, or at least try not to make them look bad.

    Gunners will actually steal cases not because there aren't enough patients, but because they want to make other students look bad, or get the best cases. I have heard about students who pimp other students on rounds!

    But, many residents and attendings pay more attention than you think, and true gunners are then not at an advantage.
     

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