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Rant: Insecure & overachieving medical students, check your baggage at the door

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by typeB-md, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. typeB-md

    typeB-md Be more like McCain!

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    This is a rant against all former insecure and overachieving medical students who are now attendings, clerkship directions, and course administrators. They are the reason why medical school is about as fun as having you face kicked in with an iron shoe lined with fire ants holding miniature bottles of hydrochloric acid. These people have screwed up medical education enough, and it's time for normal people to take back medical education and teaching.

    Let met start by saying that medical education is not some personal avenue to amend one's own insecurities as is a trend at medical schools throughout this nation. It's also not for overachieving administrators and attendings to try and raise existing standards because, although the current curriculum produces students that are competent and well rounded, it doesn't meet their own personal overachievement standards.

    Being in a position of power doesn't mean taking advantage of people who have no freedom of choice in the matter. It doesn't mean that because you had no friends in high school that you have to force students into being your friend if they want a good grade. It doesn't mean that you force students into doing 1000 hours of new patient write-ups because that's what you personally needed to do in order to master the H&P; some students actually can pick up these skills without seeing 500 cases of hypertension (this also goes for making students see 50,000 fake patient encounters). It doesn't mean that people who look athletic are automatically disrespectful; being an athlete and being fit doesn't mean they are going to beat you up like the football quarterback did back in junior high. Being good looking also doesn't mean that a student automatically thinks they're better than you; this isn't like prom where you were stood up by the prom king.

    And let's talk about perspective and humility. Being an attending, administrator, or clerkship director doesn't mean you are jesus christ or the second coming of sliced bread. Outside of the hospital you are nobody, just like the rest of us. The person pumping your gas doesn't give two hoots of an owl that you are a maladjusted individual who oversees an entire minion of medical servants; they just want a good tip. You're not "cooler than the prom queen" now that you're clerkship director so be humble and treat ALL people how you would want to be treated; don't turn into the person you hated simply because now you have the means to do so.

    This is just the tip of the an iceberg, but please, to those students out there that are considering academics: For the love of everything holy and for the sanity of all secure/well-adjusted medical students that will follow you, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE check your baggage at the door and keep your preconceived (and often ignorant) judgments at home where they belong.

    Thanks, and remember that knowing is half the battle.

    -b
     
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  3. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist

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    You must be from Oregon. Everywhere else, people pump their own gas.
     
  4. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    Why would anyone go to full service, unless you are elderly or in some other way disabled?

    Even a monkey can learn to check their own oil . . .
     
  5. BeatrixKiddo

    BeatrixKiddo Guest

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    I think this can be easily solved if they started to filter out those kids with "too many" credentials from getting into med school in the first place. Bring back the cool laid back procastinators and under-acheivers with nothing to prove! Yeah!
     
  6. Dakota

    Dakota Senior Member
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    I was reading someone's blog recently criticising current medical students and residents as "too soft," commenting on the restrictions of an 80 work week and how too many students now are interested in time off rather than being totally dedicated to the hospital.

    As another poster on here noted some time ago, this is probably as a result of admissions standards focusing on extra curriculars and outside interests as well as hard numbers. You end up with accomplished violinists, olympic swimmers, people who majored in english lit, etc comprising a good chunk of the class. Then the same people that helped shape these new standards are shocked when these students become residents and they actually want time to play the violin, swim, or read their english literature. Is this really a surprising outcome to anyone? If med school administrators want to actually increase the "humanism" of medical students and have more rounded physicians, it should not be a surprise that these people value things other than working 168 hours per week.
     
  7. socal78

    socal78 Member

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    LOL
    what is up with that state? why can't you pump your own gas?
     
  8. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Or from New Jersey. I think that NJ state law requires that all gas stations be full service.
     
  9. Dakota

    Dakota Senior Member
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    I think NJ made this a law a few years ago when there were some highly publicized gas station fires related to people getting back into their cars while pumping gass, getting all static-ey and then discharging on the pump. At least, that's what I recall, I might have just made that up.

    The upswing was NJ didn't have problems with people driving away without paying when there was the increase in gas prices.
     
  10. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    May not be the worst idea in the world. I was at a pump in Anaheim last weekend, and the guy in the CLK in front of me set his gas going, then went into Starbucks and bought a coffee. He comes back out, gets in his car, and starts pulling away with the pump still in. I stopped him, but a small part of me wanted to see what would happen . . .

    Another option is to do away with those "auto-on" switches that let you walk away while it pumps.
     
  11. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    People would try to get in and out of the store in time anyways, but then there would just be Lake Gasoline in the parking lot.
     
  12. Critical Mass

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    Oregon has got to be the biggest pro-environment state in the union. They're probably afraid that you're going to spill the gas. Too bad that the red states are pollution over-achievers. Where I live, if a place gets too much of a toxic compound in the ground water, the state just buys the land--clean-up is too expensive.

    Plenty of laziness abound, though. I know people who publicly complained when an ice cream chain stopped selling them gallons of milk in the drive-thru. Can you believe that? So lazy that you expect people to do your grocery shopping and hand your stuff to you through your car window.
     
  13. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    No - NJ made this law in the 1950s. I think the original rationale was that it was dangerous for average citizens to be handling such a flammable liquid. Over the years, they've kept the law because of other reasons (i.e. it serves as a source of employment, people don't drive away w/o paying, etc.)

    They've tried to repeal the law a few times, but people have always protested that it would put thousands of people out of work.

    Plus, a lot of long-time NJ residents aren't sure how to pump their own gas, which I imagine makes road trips into PA and NY a little hard. One article I read somewhere quoted an NJ resident who said that she'd be afraid that she was putting the gasoline "in the wrong hole."
     
  14. DropkickMurphy

    Banned

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    You know.....I wouldn't be surprised it there is a pyroerotomaniac somewhere out there that would pay damn good money to see that. :laugh:
     
  15. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon

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    Dead right. I think it's also pretty schizophrenic how med schools want to admit all these cool dynamic people and then can't for the life of them figure out why their ex-college athletes, accomplished poets, and talented musicians don't want to file peacefully into low-paying, low-acuity, clinic based primary care medicine.
     
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  17. Divine Furor

    Divine Furor Academician
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    Well in Jersey we don't have a choice...if I get out of the car, even to toss some garbage away, the attendants get antsy.
     
  18. typeB-md

    typeB-md Be more like McCain!

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    it's because medical administrators want to be able to have the ultimate control over these types of people. there is no shortage of insecurity.

    many current attendings, clerkship directors, etc. were the shy, unpopular, unathletic, or unattractive people throughout the majority of their schooling. there is a ton of baggage and personal bias that these people now carry. the amount of projection that these people have is astonishing and it really exemplifies just how pscyhologically damaging childhood teasing can be.

    many times, too, these people can't control their own lives very well so they abuse the control they do have. for example, an attending i know just had a child and his wife basically has taken over and called all the shots. the attending now takes it out on the medical students in the form of making them do extra presentations and ridiculous pimping sessions. this is just one example, though.

    unfortunately, like most things, people smart enough to do the job are smart enough to pass it up.
     
  19. typeB-md

    typeB-md Be more like McCain!

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    i didn't mean to interrupt the pumping-petrol talk, please resume discussions of a gas-based nature
     
  20. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Fides et ratio.
    Physician Gold Donor SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved

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    There are jerks in every profession. Medicine certainly doesn't have the market cornered on that. ;)

    It's no fun working with unhappy people, particularly when they have the power to make your life miserable. Just do your best not to let it affect you to the point that you wind up perpetuating the cycle.
     
  21. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat

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    In Oregon on Walker Rd there is a gas station that absolutely will not pump your gas until you turn off your cell phone. They're afraid of fires. I don't have any data on this but I am willing to bet that a cell phone has never caused a gas station fire.
     
  22. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    I actually saw someone pump his own gas in Oregon because the attendant was too slow. I don't know if he was p&ssed off or just didn't know he couldn't pump his own gas. We just stared at him and thought, "hey, you can't do that."

    It's actually sorta nice to not have to get out of your car. :oops:
     
  23. dutchman

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    Maybe it's just me, but I am not buying this whole "there are assholes in every profession" thing. I have met way more dingus doctors as a patient than I have met in any other profession(including fast food clerks). If they can't even keep that crap bottled up arround a pt, I can only imagine how they are with the people they supervise. There is definitely a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and I am not sure a lot of doctors know where that line is. BTW, this might also be a consequence of the fact that even idiots in medicine are given a teaching role, without any real training on how to teach.
     
  24. lina123321

    lina123321 ralph: im a unitard

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    not in jersey...
     
  25. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Fides et ratio.
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    Actually, I said "jerks." And I'm not selling anything.

    There's no disparity in numbers. It's simply that the public expects doctors to be compassionate, empathetic, and selfless...at all times. This is not a requirement in most other fields, such as business, law, politics, etc. (why fast food analogies pop up so much on SDN is beyond me), so it simply doesn't raise eyebrows.
     
  26. dynx

    dynx Yankee Imperialist

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    Not much. I've seen someone do this before. It was...a teenage woman/girl (suprised?) who put the nozzel in and flicked that little switch to pump automatically, she starts gabbing with her friend in the car, cleaning her windows (she was pretty fine so I was paying attention) then she gets in the car and talks some more...fires it up and drives away. So getting to the point....if you look at the hose goig from the nozzel to the pump, there is a joint in there, it pops appart and has a valve to shut off gas flow from the pump. So all that really happens is the hose falls on the ground, some gas spills out the nozzel side (not much) and people laugh thier asses off and point at you.
     
  27. Droopy Snoopy

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    Prolly because as residents we'll be making about the same as the 17 year old shift manager over there cooking up fries.
     
  28. SanDiegoSOD

    SanDiegoSOD Milk was a bad choice

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    Well said. That's a good chunk of the problem right there.
     
  29. dutchman

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    I am not sure I had your post in mind when I wrote that response. Maybe just a general notion that people in medicine think other professionals have as much tyranny. Take the company I work with for example, managers are constantly reminded that any behaviour that causes unusual employee turnover might be grounds for termination or demotion. As a consequence, even the assholes have to leave that crap outside company premises if they intend to keep their jobs. In medicine, there is no fear of turnover(I dont see the M3 going anywhere, or do I see the likelihood of residents ditching their jobs), so there is virtually little to no consequence for maltreatment.

    There is also fears among medical trainees of backlash/witch-hunting if they compalin about maltreatment. All this probably creates an abnormal level of compliance, which in turn proliferates more maltreatment and assholes. There was some survey floating arround about how an unusual percentage of medical trainees experience maltreatment. This is something that is almost exclusive to medicine. In the companies I've worked in, the training period is a time where new-hires got their asses kissed, so we could convince them they made a good choice.

    ..The fastfood analogy was because I have observed that fastfood clerks have more than their fair share of assholes too.
     
  30. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Fides et ratio.
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    I'm not so sure about that. After all, "doctor" means "teacher" in Latin. In medicine, we're frequently learning from people who are actively engaged in clinical practice. In most other fields, "those who can do, do; those who can't do, teach."
     
  31. dilated

    dilated Fought Law; Law Won

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    Ha ha ha. I'm guessing you don't have any biglaw or i-banking friends. Rest assured that these high stress occupations have even more a-holes than medicine and an even more malignant working environment (albeit with a less brutal work schedule). That is the proper comparison, not filling forms and punching your timecard at Initech.
     
  32. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member

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    Seriously, I have a friend who is brown-nosing his way to being a trader currently, the stuff that he has to smile and take, without any guarantees that they'll actually promote him . . . no thanks. I'll take a set number of years where I have clearly defined tasks I must complete (however unpleasant or how little they contribute to my education) with the guarantee that in the end if I complete said tasks I'll have the job over that type of crud anyday. I'm not saying its the way it should be or that its fair or anything, but I've learned that railing against the unfairness of life is just wasted energy that could be spent upon the enjoyment of the good parts and working to get to a place where maybe you can change some small part of the world's general suckage.
     
  33. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky

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    Gotta disagree with this one. Medicine is one of the few professions where the best and the brightest tend to go into academia. I do agree that what makes a good academic physician doesn't always make a good educator, but I'm not sure training them on how to teach would really be worthwhile.
     
  34. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist

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    My apologies: I've never been to New Jersey.

    I agree, though, on the actual topic of this thread--people who mistreat their underlings are generally very unhappy and damaged in some way.

    But there are people like that even in normal work settings. I had a boss at one of my pharmacy jobs who looked like an alcoholic (red face, spider angiomata, etc...I guess she could have had rosacea, but I doubt it) and was just the most hateful person I've encountered in a while. But she survived in management because she was so busy with political infighting at the higher levels that she totally neglected the supervisory component of her job. So we just ran our part of the department without supervision. And we ran it well, which ironically made her look good. Occasionally she would actually do something managerial, but usually she just created problems that we would fix once she lost interest and went away.

    Her incompetence and hatefulness were completely invisible to the organization.
     
  35. typeB-md

    typeB-md Be more like McCain!

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    the "best and brightest" often have poor social skills or poor life experience. Usually the "best and brightest" are the students that are more comfortable in the library 18 hours a day rather than talking to another person for 10 minutes.
     
  36. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon

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    A common myth perpetuated by students who think that their "people skills" somehow make up for deficiencies of knowledge.
     
  37. lil pook

    lil pook Senior Member

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    or maybe they're the 'best and brightest' because their lack of people skills is what keeps them behind the books for hours on end (therefore best..don't really know about brightest though) without missing any people interaction.....

    just another way of looking at it
     
  38. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    Feeling a little insecure today?

    There are plenty of people who can hold a normal conversation, and who are bright enough not to need to spend 18hrs a day in the library. Med schools are filled with them.
     
  39. typeB-md

    typeB-md Be more like McCain!

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    Who's saying that students with "people skills" are deficient in knowledge? Here's where you tell me that the top students in the class are the best clinicians, right?

    Just because someone isn't slamming away 4.0's in their classes doesn't mean they are deficient in knowledge. What would you say about someone with a C average in classes but average shelf exam percentile of 95? What about someone with a B average that scores 250 on the step exam? You don't have to be top of your class to have a good fund of knowledge or be a good clinician; much of medical school is far too in depth or too subjective to adequately predict who will be great clinicians. Are you going to tell me that having your patient encounter graded on a check-list is what predicts real-world likeability?

    Go ahead and keep thinking, though, that grades are the be-all, end-all in terms of predicting the quality of a clinician. It will help you sleep for those 4 hours at night.

    And if anyone actually believes that medical school is conceptually difficult, you're living in denial. Most students with good time management and a bit of good luck could be slamming 4.0's; we didn't get to top medical schools by being morons. If some choose to let their physical health atrophy at the expense of great grades, then so be it. And if some choose to shove their lips up their attendings rearend, the so be that, too. If you think it makes you better or more intelligent than your classmates, you are sorely mistaken.

    Here's your analogy. Would you call someone who memorized the phone directory a genius? No, you'd call them an idiot because only an idiot would memorize what could easily be looked up. Maybe that person would ace a test on regurgitating phone directory information, but so what? Just because you can do something doesn't make it a worthwhile skill.

    -b
     
  40. typeB-md

    typeB-md Be more like McCain!

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    Some medical schools have more rigorous standards than others. And there is nothing insecure about what i said, i used words deliberately to indicate generalizations. Generally speaking, what i said is true; but as you pointed out (so astutely, cowboy) there will always be exceptions to the rule.
     
  41. OrangeTide

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    As mentioned, by the OP this was a generalization.

    question though, the int'l students found at every major university that do spend 18+ hours a day in the library, are they just stupider than Americans? I think you may be implying that based on your comment.
     
  42. dynx

    dynx Yankee Imperialist

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    I think both statement are a myth.

    The best and brightest...at least in surgery...do not end up in academic medicine, they are out making bank in the private sector and then may end thier career in academics as thier physical skills drop off, witness shumway, miller, Brody etc etc....


    AND the brightest students in med school are not the social ******s, generally they are the top of the class due to inate ability.
     
  43. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon

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    For what it's worth, in my class the students at the top of the class are the best "clinicians." Alot of these ideas about clinical skill and such are bunk. Medicine is pattern recognition. If you know more patterns you can apply more patterns.

    Once again I think this ugly beast of the zero-sum game rears its ugly head. People in med school are way to quick to think that book smarts are neccesarily balanced by deficiencies in interpersonal skills or "clinical judgment." The people in my school who got the top grades in pre-clinical are the same ones getting honors as M3s. I think too many people expect this great upheaval where the stratification of the class will be turned upside down as the studiers neccesarily crash and burn on rotations. That don't happen.

    Let me turn your analogy around, what would you call someone who memorized Harrison's (or Cameron, or Rosen, pick your field)? Are they an "idiot?"
     
  44. Droopy Snoopy

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    I don't think this is what Tired was implying at all. And this is taking the conversation in an entirely different direction, but to answer your question my guess is that internationals have to study more simply because of the language barrier, regardless of intelligence.
     
  45. Mayhem

    Mayhem Scut Bear

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    LOL. Can I steal that for my signature? I've spent the better part of three years trying to explain just this sentiment to my classmates and I couldn't find a more articulate way to do it.

    More on topic though, I think if somebody is planning to teach as part of their job then they should be taught to teach. How this obvious logic escaped the admin at my school is beyond me. Except for Surgery & Path (which train their residents to teach) and one Anatomy teacher with a degree is education, the teachers at my school are pretty much terrible. Granted, some of them have nice enough personalities to distract us from the fact that we're learning squat but most of them can't even throw together a powerpoint.

    For example, our biostats course was a joke. The woman couldn't explain even the most basic concepts of probability to us, yet this was the best and brightest the university had to offer. I'm talking about the youngest statistics PhD ever in the history of the school with honours and awards like dirt. Of course, useless as she was, most of still passed - for the same reason we got into med school - because we are intelligent, motivated people. This only perpetuates the cycle because now she goes home thinking she had something to do with our passing and we move on to the next course just happy to never have to see her again.

    Things will never change until they realize that there is a fundamental difference between lecturing and teaching. One involves advising people that knowledge exists and the other involves imparting said knowledge. And until people get this then medical students will continue to spend hours in the library trying learn the same thing that they spent an hour supposedly being taught that morning (this is why I don't go to lectures, it's just not efficient). The good thing is most schools are beginning to notice this. The bad thing is most of them are trying to pawn the problem off on the students with Problem Oriented Learning which is code for "let the students teach themselves." There's another piece of crap I could do without, but let me stop.
     
  46. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member

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    :thumbup:

    I love when I'm caught studying during class time by a proff from another course, and they give me this dissapointed look like they caught me smokin a spliff in the library not pouring over lippincotts, lol. When my grades are low you can give me your crap about how important it is to go to class, untill then I'll keep on homeschoolin.
     
  47. Mayhem

    Mayhem Scut Bear

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    So I know you weren't asking me but yeah, I'd call them an idiot. An educated idiot but an idiot none the less. I've met these people, both in student and doctor form, and they tend to be (generalization alert) all fluff and no substance. They can regurgitate random factoids and back it up with page, chapter, paragraph and verse but dig deeper and the understanding isn't there. In their mind everything in the book is gospel and should you present them with a scenario outside the rigid parameters set out in their book of choice then the whole world comes crashing down. Obviously, it's a generalization but one I've seen many times.
     
  48. typeB-md

    typeB-md Be more like McCain!

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    getting Honors doesn't mean anything more than you are better at brown-nosing and scooping than your classmates are. until the patient's give you your "Honors", your clinical grades don't mean anything. and if you disagree, you're either 1) a brown-nosing, classmate-scooping gunner or 2) haven't done clinical years yet

    and the person who memorized Harrison's, i wouldn't call an idiot, but i'd say they most likely employed poor time management. for those that are going into surgery, what good is biochemistry? for those going into psychiatry, what good is anatomy? sure these might be fun subjects, but just because someone doesn't master a subject doesn't mean they aren't capable of mastery. some people like to prioritize instead of mindlessly memorizing information.
     
  49. typeB-md

    typeB-md Be more like McCain!

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    i think medical school falsely inflates many people's egos. the top medical students really are not super geniuses. i hate to break it to these folks, but real geniuses are usually unsung and working in much lower paying tech or engineering fields. these types of people will tell you that they would rather drink acid than ever memorize anything. and trust me, they are VERY capable of memorization.

    it's for the same reason why many medical students don't do well in physics compared to tech and engineering students. you can't memorize analytical reasoning.

    yet medical students will continue to be arrogant asses because they're made to believe they're special.
     
  50. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky

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    off topic, but the day that my patients start giving me "honors" is the day i turn in my stethoscope. sure, there are patients who appreciate having things explained to them and who appreciate when the doc spends time with them. on the other hand, there are the untold masses who just want their demerol and phenergan with no questions asked.
     
  51. Droopy Snoopy

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    Not to keep jumping in here like that kid at recess who eggs on the fight, but I've got to agree with AmoryBlaine on this one. People in the bottom third don't magically become the top third because they spent the first two year honing their people skills instead of studying. Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn't mean they're an evil brown-nosing insider or too ignorant to know better, and I think this attitude might go more to the heart of your troubles fitting in with this profession than any external factors. I thought you brought up some valid points in the original argument though.

    And clinical grades do matter; it's the best system I can think of, and there's a reason it's been around so long. Having the patients give the "honors" is a terrible idea, and is somewhat similar to how the military runs things today. If you're an FP in the Air Force, decisions are made regarding both the clinic (funds, manpower, facilities) as well as the physician (career implications like next assignment, training opportunities, etc.) based on metrics which prominently include patient satisfaction surveys. Of course nearly every hospital in the country has some form of this, but the military relies on them to a greater extent and the stakes are much higher. It's a terrible system, and if you don't believe me spend some time in the Milmed forum down the page.
     
  52. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    Yes, a generalization that he/she seems to believe is true. Saying it's a "generalization" doesn't make it any less ridiculous.

    For what it's worth, I have never met anyone who spent 18hrs/day in the library, or anywhere close to it. I have also never met a med student with kick-a$$ grades who was completely deficient in social skills. Hard sciences, yes, but not in med school. What I have seen are a lot of students who console themselves over their mediocre grades by (wrongly) believing that they are superior in "social skills".

    Nice try, dragging in the foreign students. I'm not interested in getting into a stupid argument because you want to put words in my mouth.
     

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