GoodmanBrown

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For curiosity sake, have you met fellow applicants who are already jaded?

I was at a second look this past weekend, and one of my fellow second-lookees said something like, "Yeah, I'll probably be a radiologist so I don't have to deal with any BS from patients. And I can have an awesome lifestyle."

The conversation moved on quickly and she was a complete stranger, so I didn't feel comfortable calling her on it. But really? Radiology seems like a decent specialty, but it's uber-competitive to get into. So, what if she can't get rads?

It just seemed very sad to me to be committing to a sizable enterprise that you're already set on disliking. Especially with such a small chance that you'll even be happy with your endpoint. I had a very depressing vision of her as a very unhappy doctor someday.
 

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It is a somewhat understandable stance your friend/stranger has. Who would be reasonable saying "Yea, I will prob specialize in XYZ because I love putting up with patient BS and I want a shytty lifestyle"?

Maybe the fact that she only limits herself to rads is the more suspect issue. If she means that she wants no patient interaction, well, I think radiology still has that -- so boohoo for her.
 

NJDIF

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dont worry, it'll make you less of a douche when you start.
 

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If this was at a second look, I have to ask if she was drinking or not. Honestly though, some people are not interested in patient contact, which is not the same thing as not wanting to help people. I know several kids who, from day one, have said they are going into pathology.
 
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If this was at a second look, I have to ask if she was drinking or not. Honestly though, some people are not interested in patient contact, which is not the same thing as not wanting to help people. I know several kids who, from day one, have said they are going into pathology.

They serve alcohol at 2nd look? :eek:
 
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For curiosity sake, have you met fellow applicants who are already jaded?

I was at a second look this past weekend, and one of my fellow second-lookees said something like, "Yeah, I'll probably be a radiologist so I don't have to deal with any BS from patients. And I can have an awesome lifestyle."

The conversation moved on quickly and she was a complete stranger, so I didn't feel comfortable calling her on it. But really? Radiology seems like a decent specialty, but it's uber-competitive to get into. So, what if she can't get rads?

It just seemed very sad to me to be committing to a sizable enterprise that you're already set on disliking. Especially with such a small chance that you'll even be happy with your endpoint. I had a very depressing vision of her as a very unhappy doctor someday.
 
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Salt and Lime

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Every program at which I interviewed prided themselves in "extensive patient contact starting in your first year!" So I expect she will have some miserable experiences in med school if she already sees patients as something unpleasant to "deal with."

You're not going to enjoy every patient interaction, but going in with a bad attitude probably isn't going to set you up for a successful patient encounter.
 

OpalOnyx

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well, i'm already a bit jaded because
1 - will be in debt, post health-care reform passing (who knows what will happen four years from now)
2 - will learn to deal with subjective grading during 3rd and 4th year (medicine's not always fair)
3 - have met a few gunner types already that will be going to my school (so annoying to deal with... how hard is it for people to mind their own beeswax)
 
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I can't stand people like this. If you can't stand being around people or dealing with problems and complaints then why would you go into medicine or any occupation for that matter that requires you to be a people person? Even if you eventually go into a really minor patient contact specialty, like radiology or pathology, how are you ever going to make it through med school, let alone residency when you have to deal with people, the good and bad, all the time?

Even radiology is not immune to patient contact. I think a Interventional radiologist would disagree with your classmate about patient contact and radiology;).
 

red10

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is it better to be kinda jaded like "i know patients are going to be annoying and a pain in my butt a good portion of the time" or to be naive like "omg I'm going to change the world and love all my patients and every day is going to be rainbows and kittens!" ?

Honestly, patients are often a pain the butt. And if they're minors, it's probably their parents that are going to be the pain.

I'd rather be realistic about what i expect and can handle going in, then to go in with this super idealized view only to be crushed by reality.
I have friends who tell me I'm already jaded, but most of them still think they're going to get a full night's sleep during residency, have time to cure aids, and have ample time to dedicate to each individual patient.
 

red10

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I can't stand people like this. If you can't stand being around people or dealing with problems and complaints then why would you go into medicine or any occupation for that matter that requires you to be a people person? Even if you eventually go into a really minor patient contact specialty, like radiology or pathology, how are you ever going to make it through med school, let alone residency when you have to deal with people, the good and bad, all the time?

Even radiology is not immune to patient contact. I think a Interventional radiologist would disagree with your classmate about patient contact and radiology;).
realistically, radiology probably encounters less dumb and douche-baggery on average than say EM or Peds
 
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realistically, radiology probably encounters less dumb and douche-baggery on average than say EM or Peds
True, but that isn't until your in regular practice, post residency, just looking and analyzing films all the time. One thing that is nice with radiology though, you can specialize in something with more direct patient contact, like interventional, if you want a more hands on job involving radiology.

Personally, I could not stand spending my entire career in a darkened room staring at films all day long. My eyes would eventually bug out of my head. But hey, that's just me. There are many who love the profession and all power to them.
 
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I'm both eager about and cautious of the path ahead of me.
 

ILikeDrugs

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I became jaded after volunteering 40 hours in the ICU and having deep conversations with the physicians that I shadowed.
 
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She sounds like she should be doing medical scientist work.
I was just thinking the same thing. When I was doing biomedical microbiology research the summer of my junior year, while I found the research interesting, I felt I could not spend 40 years in a career sitting hunched over at a lab in a corner by myself hardly interacting with people on a daily basis, except my nasty research advisor. To other people, that kind of life style, which bench research entails, is perfectly fine and all power to them.

Do you know how many people there are in the retail and service industry who would love to not have to deal with bad or nasty customers? Plenty, but they have to do what they have to do to put money on the table and pay the bills. That is the trade off when you work with the general public on a daily basis. I saw this all the time when I was a supermarket cashier middle school. Some people will be really nice and pleasant to deal with, while others are mean, miserable, and nothing but rude to you. You learn to shrug it off after a couple of days. :laugh:
 
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I became jaded after volunteering 40 hours in the ICU and having deep conversations with the physicians that I shadowed.
Listen, I learned, after having a really miserable/nasty research advisor at college, not to let one or two single people who you meet in your life let them tear down or change your dream about what you want to do. In my case, I finally found out why my research advisor was so nasty and yelled at me in the lab during our last meeting together. It was because her advisor did the same thing to her and she cried her way through her doctorate (her words, not mine), so I guess she felt she should treat her students the same way she was treated.

I have much experience with the medical field and doctors due to several personal medical problems and surgeries I have had over the years. I have seen dozens of different doctors in that time and out of all those doctors, I can only count on 1 hand the amount who were really nice, personable, cared, spent the time with me, and ones who I respect and would recommend to others.

Just keep in mind, that probably except for oncology, ICU/CCU is probably one of the most stressful/hardest departments of the medical profession to work in since you are seeing the sickest of the sick cases than any other medical specialty sees on a constant/continual basis major. My Aunt is a critical care nurse at a respiratory/cardiovascular ICU/CCU unit at a major trama center and she always tells me how difficult it is to work in that unit compared to most others.

Now, let me just say I'm not trying to dismiss or downplay the other medical professions, they most certainly see their share of very sick people and tramatic cases but they tend to see more bright spots, patients who are doing well, or patients who have recovered nicely from treatments, compared to doctors on the ICU/CCU and oncology wards.
 

Velocity

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is it better to be kinda jaded like "i know patients are going to be annoying and a pain in my butt a good portion of the time" or to be naive like "omg I'm going to change the world and love all my patients and every day is going to be rainbows and kittens!" ?
Why does it have to be one or the other? The point is that not all medical specialties involve very little patient interaction, and getting into medical school doesn't guarantee that you'll end up in one of those specialties. It's better to be open to the idea of patient interactions than to go in thinking "I hate dealing with annoying sick people and have no sympathy for them." Hopefully that girl will get into radiology, but otherwise it seems like she's making a really stupid career choice.

Honestly, patients are often a pain the butt. And if they're minors, it's probably their parents that are going to be the pain.
In my experience, patients can represent humanity's absolute kindest or general unpleasantness. (But I've yet to meet a patient that seemed to me to be the "worst of humanity" - I've only found that outside of the hospital.) They're ill, they may be afraid if they don't know what's wrong with them, they're often confined to their beds for days on end, they may be in pain or often have to undergo painful procedures... honestly, when a patient wants more attention or wants to be waited on, I completely understand. Neither I (as a volunteer) nor the other hospital staff can follow through on their every wish, as there are other patients to attend to. Yet when you realize what the patient is going through, perhaps it'll seem less like "this person is a pain in the butt."
 

red10

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Why does it have to be one or the other? The point is that not all medical specialties involve very little patient interaction, and getting into medical school doesn't guarantee that you'll end up in one of those specialties. It's better to be open to the idea of patient interactions than to go in thinking "I hate dealing with annoying sick people and have no sympathy for them." Hopefully that girl will get into radiology, but otherwise it seems like she's making a really stupid career choice.


In my experience, patients can represent humanity's absolute kindest or general unpleasantness. (But I've yet to meet a patient that seemed to me to be the "worst of humanity" - I've only found that outside of the hospital.) They're ill, they may be afraid if they don't know what's wrong with them, they're often confined to their beds for days on end, they may be in pain or often have to undergo painful procedures... honestly, when a patient wants more attention or wants to be waited on, I completely understand. Neither I (as a volunteer) nor the other hospital staff can follow through on their every wish, as there are other patients to attend to. Yet when you realize what the patient is going through, perhaps it'll seem less like "this person is a pain in the butt."
I've worked with wonderful patients I have loved and patients i couldn't wait to pass off on someone else. I totally understood why some patients were acting the way they were, others were just entitled jerks. You're going to see the whole spectrum of course.

I'd rather go in expecting to have to deal with crap and be pleasantly surprised than go in thinking people are going to listen to me or respect me just because I'm a doctor only to be let down. too many people expect that becoming a doctor means patients are going to respect you, take your advice, etc only to get slapped in the face by the reality of the situation.

Preparing for the worst is what works for me and I think that is what is going to keep me from getting depressed and having my feelings bent out of shape when i start interacting with patients in whatever specialty i choose. I'm not saying everyone else needs to take this approach. I'm just saying a little bit of jading never hurt.
 
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Keep in mind that not everyone likes or is cut out for primary care and to be honest it's best to find out now than to be miserable and make the colleagues and patients around you suffer.

On a separate note, I hate to break your spirit but you will meeet A LOT of bitter people. It won't be everyone you meet but there are tons of people who either went into it for the wrong reasons or were disappointed by what medicine turned out to be. The trick is to not let them ruin your day. Just smile and say 'that's too bad you are so unhappy.' ;)

**You should look up the thread I started about the radiology residents (whose specialty is supposedly one of the least stressful) I shadowed who were both freaking miserable. All they did was cut down medicine and tell me how crappy their lives are and what a mistake it is to go into medicine. It ain't pretty, but these folks are out there.
 
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realistically, radiology probably encounters less dumb and douche-baggery on average than say EM or Peds
Radiologists will not be closed off from the world. Actually I think radiologists have to deal with more administrative/co-worker BS/drama than most fields because that's who you interact will. There is a difference between not being a patient person and not being a people person. If you hate people, you will hate medicine no matter what specialty you persue. Period.
 

ChE04

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Keep in mind that not everyone likes or is cut out for primary care and to be honest it's best to find out now than to be miserable and make the colleagues and patients around you suffer.

On a separate note, I hate to break your spirit but you will meeet A LOT of bitter people. It won't be everyone you meet but there are tons of people who either went into it for the wrong reasons or were disappointed by what medicine turned out to be. The trick is to not let them ruin your day. Just smile and say 'that's too bad you are so unhappy.' ;)

**You should look up the thread I started about the radiology residents (whose specialty is supposedly one of the least stressful) I shadowed who were both freaking miserable. All they did was cut down medicine and tell me how crappy their lives are and what a mistake it is to go into medicine. It ain't pretty, but these folks are out there.
It's pretty easy to pass judgment on and write off these people not having been through what they have been through (or are right in the middle of). I'd bet a good portion of them thought the exact same thing about the folks that THEY interacted with 6+ years ago. I think we have to be open to the fact that any one of us could end up the bitter, jaded PGY2... Because unless you are just a stone cold masochist, it's going to suck (bad) at some point.
 

amoiliz

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OP, in undergrad you meet A LOT of people who are interested in Med school. It is a sad reality since most of them do not understand what they are getting themselves into. I’ve heard their want for prestige, money, respect, but I’ve seen who are already there, and yes they are respectful but what I’m saying is that I would pay the same respect to a janitor who puts in endless hours so his/her kids can have a better life. It’s not about the money or the prestige; it’s about empathy, humility and selfless compassion. :)

I have also met those similar to your friend, who have very narrow perspective and you can’t blame them- lack of knowledge does not necessarily translate into arrogance.

I think, it really comes down to shifting perspectives.

ASIDE: Posters who believe that radiology is not the most enjoyable carrier out there, please note that there are sub-specialties where radiologists are required to interact with patients (they are NOT social ******s haha). Granted that radiology does not incorporate much patient interaction but there are individuals who prefer that and actually like it. SDN would not want to develop bias towards any specialty so please take everything here with a grain of salt – I’m still a pre-med and there are much more experienced folks here who can provide you with valuable insights. :)
 

GoodmanBrown

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OP, in undergrad you meet A LOT of people who are interested in Med school. It is a sad reality since most of them do not understand what they are getting themselves into. I’ve heard their want for prestige, money, respect, but I’ve seen who are already there, and yes they are respectful but what I’m saying is that I would pay the same respect to a janitor who puts in endless hours so his/her kids can have a better life. It’s not about the money or the prestige; it’s about empathy, humility and selfless compassion. :)

I have also met those similar to your friend, who have very narrow perspective and you can’t blame them- lack of knowledge does not necessarily translate into arrogance.

I think, it really comes down to shifting perspectives.
The interesting thing is that I didn't really know any pre-meds in college. I went to a small, liberal arts college, and I don't know anyone in my year who went on to medical school. Not saying there aren't any, but I can't think of a single person. There are two I can think of in the year below me and two in the year above that come to mind. That's it.

My post-bac year had lots of people who I felt were going to be pretty sweet doctors. I guess I'm just inexperienced with some of the pre-med mentality.
 

Parts Unknown

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For curiosity sake, have you met fellow applicants who are already jaded?
A very complex subject.

Most medicine involves dealing with patients. In modern parlance, it's a job with heavy customer service. If you go in thinking it's all poppies and bunny farts, you will likely be disappointed. After witnessing a menagerie of ungodly misery, both random and self-inflicted, you will likely become jaded.

However, there are always those few annoying souls who manage to see the unbearable lightness of being in all situations. You won't know whether to emulate them or bitch slap them.

Anyways...

If you go in wanting just a job with responsibility, respect, and some earnings, and realize there is a lot of BS to wade through no matter what path you take in life, that's not jaded. That's just having some personal ambition tempered with a dose of realism.

Perhaps the best way to go to med school it open, but not overly optimistic. No doubt you will see crazy things, inspiring things, and unspeakably dreadful things, and your conscious attitude can influence how you internalize and deal with it all. Frankly, I find the "more jaded than thou" race to the bottom to be an awful waste of insight.

In other news, I discovered a delightful wine named "Blue Jean." Delicious. You should try some.
 

Ischemic

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lol. I agree with the fellow above me. Med school is like any other place in the world with a bunch of people wanting different things. You definitely at least need to like "helping people" to go into the field cause you'll be doing that but who are you to judge what anybody else's motivations are? If they don't like patients, they want money and prestige ... whatever, who're you to rain on their parade cause they don't want to save the world and be the second coming of Gandhi? Let it go ... you just do you and you'll be fine.
 

Dial71

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I see this thing a lot in my peers. We are a generation raised on cynicism. It is percieved cool by many to be a flippant, smart---.

I work in an ED and although most of my co-workers are "jaded," they will tell me that they love their jobs. Sure, they aren't there for the flowers and rainbows, but they feel a sense of duty. No one likes being around misers, addicts, and criminals, but someone still has to treat them.

Hello, ding! That's the essense of medicine. We endevour to help others regardless of how they treat us or the value that society places on them.

Honestly, I think that people like the OP describes will not get far in their interviews. Why would an Adcom accept someone who has already demonstrated antipathy towards medicine? It is one thing to be aware of the difficulties of medicine and a very different one to skirk from confronting that difficulty.
 

Velocity

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I'm in full agreement with Parts Unknown.

I totally understood why some patients were acting the way they were, others were just entitled jerks. You're going to see the whole spectrum of course.

I'd rather go in expecting to have to deal with crap and be pleasantly surprised than go in thinking people are going to listen to me or respect me just because I'm a doctor only to be let down. too many people expect that becoming a doctor means patients are going to respect you, take your advice, etc only to get slapped in the face by the reality of the situation.
Certainly, just because an unpleasant, selfish person becomes ill and enters a hospital doesn't mean that they won't stop being unpleasant or selfish. I find it easier to give patients the benefit of the doubt, but that's not for everyone. I just don't want people to go thinking that people (particularly sick people) are all annoying, terrible, and otherwise awful to work with. To me that's almost like a mechanic saying that he hates cars. Not only is the professional going to likely be unhappy with their job, but the quality of their work will be questionable. (Not to say that it's impossible for such a person to do good work, but would you want someone like that doing work on something of yours?)

Keeping your expectations low is good life advice in general. To me, someone who is "jaded" is someone with a somewhat negative take on things, and who will always find the "negative reality" of a situation. Don't expect much, but do allow yourself to take joy in the positives that come your way, even if they may seem idealistic.
 

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I don't know how you could not be jaded with all the health care form talk and debate over the dr. fix.
 
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For curiosity sake, have you met fellow applicants who are already jaded?

I was at a second look this past weekend, and one of my fellow second-lookees said something like, "Yeah, I'll probably be a radiologist so I don't have to deal with any BS from patients. And I can have an awesome lifestyle."

The conversation moved on quickly and she was a complete stranger, so I didn't feel comfortable calling her on it. But really? Radiology seems like a decent specialty, but it's uber-competitive to get into. So, what if she can't get rads?

It just seemed very sad to me to be committing to a sizable enterprise that you're already set on disliking. Especially with such a small chance that you'll even be happy with your endpoint. I had a very depressing vision of her as a very unhappy doctor someday.
Honestly, why do you even care? Everyone has the right to their own opinion.... maybe she'll be extremely successful in rads and have the grades to end up there like she wanted. Stop analyzing other people and mind your own work.
 

rockaction

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I'm both eager about and cautious of the path ahead of me.
:thumbup:

I'm very excited about starting but very nervous about how to approach the inevitable workload. Oh well, I'll just take it as it comes.

I hope that going to a school with a strict Pass/Fail curriculum will mellow potential gunners out. I feel like there will be pressure enough to survive, I don't want any more.
 

corbis11

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you'll know who the real gunners are very quickly and most people in your class will tend to avoid them

we're all in this thing together and that last thing we need are people that only care about themselves
 

Velocity

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Honestly, why do you even care? Everyone has the right to their own opinion.... maybe she'll be extremely successful in rads and have the grades to end up there like she wanted. Stop analyzing other people and mind your own work.
Like it or not, you'll have to be working with others. These people may also take political positions (in advocacy/professional groups) that define aspects of your professional life.

Nobody is saying that they no longer want to be a doctor because of people like the girl mentioned, nor are they actively seeking her out to try and dissuade her from choosing medicine as a career. I tend not to like that girl's attitude, and clearly GoodmanBrown didn't, either. Other people won't like ours. In either case, it's reassuring to know that there are others that share your view, and it's not a bad thing to be made aware of the various views and attitudes that you'll be working with.
 

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I'm just an MS2 so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I think the attitude a lot of people have here on SDN is really toxic. There are parts of medicine that seem pretty sucky, but I think a lot of people really love b*tching and moaning. Don't let yourself go in with a negative attitude, it makes everything harder.

Remember, misery loves company.
 

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I've worked with wonderful patients I have loved and patients i couldn't wait to pass off on someone else. I totally understood why some patients were acting the way they were, others were just entitled jerks. You're going to see the whole spectrum of course.
I've worked with wonderful [medical students] I have loved and [medical students] i couldn't wait to pass off on someone else. I totally understood why some [medical students] were acting the way they were, others were just entitled jerks. You're going to see the whole spectrum of course.


I'd rather go in expecting to have to deal with crap and be pleasantly surprised than go in thinking people are going to listen to me or respect me just because I'm a doctor only to be let down. too many people expect that becoming a doctor means patients are going to respect you, take your advice, etc only to get slapped in the face by the reality of the situation.
I'd rather go in expecting to have to deal with crap and be pleasantly surprised than go in thinking [doctors] are going to listen to me or respect me just because I'm a [patient] only to be let down.

:eek:

Preparing for the worst is what works for me and I think that is what is going to keep me from getting depressed and having my feelings bent out of shape when i start interacting with patients in whatever specialty i choose. I'm not saying everyone else needs to take this approach. I'm just saying a little bit of jading never hurt.
IMO, being realistic is sound, and I'd personally add that I prepare for the worst and try to be optimistic for the best. Seems to me like happiness is a choice, not an outcome, and it's hard to be happy when you have a gloomy perspective on life/school (school=life?).

Aside: I think people become jaded when they feel like they aren't getting valued or recognized as much as they think they should. Listening is already an underdeveloped skill for most, but when you feel like you aren't getting heard, why bother trying to hear others? No blaming here; just saying, it's pretty easy to see why people get jaded on both sides. (I don't think any patient ever walked into a doctor's office for the first time thinking, 'this person is gonna screw me over' or vice versa, but somehow what it's come to is that there's a lot of apprehension from both doctors and patients...)

Unfortunately, people that complain the most/loudest tend to get heard, even if they're in the minority. I'm only a first year, but what's helped me out is balancing all the negativity with positive outlets and constant reminders of the reasons I entered medicine (i.e., giving myself warm-fuzzies whenever possible). Also, knowing how easy it is to get jaded helps to guard against it, especially when I catch the early warning signs.. (e.g., catch myself overly complaining)

That being said, I'm beginning to think it's nearly impossible not to get jaded in this field. But I haven't given up hope yet!
 
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They're not jaded, they just happen to be aware of what kind of career they want, and it runs counter to your expectations. No one can deny that the practice of clinical medicine is inherently stressful. Some people thrive in that challenging environment. Others just don't have the personality required to work efficiently under those conditions. They are more suited to fields like radiology and pathology which are pure pattern recognition. Most of the radiologists I've met are really calm, nice people.
 
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GoodmanBrown

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They're not jaded, they just happen to be aware of what kind of career they want, and it runs counter to your expectations. No one can deny that the practice of clinical medicine is inherently stressful. Some people thrive in that challenging environment. Others just don't have the personality required to work efficiently under those conditions. They are more suited to fields like radiology and pathology which are pure pattern recognition. Most of the radiologists I've met are really calm, nice people.
Brian,

You have a good point that I didn't really address in my post. I'm sure there are some pre-meds who really want to be radiologists going into med school. That's totally fine with me. I have nothing against someone being interested in radiology as a subject or specialty.

The thing that caught my attention was not radiology per se, but the way in which she described how she's choose a medical specialty. It was this idea that she already knew medicine would be pretty ****ty overall, and she was mainly choosing a specialty that would contain the least amount of ****.
 
Mar 15, 2010
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I think that it is concerning that the individual is already jaded because it's too soon. The journey is very difficult and if you're already starting to feel jaded, I question how strong you will stay through the journey. Also, I think that it's cocky to say you want to go into X speciality before you've done any rotations. Rotations are totally different from shadowing.

With that said--at least the person recognizes what they do like and dislike. This may change over the years. Whether medical school is a place for her or not is well..up to the med schools. They've been doing their jobs for a long time, and they'll likely know what kind of "fit" she'll be. Also, I think that there are many cycical patterns of behaviors/attitudes in medicine. There are times when people are jaded, and other times when they love what they're doing. I think it really just depends on WHEN you ask the person.