I find this one of the most ludicrous aspects of med school. It is ridiculous that we pay so much money and get treated are gophers and human retractors most of the time. I managed to get through by complaining to my loved ones, finding ways to sneak out of the OR or floor and telling my residents what I felt. I loved when my surgery resident yelled at me for not taking a full message for him, to which I relied that I was doing this as a favor and that I was not his secretary. I noticed the scrub nurses chuckle at this one. Normally I am more to happy to help my coworkers, but am unwilling to be degraded because I did not fulfill their expectations in this role. I still managed to get such excellent evaluations during these 3rd year rotations, mainly because I focused on learning the information and showing true interest in the field. I also was able to use a skill I learned from pledging a fraternity in undergrad - to smile at someone while still avoiding them.
I thought I would finally be done with this during 4th year, but I experienced it once again during my ICU rotation. One of the interns was updating the sign out list, when one of the other interns came up to her and told her that this was a good "med student job"! How is this related to being a doctor? They were paid employees of the the hospital, so that type of work is thier responsibility. I was told by my resident during my evaluation that I needed to show more enthuiasm in helping the "team" by getting labs and charts just like the other med student on the rotation, even though I had spent most of my time asking questions about medical topics and trying to learn from my patients. Not to mention the fact that I always offered to help the interns whenever I had some free time. I looked at her, and realized that I was not being evaluated on my ability to be a doctor, but to be a clerk.
My main frustration in this whole process it that we are all trying to learn to be the best doctors we can be, yet half of our time is wasted with meaningless tasks. We should be focusing on learning all the sorts of details and procedures that a doctor needs to know. After all, the patients (as well as the lawyers) are not going to care how much time we spent being scutted. I have tried to speak out whenever possible, and feel that it is possible to do this without appearing uncoopertive or obstinate. There is always time to help out the team, as long as meaningless tasks do not become relegated as "med student jobs." If more med student would say something, this abuse of our education could be minimized.