Nerdoscience

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2006
372
1
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I was thinking the other day about how much being a resident has alienated me from the rest of society and my pre medical school friends. It's not like I can't relate to them, but I feel like they can't relate to me any more.

Now, partially this is because I'm a big dork. For instance, when I drink, I get very excited about the changes in my eye movements and vestibular system. I'll even have my girlfriend make me track her finger with my eyes to see if I have lost all my smooth pursuit eye movements and must rely only on saccades.

But, it's also that most of the experiences I have now require medical training to really understand. Ever want to tell a funny story, and then realize that you have to explain the mechanism behind a disease and define 5 or 6 medical terms to do it? No non-medical people find those stories funny.
 

Faebinder

Slow Wave Smurf
10+ Year Member
May 24, 2006
3,507
10
Pennsylvania
Status
Attending Physician
Nerdoscience said:
But, it's also that most of the experiences I have now require medical training to really understand. Ever want to tell a funny story, and then realize that you have to explain the mechanism behind a disease and define 5 or 6 medical terms to do it? No non-medical people find those stories funny.
Gosh... been there done that... explaining a joke to someone is a tragedy...
 

Bobblehead

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2003
693
90
Status
Attending Physician
Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life. This is why I think it's important to have activities outside the hospital so that you can engage in some simple banter with people that isn't a) a breach of confidentiality b) needs a 5 minute explanation of something that happened on the clinical service
 
About the Ads

mig26x

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2004
1,215
6
42
Miami, FL
Status
Attending Physician
this is why some people say that during residency you should NOT live walking distance from the hospital, that you should have your space.

And I think thats pretty right.
 

gryffindor

15+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2002
2,827
103
Visit site
Status
Dentist
Nerdoscience said:
Now, partially this is because I'm a big dork. For instance, when I drink, I get very excited about the changes in my eye movements and vestibular system. I'll even have my girlfriend make me track her finger with my eyes to see if I have lost all my smooth pursuit eye movements and must rely only on saccades.
Oh geez, why? Can't you just drink to have a good time? If I ever dated a medical person who made me do this, I'd have to say "Uh, no. You are a super dorkus and seriously need a life."

If you want to start relating to your non-medical friends, just go to your nearest computer and start reading the "entertainment" section of the news. Heck, just read any of the news (besides the "science" section). Or just turn on the television and watch some reality TV or the latest crappy sitcom. Any of the above 3 easy activities should give you plenty of non-medical stuff to talk about.
 

8744

Guest
15+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2001
9,322
171
Status
Non-Student
Nerdoscience said:
...Now, partially this is because I'm a big dork. For instance, when I drink, I get very excited about the changes in my eye movements and vestibular system. I'll even have my girlfriend make me track her finger with my eyes to see if I have lost all my smooth pursuit eye movements and must rely only on saccades.

But, it's also that most of the experiences I have now require medical training to really understand. Ever want to tell a funny story, and then realize that you have to explain the mechanism behind a disease and define 5 or 6 medical terms to do it? No non-medical people find those stories funny...
You are a dork and highly doubt you have anything but an imaginary girlfriend.

Dude. Don't be one of "those people." You know, the mother****ers who meet for lunch with their team and insist on talking about medical subjects. For God's sake, medicine is interesting but it's not that interesting. It's OK to talk about sports, girls you've banged, or make the occasional off-color joke.
 

8744

Guest
15+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2001
9,322
171
Status
Non-Student
Bobblehead said:
Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life. This is why I think it's important to have activities outside the hospital so that you can engage in some simple banter with people that isn't a) a breach of confidentiality b) needs a 5 minute explanation of something that happened on the clinical service
I never talk medicine when I leave the hospital. My father-in-law always wants to grill me on his latest complaint but I always tell him that I'll have to give him a DRE if we're going to talk about his health.
 
OP
Nerdoscience

Nerdoscience

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2006
372
1
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Now, I'm not going to say I'm not a huge dork. I think we already determined that. But in my defense, I think some of you are assuming a bit too much about me. I DO have quite a life outside of medicine. I have hobbies, watch TV shows and movies, and despite my dorkiness have managed to make and maintain friends in and out of the medical system, etc...

But sometimes, the only thing you've had time to do in the last month is go to work, eat, sleep, and try to clear paths between your front door, your bedroom and bathroom. Or don't you ever want to chime in a conversation with non-medical people and realize that what you're about to say won't make sense to them?
 

beyond all hope

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2003
623
7
45
Visit site
Status
Come on, guys, we all do it.

Med school and residency have a way of becoming all-encompassing. We do medicine all day and we think about it even when we're not in the hospital, and we want to talk about it because that's what we're thinking about.

I agree a lot of people take it too far and never talk about anything but medicine. But sometimes you really want to relate a case, an experience, a mistake or an accomplishment to your friends. Sometimes you have to explain a lot of medical stuff in the process. Some of your friends will hate it, others will really like it (my wife loves hearing these stories)

Saying "I never talk about medicine outside the hospital" is just as ridiculous as always talking about it. The trick, just like anything else, is balance.

I think having your girlfriend check for nystagmus is pretty odd. Still, you're not afraid to be unique, unlike 99% of the goose-steppers in medicine.
 

Plastikos

10+ Year Member
Jul 3, 2005
536
58
Sunny SoCal
Status
Attending Physician
Basically, if you didnt have much of a life before medicine, dont expect it to change drastically now. My other dr friend and i go out with "normal" ppl all the time and we never talk about medicine unless asked specifically.
I try not to tell ppl what i do, it will only bring a barrage of questions from the idiot farm.
 

cdql

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2006
959
3
37
Boston
Status
Medical Student
Nerdoscience said:
Now, partially this is because I'm a big dork. For instance, when I drink, I get very excited about the changes in my eye movements and vestibular system. I'll even have my girlfriend make me track her finger with my eyes to see if I have lost all my smooth pursuit eye movements and must rely only on saccades.
I'm gonna tell her that no eye exam is complete without jabbing of the finger deep into the eyeball and swirling it around. Helps to eliminate the possiblity of glaucoma! (and vision)
 

21JumpStreet

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 16, 2005
166
1
Status
No more than anyone else. This holds true for every field. It is not something that just happens to people in medicine. A physical oceanographer can make jokes that a person in medicine wouldn't understand, yet a close friend of mine happens to be a physician that is married to an oceanorgrapher. A math major can make jokes that go way above a physician's head. Unless the doctor had a strong mathematical background, she would never understand some of these esoteric conversations and jokes. An organic chemist at a doctorate level could make jokes that go way above a doc's head.
 

abcxyz0123

SDN Lifetime Donor
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2004
575
36
Status
Attending Physician
cdql said:
I'm gonna tell her that no eye exam is complete without jabbing of the finger deep into the eyeball and swirling it around. Helps to eliminate the possiblity of glaucoma! (and vision)
hahahaha, that actually made me laugh out loud
 
About the Ads