how long does it take med school students to become desensitized to things

ronaldo23

The Truth
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2007
994
0
Status
Medical Student
like blood, stools, naked old people, childbirth, bad smells, basically anything that a non-medical person would find "gross"
 

p30doc

Ever true and unwavering
10+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2007
2,370
46
Status
Attending Physician
like blood, stools, naked old people, childbirth, bad smells, basically anything that a non-medical person would find "gross"
over 9000 seconds, also I am sure it depends on the person!
 

87138

Guest
10+ Year Member
Jan 15, 2006
2,879
14
Status
Medical Student
like blood, stools, naked old people, childbirth, bad smells, basically anything that a non-medical person would find "gross"


If you've played your cards right, you've already been exposed to - and have become desensitized to - these things by the time you get ready to apply to medical school.
 

mdgator

10+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2008
444
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't know about "gross" stuff. But things like pain and suffering (both physical and emotional), human cruelty, and even death...I'd say it happens frighteningly quickly. Don't know if this is necessarily a good thing...maybe it's a necessary one. But when I first started working at the ER that I've worked at for the past year, I thought about thest things that I saw at work constantly. Now, 11 months later, I can't even remember the last time that I really thought about work after I clocked out. (Sorry for the slightly unrelated post...but if you adapt as quickly to gross things, I'd say it only takes 4 or 5 months. Hope I don't sound like a complet jackass or tool...it's late and I'm medicated, and that's my excuse.
 

ineedsleep

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2007
197
0
The other side of the country
Status
Resident [Any Field]
like blood, stools, naked old people, childbirth, bad smells, basically anything that a non-medical person would find "gross"
There are different time periods for everyone. Some people who worked in medicine before hand are good day one. Anatomy lab does wonders for you. By the end of third year most people are pretty good with all this stuff. Doesn't mean we don't find it "gross", you just can hide it well. There are still a couple things that still bother me. They are mainly found under bad smell category. Some people are never good with some of that stuff and find specialties to match their sensitivities.
 

LUCPM

10+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2007
563
118
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm not in med school yet but have worked at a long-term care facility for quite some time. One thing I can't seem to get myself desensitized is a colostomy bag.
 

TheRealMD

"The Mac Guy"
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 23, 2007
4,769
9
Houston, Texas
Status
Medical Student
That sensitivity means you're still human. :p
 

kevster2001

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2004
1,350
2
Status
Medical Student
Depends. Dont have too much exp but my first male genital/rectal exam was weird but got over the gross factor right away. As for cadavers, once youre dissecting some very specific spot, you basically forget that it was a human being. Kind of sad but can't constantly think about that stuff.
 

The Doctor

EMH Mark I
10+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2007
236
5
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I don't know about "gross" stuff. But things like pain and suffering (both physical and emotional), human cruelty, and even death...I'd say it happens frighteningly quickly.
I know I can never forget some of the experiences of anatomy lab. It's just not natural. Though I chose not to attend many of the lab sessions, I think it's something that impacts you on a very deep level, and some people more intensely than others. I had trouble sleeping and eating for a while, but most of my classmates didn't seem to have this trouble. Even for me, the feelings quickly passed.

I don't know - for me, I've eventually gotten used to the physical/gross things - dissecting people, naked people, touching people, and disturbing pictures. After a while, you really don't think anything of it anymore. That said, the more difficul part for me is the mindset of medicine. I never get used to the idea of suffering, the fact that people are constantly dying in the hospital, getting diagnosed with leukemia, or having terrible chronic pain. Suffering and disease, learning about the inexorable deterioration of the human body - I think this is what you don't get used to, and if you are a young and relatively sheltered individual like I am, it may take some getting used to in terms of facing your own mortality.

Don't worry though, plenty of time to work thru these things!
 

jimboapu

10+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2008
33
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm not in med school yet but have worked at a long-term care facility for quite some time. One thing I can't seem to get myself desensitized is a colostomy bag.
ya, thats a rough one
 

ChubbyChaser

Yummmy
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2007
13,168
5
Status
Medical Student
I still laugh at the word testicles and at the sight of boobies....am I in trouble?
 

paranoid_eyes

10+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2006
692
1
Status
Pre-Medical
i can't stand the sight of blood or visible symptoms of infectious diseases (like smallpox or plague). Really makes me sick. But then again, i wanna go into psychiatry so it's all good :D
 

SaveThisLabRat

$700 Billion Dollar Woman
10+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2007
1,095
1
California *\o/*
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
All I had to do was watch 2 Girls 1 Cup a few times and I was good to go.