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Have ever been asked "THE QUESTION?"

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Leukocyte

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I was about to do a femoral stick (with my Chief) on Ms. P., when she poped "The Question."

Me: Hi, Ms. P.

Ms. P.: Hello. Who are you?

Me: My name is Leukocyte, I am a 3rd year Medical. Stud.. I just want to draw some blood from your leg.

Ms. P.: Med. Stud.? From UMDNJ? (I was at a UMDNJ hospital).

Me: No. I go to Ross U.

Ms. P.: Where is that?

Me: Dominica, in the Caribbean.

Ms. P: In the Ca-rib-bean!!!!!. IN THE CA-RIB-BEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why did you go to the ca-rib-bean?!.

Me: Ahhhhhh........................................... :scared:

Chief Res.: Well we all have our preferances, and Leukocyte here wanted to go to the Caribbean. As simple as that.

Ms. P.: Yes, buy why the Ca-rib-bean?! Isn't it were poor students go?

(The chief and I staring blankly at the patient with shock)

Ms. P: (To my Chief Res.) Are you a doctor?

Chief: Yes.

Ms. P.: You want to draw my blood?

Chief: Yes, but Leukocyte is the one who is doing it.

Ms. P.: I prefer that you do it.

Me: :mad: :eek: :oops: (and feeling like a looser).
 

neilc

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that is a pretty funny story! i am sure the humor wasn't readily apparent when it happened though....

as you know already, this is the exception, rather than the rule. there are patients that won't let students from ANY school touch them, there are patients that won't let residents toucht them, etc...

i am just shocked that she was so blunt about it...i am doing a stateside rotation pretty soon, and i have many, many bad scenarios in my mind of what can happen. now i have a new one, thanks!
 

Leukocyte

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I was going to ask her, why does she think "poor students" go to the Caribbean. But then told myself, **** her, why argue with a narsistic **** like her.
 

McGillGrad

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That sounds a bit rough, but in the end we all know that we spend at least some of our lives around less than desirable people. No matter what the angle is, some people find reasons to find fault and/or complain.

Let it roll off of your back like water off a duck's ass and everything will seem fine two minutes after you have left the room:).
 

stephew

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poor students do go the caribbean. The trick is to become a good one while you're there. Being defensive about it will only confirm the doubts of others.
 

okiamhot

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so in the end, you didn't draw her blood?
but i am sure that once in a while, someone will ask you where you go to med.school. just have to be prepared.
 

Adapt

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stephew said:
poor students do go the caribbean. The trick is to become a good one while you're there. Being defensive about it will only confirm the doubts of others.
:laugh: I'm surprised you think poor students go to the caribbean.

Leukocyte, sorry for what happened in your situation. Life is too short to worry about jerks that put you down. All you can do is forget it and move on. Good luck in your future rotations and keep the faith. :thumbup: :)
 

stephew

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Adapt said:
:laugh: I'm surprised you think poor students go to the caribbean.

Leukocyte, sorry for what happened in your situation. Life is too short to worry about jerks that put you down. All you can do is forget it and move on. Good luck in your future rotations and keep the faith. :thumbup: :)

well yeah I do, by and large; unless we're getting real political here and we have to define our terms like we do with "feminism" or "liberal" or something else that gets loaded with different meanings depending upon who uses it. but really isnt that :sleep:
I simply mean folks who are weaker students wind up the caribbean. Just look at median scores on mcats and gpa. If you want to add different meaning to the definition, feel free but ill leave it at that.

I agree with your advise however-let a bad experince like that go. its not worth the emotional energy. focus on being a good doc and your performance will speak to itself.
I have heard of patients not wanting a resident, period. There is a famous pediatric neurosurgeon here who tells the story of a patient years ago who didnt want him because he is black. Heck, there are patients who come to Johns Hopkins and want the cv of the attending. in the end, most dont even know what to look for (who'd have thought U Wisc has one of the best rad onc programs around) and the other 99+% dont ask.
 

Weil-Felix

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What's particularly funny about that is the fact that most of the time people get their blood drawn by a phlebotomist who does not even have to have anything beyond a high school diploma (if that).

Sorry though. That's gotta be annoying.
 

BassDominator

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Umm.... big difference between sticking a needle in the antecubetal fossa and the groin. It's painful, you can give the person a truly nasty hematoma, hit the femoral nerve or even the peritoneum. Yeah, oh s**t.
 

erichaj

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There has never been any study that shows that mcat scores or USMLE score indicate how well a person does in medical school or as a doctor.

Just because you can't get the right answer to some question because of the way it may be worded, does not mean you don't have good judgement and diagnostic skills. That can be learned and is perfected with experience.

EH.
3rd year family practice resident.

ps: you can't please everyone.
 

TTSD

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group_theory said:
Just curious

Now that you have had some time to think about it,

how would you handle the situation (if you can go back in time)? Would you do anything different?

Do you think your chief could have done anything differently?

I'd have opened up my empty wallet and said, "yes, poor student here."
 

Skip Intro

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Leukocyte said:
I was going to ask her, why does she think "poor students" go to the Caribbean. But then told myself, **** her, why argue with a narsistic **** like her.

I've been asked a lot of times by attendings, residents, and other students, but only once by a patient. Of course, we were only doing an eye exam at an opthamologists office. Her husband was a chief of oncology at a very large U.S. teaching hospital. So, can't fault her.

As others have said, I wouldn't worry about it. Most patients simply don't ask. And, many don't care. If you are presented with the question again, simply say "I'm in medical school right here, right now."

If they persist in knowing the name, then you have to look at them with a soft smile and kindly 'flip the script' saying, "Patients who ask such questions are often more concerned about the kind of care they are going to receive rather than what the actual answer to their question really means. Is there a particular concern you have about my doing this procedure that you want to discuss?" This is the way ALL doctors, students, residents (etc.) should answer that question, regardless if they went to Harvard or the University of Uganda. This opens a dialogue and completely removes all presumptions about what a particular school's pedigree infers. Because, as we all know, there are even crappy doctors (and students) from U.S. schools.

Now, as you should also remember from Dr. Sharma's Behavioral Science lectures, there also exists many Narcissistic Personality Disorders out there who won't be satified unless they are being treated by the Surgeon General him or herself. In that case, you should still smile and let it roll of you like water on a ducks back. You can add, "Well then, I guess I'm just not good enough to care for you. That is your choice." Then smile warmly, and move on. Believe me, if you can do that, you win.

-Skip
 

meanderson

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Dr. Cuts said:

Would it amaze you to know that some people actually like FP? Find a nice town, work some med-stop/fast track shifts in addition to regular outpatient clinical responsibilities, and you can make a very nice living with a decent lifestyle.

Diag. Radiology has enough problems on it's horizon in the next 20 years. That and anesthesiology have had a number of upswings and downswings in popularity and salary over the last 20 years. If radiology were the paradise you make it out to be more american grads would try to match and the US allopathic match% would be much lower.
 

VentdependenT

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Sorry to hear about your experience. It'll crack you up in the future though. None of it will matter once you match anyways.

Vent
 

Weil-Felix

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BassDominator said:
Umm.... big difference between sticking a needle in the antecubetal fossa and the groin. It's painful, you can give the person a truly nasty hematoma, hit the femoral nerve or even the peritoneum. Yeah, oh s**t.

Yes, my bad. You are right. I must have skipped over the part in the original post that said it was a femoral stick. I was thinking it was just a regular blood draw.
 

anencephalic

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From physicians I worked with who graduated from offshore schools, the "Caribbean Monkey-on-your-back" gets smaller and smaller the farther into practice you get. Most people who are in need of urgent care from you at 3AM want to know that you are a competent physician, not where your MD came from.

Aloha,
 

dbiddy808

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I'd think that if one went the DO route they would be far more likely to encounter situations like the one you mentioned. Many people have no idea what a DO is? I didn't know what it was until I was a senior in college thinking of going into medicine.

I'm a soon-to-be 3rd year medicine resident and I have been asked only a few times by patients about where I went to med school and it has never been akward.

Attendings often ask where you went, but typicall this is after they are familiar with you and feel comfortable enough to strike up a conversation. Usually by that time you will have proved yourself. And most attendings have trained with and worked with doctors who have gone the IMG route so it is not a big deal.
 

Adapt

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dbiddy808 said:
I'd think that if one went the DO route they would be far more likely to encounter situations like the one you mentioned. Many people have no idea what a DO is?
Actually you are somewhat incorrect. In the OP's situation, the patient thought that only poor students went to the caribbean. While it is true that most patients may not know about a DO, it does not follow that they will think only poor students go to DO schools.

I have met some patients during my volunteering who knew about DO and recommended going that route over MD due to the added OMM benefits.
 

dbiddy808

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I was referring to having to explain and rationalize why someone didn't go to a US med school (allopathic).
 

stephew

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if you can answer the question without being defensive or feeling dependent upon the questioner's responce, you've won the race. Be the sort of doctor who can change someone's mind about IMGs and its the best you can do.
 

dbiddy808

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Being asked the "question" to me does not imply having to go to school "where poor people go" because that is the first time I have heard this. To me, it means having to justify going to a second rate school.

But whatever........not worth arguing about.
 

PoorPerson

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I just think it ironic that I just registered at this forum and I picked the username I did. Anyway, I wouldn't take it personally at all. I left my pride somewhere back in the 90's. She most likely doesn't know who is who, why you guys are doing it, and may even be nervous and a tad scared. I usually have alot of other stuff I am worried about besides something this silly. Look at it this way; if someone is trying to lighten your work load, let them. :D
 

erichaj

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You know what's funny about this.
A few years down the line. She may go into a hospital and the attending (who she won't ask where he went to Medical School) will be treating her and he will be from Ross or AUC or SGU.

EH.
 

BellKicker

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Try having an accent. Some patients almost consider it rude NOT to ask where you go to school.

Explaining why you sound like Hans and Franz every 10 minutes can get a little old.
 

McGillGrad

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BellKicker said:
Try having an accent. Some patients almost consider it rude NOT to ask where you go to school.

Explaining why you sound like Hans and Franz every 10 minutes can get a little old.




:laugh: :thumbup:
 

lealf-ye

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Holy s**t!!! I did not get into Harvard. What should I do if a patient say "only poor students don't get into Harvard"? :)
 

Leukocyte

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lealf-ye said:
Holy s**t!!! I did not get into Harvard. What should I do if a patient say "only poor students don't get into Harvard"? :)

Are you making fun of me Lealf-ye? :mad:

Oh well, I guess the first 4 words of your signiture are true then. :smuggrin:
 

daelroy

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Leukocyte

That is an unfortunate situation but realize as a physician you are going to deal with some wack-job patients. I'm sorry you had to deal with that but like Vent said; you will laugh about it in the future. It's part of the job. Case in point, an established ENT from an US MD school was complaining how a patient yelled at him for refusing to perform a rhinoplasty on her. He did the right thing by referring her to a plastic surgeon. There is no telling what was going on in her life but sometimes physicians will just be dealt with wacko patients. It just happens. She was the exception and not the rule. She sounded like she had issues to begin with.

Carribbean and DO labels are not monkeys on any of our backs. It's foolish to think of it that way. Yes, you will have a few patients every year who will question your credentials but what about those thousands of patients who could care less about your credentials. 99.9% of your patients will not care where you went to school. Focus on those patients and the not the strange ones.

Physicians are successfull people. And successfull people tend to be the most insecure and ego-driven. It's amazing how crushed I and any of us would feel if one crazy patient questions our credentials. We let it get to us for no reason even though logically we know that particular patient was the rare exception and that most our patients will not care. Funny how that works. That's why I think it's crazy when people do everything they can to avoid being a DO or FMG just so they never come accross that one wack-job patient who throw a hissy fit about your credentials. It's not worth letting it get to you whether you are an FMG or a DO.

Reality is relative. Your reality is defined by your perspective. Reality doesn't exist separate from your perspective. You can choose to focus on the 99.9% of patients will love you and not care about your credentials. Or you can choose to focus on the one one crazy patients you will experience from time to time. It's not a monkey on any of our backs. It's all in our heads.
 
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