DrCarabelli

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I've come across some interesting posts on the medical side regarding malignant programs where one particular resident is singled out by attendings and repeatedly bullied and harassed for no apparent reason. It caused me to reflect on my own program and just how awful an experience it has been...where my presentations etc. would be picked to pieces while the others would be granted immunity from any thing of the sort (even with lower quality work). I would like to know how common this is throughout post-grad dental programs (general and specialty). Was I just unlucky? If others could share their experiences or those of friends I would really appreciate it.
 

BlueToothHunter

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There was a big controversy a few years ago with one resident claiming to have been singled out by his ortho program director because he blew whistle on the program's acceptance of potential candidates who donated money... (Search for it on SDN!) He ended up quitting the residency because he couldn't handle all the pressure.
 

mike3kgt

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for no apparent reason

Nothing is for "no apparent reason." Maybe the problem is that it's not apparent to you but it's apparent to your attendings.

Sorry to be harsh but the "woe-is-me" attitude is pervasive in dental and post-grad education and 99.9% of the "picking-on" is justified for some reason or another.

If it does happen to you, sit down with your attendings, professors, and maybe director and figure out what you're doing wrong. Sitting back and thinking they're just picking on you for no reason whatsoever will only further propagate the "picking-on you." Have meetings, receive recommendations on how to improve your performance, write them down, and most importantly, act on those recommendations and do what they ask you to do.

They're your attendings and no matter how much you think you know about dentistry, they know more. Even if you do know something they don't know, acting like it or talking like you know more than them will only make your situation worse.

Be a team player, suck it up, and perform at your best. Those are the three important tenants of post-grad education in dentistry.
 
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DrCarabelli

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I think that in situations like this the leader sets the tone for all subordinates to follow and unfortunately in my case an atmosphere of hazing or bullying is actively encouraged by the person in charge. He/she visibly enjoys "pimping" the residents with vague questions at conferences and audibly laughs at responses or arrogantly dismisses them by saying "moving on." In addition, the "singled out" person consistently gets called on first, day after day, to the point that people giggle because it happens so often. The other faculty hop on the bandwagon in an almost mob like mentality which feeds off of itself. The others in my class are very competitive, extroverted, type "A" individuals who constantly worry what person A is doing that they themselves are not, what notes they're reading, and who scored the highest on each exam... I personally am much more reserved in demeanor and take the view that we are all graduate students who should treat one another as colleagues and with respect. We are here to learn, not "out do" one another and perhaps my view sets me apart from the others thereby making me a target. Am I the smartest highest achiever among the group? Certainly not, and many underhanded, disparaging remarks have been cast my way to this end, but I receive very positive feedback from my patients and have passed all but one of my exams for the duration of my time here... One of the other favored residents has had multiple run-ins with patients to the point that the school's dean has been called directly by disgruntled patients. One patient has even started a lawsuit against this person, administration have threatened to suspend him/her on several occasions for various infractions.... only to back down after faculty come to their defense...and yet they are golden... Other residents have repeatedly told me they are shocked at the way I am treated and that it is undeserved. In addition, once the senior class has graduated and left, some faculty bad-mouth the previously "singled out" resident to remaining residents and faculty during meetings...it is truly distasteful... and there is a track record of this happening. Having elaborated on the situation, then, is this "picking on" still justified 99.9% of the time as mentioned in the previous post? Am I not being a "team player" by being upset at this? Is this how it is in most programs?
 

Newgoalsdentdoc

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Wow, I read your post and I have to say that I believe you 110%. I've seen it firsthand. I've heard about these situations as well. You're not making it up. This is why I am now earnestly trying to go into teaching because I believe I have a heart for it and I've been there. i believe I have a lot to impart as a dental faculty member not only clinically but from other aspects. It's more than just knowing dentistry and "ruling" over another person who is trying to learn. You're not a good instructor, teacher, attending or whatever by intimidating others. You're only showing how weak and insecure you are. Funny. After almost 15 years of graduating from dental school, my classmates and I still talk about how awful things were when trying to get through school with the pressures of completing clinical requirements and then having to deal with faculty members or people who were over us in residencies who did things to either ridicule us or demean us. There have been times that I have really been shocked to hear old classmates and colleagues tell me about things they went through while we were in school. All I can say is hold your head up high, be encouraged and remember that you will not always be in this program. This too shall pass. It WILL make you a better person and some day you'll reach back and encourage someone else in the same postion. Remember this, not everyone is like this. There are some excellent instructors, attendings, etc., who really do care.
 

luvnluc

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I think that in situations like this the leader sets the tone for all subordinates to follow and unfortunately in my case an atmosphere of hazing or bullying is actively encouraged by the person in charge. He/she visibly enjoys "pimping" the residents with vague questions at conferences and audibly laughs at responses or arrogantly dismisses them by saying "moving on." In addition, the "singled out" person consistently gets called on first, day after day, to the point that people giggle because it happens so often. The other faculty hop on the bandwagon in an almost mob like mentality which feeds off of itself. The others in my class are very competitive, extroverted, type "A" individuals who constantly worry what person A is doing that they themselves are not, what notes they're reading, and who scored the highest on each exam... I personally am much more reserved in demeanor and take the view that we are all graduate students who should treat one another as colleagues and with respect. We are here to learn, not "out do" one another and perhaps my view sets me apart from the others thereby making me a target. Am I the smartest highest achiever among the group? Certainly not, and many underhanded, disparaging remarks have been cast my way to this end, but I receive very positive feedback from my patients and have passed all but one of my exams for the duration of my time here... One of the other favored residents has had multiple run-ins with patients to the point that the school's dean has been called directly by disgruntled patients. One patient has even started a lawsuit against this person, administration have threatened to suspend him/her on several occasions for various infractions.... only to back down after faculty come to their defense...and yet they are golden... Other residents have repeatedly told me they are shocked at the way I am treated and that it is undeserved. In addition, once the senior class has graduated and left, some faculty bad-mouth the previously "singled out" resident to remaining residents and faculty during meetings...it is truly distasteful... and there is a track record of this happening. Having elaborated on the situation, then, is this "picking on" still justified 99.9% of the time as mentioned in the previous post? Am I not being a "team player" by being upset at this? Is this how it is in most programs?

i totally agree with you...it happens quite routinely in my country...there is a phenomenal misuse of power and i ve known residents to do jobs they would not like to discuss about...the only saving grace is its all gonna be over after 3 years...and whn u have that kind of power u shd remember ur days n not misuse it...
 

duknowme

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I have to say that I have experience with both sides of the coin. The one being that I have witnessed a resident who gets demeaned and pimped all the time and he actually does deserve it based on his actions and attitude and selfishness. On the other hand I have witnessed a resident get some of the same type of treatment and may or may not have deserved all of it. Residency is so different that Dental school because you work more closely with the faculty and you get to know their personalities and they get to know yours. If this type of treatment seems undeserved you may just chalk it up to personality conflicts.
 
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