Sep 11, 2019
6
2
Status
Medical Student
Hey guys, fourth year here, I just wanted to share my experience with a difficult attending and kind of get your idea on what I should do. So I am doing an elective in sth I’m not going into buy genuinely interested in. The attending is very intense and called my first presentation wasting time and other people’s attention. Now after third year i know my presentations are not that bad, I got honors in most rotations and was praised for my presentation more than once. He also pimped me on very obscure stuff and said my understanding is wrong even though I read more than one paper on it to back up my evidence. He also specifically called me to stay out on procedures and patients rooms which is totally understandable but in the context of all this, I’m getting a feeling he really doesn’t like me. He seems frustrated when I ask him a question and replies without looking at me. I know he’s prob just this way and I’m not worried about evals. I just feel like I could’ve been learning more in a better way somewhere else. I really do want to learn but I’m Too tired to put up with this ****.

What should I do guys? Thanks for listening and hopefully I can bring some comfort to people going through the same thing in fourth year.
 

thumbz

Crazy Canuck
7+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2010
241
204
South of the 49th
Status
Attending Physician
I see two options for a 4th year who doesn't yet have FUBIGMI

1. Suck it up, learn what you can, and hope maybe he was just having a bad day

2. Tell your school it's not a good learning environment and ask if they have a different option
 
OP
H
Sep 11, 2019
6
2
Status
Medical Student
I see two options for a 4th year who doesn't yet have FUBIGMI

1. Suck it up, learn what you can, and hope maybe he was just having a bad day

2. Tell your school it's not a good learning environment and ask if they have a different option
Haha thanks, I’ll see how he is tomorrow. He’s a pretty renowned attending so I feel like the crowd is not on my side if I report to the school. It’s hard to not care when people are treating you in a bad way. I’m working on ignoring it, any advice on how you deal with the frustration?
 

thumbz

Crazy Canuck
7+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2010
241
204
South of the 49th
Status
Attending Physician
I know it doesn't feel like it now but it really is a good learning experience - you'll run into that in residency, and then also as an attending. And even if you're CEO of the hospital you may still have a board member who's always a total ass to you.

I've always done what I can to prove their animosity towards me ill deserved, and that I will succeed in spite of them. And then I almost feed off of it, working every time to try and be a little smarter or know a little more. And as I do better and know more and show more, even if they still dislike me, everyone else around you starts to notice.

And as you move through your career, that reputation that you've cultivated allows you to get promoted even if your boss hates you, because they still have a boss above them. I know it's not the most helpful advice, but show up, work hard, don't let them get to you and keep doing better every day
 
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OP
H
Sep 11, 2019
6
2
Status
Medical Student
I know it doesn't feel like it now but it really is a good learning experience - you'll run into that in residency, and then also as an attending. And even if you're CEO of the hospital you may still have a board member who's always a total ass to you.

I've always done what I can to prove their animosity towards me ill deserved, and that I will succeed in spite of them. And then I almost feed off of it, working every time to try and be a little smarter or know a little more. And as I do better and know more and show more, even if they still dislike me, everyone else around you starts to notice.

And as you move through your career, that reputation that you've cultivated allows you to get promoted even if your boss hates you, because they still have a boss above them. I know it's not the most helpful advice, but show up, work hard, don't let them get to you and keep doing better every day
Thank you for sharing. I calmed down over the course of today and found that everyone else on the team has been extremely nice to me. You are right that I will feel more defeated if I don’t show or switch to somewhere else. This is my learning opportunity and I’m not going to let anyone deprive me the chance. They will not matter after the rotation anyways. This experience also reminded me the importance of remembering your roots and not to despise anybody simply because they know less. We were all just medical students some point in time. I appreciate your input and I think I’ll have the confidence to continue working hard tomorrow.
 

FutureInternist

10+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2007
1,390
405
Where Bugs Bunny should have made a left turn
Status
Attending Physician
Hey guys, fourth year here, I just wanted to share my experience with a difficult attending and kind of get your idea on what I should do. So I am doing an elective in sth I’m not going into buy genuinely interested in. The attending is very intense and called my first presentation wasting time and other people’s attention. Now after third year i know my presentations are not that bad, I got honors in most rotations and was praised for my presentation more than once. He also pimped me on very obscure stuff and said my understanding is wrong even though I read more than one paper on it to back up my evidence. He also specifically called me to stay out on procedures and patients rooms which is totally understandable but in the context of all this, I’m getting a feeling he really doesn’t like me. He seems frustrated when I ask him a question and replies without looking at me. I know he’s prob just this way and I’m not worried about evals. I just feel like I could’ve been learning more in a better way somewhere else. I really do want to learn but I’m Too tired to put up with this ****.

What should I do guys? Thanks for listening and hopefully I can bring some comfort to people going through the same thing in fourth year.
Wait till you have your eval submitted and then give an honest eval about him so others dont have to suffer
 

jhamaican

Membership Revoked
Removed
Account on Hold
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
577
501
Sounds like you are working with variant 3 of the final bosses of medical school: the ancient tenured curmudgeon

Final boss 1 is the hardcore SJW
attending who incessantly preaches about the need for free healthcare for the entire world (as if this is actually feasible) and anyone who ever wants to make any money in medicine is evil (never mind this thing called student loan debt).

Final boss 2 is perhaps the most difficult to manage and defeat: the passive aggressive young attending only 1-3 years out of training who is super uptight and will rip you a new one on your eval despite smiling and saying great job to your face. Although subtle, signs actually do exist that may herald an impending poor eval despite overt positive comments in person.

Each boss requires a unique strategy to defeat.

allow me to share my thoughts on defeating variant 3 final boss:

Let me guess, he is probably some old famous attending with a huge ego, poor hygiene and a superiority (in reality inferiority) complex.

They are so used to being on top of the ivory castle that if you are confident and competent it puts them off. They are likely tenured and untouchable. Understand that they haven't been told "no" or had any negative feedback in decades. This extent of power inevitably erodes your social skills. As they say: absolute power corrupts absolutely. This results in the malignant individual you are describing. This evolution of the final boss into variant 3 is commonly encountered at top academic centers.

They have a hostile reaction to anyone who does not immediately put lips to their buttocks

Sounds strange but take it from someone who has been there multiple times: the attitude you are experiencing is an inferiority complex on their part. You must make it clear they are above you and they are all knowing. Feed their oversized ego daily.

They are likely trying to passively aggressively "put you in your place"

I have found that if you act a little scared (fake it if need be) and super subordinate the guard drops and they eventually become friendly. Emphasize the power dynamic and bend the knee (figuratively).

Ask them some basic stupid questions that you already know the answer to without making yourself looks like too much of an idiot. This is a fine line.

Getting honors and surviving rotations, as you probably already know at this point, is more about people skills than actual knowledge at the student level.

Seriously.... The Ego on some of these "famous and respected" attendings in academics is something else. tread lightly.

Stay tuned for strategies to defeat and survive final boss variants 1 and 2
 
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