Shjanzey

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For those of you entering the 2014 cycle I was wondering if any of you plan to do something special for day 1.

Seeing as it is a landmark day in all of our lives are any of you tempted to live a little, do something funny, make a statement, or even something subtle that has personal significance that maybe nobody else would notice?

I personally have a mischievous streak. I find the idea appealing, of showing up late to the first lecture in scrubs and shamefacedly sitting down in the back of the class. I want to keep quiet for 20 minutes before turning to the student next to me and whispering, "Nobody else came to the Anatomy lab this morning so I went ahead and finished the first three dissections for practice."

Too much?
 
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DrMidlife

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Do whatever you want, but there are a few things you might want to consider.

First, it's less likely to be considered funny, and more likely to be considered a gunner move, to make a classmate think they screwed up. Assume that your whispered-to classmate will never consider you to be trustworthy...and you will be around them constantly for 4 years.

Second, some professors really care about starting lecture on time. If you want to immediately annoy somebody whose favor you may later need, then coming in late is a pretty good way to do that.

Third, coming to lecture in scrubs (at a school that does not require them, which yes is a thing that exists) is a poser move until proven otherwise. It's a very visible thing, and whenever you're the only one in scrubs you stick way out. If you actually have a lab gig, or you actually just left the OR from an overnight shadowing gig, then you earned those scrubs.

Fourth, every med student is quite unbelievably narcissistic and looking to stand out, AND med school is still high school in terms of social rules. So if you go large, med students are no more or less likely to mock you, to your face or behind your back, than they were in high school. On average med students do not default to a positive, supportive response to another med student standing out unless they stand out with excellence. You generally want to establish credibility as being funny or smart or insightful with a small audience before you go large.

Lastly, if you want to forever be known as a stunt comedian, then doing stunt comedy on your first day is a good idea. Seriously - if you already know that your stock in trade is stunt comedy, then go with what you know, and own it. A subset of your classmates will appreciate the effort, if you're good at it.

Best of luck to you.
 
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Shjanzey

Shjanzey

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Good observations, and although I find the idea appealing I don't know if I have the balls to carry it through.

For one thing, there is the inherent risk in any comedic venture for your audience not to understand or appreciate the humor. So is the risk worth the reward? In this case, most likely not. But discussing probable antics on a forum is fun fodder on a day where I am bored at work ;)

I like your long-term analysis and presentation, because there are a few things in there I didn't consider, like the whisper comment being considered gunnerish.

In all reality, I will probably go in looking smart, grab a seat in the 1st - 3rd row and get down to business.

But in the interest of our own amusement, lets discuss what could be, what might be, what you would like someone else to do. Or if you have a seriously burning thing that must be done (like a lapel pin to honor a parent/friend/mentor) I think that is good fuel for this discussion.
 

Mad Jack

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I think I'm going to grow out a full beard and go in wearing full lumberjack flannel and coveralls. Won't say a word, will just give knowing nods to any particularly insightful parts of the lecture while taking zero notes.

Next class I'll shave everything and come in well dressed, shaven, and pretty much unrecognizable and get to hear the tales of the weird out of place guy that showed up on day one never to return for the rest of the year.
 
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Shjanzey

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I want to believe this is true.

I want to believe you will be at my Institution. I make eye contact and share a meaningful glance.
 

iceman55

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you guys realize that you'll most likely get acquainted with your classmates before the first day of classes at orientation and social events and such right?

If you did go thru with your plan, most would probably just think your one weird ass dude. Haha, but so so are most med students right?
 

Mad Jack

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you guys realize that you'll most likely get acquainted with your classmates before the first day of classes at orientation and social events and such right?

If you did go thru with your plan, most would probably just think your one weird ass dude. Haha, but so so are most med students right?
I'm obviously kidding. Not that I really give a damn about the social side of medical school or what my classmates think of me anyway. If people like me, they like me, if not, IDGAF. That's really the only way to live.
 

Kaustikos

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For those of you entering the 2014 cycle I was wondering if any of you plan to do something special for day 1.

Seeing as it is a landmark day in all of our lives are any of you tempted to live a little, do something funny, make a statement, or even something subtle that has personal significance that maybe nobody else would notice?

I personally have a mischievous streak. I find the idea appealing, of showing up late to the first lecture in scrubs and shamefacedly sitting down in the back of the class. I want to keep quiet for 20 minutes before turning to the student next to me and whispering, "Nobody else came to the Anatomy lab this morning so I went ahead and finished the first three dissections for practice."

Too much?
Coming from someone who was/still occasionally is mischievous, I'll give you my input:
Be very careful. The first three months I kept quiet/to myself while I figured out who was who. You don't want to make THAT kind of statement on the FIRST day. It's far worse to try to climb back up from whatever travesty can occur with that. Waiting until you hang out with people/etc is a way better move than trying to make an impression on the first day.

Subtle things are good, but I'd still say to wait. Doing something that day comes across as desperate for attention. The whole "loudest in the room is usually the weakest in the room" is how I interpret things like that. I also feel like it gives the impression that you're not there to learn/come across as intelligent but instead just want attention. Sure, be an attention ***** if you want, but tread cautiously.

In the end - do what you want. But realize that you'll have the chance of maybe relying on these guys for help down the line. Coming across as a gunner is horrible. Making a bad joke is worse. Your sense of humor may not be tolerated as well from other people.
 

Kaustikos

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you guys realize that you'll most likely get acquainted with your classmates before the first day of classes at orientation and social events and such right?

If you did go thru with your plan, most would probably just think your one weird ass dude. Haha, but so so are most med students right?
I disagree. Orientation/social events at the beginning are where you keep professional/mature. People don't act like themselves because they're being watched. Sure, get to know where they came from, but you'd be damned to actually figure out what kind of person they are on that day. EVERYONE in that room has a stick up their ass and for the right reason.
 

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Doesn't sound so stylish, sounds arrogant and dis-tasteful. My sentiment is, if you have a witty personality, be yourself but with tact. People will appreciate subtle (or not so subtle) humor, especially when made at your own expense. Don't be that loud, obnoxious guy looking for attention. Be humble, humorous, and genuine.
 

Chip N Sawbones

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I think I'm going to grow out a full beard and go in wearing full lumberjack flannel and coveralls. Won't say a word, will just give knowing nods to any particularly insightful parts of the lecture while taking zero notes.

Next class I'll shave everything and come in well dressed, shaven, and pretty much unrecognizable and get to hear the tales of the weird out of place guy that showed up on day one never to return for the rest of the year.
Speaking as my med school's class redneck, I don't think this will work like you expect. A more likely outcome is that someone like me who wears flannel shirts to class every day will be glad to meet someone else with a similar sense of comfort and style. You probably won't be the only one in the class with a full beard either. Just be yourself, make friends with your classmates, and try not to make too many waves this early in the game.
 

Mad Jack

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Speaking as my med school's class redneck, I don't think this will work like you expect. A more likely outcome is that someone like me who wears flannel shirts to class every day will be glad to meet someone else with a similar sense of comfort and style. You probably won't be the only one in the class with a full beard either. Just be yourself, make friends with your classmates, and try not to make too many waves this early in the game.
Actually part of the reason I picked my school is because it tends to attract more of a jeans and tshirt, bearded, average joe sort of crowd. I really do intend to wear just whatever I normally would on the first day of school- probably a tshirt, plaid or flannel overshirt, boots, and some beat to hell old jeans. Probably going sans the beard though, as I need to keep a clean shave where I'm currently working for a proper N95 fit.
 

QofQuimica

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So much for nontrads raising the average class maturity. Heh. OP, whatever you're thinking of doing to be funny, don't. Just don't.
 
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Shjanzey

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So much for nontrads raising the average class maturity. Heh. OP, whatever you're thinking of doing to be funny, don't. Just don't.
You really gotta loosen up. Laughter is medicine for the soul! Oh and read the entire thread...there is plenty of backtracking and good advice
 

QofQuimica

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You really gotta loosen up. Laughter is medicine for the soul! Oh and read the entire thread...there is plenty of backtracking and good advice
No, I don't gotta find something funny just because you do, actually. Backtracking already noted. Reinforcement of prior posters' advice to forbear trying to be funny when not actually funny provided. As others have also already said, feel free to take such advice as you see fit.
 
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Shjanzey

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No, I don't gotta find something funny just because you do, actually. Backtracking already noted. Reinforcement of prior posters' advice to forbear trying to be funny when not actually funny provided. As others have also already said, feel free to take such advice as you see fit.
I didn't say you have to find what I think is funny funny. I do think you need to soften your dour tone a bit. If you have read the thread then you didn't need to post such a snide followup. If you didn't enjoy this thread, feel free to click the back button and move along. I was actually enjoying the lighthearted banter as well as the thoughtful advice posted.

I cannot recollect ever liking anybody who slings about jerkery while hiding behind a mask of "maturity". At what age do you have to stop laughing and start acting as what you would call an "adult"?
 

sazerac

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For my formal white coat ceremony the day before classes, I had a "pre-med whitecoat" custom made for me. It was a regular student whitecoat, shortened all the way to the shoulder blades. It only had one button in front! Obviously I was poking fun at the medical tradition that the length of your whitecoat signifies your "rank" in the medical hierarchy. As I walked across the stage I had to stop and remove my pre-med whitecoat in order to put on the much much longer med student one.

The third year students running the ceremony thought I was highly unprofessional.

The deans, however, all got the joke immediately and thought it was funny as hell and they all played along. Of course I do go to school in New Orleans, where we don a costume for almost any reason.
 

BurberryDoc

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Good observations, and although I find the idea appealing I don't know if I have the balls to carry it through.

For one thing, there is the inherent risk in any comedic venture for your audience not to understand or appreciate the humor. So is the risk worth the reward? In this case, most likely not. But discussing probable antics on a forum is fun fodder on a day where I am bored at work ;)

I like your long-term analysis and presentation, because there are a few things in there I didn't consider, like the whisper comment being considered gunnerish.

In all reality, I will probably go in looking smart, grab a seat in the 1st - 3rd row and get down to business.

But in the interest of our own amusement, lets discuss what could be, what might be, what you would like someone else to do. Or if you have a seriously burning thing that must be done (like a lapel pin to honor a parent/friend/mentor) I think that is good fuel for this discussion.
Show up to your first lecture in scrubs that appear to have been blood splattered. Tell classmates you had a rough night with your now-ex girlfriend. If anyone asks why she is your now ex-gf, just say she was a Manatee.
 

alpinism

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For those of you entering the 2014 cycle I was wondering if any of you plan to do something special for day 1.

Seeing as it is a landmark day in all of our lives are any of you tempted to live a little, do something funny, make a statement, or even something subtle that has personal significance that maybe nobody else would notice?

I personally have a mischievous streak. I find the idea appealing, of showing up late to the first lecture in scrubs and shamefacedly sitting down in the back of the class. I want to keep quiet for 20 minutes before turning to the student next to me and whispering, "Nobody else came to the Anatomy lab this morning so I went ahead and finished the first three dissections for practice."

Too much?
Heh why not show up early and sit up front with the gunners?

Also, why stop there. Get some extra tight scrubs and cut off the sleeves (like the todd) then go around giving everyone high fives.
 

QofQuimica

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I didn't say you have to find what I think is funny funny. I do think you need to soften your dour tone a bit. If you have read the thread then you didn't need to post such a snide followup. If you didn't enjoy this thread, feel free to click the back button and move along. I was actually enjoying the lighthearted banter as well as the thoughtful advice posted.

I cannot recollect ever liking anybody who slings about jerkery while hiding behind a mask of "maturity". At what age do you have to stop laughing and start acting as what you would call an "adult"?
I apologize if my comment came off as snide. It wasn't intended that way. I do think that it's easy to lose sight sometimes of what you're really doing there, which isn't to be the class clown. And while joking in a thread like this is all well and good, trying to make other people feel inadequate isn't funny. Yeah, you're joking and aren't really going to do it, but unfortunately, some people do.

As for when to stop laughing, I'd say it's about at the same point where you have to stop doing whatever you feel like in any context: namely, when it interferes with other people's rights. I thought the premed white coat story posted above was funny, but I also understand why the upperclassmen who organized what is supposed to be a solemn event would have been upset by it. Which is why, even though it made me laugh, I'd dissuade anyone else from following suit.
 
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I apologize if my comment came off as snide. It wasn't intended that way. I do think that it's easy to lose sight sometimes of what you're really doing there, which isn't to be the class clown. And while joking in a thread like this is all well and good, trying to make other people feel inadequate isn't funny. Yeah, you're joking and aren't really going to do it, but unfortunately, some people do.

As for when to stop laughing, I'd say it's about at the same point where you have to stop doing whatever you feel like in any context: namely, when it interferes with other people's rights. I thought the premed white coat story posted above was funny, but I also understand why the upperclassmen who organized what is supposed to be a solemn event would have been upset by it. Which is why, even though it made me laugh, I'd dissuade anyone else from following suit.
No problem. Thanks for the clarifications, I agree wholeheartedly
 

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Some people are naturally funny. Most people aren't.

If you're one of those naturally funny people, you probably know it already. In that case you should be yourself.

If you aren't, you shouldn't spend the first day of med school trying to be.

The first few weeks of med school are a cutthroat period of juvenile social politics I hadn't seen since Junior High. Cliques are formed quickly and quietly and a social hierarchy rapidly established. If you get singled out as the weird guy (which your original idea would definitely do), you'll keep that reputation for 4 years.
 
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yossarian444

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I didn't say you have to find what I think is funny funny. I do think you need to soften your dour tone a bit. If you have read the thread then you didn't need to post such a snide followup. If you didn't enjoy this thread, feel free to click the back button and move along. I was actually enjoying the lighthearted banter as well as the thoughtful advice posted.

I cannot recollect ever liking anybody who slings about jerkery while hiding behind a mask of "maturity". At what age do you have to stop laughing and start acting as what you would call an "adult"?
Geez, if you get this upset over people disliking your idea on the internets, don't do it in real life. Medical students can and will be much more cruel than Q.

Perssonally, I think your idea is not funny, boring, and lacks originality. There's a couple dozen gunner-med-student videos on youtube already over the last 10 years with much more creative ideas. Sorry.

I do realize you're just excited in anticipation for your journey to begin. Just relax, realize med school is a marathon and you'll soon enough realize that whoever told you getting in was the hardest part lied.
 

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Ned was that Napoleon Dynamite style?

Me, I'm going to sit back and try to blend in with the background while trying to find where I fit in. I'm going to Minnesota, where the vast majority of the 170 kids are from the area and most likely know each other. I'm banking on "Minnesota nice" and my love of beer to help this Ohioan integrate.
 
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Nasrudin

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Of tough crowds med students right out of the blocks are among the worst. I can be accidentally funny. Most often when I'm being serious. Occasionally I get lucky off the top of the dome. And I love funny as much as life itself. Personally I would appreciate any attempt to be funny in these contexts and would immediately seek your company if you tried out some material on the first day. Or any day. But....I'm a big fan of aything comic. Even a failed attempt that goes over with cricket chirps makes me laugh after the uncomfortable pause.

But this socialization process is particularly stifling. So....go for it at your own risk but with my personal, warm admiration and appreciation.
 
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For those of you entering the 2014 cycle I was wondering if any of you plan to do something special for day 1.

Seeing as it is a landmark day in all of our lives are any of you tempted to live a little, do something funny, make a statement, or even something subtle that has personal significance that maybe nobody else would notice?

I personally have a mischievous streak. I find the idea appealing, of showing up late to the first lecture in scrubs and shamefacedly sitting down in the back of the class. I want to keep quiet for 20 minutes before turning to the student next to me and whispering, "Nobody else came to the Anatomy lab this morning so I went ahead and finished the first three dissections for practice."

Too much?
I'm guessing many of us older, nontraditional students just don't get the humor at all--perhaps because a number of us have been in the professional world for a while already before making the switch to medicine. I get that the OP was just having a laugh with this thread and likely had no intention of doing anything the first day of school beyond keeping his head down and praying his insecurities don't well up to a noticeable level--but, still, were anyone ever to do anything like that to me on the first day, or any day, of medical school, I would calmly pick up my stuff and move to a different row with nothing more uttered to him than a "cool story, bro."
 

Nasrudin

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I'm guessing many of us older, nontraditional students just don't get the humor at all--perhaps because a number of us have been in the professional world for a while already before making the switch to medicine. I get that the OP was just having a laugh with this thread and likely had no intention of doing anything the first day of school beyond keeping his head down and praying his insecurities don't well up to a noticeable level--but, still, were anyone ever to do anything like that to me on the first day, or any day, of medical school, I would calmly pick up my stuff and move to a different row with nothing more uttered to him than a "cool story, bro."
Yeah. The professionalism battles. It's part of the anti-funny that comes raining from the administration ordered but student manned c130 gunships at a million rounds a minute. Part of the elaborate anti-funny regime's opening tactics.

Professionalism is loaded term that means whatever any autocratic entity intends it to mean. One can be a fine "professional" and be not in the least bit sincere, kind, or in possession of integrity.

Part of the reason why the funny is the rebel king in such scenarios. To keep it righteous all you have to do is not risk hurting a patients feeling in any way. Not that that couldn't be funny. But you just can't go there. No definition of professionalism is required. It's just a service profession and their comfort and ease is more important than ours.
 
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Yeah. The professionalism battles. It's part of the anti-funny that comes raining from the administration ordered but student manned c130 gunships at a million rounds a minute. Part of the elaborate anti-funny regime's opening tactics.

Professionalism is loaded term that means whatever any autocratic entity intends it to mean. One can be a fine "professional" and be not in the least bit sincere, kind, or in possession of integrity.

Part of the reason why the funny is the rebel king in such scenarios. To keep it righteous all you have to do is not risk hurting a patients feeling in any way. Not that that couldn't be funny. But you just can't go there. No definition of professionalism is required. It's just a service profession and their comfort and ease is more important than ours.
Hm...I disagree. That's okay, though. I just happen to think there is a time and a place to be funny (like grabbing drinks at a bar after a big exam, for instance). The first day of professional school however, when the point is to be learning a substantive and critical mass of information, is not the place. A comparable scenario would be all the 18-20 year olds I had/have in my premed classes. Listen, kids--in general, there is nothing wrong with talking about your binge drinking and boyfriend problems, just please save it for after organic lab. Just because we are scheduled to be here until 9pm, doesn't mean we have to be here until 9pm. See what I mean?

Call it professionalism, maturity, wherewithal, couth, or whatever; just don't get snagged by the semantics. There is an appropriate way of behaving depending largely on the situation. I know that adolescence is lasting into the mid-twenties for a large portion of our society these days, but I don't have time for that. I'm going to medical school for really one reason only: to become a doctor. I have plenty of laughs outside of school.

You may argue that professionalism is some vague and arbitrary standard that has been heaped upon the medical student body to strong-arm the young and idealistic MS-1 into capitulating to the status quo; however, where I come from, it is something professionals grasp, and haven't any difficulty maintaining or noticing when it has been compromised by the knucklehead new guy fresh out of Alpha Gamma Blah, for whom nepotism was the only experience needed for the position he currently holds.

We're all entitled to our opinions though.
 
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Mad Jack

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What I find funny is that when you're actually working in the hospital, it's so much less professional. I once heard a resident recite the Konami code during a difficult intubation. Many of us are all high fives and swearing like pirates and having a good time in the real world. A lot of patients would ask us whether it was like TV, like Gray's Anatomy or House. We'd pretty much all tell them the same thing- it was like M.A.S.H., but without the war. All this professionalism talk from a bunch of kids that have often never had a real job just comes off as tryhard to me.

As does all the social nonsense. I don't get why people care so much that they are liked by their class, nor do I get the whole competitive mindset. I'm just going to go in and do the best job I can do while being myself. I don't care if I'm doing better than the next guy or if he likes me. Medical school, to me, is another job, and I'm approaching it as such.

Though I will say that I'm actually pretty well liked at work, so I guess the IDGAF attitude just works for some people.
 
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alpinism

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Geez, if you get this upset over people disliking your idea on the internets, don't do it in real life. Medical students can and will be much more cruel than Q.

Perssonally, I think your idea is not funny, boring, and lacks originality. There's a couple dozen gunner-med-student videos on youtube already over the last 10 years with much more creative ideas. Sorry.

I do realize you're just excited in anticipation for your journey to begin. Just relax, realize med school is a marathon and you'll soon enough realize that whoever told you getting in was the hardest part lied.
Its funny looking back years later and remembering how you felt when you got that acceptance letter.
 
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What I find funny is that when you're actually working in the hospital, it's so much less professional. I once heard a resident recite the Konami code during a difficult intubation. Many of us are all high fives and swearing like pirates and having a good time in the real world. A lot of patients would ask us whether it was like TV, like Gray's Anatomy or House. We'd pretty much all tell them the same thing- it was like M.A.S.H., but without the war. All this professionalism talk from a bunch of kids that have often never had a real job just comes off as tryhard to me.

As does all the social nonsense. I don't get why people care so much that they are liked by their class, nor do I get the whole competitive mindset. I'm just going to go in and do the best job I can do while being myself. I don't care if I'm doing better than the next guy or if he likes me. Medical school, to me, is another job, and I'm approaching it as such.

Though I will say that I'm actually pretty well liked at work, so I guess the IDGAF attitude just works for some people.
Some people may have argued this, but I didn't. I am not advocating for anyone to do anything he or she doesn't want to just to be liked. I don't think the goal is to be liked, necessarily, but to be professional (someone else made the case that being professional can be the cause of not being liked!) Anyway, keep your attitude of "It's our party, we can do what we want to." The battle cry of the millennials is "I'm gon' do me," and I understand that. Just don't be a dick to other people in your class who may be pursuing medicine to, you know, provide well for their families--and possibly fought long and hard to get there, and sacrificed a great deal along the way--and don't have time for your shenanigans. For someone to not be amused by the class clown does not mean that individual is a competitive, gunner, d-bag. Maybe the peanut gallery just isn't that appealing to him.
 
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Nasrudin

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Some people may have argued this, but I didn't. I am not advocating for anyone to do anything he or she doesn't want to just to be liked. I don't think the goal is to be liked, necessarily, but to be professional (someone else made the case that being professional can be the cause of not being liked!) Anyway, keep your attitude of "It's our party, we can do what we want to." The battle cry of the millennials is "I'm gon' do me," and I understand that. Just don't be a dick to other people in your class who may be pursuing medicine to, you know, provide well for their families--and possibly fought long and hard to get there, and sacrificed a great deal along the way--and don't have time for your shenanigans. For someone to not be amused by the class clown does not mean that individual is a competitive, gunner, d-bag. Maybe the peanut gallery just isn't that appealing to him.
Well that's a fine counterpoint. I mean, I wear as nice as clothes as I can afford. I am deferential to my superiors and work hard. But I sneak laughs and jokes in as much as I can too. I don't think I've ever laughed harder than when me and a buddy of mine would try to get each other to crack up while we were being torn new ones as new 3rd year clerks on surgery. This is why the tense dynamic of medical professional socialization is a superb context for the puncturing alternative reality of the funny.

As alpinism said its a marathon. At times, many times, laughter conveyss amazing boosts for your mood, cognition, adaptability, and creativity. I watch stand up comedy regularly as personal therapy.
 
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alpinism

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Yeah. The professionalism battles. It's part of the anti-funny that comes raining from the administration ordered but student manned c130 gunships at a million rounds a minute. Part of the elaborate anti-funny regime's opening tactics.

Professionalism is loaded term that means whatever any autocratic entity intends it to mean. One can be a fine "professional" and be not in the least bit sincere, kind, or in possession of integrity.

Part of the reason why the funny is the rebel king in such scenarios. To keep it righteous all you have to do is not risk hurting a patients feeling in any way. Not that that couldn't be funny. But you just can't go there. No definition of professionalism is required. It's just a service profession and their comfort and ease is more important than ours.
Exactly. The term itself is inherently subjective and often used for that very reason.

To some it can be having a stone cold demeanor with a fancy suit and tie.

To others it can be having a warm lighthearted personality with a nice collar shirt and khakis.

Being "professional" has nothing to do with providing good patient care and everything to do with a singular perception of society.
 
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Well that's a fine counterpoint. I mean, I wear as nice as clothes as I can afford. I am deferential to my superiors and work hard. But I sneak laughs and jokes in as much as I can too. I don't think I've ever laughed harder than when me and a buddy of mine would try to get each other to crack up while we were being torn new ones as new 3rd year clerks on surgery. This is why the tense dynamic of medical professional socialization is a superb context for the puncturing alternative reality of the funny.

As alpinism said its a marathon. At times, many times, laughter conveyss amazing boosts for your mood, cognition, adaptability, and creativity. I watch stand up comedy regularly as personal therapy.
Having a laugh with your friend is great, obviously. I don't think anyone is debating that. The OP fantasized about acting like a goon to someone random in class on the first day, to try and throw-off that dude's game. Again, I don't know of anyone advocating for living like a humorless stiff because you are in medical school/residency/fellowship/whatever. I think some of us are just pointing out that such behavior is probably a defense mechanism to cover up feelings of insecurity on the part of the clown, and it's best to handle that in a less flashy and obvious attempt-at-attention-getting manner. But, shoot, if it helps you cope, if the setting and people around you are chill enough, yuck it up all you want.
 
Nov 3, 2013
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Midwestern, US
Exactly. The term itself is inherently subjective and often used for that very reason.

To some it can be having a stone cold demeanor with a fancy suit and tie.

To others it can be having a warm lighthearted personality with a nice collar shirt and khakis.

Being "professional" has nothing to do with providing good patient care and everything to do with a singular perception of society.
Social conventions are not always these purportedly ignorant and inherently-flawed mores of the totalitarian social elite. They can be well-reasoned parameters providing useful behavioral boundaries, cues, and context by which people can interact effectively in a particular setting. Iconoclasm is not the virtue many people make it out to be.
 
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Nasrudin

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Having a laugh with your friend is great, obviously. I don't think anyone is debating that. The OP fantasized about acting like a goon to someone random in class on the first day, to try and throw-off that dude's game. Again, I don't know of anyone advocating for living like a humorless stiff because you are in medical school/residency/fellowship/whatever. I think some of us are just pointing out that such behavior is probably a defense mechanism to cover up feelings of insecurity on the part of the clown, and it's best to handle that in a less flashy and obvious attempt-at-attention-getting manner. But, shoot, if it helps you cope, if the setting and people around you are chill enough, yuck it up all you want.
Firstly, medicine needs satirists more than it could possibly know. Secondly, nothing in the first day of M1 is that important. One guys public performance art is not going to prevent you from getting on with your intro to biochem or whatever. It's not that serious. But if you take it as such it's fine. You'll do great performance-wise. But it says nothing to describe the comics for what they often are--attention deprived children making their way in the adult world as natural performers. It takes all kinds. And I will always treasure them in my midst--skilled or marginally so. Even as an attending.
 
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Mad Jack

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Some people may have argued this, but I didn't. I am not advocating for anyone to do anything he or she doesn't want to just to be liked. I don't think the goal is to be liked, necessarily, but to be professional. Others have made the case that being professional can be the cause of not being liked! Anyway, keep your attitude of "It's our party, we can do what we want to." The battle cry of the millennials is "I'm gon' do me," and I understand that. Just don't be a dick to other people in your class who may be pursuing medicine to, you know, provide well for their families--and possibly fought long and hard to get there, and sacrificed a great deal along the way--and don't have time for your shenanigans. For someone to not be amused by the class clown does not mean that individual is a competitive, gunner, d-bag. Maybe the peanut gallery just isn't that appealing to him.
The reason it is amusing is because professionalism just doesn't carry people as far as they believe it will. They think if they act this way and that and pretend to be an adult really hard, one day they'll wake up on their first day of orthopedic surgery residency. What they don't realize is that a lot of programs don't want a stuffy suit on their service, they want someone they can get along with on the job and maybe hang out with after work. Given the choice of ultra professional business dude with a 245 or really cool guy to talk to with a 235, but both have good grades and letters, I'm being they'll take the latter, because they've got to spend five years with this guy. Excess professionalism is just a waste of effort IMO.

I don't hate on people that are obsessed with professionalism, nor am I the class clown type. I might roll my eyes at an occasional choice by one or the other, but ultimately people can do what they want and I don't hold it against them. People are almost all inherently awesome in their own way, no matter what front they put on. The suit and the shenanigans aren't the person, they're just a protective social shell with a soft squishy human center full of interesting thoughts, ideas, and experiences. So as much as I rant about stereotypes, the are few individuals I dislike. It's more the meaningless social programming that makes them believe they must act in a certain way that annoys me. Most people try so hard to be anything but themselves.
 
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Mad Jack

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As an added note, many patients really appreciate a good sense of humor amongst all the grimness of the ICU. You must be careful with your audience and appropriate with where you take things.
It's easy to just feel like some kind of powerless victim who's loved one is being cared for by an endless army of nameless and ever changing caregivers. A bit of humor can really make the day of some family members by reminding them that they are people and their loved one is being cared for by other people- it injects some humanity into your medicine.
 

QofQuimica

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As an added note, many patients really appreciate a good sense of humor amongst all the grimness of the ICU. You must be careful with your audience and appropriate with where you take things.
It's easy to just feel like some kind of powerless victim who's loved one is being cared for by an endless army of nameless and ever changing caregivers. A bit of humor can really make the day of some family members by reminding them that they are people and their loved one is being cared for by other people- it injects some humanity into your medicine.
I've also seen people's attempts to joke with patients/families backfire spectacularly. It's helpful to take your cue from them when it comes to this. I never joke with patients or families unless they joke with me first. As Nas pointed out, it's your job to adapt to their sense of humor, not their job to adapt to yours.
Just don't be a dick to other people in your class who may be pursuing medicine to, you know, provide well for their families--and possibly fought long and hard to get there, and sacrificed a great deal along the way--and don't have time for your shenanigans. For someone to not be amused by the class clown does not mean that individual is a competitive, gunner, d-bag. Maybe the peanut gallery just isn't that appealing to him.
This. :thumbup:
 
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Mad Jack

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I've also seen people's attempts to joke with patients/families backfire spectacularly. It's helpful to take your cue from them when it comes to this. I never joke with patients or families unless they joke with me first. As Nas pointed out, it's your job to adapt to their sense of humor, not their job to adapt to yours.

This. :thumbup:
Obviously. It's a touchy situation. You have to feel things out. If you can't read people well, don't do it. I'm careful and have never had it backfire, but YMMV based on how funny and perceptive you are.
 
Jul 13, 2011
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My OB/GYN discussed another physician's sexual interests with me. I would suggest staying away from that topic...
 
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Do whatever you want, but there are a few things you might want to consider.

First, it's less likely to be considered funny, and more likely to be considered a gunner move, to make a classmate think they screwed up. Assume that your whispered-to classmate will never consider you to be trustworthy...and you will be around them constantly for 4 years.

Second, some professors really care about starting lecture on time. If you want to immediately annoy somebody whose favor you may later need, then coming in late is a pretty good way to do that.

Third, coming to lecture in scrubs (at a school that does not require them, which yes is a thing that exists) is a poser move until proven otherwise. It's a very visible thing, and whenever you're the only one in scrubs you stick way out. If you actually have a lab gig, or you actually just left the OR from an overnight shadowing gig, then you earned those scrubs.

Fourth, every med student is quite unbelievably narcissistic and looking to stand out, AND med school is still high school in terms of social rules. So if you go large, med students are no more or less likely to mock you, to your face or behind your back, than they were in high school. On average med students do not default to a positive, supportive response to another med student standing out unless they stand out with excellence. You generally want to establish credibility as being funny or smart or insightful with a small audience before you go large.

Lastly, if you want to forever be known as a stunt comedian, then doing stunt comedy on your first day is a good idea. Seriously - if you already know that your stock in trade is stunt comedy, then go with what you know, and own it. A subset of your classmates will appreciate the effort, if you're good at it.

Best of luck to you.
Look what we have here! The guy who always wants to be liked by everyone, hurray!

To the OP; never let that enthusiasm go. Don't be a prick and jerk, be nice to whoever is nice to you. And if you want to be that 'gunner' or whatever the med students who can't compete with you call people who are competitive; be it! Let the suckers burn while you ride the road to your dream.

Dattebayo.