marsupial

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Do you say...

Doctor?
Resident?
Studying medicine?
Work in a hospital?
Lie and say that you work at an advertising agency to avoid the 15 minutes where you waste time explaining what a residency is ?
How does your usual conversation with someone with a normal job go?

have you had the experience of people asking you "what specialty" and reacting with more or less excitement depending on what you say? I've heard surgeons get starry eyes, psychiatrist gets silence and then an awkward joke, neuro-anything gets "wow you're so smart" and internal medicine gets an 'Oh."
 

med2UCC

Relentlessly Optimistic
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May 30, 2005
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At the back of the North wind
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Do you say...

Doctor?
Resident?
Studying medicine?
Work in a hospital?
Lie and say that you work at an advertising agency to avoid the 15 minutes where you waste time explaining what a residency is ?
How does your usual conversation with someone with a normal job go?

have you had the experience of people asking you "what specialty" and reacting with more or less excitement depending on what you say? I've heard surgeons get starry eyes, psychiatrist gets silence and then an awkward joke, neuro-anything gets "wow you're so smart" and internal medicine gets an 'Oh."
I say "I'm a doctor". When asked where I practice, I say "I'm a resident - after you graduate from med school you have to do 2+ years of post-graduate training, kind of like an apprenticeship, before you open your own practice". Then "Yes, I'm really a doctor". And then "Yes, I'm just going to be a family doctor" (this would be the response that pisses me off, frankly - " Are you going to specialize or just be a family doctor?". Yes, I'm just going to know everything about you and your family and diagnose everything from lymphoma to rickets in you and your near and dear, not forgetting ACS, COPD and the common cold. I'm going to be the 1st contact for all your surgical, medical and gynacological problems and probably deliver your baby if you are of child bearing age. That's all I'm going to do though:rolleyes:). Cheers,
M
 

mig26x

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I respond: Im an Internal Medicine resident. believe me 75% of the people dont know what the hell is that. Some people think is still medical school, others dont think you are a doctor (which you are but in training) and others dont give a crap and really think you are done with your training.

real story: My girlfriend told her boss at work that I'm a resident and she told her "so he has not finished medical school?", my GF didnt go into details because she thought it was a waste of time. Then a few weeks later, my GF boss tells her "I watched Grey's anatomy and thought about your boyfriend and I understand know what he does"

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, we are not freaking grey's anatomy. The general public doesnt have a clue as to what a medical resident is, in part thanks to TV.
 

Rugby MD

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"I kill chickens"

Won't be asked look at someone's weird rash that way.

-Rugby
 
Aug 19, 2009
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I tell people I'm a physician scientist. That usually confuses them long enough (even MDs) to stall any further questions while I slide by.
 

SoCuteMD

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Nov 28, 2005
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No more rounding!
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My friend tells people that she's a dolphin trainer. I'm SO adopting that line from now on.

I just say I'm a doctor. I am. I have the degree and name tag to prove it!
 

J1515

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Windshield entomologist or underwater welder. Problem solved.
 

J1515

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buckley

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Alright... "Geriatric Obstetrician" then!
 

ShyRem

I need more coffee.
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I tell them I'm a Mom. They usually say "oh", walk away, and ignore me the rest of the night. I think I'll keep that line through residency.
 

mig26x

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I know a doc who tells everyone he's an accountant. It's a remarkably effective way to get off the subject of work.
Cheers,
M
lawyer also does the trick!!!
 

Rabbit Hole

We're all mad here.
Dec 29, 2009
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Do you say...

Doctor?
Resident?
Studying medicine?
Work in a hospital?
Lie and say that you work at an advertising agency to avoid the 15 minutes where you waste time explaining what a residency is ?
How does your usual conversation with someone with a normal job go?

have you had the experience of people asking you "what specialty" and reacting with more or less excitement depending on what you say? I've heard surgeons get starry eyes, psychiatrist gets silence and then an awkward joke, neuro-anything gets "wow you're so smart" and internal medicine gets an 'Oh."
If asked what you do as a profession you should say you're a doctor, and say it like you have some pride for your profession. Giving an ambiguous response or altogether lying will only make you look like a pansy.

Some people act like every time they acknowledge that they are a "Doctor" to "normal people" they go home and self-flagellate for even uttering the words. If you don't hold on tight to your title there are other health professionals (non-MD/DO) who would love to take that burden off your shoulders.
 

ccfccp

Stays crunchy in milk!
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I work in the ED, so I tell people that I herd cats. I find that it's more or less true. :)
 

Ashers

Bacteria? Don't exist.
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My answer varies based on with whom I'm speaking and thei knowledge base, and how much I want to go into it.

I just got asked this while coming through customs at ORD. I don't know why the customs guy was grilling me with my US passport and obvious US location of birth.

First I said I was a doctor. Then he asked me what specialty, so I said anesthesia in training, then he was like, so are you a resident?

I don't think I've ever been grilled this much in the US. When I arrived in the uk the week before, all I had to say was that I'm a doctor.
 

thesauce

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I generally give half-truths and make it like pulling teeth for them to get the whole story:
I'm in school. Really, what do you study? Science. Really, what kind? Several kinds. Really, where? Insert City.

Either that, or "I study science, how about you?"

Eventually, they just give up.
 

Dejavu

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If asked what you do as a profession you should say you're a doctor, and say it like you have some pride for your profession. Giving an ambiguous response or altogether lying will only make you look like a pansy.

Some people act like every time they acknowledge that they are a "Doctor" to "normal people" they go home and self-flagellate for even uttering the words. If you don't hold on tight to your title there are other health professionals (non-MD/DO) who would love to take that burden off your shoulders.
I agree that we should show pride in our profession.

However, with all the "doctors" out there (chiropractic, optometry, advanced practice nurses, etc.), I always say that I am a physician. I believe that separates us from the rest. Way less confusion.
 
Apr 17, 2009
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Although six weeks away :))), here is what I plan on saying:

"I am an oncologist."

Most people (~50% of those I come into contact with on a daily basis) know what an oncologist is. If I receive a confused look, I will say, "Cancer doctor". If the individual looks like they care/understand, I will then explain to them that there are three ways to treat those with cancer: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy and that I am in control of prescribing and implementing the plans for radiation therapy.

I thought about saying, "Radiation Oncologist", but the first thing that the lay-person hears (and thinks about) is Radiologist, which is only a small portion of what we do. As other MS-IV's can attest, they have had to think about this b/c people always ask, "What specialty are you going into?" So, this is the next logical step in the progression.
 

Rabbit Hole

We're all mad here.
Dec 29, 2009
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I agree that we should show pride in our profession.

However, with all the "doctors" out there (chiropractic, optometry, advanced practice nurses, etc.), I always say that I am a physician. I believe that separates us from the rest. Way less confusion.
I think that is a very good response. Stating your specific specialty is appropriate as well. :thumbup:

This all stems from my general dissatisfaction with the lack of respect in today's society. I see it everywhere and it bothers me. For example, I was at the public library one day and there was this really old gentleman who was obviously having trouble reaching for a book and then he dropped some of his belongings on the floor. I looked around and it was apparent that nobody was in a rush to get up from their chair to help that old man. I got up and helped gather his books and walked with him to his little section of the library where he likes to read. We got to talking for a little while and he told me about how he used to be a fighter pilot in WWII.. one of the awesomest stories I have ever heard in my life. (By the way, hearing stories from that era from somebody who was actually there was almost surreal, but really cool. It's sad to know that entire WWII generation is will be gone soon).

I know that's just a small example about respecting elders. But the concept has parallels in all portions of life, even the medical profession. That's why I don't care much for people with a medical degree feeling like they have to downplay their title, or nurses who wear white coats and introduce themselves as Doctor Nurse ___ abc, xyz to patients. In my book, it's a clear and intentional slap in the face to the tradition and history of medicine. If we don't respect our profession we'll soon be heading to bizzaro world where nurses are doctors and doctors are (insert other profession here). I know I went a bit off topic. The end.
 

thesauce

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If asked what you do as a profession you should say you're a doctor, and say it like you have some pride for your profession. Giving an ambiguous response or altogether lying will only make you look like a pansy.

Some people act like every time they acknowledge that they are a "Doctor" to "normal people" they go home and self-flagellate for even uttering the words. If you don't hold on tight to your title there are other health professionals (non-MD/DO) who would love to take that burden off your shoulders.
I don't know if these are really related.

When I'm at the hospital, I'll introduce myself as a physician, but when I'm out on the town or at a party, I'd rather not be pulled into a discussion about someone's sick relative or their rash. It just isn't the place for it.
 

Rabbit Hole

We're all mad here.
Dec 29, 2009
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I don't know if these are really related.

When I'm at the hospital, I'll introduce myself as a physician, but when I'm out on the town or at a party, I'd rather not be pulled into a discussion about someone's sick relative or their rash. It just isn't the place for it.
Of course, discretion is advised.
 
Feb 2, 2010
245
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MD/PhD Student
Secretary. Works 90% of the time, and seems like a pretty good description for scut, so not a complete lie.

The 10% of the time I have to tell the truth, people don't have a clue what internal medicine is, assume it's family practice, or assume I'm a loser because I "have no specialty" in their eyes. I've started to say physician scientist (people just stay quiet) or batman (people either leave me alone or buy me drinks).

I always hate that the follow-up question to "doctor" is "what kind of doctor? / what's your specialty?" Come on, clueless public. What's the best witty follow-up answer to that one -- if you aren't in a field with a sexy name like surgery, cardiology, or dermatology.
 

ResidentMD

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Jul 8, 2009
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I always hate that the follow-up question to "doctor" is "what kind of doctor? / what's your specialty?" Come on, clueless public. What's the best witty follow-up answer to that one -- if you aren't in a field with a sexy name like surgery, cardiology, or dermatology.
Per-rectals. That should shut them up. Or else it will at least help you to weed out the weirdos.