TheBiologist

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Do you have time/energy to keep up with many relationships?

Or is it like you have one good buddy you hang out with/study with and maybe a girlfriend/boyfriend?

or do you have no time at all for relationships..
 

DocFarnsworth

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If you don't have time for relationships at all you aren't doing med school right. Or life right..

Got a solid group of 5-10 close friends I see a lot. More that I can always hang with or see on weekends. As 2-4th year go on I imagine that number will shrink up a bit.


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Foot Fetish

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I'm an incoming M1 starting in 2 weeks. I have a fiancee, and I'm not really planning on making any true friends in medical school. I'm not there to make friends. I'm there to learn. I feel like the people who get to med school and are hyper-social and/or looking to go out and party are the ones who were neurotic premeds who never really lived it up in undergrad. I partied like crazy in undergrad, and now I no longer have any interest in that lifestyle. It's time to put away childish things.

And yeah, I know that being social doesn't necessarily mean partying.
 
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I'm an incoming M1 starting in 2 weeks. I have a fiancee, and I'm not really planning on making any true friends in medical school. I'm not there to make friends. I'm there to learn. I feel like the people who get to med school and are hyper-social and/or looking to go out and party are the ones who were neurotic premeds who never really lived it up in undergrad. I partied like crazy in undergrad, and now I no longer have any interest in that lifestyle. It's time to put away childish things.

And yeah, I know that being social doesn't necessarily mean partying.
Oi vey. Your life must be enjoyable. I lived it up then and will continue to live it up all the way through my professional life.

Networking is important. Having a good social life, both in school and out, are important.
 

docbsb2015

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I'm an incoming M1 starting in 2 weeks. I have a fiancee, and I'm not really planning on making any true friends in medical school. I'm not there to make friends. I'm there to learn. I feel like the people who get to med school and are hyper-social and/or looking to go out and party are the ones who were neurotic premeds who never really lived it up in undergrad. I partied like crazy in undergrad, and now I no longer have any interest in that lifestyle. It's time to put away childish things.

And yeah, I know that being social doesn't necessarily mean partying.
You're gonna need more than your fiancee. Make some friends and don't approach med school isolated like that.
 

witzelsucht

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you're gonna spend a lot of time with these dudes. even if you hide in your room and "crush anki cards" like they "crush ritalins" as the children are fond of doing, those 12 hour days on IM service go quicker when you can chill with your homies in the work room or the cafeteria instead of jerking off your attending with a copy of cecil medicine
 

ndafife

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You're gonna spend a lot of time with the same people. You're gonna make friends. You're gonna need friends. My class overall is pretty close/good friends with each other but I'd say there are probably 5-10 people that I'd consider my really good friends.

That said, not being from the area my school is in, I have no friends outside of my classmates to hang out with. I still keep pretty good contact with friends from HS/undergrad, but as the year winds down you'll notice the list of people you talk to regularly gets narrower.
 
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Foot Fetish

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those 12 hour days on IM service go quicker when you can chill with your homies in the work room or the cafeteria instead of jerking off your attending with a copy of cecil medicine
But who is gonna get the better evaluation in the end? If you do what others won't do today, then tomorrow you'll be doing what others can't.
 
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Syncrohnize

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My class is a bit large. Cliques have formed and I usually keep to myself because I don't really fit well into any clique per se. I've made a good 5-10 friends that I really like, but I wouldn't consider them super close. I had one close friend coming into medical school who I've kept and I make it a priority to keep in touch with most of my close friends.
 

Syncrohnize

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That's a really terrible outlook to have. Good luck with it. Every class has 1...
But who is gonna get the better evaluation in the end? If you do what others won't do today, then tomorrow you'll be doing what others can't.
But who is gonna get the better evaluation in the end? If you do what others won't do today, then tomorrow you'll be doing what others can't.
"


Meh, Foot Fetish, I don't think you've got the worst attitude out there like Ndadife mentions. As a fellow introvert, I can slightly relate to it and it's more like every class has 100, but you don't see them so you never notice them. Definitely go in focused, but don't act super keen on doing well or like ask any gunner-ish questions in front of the whole auditorium during orientation or something...that's what really leads to people judging you. If you go in, keep to yourself (you have a fiance for crying out loud), and just do your work, you will be fine. Friends are always awesome to have, but never necessary.

One thing that may have put Ndafife of was when you said "true friends"...as if to imply you don't think anyone in your class is genuine enough to be welcomed into your rich inner life (that's just how I subjectively interpreted that)...stay away from that. Go in with low expectations, do go to a few orientation parties, talk to people at required events, and just be a pleasant person.
 

Syncrohnize

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But who is gonna get the better evaluation in the end? If you do what others won't do today, then tomorrow you'll be doing what others can't.

Evaluations probably don't have much to do with kissing your attending's ass. Some may like it, others may see it as being too much as a try-hard.
 
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thatwouldbeanarchy

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But who is gonna get the better evaluation in the end?
Not having a social life doesn't necessarily make you a better student. I could easily see how someone who tries for school/life balance, studies when they need to, and makes time for relaxation and (gasp) fun might actually do better than someone who self-isolates. Bottom line: do whatever makes you happy. But stop thinking that your way is the only way.
 
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ndafife

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"


Meh, Foot Fetish, I don't think you've got the worst attitude out there like Ndadife mentions. As a fellow introvert, I can slightly relate to it and it's more like every class has 100, but you don't see them so you never notice them. Definitely go in focused, but don't act super keen on doing well or like ask any gunner-ish questions in front of the whole auditorium during orientation or something...that's what really leads to people judging you. If you go in, keep to yourself (you have a fiance for crying out loud), and just do your work, you will be fine. Friends are always awesome to have, but never necessary.

One thing that may have put Ndafife of was when you said "true friends"...as if to imply you don't think anyone in your class is genuine enough to be welcomed into your rich inner life (that's just how I subjectively interpreted that)...stay away from that. Go in with low expectations, do go to a few orientation parties, talk to people at required events, and just be a pleasant person.
There is a difference between being introverted and being the gunner who doesn't want to be friends with anyone. The latter is pretty much the worst attitude out there.
 
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Dr. Death

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you're gonna spend a lot of time with these dudes. even if you hide in your room and "crush anki cards" like they "crush ritalins" as the children are fond of doing, those 12 hour days on IM service go quicker when you can chill with your homies in the work room or the cafeteria instead of jerking off your attending with a copy of cecil medicine
Or you can not be an antisocial tool and still do well in school.

I don't know where people come up with these false dichotomies.
Witzelsucht made the false dichotomy
 

markrivers

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i'm in family medicine residency program
So that means when i need a specialist, i will refer to a general surgeon, ophthalmologist, urologist, orthopedics etc
so if we're friends or you were at least sociable when we were in class, YOU"LL get the referral vs someone who i don't know at all.

and that's how networking works guys.
 

Crayola227

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I'm an incoming M1 starting in 2 weeks. I have a fiancee, and I'm not really planning on making any true friends in medical school. I'm not there to make friends. I'm there to learn. I feel like the people who get to med school and are hyper-social and/or looking to go out and party are the ones who were neurotic premeds who never really lived it up in undergrad. I partied like crazy in undergrad, and now I no longer have any interest in that lifestyle. It's time to put away childish things.

And yeah, I know that being social doesn't necessarily mean partying.
That's a shame. You can make friends and learn at the same time. Since you seem like a gunner or something or someone that just cares about how things relate to your career, below I also give practical reasons how friends in med school can help.

Sometimes you'll have to work with others in small groups or other projects. Having friends can help if you have to miss lecture and could use notes, other tips about what you missed. Having friends can help you for your 3rd year to gather more info to help you succeed in clerkships or parts of the clerkship you haven't done yet, they can give you the scoop on working with different residents/attending. This sort of interpersonal angle is much of your grade.
Sharing books or study materials can help save money or figure out what are the best resources.
Some things are best studied with friends, like practicing the physical exam for OSCEs, or learning physiology which can take a lot of white board reasoning.
Having friends can help so you don't overload your other relationships venting about what a unique experience you're going through. Your fiancee might be grateful you have some med school friends. They might be grateful to have the partners of your med school friends to talk about what a unique experience that is.
Even with a fiancee medical school is quite the stressful experience.
Having friends can help you make contacts with upperclassmen which can lead to getting tips, inheriting good research projects, or having leadership roles passed down to you.
Having friends can help you get involved in extracurricular groups or leadership positions we all do as part of our CV filler for getting accepted for VSAS away rotations and ERAS. Also, getting to know other students also going into your same field can help you get a scoop on what different programs/interviews are like as you go on the trail.
Having friends can help as there are certain awards/honors in med school that are voted on and can also help your CV.
You never know where people end up after med school or residency. Sometimes people can be poised in interesting ways to make an impact in your career like with hiring, etc later on down the road.
Also, when your class graduates and everyone gets scattered to the winds, sometimes it's nice to know other residents outside your program to talk to.
Developing a reputation can help. There were upperclassmen that were residents at the program I matched to. We knew some of the same people. Some ended up being my senior, and they eval you. Did that have an impact? I dunno. Also, some of my classmates matched to my same program.
If you end up having any issues in med school, like a patient or classmate or resident or attending is out to get you and you get hauled into the Dean's office for no good reason (so don't act like this can't happen to you) having friends that can vouch for your character can help.

I see you're starting MS1 soon. You probably don't know enough about the process to declare at this moment that you don't need friends. You won't need them, uh, until you do!
 
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Crayola227

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I had maybe 4 or 5 close friends in medical school, and some good acquaintances beyond that.

You have some time to make friends. Sometimes that time is studying together!

Sometimes the two of you have to get your calendar/day planner out and make an appointment for 3 weeks in advance! That's normal. Make an effort, but everyone is just as busy as you so med school friends tend to be pretty understanding when they don't see you for 4 weeks while you're on your surg rotation. You'll make the sort of friends that are more likely to be understanding of this sort of thing. I feel like my med school friends were all people that we could not talk for like 2 months and just pick up like no time had gone by at all.
 

sliceofbread136

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But who is gonna get the better evaluation in the end? If you do what others won't do today, then tomorrow you'll be doing what others can't.
Hate to break it to you, but the person who is better socially is more likely to get the better eval.

Not being a tool/gunner also carries its own intrinsic benefits, such as the ability to have a soul
 

Crayola227

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But who is gonna get the better evaluation in the end? If you do what others won't do today, then tomorrow you'll be doing what others can't.
The person who is likable will. The one who comes off like a douche will get the lower grade.

It's hilarious because I always go off about how much I dislike surgery, and it was one of my highest clinical grades. Wanna know why? It wasn't because I knew so much anatomy.

It was because I was affable and made people laugh. I'd make the attendings laugh at the table. I could tell the Chief liked me and thought I was a cool person.

I've had residents and attending basically assign me movies and tv shows to watch! Doing that and taking interest in those things goes pretty far.

I say over and over, if you have the chance to open your mouth and appear smart, or you can say something that will make you seem more likeable, go with likeable every single time. I saw doing the former burn people, and the latter get total idiots better evals.

Being fun to hang out with in the workroom/cafeteria with your fellow students/residents/attendings goes far. Contributing to that sense of "family" that often develops in the trenches.

All of this is going to affect the comments section on your evals which make it to your Dean's letter. What do you want yours to say? Program directors are going see your numbers. But there's only 3 things about your that tell them about what sort of person you are and what it would be like to work with you. The dean's letter, LORs, PS. Only one do you get to write.

How do you think you get good LORs? What do you want those to say? How you masturbated them with knowledge? Or how you worked hard to help others on your team, how good you were at creating rapport with ancillary staff, your team, those supervising you? The character and interpersonal skills are more highly prized than knowledge base. Knowledge base is easy to measure/gauge, and even improve. Residencies want you to 1) have good work ethic. 2) get along with others. 3) have a good knowledge base. Pretty much in that order.

yeah, I've worked hard, know some stuff, and am good at taking standardized tests. But if you had to ask me what's gotten me this far in life, I would say whatever charm it is that I have.
 

Foot Fetish

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Just because you don't hang out with people outside of school doesn't mean that you can't be cordial and respectful with everyone you work with. I'm by no means a gunner. I'm just really introverted and feel more comfortable staying in and watching Netflix by myself or talking on the phone with my family versus going out to a bar with classmates. I think people tend to really overestimate the value of networking in medicine. This isn't business school. Talk is cheap. If you bust your ass and prove yourself, you'll get to where you want to go, with or without friends. Friends are a luxury, not a necessity.
 

solitarius

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Reality: unless you go to some regional school, your class is going to get dispersed widely. Chances you'll all practice in the same area is slim.

Professionals refer patients to competent people who their patients like and whoever is in network, not medical school homies.
 
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lymphocyte

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Friends are a luxury, not a necessity.
I just want to give you a hug. Friends are neither a luxury nor a necessity. Friends are human beings that you care about and who care about you. And you don't "have" friends. You are a friend. You don't wait to be invited to things; you invite others to things. You don't count the number of "Happy Birthdays" you get on Facebook; you reach out and say "Happy Birthday" to others because you actually care about them. Over time, being a friend, you'll find yourself in a supportive network of love and mutual consideration. No man is an island, and the bell tolls for thee.

David Brooks wrote a lovely set of articles on "Eulogy Virtues" vs "Resume Virtues." I think all the high-achievers in medicine would benefit from at least pondering over it. http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=1083

About once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.

When I meet such a person it brightens my whole day. But I confess I often have a sadder thought: It occurs to me that I’ve achieved a decent level of career success, but I have not achieved that. I have not achieved that generosity of spirit, or that depth of character.

A few years ago I realized that I wanted to be a bit more like those people. I realized that if I wanted to do that I was going to have to work harder to save my own soul. I was going to have to have the sort of moral adventures that produce that kind of goodness. I was going to have to be better at balancing my life.

It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?

We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.​

PS: @markrivers is 100% correct. It's why lots of PCPs get a ton of Christmas cards or whatever from other specialists. Primary care doctors hold a lot of power. The world is much more than board scores, AOA, and "competence." That doesn't mean you should treat people as instruments in achieving some other goal. But who you know (and how you've treated them) makes a tremendous difference in medicine and in life.
 
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I'd make room for 3-5 close friends, and just be aware that since we lack time to burn, close friends in medical school don't do the same things close friends in high school or UG would do.
Being married and commuting ~45 min to school one way makes having friends hard for me, but I'd be pretty miserable if I didn't hang out with people occasionally :)
 

mehc012

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Hanging out with people occasionally and actually being close friends with them are very different things.
I can BS in the break room no problem. I can get to know people, remember their birthdays, or bake cakes on special occasions (or just because). I've done all of those things with my school and work relationships in the past. That doesn't make them my actual close friends, though.
Being social doesn't mean having friends, and vice versa.
 
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CharakaComplex

I've got around 10-12 good friends with whom I've got a solid rapport. Honestly sometimes it's just really nice to have a bunch of people to whom you can safely bitch. That way you can disperse the bitching around and not feel like you're overloading a specific person with your verbal incontinence.

If you want to look at it in a logistical way, the benefits of investing a part of your time each week into making strong friends with someone do decisively outweigh the costs. In fact I don't think there are costs at all, so long as you know to make friends with people who aren't massive cocks. The point of having strong relationships with at least 2-3 people in your environment at all times is: a) they feel like doing Nice Things for you if you are nice to them; b) aforementioned safely bitching = catharsis; and c) emotional support of having people apart from your one and only who understand/support you and fulfil your needs.

I'm ambiverted so sometimes I just feel exhausted interacting with people - I can def empathise there. Yes it does mean having to put on an extroverted face sometimes and doing what your friends like but is it worth it??? Hell yes. Four years is a long time. Don't spend them alone.
 
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I got engaged after MS1 and married during MS3. I still have 5-6 close friends and 10-15 people I see socially once in a while from my class. I would not survive without them. My husband is non medical which is phenomenal when I want to come home and NOT talk medicine for a night but not great when I want to commiserate about school. He also travels for work a lot during certain months and if I only had him I would be alone for every weekend in the spring basically. Also, my husband has a few close friends in my med school class as well (which are in the 10-15 but not necessarily my close 5) so it has been good for expanding his social circle as well!

Having friends is fun and also serves a helpful function for book exchanges in 3-4th year, sharing notes and tips, and other things you will inevitably need help from another med student with that you will need people on your side for!
 
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I would have never made it through med school without the friends I made in my class. Keeping on each other for course work, test taking advice, last minute "hey I read about this the other night" that ended up showing on exams, shared USMLE panic, to disseminating useful information during clinicals, scoops on the last rotation, or advice and deadline reminders for residency. And even though I don't keep in touch with most of them as much now that we're all scattered in terms of life and specialty, I still treasure my interactions with them for those 4 years.

No man is an island.
 
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Do you have time/energy to keep up with many relationships?

Or is it like you have one good buddy you hang out with/study with and maybe a girlfriend/boyfriend?

or do you have no time at all for relationships..
It really depends where you go to school, some people see their classmates for the first two year then never see them again only until graduation day, this is particularly the case with DO and offshore schools, at MD schools that have their own secure rotation sites this is less of an issue, so you wind up seeing the same people for four years and your odds of building close relationships are better. I got to know some people during my first two years and then lost contact with them during my last two years and then only saw them for a brief moment during the graduation ceremony, some I did not see at all ever again.

Class sizes are smaller, you have a lot more work and are more focused, also there are a lot of people who are married. Some people get married though in medical school so you really never know. My undergraduate class size was roughly six times larger than my DO class size.

Social life in medical school was not as varied as it was in undergrad, at least that was my feeling but I am not alone in my view.
 
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It really depends where you go to school, some people see their classmates for the first two year then never see them again only until graduation day, this is particularly the case with DO and offshore schools, at MD schools that have their own secure rotation sites this is less of an issue, so you wind up seeing the same people for four years and your odds of building close relationships are better. I got to know some people during my first two years and then lost contact with them during my last two years and then only saw them for a brief moment during the graduation ceremony, some I did not see at all ever again.

Class sizes are smaller, you have a lot more work and are more focused, also there are a lot of people who are married. Some people get married though in medical school so you really never know. My undergraduate class size was roughly six times larger than my DO class size.

Social life in medical school was not as varied as it was in undergrad, at least that was my feeling but I am not alone in my view.
I actually disagree that social life is less varied than undergrad. My undergrad was a pretty big party school so socializing was mostly drinking. My med school has a decent sized group who are still big partiers. My group somewhere in the middle. Some people with kids who mostly spend time with their families and other families with kids, etc. people are at much more varied stages of life
 
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I think people tend to really overestimate the value of networking in medicine.
This is so incorrect.

Yes, "networking" with your peers that are at the bottom of your class and get hammered every weekend is probably not going to be fruitful. But you are misinformed if you think for even a moment that networking and making connections doesn't propel you in the residency, fellowship, and job market. The value of networking only increases as your go up; i.e. many jobs are only acquired through networking. Many, many fellowship spots are ONLY filled through networking.
 
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I actually disagree that social life is less varied than undergrad. My undergrad was a pretty big party school so socializing was mostly drinking. My med school has a decent sized group who are still big partiers. My group somewhere in the middle. Some people with kids who mostly spend time with their families and other families with kids, etc. people are at much more varied stages of life
What I meant by varied is that in undergrad you meet people with different aspirations in life, in medical school everyone is doing the same exact thing. Also there are a lot more people in undergrad, its also the first time away from home for most people, so its more fun.

You have a point that people in medical school tend to be established in their personal lives, so someone looking to break into a social circle might have difficulties compared to an undergraduate school.

I went to a DO school, so after the first two years, I wound up being separated from many of my friends that I made in the beginning.
 
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Foot Fetish

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This is so incorrect.

Yes, "networking" with your peers that are at the bottom of your class and get hammered every weekend is probably not going to be fruitful. But you are misinformed if you think for even a moment that networking and making connections doesn't propel you in the residency, fellowship, and job market. The value of networking only increases as your go up; i.e. many jobs are only acquired through networking. Many, many fellowship spots are ONLY filled through networking.
Okay, you spend your extra time making friends, and I'll spend mine going the extra mile in studying to ensure honors and huge board scores...and we'll see who gets the better residency.

Again, talk is cheap. You could literally go your entire medical school career not befriending a single person and still match at the most competitive residency program out of your whole class if you just work your ass off.

Last time I checked, you don't get extra points on Step 1 for being popular. You gotta put your head down and do the work. At the end of the day, that's what its all about. That's how you prove your worth.

Same applies for clinical years. Sure, it's helpful if you have a friend to give you a heads up on what you can expect at a given rotation...but is this a necessity to doing well? Absolutely not. If you know the material really well and act like a civilized, likeable human being, you will get high marks.

And the thought that my career will depend on whether or not some family med kid from my class gives me referalls? Laughable.

As someone else said, in all likelihood, your classmates will be dispersed all across America, and you'll never ever see them again. Sure, you could spend your time befriending all the high-achievers in your class on the off chance that one of them will one day be in a position to help you (maybe)...but the better use of your time is certainly to do extra studying to achieve in objective, quantifiable ways such as class rank and board scores. Those matter a hell of a lot more in the end.
 
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Okay, you spend your extra time making friends, and I'll spend mine going the extra mile in studying to ensure honors and huge board scores...and we'll see who gets the better residency.

Again, talk is cheap. You could literally go your entire medical school career not befriending a single person and still match at the most competitive residency program out of your whole class if you just work your ass off.

Last time I checked, you don't get extra points on Step 1 for being popular. You gotta put your head down and do the work. At the end of the day, that's what its all about. That's how you prove your worth.

Same applies for clinical years. Sure, it's helpful if you have a friend to give you a heads up on what you can expect at a given rotation...but is this a necessity to doing well? Absolutely not. If you know the material really well and act like a civilized, likeable human being, you will get high marks.

And the thought that my career will depend on whether or not some family med kid from my class gives me referalls? Laughable.

As someone else said, in all likelihood, your classmates will be dispersed all across America, and you'll never ever see them again. Sure, you could spend your time befriending all the high-achievers in your class on the off chance that one of them will one day be in a position to help you (maybe)...but the better use of your time is certainly to do extra studying to achieve in objective, quantifiable ways such as class rank and board scores. Those matter a hell of a lot more in the end.
You really should have read my statement more closely.
I said in the first sentence, networking with a bunch of people at the bottom of your class is NOT useful. However, taking the time to network higher-up is CRITICAL.

fyi, i'm at the top of my class and 265 step 1 and honored my first 2 rotations (on my 3rd one now), who will likely be applying derm. I never said don't work hard; as you can see I'm all over that already. I don't know why you are trying to make this a "study or network" situation. But, I have already seen how such a significant number of spots all over the country are not even up for grabs as they are given to candidates, whether ext. or int., who the program director likes. I have seen for 2 year now, the 1 procedural position at my university being filled completely by the director knowing/liking someone.
Most excellent jobs are never advertised. You get them by knowing someone. That's the kind of networking i'm talking about. If you arn't aware of the kinds of things I am talking about, it's because you are spending too much time inside your room studying.
 
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zeppelinpage4

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I've got a handful of good freinds, and prob like 3-4 really close freinds from my class. I def have one friend who I'm closer to than anyone else in my class, who has always been a great support. We've studied together, drank together and shared a lot of ups and downs together. No need for a lot of freinds, but having at least one person who understands you and you can talk to is so important. I also still keep in touch with my closest freinds from college who are like family to me. I don't get to see them as much as I'd like, we're all busy. But I feel like I've been able to maintain a few really close relationships, both in and out of med school.
I def would not have survived these last 3 years w/o my close friends.
 
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Foot Fetish

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You really should have read my statement more closely.
I said in the first sentence, networking with a bunch of people at the bottom of your class is NOT useful. However, taking the time to network higher-up is CRITICAL.

fyi, i'm at the top of my class and 265 step 1 and honored my first 2 rotations (on my 3rd one now), who will likely be applying derm. I never said don't work hard; as you can see I'm all over that already. I don't know why you are trying to make this a "study or network" situation. But, I have already seen how such a significant number of spots all over the country are not even up for grabs as they are given to candidates, whether ext. or int., who the program director likes. I have seen for 2 year now, the 1 procedural position at my university being filled completely by the director knowing/liking someone.
Most excellent jobs are never advertised. You get them by knowing someone. That's the kind of networking i'm talking about. If you arn't aware of the kinds of things I am talking about, it's because you are spending too much time inside your room studying.
I think derm is sort of a special case. From what I gather, it's basically a necessity to "know someone" in order to match into derm nowadays. That said, even in the lofty world of derm, the brute force route is still possible, albeit quite improbable. In other words, there is a combination of stats achievable through pure effort/aptitude that essentially guarantees you a spot even if you did zero networking (i.e. no one is going to turn down a 270+ step 1, #1 class rank, and pubs regardless of their absence of networking)...of course, this limit is beyond the capacity of 99% of medical students, which brings us back to the original point that yes, knowing someone is basically a necessity for matching derm nowadays...

But for most specialties, I still stand by my point that you can score an excellent match with no networking if you're the type that simply prefers to go it alone.
 

mehc012

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More importantly, why are people conflating 'networking' with 'having close friends'? That's...not how networking works. You're not inviting the PD from your top pick residency over to your place post-exam to share a bottle of wine or 2 and cry about the stresses in your life. You can network just fine without making any of your contacts into 'close friends'.
 

NontradCA

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Okay, you spend your extra time making friends, and I'll spend mine going the extra mile in studying to ensure honors and huge board scores...and we'll see who gets the better residency.

Again, talk is cheap. You could literally go your entire medical school career not befriending a single person and still match at the most competitive residency program out of your whole class if you just work your ass off.

.
Having friends does not preclude you from doing well in school. In fact, I'd say your SO would be more apt to negatively impact your career and study habits than a medical student. We all respect your decision to not have friends but don't pretend like it's the better option for everyone. Your toolish attitude will get you nowhere fast. There's always that one guy. And word gets around. Don't be that guy.
 
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Having friends does not preclude you from doing well in school. In fact, I'd say your SO would be more apt to negatively impact your career and study habits than a medical student. We all respect your decision to not have friends but don't pretend like it's the better option for everyone. Your toolish attitude will get you nowhere fast. There's always that one guy. And word gets around. Don't be that guy.
Having a few close friends is way way better than have many acquaintances, know the difference between the two because it can help you out a lot when life gets difficult, friends stick around when life gets tough, acquaintances are only around during good times or just there for show.
 

meurotic

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I'm an incoming M1 starting in 2 weeks. I have a fiancee, and I'm not really planning on making any true friends in medical school. I'm not there to make friends. I'm there to learn. I feel like the people who get to med school and are hyper-social and/or looking to go out and party are the ones who were neurotic premeds who never really lived it up in undergrad. I partied like crazy in undergrad, and now I no longer have any interest in that lifestyle. It's time to put away childish things.

And yeah, I know that being social doesn't necessarily mean partying.
Either your fiancée typed this for you, or she has some really nice feet.
 
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I think derm is sort of a special case. From what I gather, it's basically a necessity to "know someone" in order to match into derm nowadays. That said, even in the lofty world of derm, the brute force route is still possible, albeit quite improbable. In other words, there is a combination of stats achievable through pure effort/aptitude that essentially guarantees you a spot even if you did zero networking (i.e. no one is going to turn down a 270+ step 1, #1 class rank, and pubs regardless of their absence of networking)...of course, this limit is beyond the capacity of 99% of medical students, which brings us back to the original point that yes, knowing someone is basically a necessity for matching derm nowadays...

But for most specialties, I still stand by my point that you can score an excellent match with no networking if you're the type that simply prefers to go it alone.
Ok smart guy. Awfully arrogant for an M1 who is on ground zero. Do come back and show us how you "brute forced" yourself into one of the most competitive specialty matches, while having zero friends and connections. Don't forget to "brute force" yourself into a fellowship and job too!
 

TheStallion16

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Awfully ignorant @Foot Fetish. In today's world, @Tri723 is right, it's more about who you know than what you know. Whether that's right or wrong I don't care to debate (and granted there are exceptions like there are in everything), but networking is certainly one of the most important factors in having a successful career in any field. Scores, grades and numbers can only show so much about an applicant.
 

Foot Fetish

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it's more about who you know than what you know
This should never be the case in medicine. If you had to undergo surgery, who would you want doing the operation: the more experienced, knowledgeable surgeon or the less knowledgeable surgeon who knows a lot of influential people?

Your attitude is disgusting. It's what's wrong in medicine. When you make medicine a popularity contest, you sacrifice the quality of patient care.
 

zeppelinpage4

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This should never be the case in medicine. If you had to undergo surgery, who would you want doing the operation: the more experienced, knowledgeable surgeon or the less knowledgeable surgeon who knows a lot of influential people?

Your attitude is disgusting. It's what's wrong in medicine. When you make medicine a popularity contest, you sacrifice the quality of patient care.
Although I do believe a qualified person should be doing the job, most qualified may not always be the best answer. There are many other factors here that need to be considered.

First off, if you never met someone, how do you know that they're most qualified for the job? Good test scores, and good grades doesn't always directly translate to good employee, good co-worker or good doctor.

Second, there's a baseline level of skill any employee should have to do the job well. However, once you're past that baseline level of skill, I would argue that good personality and how well you work with your colleagues and patients trumps any added skill, which benefits the whole team, and indirectly benefits the patient too.

Of course I'd want the best doctor seeing me. However, if the best doctor is a jerk, and I don't know him...how can I be expected to trust he is the best doctor?
Yet, if there's a doctor who may not be the best, but is more than qualified to do the job, and I know him well, I'll be more inclined to trust him and go to him.

Real life example of this. I've seen a patient get advice about a gastric surgery from a bariatric surgeon himself. Yet, this patient still wanted to talk to the family med doc to get his advice on whether the surgery was a good idea or not. The surgeon is way more qualified to advise this patient on what to do, yet the patient still wanted a second opinion from his family med doc. Why? It's most likely because this patient knew the family doctor, he trusted him.

These are extreme examples, but I'm just using them to clarify my point.

Competitive specialties like derm have numerous students with amazing test scores and grades. I'm speculating here, but they could probably fill their entire residency class with highly qualified students and still have plenty of equally qualified students to reject. Having them know you can give you an edge here. That's why people do away rotations if they really wanna go to a competitive program.
Even if you're highly qualified, I wouldn't be surprised if there was another applicant who is just as qualified, AND they know the program director well.

It's true, good qualifications are important. But, most qualified academically, doesn't always mean best applicant overall. There's a lot more at play here.
You might be most qualified on paper. But are you a good person? Easy to work with? Someone an employer can trust? Someone who can attract and retain patients? A good fit for that program or job? The only way to show that you are all of the above is to meet your employer in person and show them. No amount of test scores, or pieces of paper will be able to prove this to someone as well as you yourself knowing them can. It's human nature, we will trust someone we know over a complete stranger, unless there's a REALLY good reason to go with the stranger.
Of course you'll have your residency interview to show them, but I believe any added face to face time can only help in this regard.

Anyhow, residencies aside. You're gonna want to blow off steam and give your brain a break too, that's a part of doing well. I hope you do find some type of outlet and have at least one person you can talk to and rely on. This training process has been a brutal one, and for me, having some good friends was a big reason why I've made it as far as I have.
 
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Dr. Janitor

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But who is gonna get the better evaluation in the end? If you do what others won't do today, then tomorrow you'll be doing what others can't.
With that kind of attitude, just about anybody else. Just because you're a med student or doctor doesn't mean you have to reject the notion of being a social human being. That kind of stuff sticks out to people. Prior to med school, I worked in several offices where students rotated through and I've seen physicians fill out evaluations with the exact phrases, "Good diagnostician. Needs to improve teamwork and social skills." and then give them a barely passing grade. You can spout off facts and memorize Netter's all you want but sometimes, that's not what its all about.
 

TheStallion16

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Dec 26, 2014
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This should never be the case in medicine. If you had to undergo surgery, who would you want doing the operation: the more experienced, knowledgeable surgeon or the less knowledgeable surgeon who knows a lot of influential people?

Your attitude is disgusting. It's what's wrong in medicine. When you make medicine a popularity contest, you sacrifice the quality of patient care.
Just because someone has networked well and made many connections doesn't make them any less knowledgeable. Let's say we're competing for the same residency spot. You scored a wowing 260 on your step 1, I scored a 235-240. You have all pass with honors, and I have a few. The hospital we're applying to is one where I networked, got involved with some research, and developed lasting relationships with the physicians and faculty there. They know me well and they know my ability to be a good physician. They have no idea who you are. In fact, everyone they call seems to have no clue who you are - just someone with incredibly high stats. Who do you think is going to get that spot? Me - I worked hard, did well in school, and developed relationships with others in my field and made lasting connections. Same thing applies when getting fellowships and actual jobs. Your "go it alone gung-ho attitude" is ignorant and naive to how the world works - even shutting yourself off in a room to study 24/7 isn't a guarantee of high scores and grades. For your sake, I hope you change your outlook.
 
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