Quantcast

Thank you cards to residents/attendings

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

zealous

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Messages
146
Reaction score
0

Members don't see this ad.
Okay so this may have been answered before but I'll ask it anyway. Is it okay to send thank you cards to particular residents or attendings who were helpful on your rotations. Should you wait to receive your evaluation or can you send them right away? If anyone HAS sent cards out or heard of someone who did please, let me know. Thanks guys.
 

Scooby Moo

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
68
Reaction score
0
zealous said:
Okay so this may have been answered before but I'll ask it anyway. Is it okay to send thank you cards to particular residents or attendings who were helpful on your rotations. Should you wait to receive your evaluation or can you send them right away? If anyone HAS sent cards out or heard of someone who did please, let me know. Thanks guys.

I have no personal experience with this myself, but I know of only one of my classmates who gave thank you cards to attendings/residents. It seemed to be trial-and-error for them early on, but apparently waiting until evaluations are submitted is a good idea (don't give anyone any opportunity to doubt your intentions.) Also, be tactful as possible when presenting someone with a card...some colleagues who do not receive one may take it the wrong way.

Far more common at my school, different services have departmental awards (i.e., chief resident of the year, intern of the year, etc.) which students vote on.
 

shorrin

the ninth doctor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2001
Messages
406
Reaction score
2
I'm planning on asking the secretary for the dept. to pass them on after they have turned in evals (since she's responsible for getting them back).

intention won't seem bad at that point... just a nice thanks!
 

Jaded Soul

Proloxil > Zoloft
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
663
Reaction score
3
I don't think there is anything wrong with giving a resident or attending a thank you card on the last day of the rotation, especially if they've put in extra effort to pay attention to the students. A few times on different rotations, we (the students) decided as a group to sign a thank you card for the resident or attending. But, don't make a habit of it and do it for everyone you rotate under because then it'll just look phony. I've never given a thank you card just from myself. As part of a group, I think it comes off more geniuine.
 

doc05

2K Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
May 24, 2003
Messages
3,515
Reaction score
1,489
the term "brown-nose" comes to mind.
 

shorrin

the ninth doctor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2001
Messages
406
Reaction score
2
Maybe it only comes to your mind but some of us have had truly close working situations with some stellar residents who have gone out of thier way to teach and create a positive learning enviroment.
They ought to be distinguished from the others who don't give a damn.

Besides, it can't be brown-nosing when you're never going to see them again... you don't get anything from it.
 

Jalopycat

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Messages
416
Reaction score
7
How is it brown nosing when the cards are given after evaluations are finished? Believe it or not, some thank you cards are sincere. Quit thinking the worst about people!
 

tom_jones

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
109
Reaction score
5
shorrin said:
Maybe it only comes to your mind but some of us have had truly close working situations with some stellar residents who have gone out of thier way to teach and create a positive learning enviroment.
They ought to be distinguished from the others who don't give a damn.

Besides, it can't be brown-nosing when you're never going to see them again... you don't get anything from it.



you people kill me. Do you really need to give residents/attendings thank you cards after you have gotten their dry-cleaning, washed their car, mowed their lawn? It is time to step back and re-evaluate yourselves. You are all officially gunners
 

lowbudget

Full Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2003
Messages
1,380
Reaction score
34
For me, I think it's RUDE to walk off a service without saying a brief thank you and good bye. I always thank my attending and residents at the end of the rotation with typical BS. They hear it every month, and you say it every month. But I think saying thanks is industry standard and is considered polite, especially if you see them again in the hospitals.

As for cards, nope. I only send thank you cards to preceptors who don't have academic appointments... like outpatient community preceptors who have private practice who open them up for you to go in and jack up their patients. Personally, I think this is etiquette too, especially since they're not professors and many precept because they think it'd be fun not because their livelihood depends on it.

As for academic profs/residents, I'd only send a thank-you email ONLY if there was real personalized teaching and if I truly enjoyed the service. Everyone else can kiss my @ss. Ain't nothing worse than an insincere thank you when the attending KNOWS they didn't teach you crap and the residents KNOW they made your life worse. I think there's a high threshold for me here. Anything else is just kissing butt. Unnecessary.

As far as A-hole attendings and residents, they get no greeting in the hall from me. When a STUDENT doesn't acknowledge your presence as an attending, I think that's the ULTIMATE insult. Hehehehe... I typically look at my watch or grab my pager as I walk by, just so my own rudeness isn't so obvious (like walking down the halls eyes straight ahead.)

As far as timing, if it's a community preceptor, I'll drop the card on their desk as I'm leaving their office or mail it the following Monday. If I'm emailing, I do it the following Monday. PUH-LEASE. Once it's Friday 5 pm, sayonara. I'm not about to sit around, drawing charts and graphs, looking at horoscopes, trying to figure out when evals have been sent. If you go to my school, by the time evals are sent and you send your thank you card/email, you would have already graduated. And FORGET asking the secretary or the nurse to hand a thank you card to the doc. It may just end up in the trash can for all you know. I mean, if you've ever received a thank you note, you read it and think, "oh that's nice" and move on. No attending or resident is going to sit around, recalculate their evaluations, and get up during grading committee and argue on your behalf because of a thank you note. Give me a break.

And if your attending/resident thinks your brown nosing, who cares? That's THEIR problem, not yours. Did he/she think you were brown nosing when you opened the door for him/her? What about if you slammed the door in his/her face, does that prove that you're an anti-brown noser? Please.

It also depends on your own personality. If you're a nice person in general in and out of the hospital, it wouldn't be out of character to do something like writing an email or dropping a card. But if you're some [email protected], it would be totally suspicious.

It also depends on how people are at your hospital. I'm in a small town where *normal* people are friendly and you see your attendings and residents at the bar, the restaurant, the grocery store, the movies. Word spreads fast if your a kiss up or an a-hole. Local custom dictates. Politeness counts.

But if you're anonymous like living in NYC: FORGET IT. There, it seems like people want something from someone all the times, and being nice to people is the exception and not the rule. So if I went to school in NYC, I think the attending/resident would consider politeness as "At least this student didn't give us the finger."

Oh yeah, last thing. For the resident who made me wash his car and pick up his dry cleaning, he doesn't get a card. He gets a finger. AND the silent treatment in the halls.
 

shorrin

the ninth doctor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2001
Messages
406
Reaction score
2
tom_jones said:
you people kill me. Do you really need to give residents/attendings thank you cards after you have gotten their dry-cleaning, washed their car, mowed their lawn? It is time to step back and re-evaluate yourselves. You are all officially gunners


if you got their dry-cleaning, washed their car and mowed their lawn then I feel sorry for you ... :rolleyes:
 

tega

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2002
Messages
243
Reaction score
1
tom_jones said:
you people kill me. Do you really need to give residents/attendings thank you cards after you have gotten their dry-cleaning, washed their car, mowed their lawn? It is time to step back and re-evaluate yourselves. You are all officially gunners

ditto....!!! no way in hell i'll ever do something like that....shoo...they should be giving me a thank u card for being a very hard working member of their team :rolleyes: :)

if anything, if i ever see them in a bar...drinks on me.....

thank u card my *s*
 

nuclearrabbit77

commercial sex worker
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2002
Messages
565
Reaction score
2
i'm paying tens of thousands of dollars a year to be some scut-munkey-biotch-bend-over-thank-you-can-i-have-another-sycophant-and i'm supposed to get them a thank you card? hahahahaha
 

ericdamiansean

High Profiler
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
4
i do that too..cept that i usually drop it to the nurse, to pass it to them

I've heard of some people who go to lengths of even buying bottles of wine for their attendings etc..but then, in my school for pre-clinical, lecturers don't know who's paper they are marking because there are no names on it, so, it doesn't really matter..i hear they do it really often in law..but then..it's law :D
 

Stinger86

Intern year? Ha!
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2003
Messages
828
Reaction score
4
If you really think a resident or attending has made a particular rotation more-than-meaningful for you, then just tell them to their face and be genuine. Sending them a card or gift is absolutely ridiculous UNLESS you do as a whole group.

I had a really cool team on my first month of medicine wards and at the end, I simply thanked them for all their help, asked them where they'd be next month, and then wished them luck. And then, every now and then when I'm in that area, I'll find them and say hi.
 

vietcongs

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Messages
230
Reaction score
0
I've had attendings send me flowers and gift baskets. I work my arse off so they can finish their round of golf. Why the heck should I send them a "thank you so much for letting me write and dictate ALL your H & Ps"!!! Shiet, when they have a good med student, they're job is cake. all they have to do is come in and cosign all the notes, dictations and prescriptions and scan orders so no fatal errors are made. You all know darn well that when youre an attending and you have all these little scut monkeys everywhere brown nosing for a grade/eval.. wouldnt you take advantage of it..just a little? One attending said it very straightforward: "Your job is to make my life easy". So if our job is to serve (without pay), while these attendings putz around on the golf course making a quarter mil/yr...I'm supposed to be thankful to be a dutiful servant?..Dont think so.
 

tum

don't call it a comeback
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Messages
215
Reaction score
11
this thread really shows the range of experiences that people can have. and the assumption some students seem to have that everyone's med school is the same. even for the same rotation at our school, if you do your work at a different site (ie across the street at the v-a) you can have a completely different experience. right now i'm on surgery, and i'm not the typical 'surgeon' personality, but neither is anyone else i work with. the residents are cooler and easier to get along with then my classmates. and people are freaking hilarious. the attendings don't pimp, but for rarely, and even when they do it's almost not pimping. my learning curve is straight up, but it doesn't really feel like it.

in any case, i like the earlier suggestion of a simple and earnest thanks and touching back with them a month later. there is some sham in medicine, but i don't think being grateful for earnest and articulate didactics has to be a part of that.
 

longwoodguy

55,554,114 say no mandate
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
1,504
Reaction score
0
zealous said:
Okay so this may have been answered before but I'll ask it anyway. Is it okay to send thank you cards to particular residents or attendings who were helpful on your rotations. Should you wait to receive your evaluation or can you send them right away? If anyone HAS sent cards out or heard of someone who did please, let me know. Thanks guys.

don't be that guy... :smuggrin:
 

carrigallen

16th centry dutch painter
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
1,542
Reaction score
8
I'll quote an older doctor at our school when he said "Thank-you letters are something of a lost art."

Although they are rarely sent now, (when was the last time you wrote one?) the letters are still meaningful.

I believe for older doctors, these kind of courtesies are more expected. Yet some younger doctors hardly understand what a thank-you letter even is, let alone how to interpret it.

This might help explain the diversity of responses you see. If you choose yes, be sure to do the business delicately and with tact.
 

krisg

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Hey there!
Call me old-fashined, or a gunner if you like--do all the name-calling you want. To be cliche, I think good manners never go out of style, and I give most attendings credit for being able to read people pretty well. So if you're a suck up and you give them a card, they'll know it. If you're sincere and you give them a card, they'll know that too.

I say if you are truly moved to send the card, send it! For the most part, people who work hard, including me--and apparently those who posted above who feel unappreciated for their hard scut work--like to be appreciated!

I have many nice attendings who genuinely want to teach and help make my education worthwhile. I hardly think a gesture of appreciation is questionable, especially if given after evals.

Go for it!

I'm in a position now in which I function as an HO-I and I have students on my team. I try hard to make their work valuable and a good learning experience. I certainly appreciate it when they notice my efforts--no, I'm not saying I want cards! ;) And, of course, I take the time to notice theirs and thank them.

goin' to bed,
~kris
 

Winged Scapula

Cougariffic!
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
Joined
Apr 9, 2000
Messages
39,959
Reaction score
18,704
I agree with krisg. It isn't all that difficult to tell when someone's "kissing up" and when someone is just practicing good manners.

Unfortunately, it seems that most medical students (and frankly, the general population) these days were not raised understanding that a well written "Thank You" note is appreciated and a sign of good manners. I was always interesting to me that, for example, parents of friends would be amazed when they would receive a note from me after a party or a dinner invitation. (shrug) Its just the way I was raised and I had (obviously) wrongly assumed others were too. Some attendings are probably young enough not to be raised that way. I think most people would enjoy at least an honest, thoughtful card or comment at the end of the rotation, but it is not expected.

In my short career to date, I've received a couple of thank you notes and they have been appreciated. However, they are NEVER expected and it in no way affects a student's evaluation, IMHO. I've also seen a student doing a 4th year AI who was so obsequious that her end of rotation gift to the residents (a fairly lavish basket of goodies) was seen in a negative light.
 
Top