Nov 10, 2013
4
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I think I am a gunner, and need some advice on how to stop.
I'm going to write about my thought process here and maybe you folks can help me (I would very much appreciate it).

I refuse to help people who I deem are my competition (essentially every pre-med student out there). Recently, for my Molecular Biology class we were given pretty tough homework problems to work on. I finished mine quickly, but I didn't want to check my answers with anyone else because I thought they would "steal my work." Essentially, I felt that they would just poach my hard work and get a better grade than me.

Second, a friend of mine wanted to split up a massive review for an upcoming exam. This would've been nice, but I lied and refused the offer mainly because I felt that if I gave him my knowledge, he would score better on the exam than me (which I don't want).

These things only occur with classmates and people who I consider are competition to me in applications. As a result, I hired a tutor to basically form a study group (someone who WASN'T pre-med, I might add, in order to keep away competition). However, I feel like I'm really missing out on a new way of studying by excluding other classmates from me. I'm never rude about what I do, but I'm incredibly secretive and I lie when asked about certain things.

I've realized that I'm reaching a point in my life where I need to decide which path to choose. I've heard only terrible things about gunners (typically failing out) and I also feel that there is a whole world of cooperative studying that I haven't explored. I don't ever step over anyone, I just refuse to share my work and refuse to cooperate on anything else. In the end, I truly believe that my classmates are my competition, so why should I help them? Why would they help me unless they've got some other ulterior motive?

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. I could use any advice or suggestions.
Thank you
 
Last edited:
Aug 27, 2013
503
158
Status
Medical Student
I can't tell if you are a troll or if this is serious.

But if this is serious, I think you have already identified the issue- your competitiveness destroys your team working capabilities, and, from what it sounds like, your people skills all around. Who cares if someone else gets a good grade too? You can still get in to medical school if someone else gets a good grade, heck even a better grade than you. In fact it would look better if you did work as a team. I had a few secondaries this year that asked me to describe a time I worked in a team situation. One was two pages long about physicians in teamwork.

And, someone in medical school will always get better grades than you so you may want to get over this thinking quickly.
 
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OP
I
Nov 10, 2013
4
1
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Pre-Medical
I can't tell if you are a troll or if this is serious.

But if this is serious, I think you have already identified the issue- your competitiveness destroys your team working capabilities, and, from what it sounds like, your people skills all around. Who cares if someone else gets a good grade too? You can still get in to medical school if someone else gets a good grade, heck even a better grade than you. In fact it would look better if you did work as a team. I had a few secondaries this year that asked me to describe a time I worked in a team situation. One was two pages long about physicians in teamwork.

And, someone in medical school will always get better grades than you so you may want to get over this thinking quickly.
This is a serious question, and thank you for your reply. I understand your viewpoint, but have you ever thought about the classmates being competition aspect? Aren't you essentially helping people who will be sending applications to same the medical schools as you?
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
This is a serious question, and thank you for your reply. I understand your viewpoint, but have you ever thought about the classmates being competition aspect? Aren't you essentially helping people who will be sending applications to same the medical schools as you?
Assuming you are serious and not a troll.

The world is not a zero-sum game. Life is not a zero sum game.

How do you stop? You recognize that fact and become a better person, because right now you sound like a pretty awful human being. If you are incapable of understanding the way in which the complexity of the world means that helping other people is not going to cause you harm, I wouldn't even know where to begin.
 

goforbroke754

Member
Aug 18, 2013
91
42
Status
Medical Student
So your thoughts are that everyone is your competition, essentially, right? And because of that, you don't want to engage with your peers for fear of being outcompeted based on your work.

Agree with ct303 that you need to critically look at the medical team. The changing role of healthcare dictates that we must be ready to engage in interprofessional teams, and if you are unwilling to work on that now, you're really stymying yourself for the future. (So i guess, 'tomorrow's gunner' will want to do tons of group work to put that on their apps, right?)

Things to think about:
1) In medical school, you WILL need help. Who will you turn to if you've alienated everyone?
2) In medical school, you WILL be required to work as a group. For example, no school I've seen has a 1:1 cadaver to student ratio, and there's no conceivable way you'd even be able to do all that dissection by yourself in the timeframe that the curriculum requires.
3) In the real world, your colleagues are your best resource when you are stumped on a patient. Is a patient really going to care if, instead of asking around on something, you spent hours reading online so that you could be the 'one who figured it out?' No, for you to be a quality physician, you need to work with other people.

Commit working with others to your internal processes and that should help on that front.

As for competition, you should realize that gpa is only one aspect of your med application. All things equal, say you work on a project/exam review together, and you get the same grade through collaboration. You still have MCAT, extracurriculars, and LORs that show you to be a quality applicant and set yourself apart.

in "Helping other people to be better" you're automatically assuming that you're better than them right? How do you know that your methods are the best, your scores are the best, and that those around you are only standing to gain? You can gain by new perspectives, new thoughts, and new ways of thinking about problems - even if you are getting A's on your exams. For example, in Orgo2, I always got A's, but when a peer and I studied together just once (who also got similar grades), they had this perspective that made everything just so much easier to comprehend.

In conclusion, I should be studying, but SDN is procrastinatory fodder. In order to stop being a gunner, simply put the gun down...?
 
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OP
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Nov 10, 2013
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Pre-Medical
I'm not entirely convinced, but I will try to form a group for this week. Maybe I need to try it out first so I can see what it's really like.
I will hopefully update soon. Thanks again
 

SunsFun

VICE president
7+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2011
2,621
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You should examine your reasons for wanting to go to medical school. As cliche as it sounds you must enjoy helping people just for the sake of helping people. Look, even if it slightly decreases my chances of acceptance (which doesn't really happen btw) I still feel great when I see people achieve their goals and do well after I help them. This is why people on SDN help others who are their competition. As much as I want to be a physician myself, I also want the best people to be part of this profession and in my view chill sociable and always helpful guys and girls should become doctors.
 
Nov 6, 2013
35
5
In an interview, a violin legend Ida Haendel said of people who might try to steal her ideas, "Who can reach them?" If you are supplying people with knowledge you have gained from your own hard work, it will only help them if they have already put in the hours of work needed to even understand what you're talking about. Supplying people with incomplete knowledge doesn't help them in the long-run, so if they are not working as hard as you they will not surpass you. Those people who are working just as hard as you are the ones who will help to strengthen your knowledge, give you tips on how to work more efficiently, help you feel less insecure about how you are coping with large course loads, and help elevate your understanding of the material.

Working with others on your same level helps the individual more than the collective, ideally because everyone has something unique to contribute. Teaching what you know solidifies your own knowledge. Learning different pathways for understanding material from others will only strengthen your own knowledge, and might even give you tricks that will help you work faster. I have never felt threatened by someone I felt was struggling in a place I am not struggling and it's only helped me to help them. On the other side, I've only been grateful to people who have contributed calculator advice or taught me more efficient ways of thinking about problems. Often, even teaching a concept to another person has helped me to form a more explicit knowledge of the material I am learning. There have been extremely busy semesters when the groups I have been in have truly saved my ass.
 

Mavs88

5+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2013
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I've sort of struggled with this before too, but a lot of people in undergrad courses are leeches lol.

I don't do group studying either, not because I don't want to help anyone but so far, it has never worked for me...probably because I'm with the wrong people.
 
Aug 8, 2013
1,395
903
Michigan
Status
Medical Student
Here is a thought to consider OP: there is a strong possibility that you are not the best/most intelligent pre-med at your school. You are so concerned about people doing better as a result of working with you - why doesn't that thought process go in both directions? Furthermore, I am no stranger to feeling as though classmates are taking advantage of me. Guess what, most of those people are not actually my competition. As a result of working hard for everything I have achieved, I have a better MCAT, I have better letters of recommendation, I have had more interesting experiences than those leeching classmates.

If you are as great as you seem to think (and maybe you are) you will get into the top schools regardless of how everyone else does. Don't you think that only getting into your top choice school because you sabotaged your competition is weak? I wouldn't want to be the best if I didn't know for sure that I was the best.
 
Nov 6, 2013
35
5
I've sort of struggled with this before too, but a lot of people in undergrad courses are leeches lol.

I don't do group studying either, not because I don't want to help anyone but so far, it has never worked for me...probably because I'm with the wrong people.
There are definitely people who are just a drain on your resources. But I'll be damned if a long, open study session at the learning center hasn't been a relatively painless way for getting near-perfect scores on a couple of finals. It's definitely exercised my interpersonal skills to organize such events, as well.
 

circulus vitios

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,255
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You're delusional if you think cooperation will keep you out of medical school. If anything, your nutjob personality will keep you out.
 

darkjedi

how did this get here I am not good with computer
7+ Year Member
Oct 14, 2009
2,986
2,938
If you keep this up, you will have a hard time succeeding in life. Don't be surprised if it bites you in the butt. Personalities like this can shine through in applications and interviews, and non-team players are the type of people actively selected against.
 

mcloaf

7+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2012
5,176
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Resident [Any Field]
If you can't work with other people you're gonna have a real bad time in medical school/medicine.
 

KnuxNole

Sweets Addict
10+ Year Member
May 3, 2006
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Attending Physician
I think I am a gunner, and need some advice on how to stop.
I'm going to write about my thought process here and maybe you folks can help me (I would very much appreciate it).

I refuse to help people who I deem are my competition (essentially every pre-med student out there). Recently, for my Molecular Biology class we were given pretty tough homework problems to work on. I finished mine quickly, but I didn't want to check my answers with anyone else because I thought they would "steal my work." Essentially, I felt that they would just poach my hard work and get a better grade than me.

Second, a friend of mine wanted to split up a massive review for an upcoming exam. This would've been nice, but I lied and refused the offer mainly because I felt that if I gave him my knowledge, he would score better on the exam than me (which I don't want).

These things only occur with classmates and people who I consider are competition to me in applications. As a result, I hired a tutor to basically form a study group (someone who WASN'T pre-med, I might add, in order to keep away competition). However, I feel like I'm really missing out on a new way of studying by excluding other classmates from me. I'm never rude about what I do, but I'm incredibly secretive and I lie when asked about certain things.

I've realized that I'm reaching a point in my life where I need to decide which path to choose. I've heard only terrible things about gunners (typically failing out) and I also feel that there is a whole world of cooperative studying that I haven't explored. I don't ever step over anyone, I just refuse to share my work and refuse to cooperate on anything else. In the end, I truly believe that my classmates are my competition, so why should I help them? Why would they help me unless they've got some other ulterior motive?

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. I could use any advice or suggestions.
Thank you
Remember, undergrad is NOT a competition. Classmates are NOT your competition. Medicine is NOT a competition. If they get a better grade than you, so freaking what? If you both get A's, you both get A's. Collaboration >>> Competition. I would want people on my team who works together and wants everyone to be the best they can be.

How to not be a gunner?
1) Help out people with tough homework problems. You seem smart enough to figure it out with no issues. But, you see your friends having trouble or there are some problems that you are unsure about. People want to help you just as you could help them out.

2) Split reviews with friends. You can focus on your half, and get taught the other half. Teaching your half can help reinforce the material.

3) Remember that everyone has the same goal. Everyone in undergrad wants to get through school and get a degree. Some want to go to grad or professional school. They all want to work hard.
 

KnuxNole

Sweets Addict
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May 3, 2006
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I'm not entirely convinced, but I will try to form a group for this week. Maybe I need to try it out first so I can see what it's really like.
I will hopefully update soon. Thanks again
I am confused why you aren't convinced. It should be obvious that there is 0 competition in your situation by a longshot.
 

youmed

7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2011
230
101
California
Status
Pre-Medical
I think I am a gunner, and need some advice on how to stop.
I'm going to write about my thought process here and maybe you folks can help me (I would very much appreciate it).

I refuse to help people who I deem are my competition (essentially every pre-med student out there). Recently, for my Molecular Biology class we were given pretty tough homework problems to work on. I finished mine quickly, but I didn't want to check my answers with anyone else because I thought they would "steal my work." Essentially, I felt that they would just poach my hard work and get a better grade than me.

Second, a friend of mine wanted to split up a massive review for an upcoming exam. This would've been nice, but I lied and refused the offer mainly because I felt that if I gave him my knowledge, he would score better on the exam than me (which I don't want).

These things only occur with classmates and people who I consider are competition to me in applications. As a result, I hired a tutor to basically form a study group (someone who WASN'T pre-med, I might add, in order to keep away competition). However, I feel like I'm really missing out on a new way of studying by excluding other classmates from me. I'm never rude about what I do, but I'm incredibly secretive and I lie when asked about certain things.

I've realized that I'm reaching a point in my life where I need to decide which path to choose. I've heard only terrible things about gunners (typically failing out) and I also feel that there is a whole world of cooperative studying that I haven't explored. I don't ever step over anyone, I just refuse to share my work and refuse to cooperate on anything else. In the end, I truly believe that my classmates are my competition, so why should I help them? Why would they help me unless they've got some other ulterior motive?

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. I could use any advice or suggestions.
Thank you
OP, remember that teaching another person is a great way to learn. So if you are uncomfortable showing your own work, why don't you try to teach it to them. Then, you will be able to separate those who want to learn from you from those who just want to copy your work and go on their way. This way, you can be surrounded by people who are genuine and honest regardless of them being your competitors. I think that a little bit of competition keeps you on your toes ;). Who knows? One day, you may need help from the people who "leeched" off of you, whether it be to find a research position from their labs or to become a member of their clubs.
 
OP
I
Nov 10, 2013
4
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you everyone. I set up a schedule with my friend for the questions and also will be helping some of my classmates with problems later this week. Hopefully this works out well. I am kind of excited actually.
 
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Aug 8, 2012
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Assuming you are serious and not a troll.

The world is not a zero-sum game. Life is not a zero sum game.

How do you stop? You recognize that fact and become a better person, because right now you sound like a pretty awful human being. If you are incapable of understanding the way in which the complexity of the world means that helping other people is not going to cause you harm, I wouldn't even know where to begin.
Awful human being. wtf. Stop with that. The person exposed their vulnerability on an online forum- talk about asking for an a**whooping.

Yo, OP. You're not awful. You're just naive. You need to realize that without people, and the relationships, love and support that come with being around people, especially those with common interests, life will suck (which may be what you're feeling already). You need to avoid people who think like you, or else you will only be enabled, and actually reach out intentionally to change this. If you're awesome, you'll always be awesome. Just cuz someone gets your help once or twice, or for an entire semester's class, doesn't mean they will steal your awesome. I'll admit that I don't want a lot of people to be more successful than me, but there are a handful of people that I nurtured throughout college that are now more competitive than me during this cycle or are just as competitive. On my bad, selfish days, I find myself tempted to regret it. That's human nature; however, I can confidently say that the loving, supporting relationships I had/have with them was self-satisfying and taught me a lot and made me a better person.
 

ZeaL6

Class of 2018
Dec 31, 2012
301
74
Status
Pre-Medical
Not only is the given information correct, but think about this: Teaching is one of the most important skills to facilitate your learning. Even if you know everything and a few friends don't, by teaching them you will be further cementing the knowledge in your brain and improving your communication skills. I wish you the best. I'm all about group studying and bouncing ideas off of others to improve my understanding. It really does work if you give it a chance.
 
Feb 9, 2013
321
32
Out West
Status
Pre-Medical
I think I am a gunner, and need some advice on how to stop.
I'm going to write about my thought process here and maybe you folks can help me (I would very much appreciate it).

I refuse to help people who I deem are my competition (essentially every pre-med student out there). Recently, for my Molecular Biology class we were given pretty tough homework problems to work on. I finished mine quickly, but I didn't want to check my answers with anyone else because I thought they would "steal my work." Essentially, I felt that they would just poach my hard work and get a better grade than me.

Second, a friend of mine wanted to split up a massive review for an upcoming exam. This would've been nice, but I lied and refused the offer mainly because I felt that if I gave him my knowledge, he would score better on the exam than me (which I don't want).

These things only occur with classmates and people who I consider are competition to me in applications. As a result, I hired a tutor to basically form a study group (someone who WASN'T pre-med, I might add, in order to keep away competition). However, I feel like I'm really missing out on a new way of studying by excluding other classmates from me. I'm never rude about what I do, but I'm incredibly secretive and I lie when asked about certain things.

I've realized that I'm reaching a point in my life where I need to decide which path to choose. I've heard only terrible things about gunners (typically failing out) and I also feel that there is a whole world of cooperative studying that I haven't explored. I don't ever step over anyone, I just refuse to share my work and refuse to cooperate on anything else. In the end, I truly believe that my classmates are my competition, so why should I help them? Why would they help me unless they've got some other ulterior motive?

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. I could use any advice or suggestions.
Thank you
It almost sounds like you are insecure about your own capabilities. You feel others will do better than you if you help them? The way to be the best is to study hard and do he best you can...not to bring others down.

If you really think a student having half of a study guide that you made will make a difference in the application cycle, you should look more into the application cycle. Grades are just one component. One test in one class one semester has zero effect on med school applications.
 
Oct 27, 2013
527
193
Status
Pre-Medical
So this is what it's like to be a gunner: afraid of others stealing your work…. being secretive, and lying to others … fearful, competitive, and above all, arrogantly proud, too proud, to be a team player. How unpleasant! Maybe I should say thank you. Thank you for your honesty and maybe, for recognizing that this life as you describe it stinks and you want to change it. Good for you. One best way to stop being a gunner is to start to enjoy life. Learn that it takes risks and that some risks fail. And that's okay. And eventually I hope you learn to trust others.
 

The_Bird

SDN Bronze Donor
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2011
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I agree that the encouragement of others here to involve yourself with your classmates in study can go a long way in helping you learn the information. However, I think you may have an underdeveloped sense of concern for the well-being and success of others. In a profession where the chief concern is the wel-being and progress of other people besides yourself, having a personality which gains some sort of satisfaction from that is important. I know personalities don't easily change, but involving yourself with the learning of your peers may open you up a bit to the reality and weight of their struggles, successes and individualities, and make you a more caring and open person who is receptive to the problems and uniqueness of those around you. I hope your forays into social interaction help you 'stop being a gunner'. Good luck!
 

Carl Seitan

Best poster ever
5+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2013
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OP, I think everyone here has, at one point or another, had thoughts similar to yours. You are fortunate in that you have the capacity to analyze your own behaviors and make the decision to change them.

When I was moving through transitory periods, I often found it helpful to have a mantra that embodied the change or improvement I hoped to make. For you, that may be something like "I don't elevate myself by letting others fall".
 
Nov 11, 2013
2
0
Status
Pre-Dental
That's human nature; however, I can confidently say that the loving, supporting relationships I had/have with them was self-satisfying and taught me a lot and made me a better person.
 

Bluepanda87

5+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2011
90
33
Status
Medical Student
I'm really happy to hear you've decided to try to form a group! If the "being a kind, helpful person is universally considered a good thing, and will likely greatly enhance your life" argument still doesn't quite make sense to you, perhaps try looking at it from a "gunner" perspective. It will be literally impossible for you to get through medical school and practice as a doctor by working alone. Even if you study alone and can handle the academics solo, you will be forced to work in groups on many occasions and heavily during 3rd and 4th year. After that, you'll be a doctor; have you ever heard of a doctor who practices completely alone? Even if you work in a single provider private practice setting (SUPER rare,) you'll likely still have people helping you run your clinic. And that's not even taking into account the fact that, if you do not have honed social skills and the ability to work with people you would rather not work with, you will very likely lose patients. Frankly, there's a very practical reason medical admissions deans are leaning more and more these days towards well-rounded people with competent team work skills; it's not just mushy mumbo-jumbo.

Even if you're a little hesitant, maybe try thinking about these study groups as "studying" how to work in groups and be a part of a team. Just like academics, this is something that needs to be practiced and honed, and I think this is a great opportunity! And who knows...maybe after putting yourself out there, you'll start to see how awesome helping others and working with a solid group can be! :)
 

touchpause13

nolite te bastardes carborundorum
5+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2012
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My grandfather always told me that the person you screw over is going to end up being the one person you need help from later in life. I think his point stands.

OP you can't do this by yourself. No one can. I'm glad you have the self awareness to realize your flaws and are making attempts to rectify them.

Remember this is not a zero sum game, if someone else succeeds that does not mean you will fail. Especially at the undergrad level where the vast majority of your classmates will not be applying to the same schools at the same time as you. My ochem study group had pre-dent, chemE and premeds who all brought unique ways of thinking about problems. Asking questions and teaching some of them new things was the best study tool I ever had.

And remember the entire point of becoming a physician is to help people- don't lose sight of that.
 

Anicetus

5+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2013
1,499
1,198
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There were gunners even in undergrad.

My view on it is this. If you are "gunning down students" by lying, blatantly refusing to answer questions, or giving wrong information, or even going out of your way to hopefully lower someone's class rank, you are just not confident in yourself and your ability to become the best doctor you can be.

Legitimate gunning is a confidence issue. Work on that and focus on yourself and your management instead of trying to screw over others.

I also really hope that "gunner" isn't going to be thrown around loosely because I've heard some medical students refer to the person that studies a lot as a gunner, which is ridiculous in my mind. Gunning isn't working harder than anyone else or studying 24-7. That's just ambition.
 

astromfs

1.622 m/s^2
Oct 27, 2013
44
31
I gave out knowledge and helped others pre-med during undergrad. I did all this because I was sure that I was going to perform better than most of them, I even used my teaching session to close friends as practice.

There were always things I did not share.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,556
76,178
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
100% agree! OP, if trust issues continue to be a problem, suggest going to your school's counseling center.

OP, remember that teaching another person is a great way to learn. So if you are uncomfortable showing your own work, why don't you try to teach it to them. Then, you will be able to separate those who want to learn from you from those who just want to copy your work and go on their way. This way, you can be surrounded by people who are genuine and honest regardless of them being your competitors. I think that a little bit of competition keeps you on your toes ;). Who knows? One day, you may need help from the people who "leeched" off of you, whether it be to find a research position from their labs or to become a member of their clubs.
 

Aerus

Elemental Alchemist
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Apr 21, 2012
3,221
2,369
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Medical Student
I'm the exact opposite. I always offer to help if someone needs it and won't refuse help when asked. Why? Not only is it actually a great study technique to teach others the material, I'm confident that I can do well in the course that I don't need to "prevent others from doing well" either. I don't see anything wrong with helping other people succeed with you.

Medicine is a collaborative field. You're going to find a lot of difficulty and pain working in this field of practice if you keep up that attitude.
 

ynot89125

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
5+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2011
143
35
Status
Medical Student
I think I am a gunner, and need some advice on how to stop.
I'm going to write about my thought process here and maybe you folks can help me (I would very much appreciate it).

I refuse to help people who I deem are my competition (essentially every pre-med student out there). Recently, for my Molecular Biology class we were given pretty tough homework problems to work on. I finished mine quickly, but I didn't want to check my answers with anyone else because I thought they would "steal my work." Essentially, I felt that they would just poach my hard work and get a better grade than me.

Second, a friend of mine wanted to split up a massive review for an upcoming exam. This would've been nice, but I lied and refused the offer mainly because I felt that if I gave him my knowledge, he would score better on the exam than me (which I don't want).

These things only occur with classmates and people who I consider are competition to me in applications. As a result, I hired a tutor to basically form a study group (someone who WASN'T pre-med, I might add, in order to keep away competition). However, I feel like I'm really missing out on a new way of studying by excluding other classmates from me. I'm never rude about what I do, but I'm incredibly secretive and I lie when asked about certain things.

I've realized that I'm reaching a point in my life where I need to decide which path to choose. I've heard only terrible things about gunners (typically failing out) and I also feel that there is a whole world of cooperative studying that I haven't explored. I don't ever step over anyone, I just refuse to share my work and refuse to cooperate on anything else. In the end, I truly believe that my classmates are my competition, so why should I help them? Why would they help me unless they've got some other ulterior motive?

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. I could use any advice or suggestions.
Thank you

I think you need to see the greater ramifications of your actions and beliefs. Yes if you continue down this path you may get better grades than your classmates and get into a better medical school and this may even get you through medical school but then what? As a resident are you going to hide patients information from other residents so that you can have the best case presentation during rounds? (unethical and if i'm not mistake can get you in big trouble) As a physician are you going to not collaborate with other doctors so that you can gain the most credit for a patient success? (unlikely this would even work)

In the end I think you need to look more long term. You actions and beliefs will end up destroying you. No one wants to work with someone that doesn't want to cooperate. If you don't want to cooperate then you should look elsewhere for a profession.

Apologies if I sound at all harsh but I really believe that you are going down a path that will only lead to failure.
 

NuttyEngDude

Red-Flagville
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Oct 28, 2010
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Status
Pre-Medical
I think I am a gunner, and need some advice on how to stop.

I'm going to write about my thought process here and maybe you folks can help me (I would very much appreciate it)....I also feel that there is a whole world of cooperative studying that I haven't explored...

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. I could use any advice or suggestions.
Thank you
The overarching goal in this is that you need to fix your outlook. It is one thing to feel like you are being used but quite another to feel you are helping the "competition." Having a few good trustworthy friends to consult to figure out what is going on is a good idea. If friendship is an area you are lacking, as others are hinting at with the self-esteem thing, then I think you should work on this before forming a group. Once you get this solved and have a strong sense of self, then give it an honest go. It does take a lot to believe that it does not degenerate into a competition. Our society sort of fuels this and in some cases, professors do too with bell curves and set number of A's. In part of your active efforts to fix this you can try to avoid known professors that tend to pit students against each other. TA's who tell you to "hope your classmates do worse than you" are to be avoided if possible (yes I have TA's that have done this).

My suggestion is, if you form a group that is less than ideal, keep trying. Like the dating world, you will encounter leeches, users and people looking to take advantage of your resources, but when you get a good working relationship going, it is worth it. When forming groups, be open minded but be vigilant. I've joined study groups where it has degenerated into folks trying to find out about other people's medical school applications, a "scope out the competition" endeavor. These are toxic and should be avoided and these people should not be in your groups. I've also joined groups where it has been a very good and helpful exchange of ideas and knowledge. These surpass even the best individual study efforts.

My other suggestions is, if you've tried this for a while, like a couple semesters, and you find your studying productivity is much worse than before then stop the groups. That is, know when to quit. In my situation, I've formed groups but eventually decided it was not for me (my grades started to go down) and have stuck to studying by myself more. This does not mean I am not open to groups, but I know when they are not beneficial for me. Roughly speaking, in less than 30% of the cases I benefit, but this is a different strokes for different learning styles thing, not everyone learns the same way and that goes with group learning vs. individual study. I've encountered people who have wanted me to join their study groups and get very sore if I say "no" but it goes with my next point.

From observing the most successful students, it's not a formula they follow such as "oh I form study groups," or "oh I write my notes with a small keyword list in the margin," or "oh flashcard before bed," or "oh i like to use the word 'oh' incessantly," it is that they know how to best use their time. If they go to TA led study sessions and don't find them beneficial, then they stop going, and they are rather fast to figure out what is beneficial and what is not. The underperforming student keeps doing things that are bad for them. If you have a good group then you may come out ahead but if you spend all your time trying to build one, then you wont.

Anyways, sorry for the tangent, but I think I might be touching on a few things in your thought process.