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Too Militaristic?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by preMedDonut, 05.13.14.

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  1. preMedDonut

    preMedDonut

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    Hey all,

    I am currently applying this year and recently finished my advisory committee interview in which they provided some tips for the real interviews. I felt that they were nit picking a little bit and said that I replied with "yes,sir" too much. Now I am really baffled by this honestly, as I always reply with a "yes,sir" and "yes,ma'am" in everyday life. I showed my personality and wasn't completely rigid the whole time, but the one professor was saying he got sick of me saying "yes,sir" in response. Is there something I am missing or should I continue addressing people that are higher in chain of command with the appropriate response? One of those civilian/military blurred lines I guess..
     
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  3. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Lifetime Donor SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    There's nothing wrong with showing respect to your elders or superiors. I'm not military, but I grew up in the South, and most Southerners wouldn't think it was strange for you to address your interviewers as "sir" or "ma'am." But in other parts of the country, it's not the norm, so you might want to try to tone it down a little. Or, maybe this is a sign that you should interview down South. :)
     
    medic86 likes this.
  4. MajorUnderDog

    MajorUnderDog 2+ Year Member

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    I say Yes Sir/No sir all the time as well, especially at work.

    The only time I get a response back is something like, "Ohh you make me feel so old" or something to that....I just smile and say it is a respect thing not an age thing.

    I think it much safer to go with Yes/No sir (mam)
     
  5. CajunMedic

    CajunMedic 7+ Year Member

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    Sounds like nit-picking to me. I say yes/no, sir/ma'am all the time. You're being respectful. Heck, I sat at the position of attention for most of my interviews.
     
  6. kami333

    kami333 7+ Year Member

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    One thing to consider is that hierarchy in academia can be a funny thing. It's there, it's real, but not everyone wants to acknowledge it (at least not all the time); ie professors who want to be called by their first name. I think that part of being a "professional" is being able to gauge what constitutes as "professional behavior" in that environment.

    Consider for instance "sweetie" and "hon" (just as an example of regional difference in referring to someone); some of my classmates find it charming and personable, others find it unprofessional and disrespectful. It just depends on your background and upbringing, and part of effective communication is taking into account how the other person will react. Personally I think it's much safer to keep it as simple and straight forward as possible until you figure out how the other person wants to be treated.
     
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  7. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Militaristic? That's nonsensical! Being deferential is fine. Maybe they thought you were being too obsequious (look it up). You'll find AdComs to be more open...in any med school class a number of students are on military scholarships.

    I am currently applying this year and recently finished my advisory committee interview in which they provided some tips for the real interviews. I felt that they were nit picking a little bit and said that I replied with "yes,sir" too much. Now I am really baffled by this honestly, as I always reply with a "yes,sir" and "yes,ma'am" in everyday life. I showed my personality and wasn't completely rigid the whole time, but the one professor was saying he got sick of me saying "yes,sir" in response. Is there something I am missing or should I continue addressing people that are higher in chain of command with the appropriate response? One of those civilian/military blurred lines I guess..[/QUOTE]
     
  8. Fedaykin

    Fedaykin 2+ Year Member

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    I think that not all sir/ma'ams are created equal. There's nothing wrong with calling a person sir as a sign of respect. But if you're coming from the armed services, your tone of voice may not be conveying respect so much as deference to authority. While recognizing and respecting the chain of command in a hierarchical society is important- medicine is certainly one such community- keep in mind that interviewers are ultimately deciding whether or not they want you to be one of their peers. If you come across as a fundamentally subservient interviewee, you may not be interpreted as someone who seems like a potential leader.
     
    chiberian husky likes this.
  9. Nasrudin

    Nasrudin Apropos of Nothing 10+ Year Member

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    :laugh:. Omg...thanks. :laugh:. I needed that.

    Deference is the right move in all situations. Presumption of familiarity and lack of formal courtesy is potentially disastrous.

    OP. Be yourself and trust your own instincts in dealing with people. By their definition of militaristic I'm a jar head without having served. In the premed game, advisors have a propensity of not knowing wtf they're talking about.
     
  10. alamo4

    alamo4 Dudeist 2+ Year Member

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    This is right, be yourself, but being polite and formal is never a bad thing, and will serve you well in the Southeast as noted. These are premed advisor peeps at your school? I suspect very few practicing doctors would fault you for coming off as overly formal and polite at a first meeting. It might seem strange to them or they might tease you about it, particularly in California, but it's a good thing when dealing with people, especially patients. However, it's like being with a patient, start formal until they tell you otherwise.

    Medicine is conservative, particularly things like surgery.

    If you are ex military, it will likely even be taken in stride and attributed to that, which is fine. Some people will like it. I see no disadvantage.

    Manners is a good thing to have reflexively, and it would give you a plus up in my book. When you are in the ED answering "yes, sir" and "no, sir" as you're holding someone's feet in restraints as they shout obscenities at you and the resident is giving them a sedative, you will know how important it is to always keep your manners, equanimity and respect for others.
     
  11. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel 5+ Year Member

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    No one is going to mark you down for saying yes sir in an interview.
     

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