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How to avoid being a gunner?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Fritz, May 3, 2004.

  1. Fritz

    Fritz Senior Member
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    I am very confused about this whole issue with the gunner. I guess I understand where people are coming from when they say that a gunner is someone who wants to be the best, and at the same time hopes that everyone else does badly. But, during rotations can't you do additional work outside of your cleckship? Maybe I am not understanding how the medical school rotations work, but I thought that, aside of your usual clerkship, you could shadow doctors if you wanted, you could scrub in for cases if you talked to the surgeon ahead of time etc., without actually stealing cases from people. And how do people steal cases anyway? Aren't there enough patients for everyone? don't people get sick anymore?
    I am curious, because I have not been through rotations yet.
    Thanks,
    Fritz.

    I know I have posted this into the gunner thread, but I got no response.
     
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  3. Yosh

    Yosh Livin' in the WINDY CITY
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    Gunners tend to be people who will stop at nothing to make sure they get the "A" so to speak. They have a tendency to do anything to shine, even and often at the expense of others. They will round on other people's patients, and just be ruthless in the attempt to out-do everyone else on the service with them, and just "screw" anyone in their path.
    I have seen it go on, from my own classmates, and heard crazy stories...but remember...these people will be collegues for the rest of your life, and the people you step on...aren't likely to forget.

    Hope this helps some....
     
  4. lowbudget

    lowbudget Senior Member
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    Just relax and be nice and considerate to the people around you. Help people out if necessary, and leave the hospital when all your work is done.
     
  5. Mr. Plow

    Mr. Plow Yes, that's my name
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    Yosh said it well. Gunners will stop at nothing to feed their ego and to get the honors, and as part of the process they will try to make themselves look better by making other students look worse. It's truly a soul-less existence, I would not wish it upon anyone. I sometimes wonder if gunnerism should be categorized as a personality disorder in DSMIV. Fritz, if you have even an ounce of human decency, then don't worry about being or becoming a gunner. The mere fact that you are concerned about this issue likely precludes you from ever being a gunner. I'm afraid the only way to cure a gunner probably would involve a religious experience, intense long-term psychotherapy, and perhaps gene therapy? :smuggrin:
     
  6. Fritz

    Fritz Senior Member
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    I have read about residency being 80+ hours a week. Is it the same with rotations? or do students have to be there only 40 hours a week. I am not sure how this thing works out.

    Thanks,

    Fritz.
     
  7. Mr. Plow

    Mr. Plow Yes, that's my name
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    Wouldn't that be nice?! :laugh: No, medical students are not limited to 80hr work weeks. The number of hours/week one spends is really variable, no clear-cut answers here. Gunners strive to work more hours than anyone else on the rotation, and will make it obvious not only to you, but to your classmates, residents, and attendings. Beating a gunner to work, or to an interesting case, is like a ego castration for them. It's fun to do, in a passive aggressive sort of way. :laugh:
     
  8. 4 Ever

    4 Ever Senior Member
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    correct me if im wrong, but i dont think one can become a gunner overnight. if you are already a considerate student, then i would think that you would continue on that route even in medical school.
     
  9. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler
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    A good example of a gunner is the surgical student who has practiced opening 4x4's to give to the surgeon, whilst maintaining sterile technique (you know, so the little cotton sticks out of the paper without you touching it) on morning rounds in less than .04 seconds. They practice it like NASCAR pit crews and time themselves.

    I thought one time in my 3rd year a student was going to die of an acute coronary spasm because she dropped the 4x4 on the floor and had to get another one. She was literally shaking. :laugh:

    Enjoy watching this pathological process from the background, and use it as humor for yourself at 5:30am.
    :luck:
     
  10. SammyK

    SammyK Senior Member
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    I agree with the above posts, with one caveat. While the term "gunner" usually describes the self-serving, out to stomp on any peers with the intent to make themselves appear better, evil colleague sometimes is loosely used to describe people who just work really hard. I have seen it used in that sense as well to describe fellow students who work very hard, but still are extremely helpful to those who approach them for help studying or with questions. It also is used when describing those externs who are working in a rotation they are potentially interested in pursuing in regards to residency. Perhaps I post this because I saw a more introverted peer of mine who put in long hours simply with the thought of doing his best and was willing to help anyone who asked him questions or for help with studying get labeled a gunner. While originally offended due to the negative connotation, he eventually just let it go as a tribute to his work ethic.

    So while I agree that you want to avoid the negative aspects....there may be a few "gunners" out there that aren't all bad. ;)
     
  11. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hey Folks,
    There is nothing wrong about wanting to do well. No medical student wants to do poorly in a clerkship. The important thing is to be excited about medicine and helpful to your colleagues. No matter what you think of them, one day you might have to send one of your patients to one of them. Don't you want them to be the best also? Help out and be a team player.

    As a resident, I can spot the "gunners" at 100 paces. They are more annoying than helpful and that fact is reflected in my evaluation of them. Help your colleagues. Don't whine. Get your work done as completely and honestly as you can. You should get your grades and move on without making enemies.

    I once saw a student who took the attitude that he was going to shine up to the attendings and step on his fellow students on the rotation. He hung out with the chief resident and was constantly bad-mouthing his fellow students. He ended up with a poor grade based on subjective evaluation by the attending. He tried to appeal to the department chair and got nowhere.

    It's all fun and you can get good grades and be helpful too. Enjoy!

    njbmd :)
     
  12. bruinkid

    bruinkid Senior Member
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    gunners are annoying
     
  13. uclacrewdude

    uclacrewdude the uclacrewdude abides
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    i think the best advice to avoid becoming a gunner is to not make medical school your life. why do jocks get into medschool? b/c applying to medicine isnt the only part of their frickin personality. while everything you do should always be to help other people, not everything you do should be medically directed. the more time you spend outside of medschool, which sucks more life out of you than it invigorates, the more human youll be. play nintendo. hit the bars. be the one dude who has gone to 1893 consecutive home bosox games despite the fact that they are a sh!tty team. medicine is what we do, not who we are. at the same time, we are what we do. therefore do more than medicine to be more than 1-dimensional.

    take your pts seriously and never yourself. start with a basic posit: you know nothing, and everyone else is better than you. from there, it engenders a certain sense of humility which will hopefully make you generally appreciative of everything everyone does for you, and inciting you to do cool things not to beat other people, but to join them.

    i also suggest a highly rigorous regimen of making fun of gunners and pretty much all those who make life crappy for others.
     
  14. DireWolf

    DireWolf The Pride of Cucamonga
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    smoke all the weed.
     
  15. irlandesa

    irlandesa Senior Member
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    aah, if only the real world of medicine worked so nicely all the time.. The fact is that no matter how hard you try to be a nice team player; sometimes residents and fellow students can be pretty nasty, and are rewarded for it at times. One girl on my current medicine rotation makes rude remarks to me and a friend of mine about how we don't know how to talk about anything except medicine after we have been subjected to listening to her talk about her upcoming nuptials and nothing else (and I mean she is completely devoid of any other topics of conversation). Yet when the residents and attendings are around she acts icky sweet to us. :mad:
    That being said, if you learn the ropes, show interest, work hard, be nice to your classmates, etc, etc.. then you are often better off grade-wise and as a person. And do well on the shelf exams, that is key if you are on the border of 2 grades (hey, it happens to those of us who are less than perfect).
     
  16. Jaded Soul

    Jaded Soul Proloxil > Zoloft
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    For every gunner that residents and attendings identify, there's others who go under the radar. As long as they get away with it, they'll continue to make life miserable for everyone else.
     

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